Thurrock Council Planning committee chairman welcomes investigation as controversial housing application is deferred

THE chair of Thurrock Council’s planning committee says he welcomes an ongoing investigation by the authority’s legal and monitoring officer into claims that improper actions took place regarding a controversial planning application.

Thurrock Nub News reported earlier today (Thursday, 16 July) on the background that led to an application for 161 new homes on Thurrock Marshes being pulled from the agenda of the meeting held this evening.

Cllr Tom Kelly told the meeting: “That has been deferred at the request of the applicant. I believe we all would have received an email earlier on this week from a resident in relation to a few concerns raised over, I believe, internal conversations on a Whats Ap group.

“I think that was forwarded on to the applicant and as such the applicant has asked that the monitoring officer and legal overlook those comments. As such that has been deferred – hopefully to the next meeting.

“I have discussed that with the monitoring officer and he is looking through that. We welcome that. 

“If anything untoward has taken place there it certainly needs to come to light. So the item will not be discussed this evening.”

A majority of councillors on the planning committee voted to grant approval for the controversial housing scheme despite widespread public opposition and a recommendation by officers to refuse the application.

Tonight’s meeting, which followed a site visit, was due to come to a final decision on the council’s policy on the application – but that will now have to wait until the next planning meeting as the application has been deferred – not withdrawn.

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