Thursday, September 21, 2023

New homes on Thurrock Airfield would be a ‘catastrophe’ 

THURROCK planning officers have again recommended refusal of plans to build 750 homes on an airfield branded “catastrophic” by an objector reports Local Democracy Reporter.

Plans to build the new homes, a medical facility and retail and commercial units on Thurrock Airfield at Kings Farm, Parkers Farm Road, Orsett were first submitted in 2019. After undergoing an environmental impact assessment the application was registered with the council in July 2021.

Town planners submitted a report recommending refusal of the application in January but the plan was withdrawn to iron out problems that had been highlighted.

The proposal sited on green belt land drew a number of objections including the loss of an airfield, lack of infrastructure and the impact on surrounding roads.

One objector said: “The development would have a catastrophic result not only on the village of Bulphan but also on Orsett and the surrounding villages; and – due to flooding in the area in combination with use of local roads when main roads are blocked, the local roads are often in poor state of repair and not suitable for extra use

Highways England also objected to the plan and said: “Our primary concerns relate to the potential for mainline queuing on the A13 from the eastbound and westbound off-slips at the A13/A1012 junction.
“The westbound off-slip in particular, given that trips associated with this development will add to this movement during the sensitive weekday peak hours.”

The airfield, which has aircraft storage and repair services is currently in used and has between 15 and 20 aircraft parked there.

Repeating their recommendation for refusal planning officers said: “The proposal would result in a large urban settlement which would be harmful to the existing landscape characteristics of the fen countryside.

“The proposal would, by reason of the proposed retail, employment uses and the medical centre in this remote and unsustainable location, result in an unsustainable pattern of development which would cause an unacceptable increase in private vehicle traffic contrary to modal shift expectations, in particular along the A128, cause some loss of vitality and viability of the retail hierarchy’s existing town centre.”


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