Civic Centre plans face another set-back as councillor calls for project to be rejected
By Local Democracy Reporter
PLANS to build a major extension to Thurrock Council’s offices are to be heard at a future planning meeting after an initial discussion resulted in a call for the plans to be rejected.
At a planning committee meeting on Thursday night Labour Councillor Gerard Rice gained the support of the majority of members in calling for the controversial scheme to be rejected, despite planning officers saying it should be approved.
Support for Mr Rice’s suggestion to go against the advice of the planning team means that officers will have to review the plans again and bring them back to a future planning meeting when they will be considered for a second time.
It is the latest set-back for the controversial project which has angered residents and councillors who have continually demanded to know how it will benefit the community.
Grays Riverside councillors Martin Kerin, Jane Pothecary and Tony Fish issued a joint statement.
They said: ‘We are delighted to see that the Planning Committee has made tonights decision.
‘We are relieved that the heritage of the Grade 2 listed church will be protected, along with the commercial businesses which are crucial for the core purpose of Grays, south of the railway line.
‘The lack of resident engagement in this process has been worrying (numerous invitations to meet with the Seabrooke Estate Residents Association have been declined) and doesn’t bode well for future regeneration projects.
‘We look forward to working with the administration on regeneration in Grays, with projects that actually have public support, protect the historical heritage of the town and support our commercial businesses.”
More to follow