Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Thursday, 18th March, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be livestreamed and can be watched via

Contact: Wendy Le, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 11 February 2021.


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The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 11 February 2021 was approved as a true and correct record.


Item of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

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There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests

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There were no declarations of interest.



Declarations of receipt of correspondence and/or any meetings/discussions held relevant to determination of any planning application or enforcement action to be resolved at this meeting

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Members declared that they had received correspondence from Rebecca Darling on 20/1273/FUL; from Matthew Wood on 20/00290/FUL; from a number of residents on 20/01736/TBC; and from a number of residents on 20/01680/FUL.


Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 200 KB

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The report was presented by Leigh Nicholson.


Referring to application 19/00807/OUT, the Chair asked whether the application had been refused on the grounds of open space and if it would now be classified as open space. Leigh Nicholson explained that the service would be looking to reaffirm land designations such as open spaces through the Local Plan process.




That the report be noted.



20/00827/FUL Former Ford Motor Company, Arisdale Avenue, South Ockendon, Essex, RM15 5JT (deferred) pdf icon PDF 616 KB

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The report was presented by Chris Purvis.


The Chair commented that outline planning permission had been granted in 2011 which the developers did not build from that and was now expired. He went on to say that the developers were now suggesting that Thurrock was not building enough homes which he felt was an unfair assessment as the developers had the opportunity to build on this site 10 years ago. Chris Purvis explained that the applicant had provided a Counsel’s opinion and this had assessed the Council’s policies. He said that the 2011 outline planning permission had been granted for up to 650 dwellings which had been built over a five phase scheme and one of the earlier phases had built a lower number of dwellings. This enabled the Applicant to increase the number of dwellings in the current application to achieve a figure closer to the 650 dwellings granted in the outline application. He explained that the current application proposed 27 more dwellings over the 650 dwellings and the Council’s policies aligned with the NPPF’s housing delivery test to commit to high density developments within existing urban areas and brownfield sites to protect the Green Belt from development.


The Chair said that density and parking had been raised as concerns by Members when the application had been heard at previous meetings and questioned if the Council had considered whether this would affect the quality of the site. He noted that there was a lot of emphasis on the site being near Ockendon train station and pointed out that the station had a single track that travelled in two directions so was not a good source of public transport for the site. He commented that a high density and minimal parking build would work in London where there were tube stations that travelled in more directions. Chris Purvis explained that the application showed 70 dwellings per hectare and although it was within the upper threshold of 30 – 70 dwellings per hectare in the CSTP1 policy, it met the terms of the policy . In regards to parking spaces, the Council’s requirement was a minimum of 115 and the proposal was 120 and the parking ratio followed the same parking ratio in the outline planning permission to meet the design code. In regards to quality, he said that the developer was the same developer for phases four and five of the previous planning permission which was considered a high quality designed schemes and the same design approach had been applied to the current application which represented a continuation of that high quality development.


The Vice-Chair commented on the attitude of the Applicant’s appeal statements and their reluctance to increase the number of affordable homes. He asked whether the Council was confident that the Applicant would provide the 11 affordable homes that was currently offered. He also sought clarification on ‘continuity’ as the phases were built out by different developers.

Chris Purvis explained that the Applicant was highlighting the appeal process  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110.


20/01736/TBC 13 Loewen Road, Chadwell St Mary, Essex, RM16 4UU pdf icon PDF 462 KB

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The report was presented by Nadia Houghton.


Referring to the large trees at the back of the site, the Chair questioned whether these would need to be removed for the proposed dwellings. He commented that trees needed to be replaced with the same type of tree. He also sought more detail on the resident complaints in regards to access and parking. Nadia Houghton answered that the trees on the south western boundary of the site would remain and those on north western boundary would be removed for development. She said that there was a landscaping scheme proposed and conditioned within the recommendation. In regards to the resident complaints, she said that the proposed dwellings were large and wide detached properties which differed to the neighbouring properties on the street. The proposals would provide affordable housing; was fully policy compliant; met all Council standards; and the density was medium. There were no concerns with overlooking as there were no main room first floor windows and no concerns in regards to the neighbour amenity impact.


Councillor Rice said that he had received complaints that highlighted that some of the gardens were smaller than those in a neighbouring road. He asked the sizes of the gardens in the proposed dwellings. He also commented that there would be five houses built into a back garden with only two parking spaces and questioned where visitors would park. He also questioned what the average size of houses and flats were. Nadia Houghton answered that the smallest garden was just under 75 square metres and the largest was 130 square metres so overall, the site provided the appropriate private amenity space. In regards to parking, she said that the proposal was policy compliant and that two parking spaces had been provided for these three bedroom properties which other established properties in the area did not have. In regards to house and flat sizes, she said that the average flat size was 55 square metres and average house size was 100 square metres and that the proposed dwellings were 110 square metre gross internal floor area.


