Homes for young people vital in Thurrock Local Plan

THURROCK councillors want residents to get on board with a plan to provide homes and jobs for young people.

Like councils across the country, Thurrock Council is drawing up its local plan, which will outline where thousands of new homes will be built across the borough and how the community, the local economy and jobs will shape up over the next two decades.

At Wednesday’s cabinet meeting councillors discussed a new strategy for consulting residents on planning matters, which will include making it easier for people to access consultations. They approved a recommendation that the Statement of Community Involvement will itself be subject to consultation.
Residents views on developments will then be fed into the local plan.

Mark Coxshall, councillor responsible for regeneration, strategic planning and external relationships, said: “We should listen to local constituents and try and get a much local engagement as we can. This is not the council’s plan, this is the residents’ plan.

“It is critical to us in how we move forward in our local plan. If there are any issues coming out we can make adjustments and move forward at pace.”

Shane Hebb, councillor responsible for transformation and performance, said a priority of the local plan must be to ensure enough homes for young people.

He said: “I think this is incredibly important because you would be hard pushed to find any family across this borough who doesn’t have view on their children being able to live local to them as they grow up.

“Everyone recognises the need to build houses. We need them in the right way but part of doing is by having the conversation. It gives residents a good, sound opportunity to make their feelings known.”

Mr Coxshall added: “Let’s look at the borough. It’s an extremely young borough. I’ve lost count of how many new schools we have had. What we’ve got to do now with the local plan is build homes for those kids coming out of school.

“There’s homes needed for these children now. We’ve got the youngest population in the region that means there is a need for our young people. We built the schools now we’ve got to build homes for them.”

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