Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tory-run Thurrock Council remain committed to Grays shopping centre

THE Conservative Group at Thurrock Council has been engaging with NewRiver, which owns Grays Shopping Centre, to explore opportunities to which could turn some of those shadowy, empty spaces we’ve all grown to know too well, into a useful local space for businesses, housing and leisure.

Local residents have been engaging with NewRiver directly through the company’s public consultation programme and bringing their ideas forward to Conservative councillors across Thurrock. There is clear public support for urban design initiatives that would reduce anti-social behaviour and increase the convenience, types of retail and sustainability of Grays by turning our ageing Shopping Centre, in need of structural repairs and no longer fit for purpose, into a thriving new town square open and full of choice for residents.

The project proposed by NewRiver has been showcased to residents and community groups through a public exhibition throughout this past year and they have invited residents to provide comments and suggestions at each stage of their consultation process. There is a clear need for housing in our Borough and the potential to regenerate sites like Grays Shopping Centre will allow the Council to protect Green Belt land elsewhere in Thurrock whilst still delivering around 850 homes for local people in the heart of the town. The site will deliver high density development and is intended to feature buildings of varying heights appropriate to the town centre setting. This site, which is one of the most sustainable locations in Thurrock and minutes away from Grays Train Station, will also provide circa 200 car parking spaces split between residents and shoppers.

Cllr Mark Coxshall (Leader of Thurrock Council), said: “This new Administration wants our commitment to regenerating Grays Shopping Centre with our partners NewRiver to be clear and we are hugely supportive of the plans that have been shown to residents as part of its public consultation exercise. For too long politicians from all parties have discussed this idea but its time now for us to push forwards with delivering change and building a more open, welcoming and business friendly Grays. As we move into the next stage of developing our Local Plan in Thurrock, residents will have the chance to outline how they want our Borough to look over the next 15 years. Rebuilding our High Street in Grays into a modern and well utilised space is the best way for us to protect our Green Belt land elsewhere and create a social and community hub that will keep residents spending locally.”

Details of the project can be found at https://futuregrays.com/ or by contacting futuregrays@nrr.co.uk

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