Thursday, May 23, 2024

Plans for football club at Ship Lane may be set for refusal

By Local Democracy Reporter

Christine Sexton

PLANS to redevelop a football stadium in Thurrock look set to fail for a second time.

Planning officers are recommending Thurrock Council’s planning committee reject a revised plan to redevelop the currently closed Thurrock FC stadium and grounds in order to preserve green belt land.

Applicants, Group 1 Automotive, want to build a car preparation plant on the youth football pitches, where cars will be inspected prior to delivery.

The pitches are adjacent to the main ground, which would be retained as a community football venue.

Under the plans, the stadium would be “gifted to a community partner” and a first floor flat above the club house would be used for teaching, meetings and conferences.

The applicant is also proposing to give £500,000 to the council towards mitigating the loss of the training pitches, under a s106 agreement.

However, the plans have not won favour with residents in nearby Aveley who fear it would create traffic problems.

Recommending refusal, planning officers said the application went against green belt development policy. A report said: “The proposals are considered to constitute inappropriate development with reference to policy and would by definition be harmful to the Green Belt.

“It is also considered that the proposals would harm the openness of the Green Belt. In particular, the appearance of the proposed centre building and perimeter fencing would appear as visually intrusive feature to users of the Mardyke Valley footpath. It is considered that the identified harm to the Green Belt is not clearly outweighed by other considerations so as to amount to the very special circumstances required to justify inappropriate development.”

Thurrock Council’s planning committee will consider the application on Thursday.

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