A DECISION on plans for a 66-acre industrial park on Thurrock green belt has been deferred so that councillors can visit the site.
MD Star Ltd wants to build a 44,463 sq metre “employment hub” on land adjacent to Watts Wood Including Mardyke Farm, Ship Lane, and Broomhill Arterial Road Purfleet.
The scheme includes a new boardwalk beside the Mardyke, a new community and workplace hub and a new roundabout junction on Ship Lane.
However, concerns have been raised about the loss of green belt and pressure on local roads.
Speaking at a Thurrock Council planning meeting on Thursday, resident Jacqui Maney, said: “If approved would lead to the irreversible loss of green belt and would have a lasting and detrimental impact on communities. The right vehicle for the delivery of industrial employment sites of this nature is via the local plan and this document will be undermined by allowing this application. The proposed development site comprises green belt.
“In this case it forms a vital demarcation between west Thurrock and Aveley. If this application was to succeed it would directly offend the very purpose of green belt and would result in further urban sprawl between west Thurrock and Aveley. The area immediately south of Aveley and either side of Ship Lane is largely open space.
The presence of large highly impactful industrial buildings would destroy those open characteristics.”
Maureen Pearce, Conservative councillor for Aveley and Uplands, added: “The fact that in this report seven statutory consultees and officers make comments ranging from inadequate, needs revision and insufficient information should tell the committee all it needs to know about this planning application. It’s undercooked and is in no position to be approved.”
The scheme is designed as eco-industrial park in which businesses cooperate with each other and with the local community in an attempt to reduce waste and pollution and to share resources.
The company says the park would be ideally placed to collaborate with the Thames Freeport and it has teamed up with South Essex College. The college already offers courses in freight forwarding, supply chain management and HGV driving.
The application is expected to go before the planning committee again in June.