Councillor Lawrence mentioned that she and other Members had received emails from a resident who was disabled and had lived in the house that was currently on the site which had been adapted for his needs. She queried whether this was the same property. She commented that the house was adapted and large enough to house a disabled resident and their family and that the details of the property should be considered before development occurred. Nadia Houghton said that the Planning Department was not given these type of details in an application. She said that she could assume that the approach that the Housing Team had taken was based on housing needs. She went on to say that a new build would comply with building rights that an older property such as the one currently on the site would not so a new build would have wider corridor and hallway widths. Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 111.


20/01273/FUL Thames Park School pdf icon PDF 989 KB

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The report was presented by Genna Henry.


The Vice-Chair commented that school places were needed in the Borough. He noted that the proposals did not fully meet the requirements of the NPPF and that the design consultant was not ‘100% happy’ with the proposals as well. He questioned if the identified shortfalls would be addressed. Matthew Gallagher answered that design issues usually cropped up with school developments as the NPPF highlighted good designs in developments but new school developments usually had tight budget constraints. The report highlighted this and along with the Green Belt harm, these were balanced against the benefits of the scheme delivering new school places that were needed by September 2022. He explained that the Applicant was using modern methods construction as it was more sustainable and helped to keep costs down.


The Committee agreed to suspend standing orders to enable the Agenda to be completed.


Referring to paragraph 5.15, Councillor Potter sought more detail on the objection raised. Matthew Gallagher explained that the in-house Urban Designer had suggested improvements to the scheme which included the internal layout; teaching environment; and some of the outdoor spaces which would require ground work to be undertaken to enable the site to be in a useable state.


The Chair noted that a lot of excavation work would be required to flatten the back of the site for outdoor sport facilities and questioned whether there would be issues of subsiding. He also highlighted concerns on potential future issues of having the outdoor sports facilities on a steep decline particularly if there were money constraints. Matthew Gallagher mentioned that the report covered HGV movements that would be part of the excavation works and subject to these conditions, Highways England did not object. He also mentioned that due to the changing levels of the site, there was a flood risk and conditions were in place to control surface water drainage. In regards to subsidence, he referred to conditions 21 and 22 that covered issues of ground conditions. He said that no properties could potentially be affected by subsidence as the playing fields were constrained by the road network.


Councillor Sammons questioned what the school’s catchment area was. She commented that students from East Tilbury went to the USP College by buses that were not consistent with school times and questioned how pupils would get to the proposed school if they were travelling from East Tilbury. Matthew Gallagher answered that most schools were now academies that set their own admissions criteria and that distance from the school was included in this so the catchment could potentially be the immediate area of Grays. He referred to page 147 of the Agenda which addressed transport and traffic issues and paragraph 7.80 outlined the bus routes that served the area. It was expected that pupils would walk to school if the catchment was local or take a bus due to the age group of the school but there was an on-site car park that had 18  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.


20/00290/FUL Fiddlers Reach pdf icon PDF 495 KB

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The report was presented by Lucy Mannion.


The Chair noted that most of the HGVs travelled through Hedley Avenue with tankers accessing Wouldham Road and said that the address needed to be amended. He questioned whether there would be issues with HGVs using Wouldham Road. Lucy Mannion answered that there was an app-based system in place which required truck drivers to book into the site before arrival and had the correct directions on there. She said that the Applicant would amend the address to Hedley Avenue.


Noting the ‘sui generis’ use of the site, Councillor Potter sought clarification on this. Lucy Mannion explained that this referred to the use classes of the truck stops and this one was for standard operational use.


Councillor Lawrence questioned if there was a new road joining onto Hedley Avenue and if it would be in place before the site was operational. Lucy Mannion confirmed that the new road was already in place as part of the wider site application from 2018.


Steve Taylor sought clarification on whether HGVs could use Wouldham Road and questioned how this would be monitored. He also asked if the service centre on the site would be built out of containers and commented that a nicer building would be better. Lucy Mannion explained that HGVs were required to leave the site via Hedley Avenue for efficient operational use. She also said that the service centre would be built out of shipping containers in a modern design that was appropriate for the site. Julian Howes added that the site would have two gates to control which gate vehicles would exit out of. Tankers would be exiting onto Wouldham Road and all other vehicles onto Headley Avenue.


A speaker statement in support of the application was heard from Matthew Wood, Agent.


The Chair commented that the site was the perfect fit for that location and was pleased that the Applicant had worked with the Highways Team to ensure that the proposals worked. Councillor Lawrence said that the work of lorry drivers was appreciated as they had kept the food supply coming into the Borough and that the site would provide them with a place to stop and rest. Councillor Rice said that he welcomed this new facility and it would take the pressure off the Borough’s lay-bys and roads.


Councillor Lawrence proposed the Officer’s recommendation to approve and was seconded by Councillor Rice.


FOR: (9) Councillors Tom Kelly, Mike Fletcher, Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman,

Angela Lawrence, Dave Potter, Gerard Rice, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.






20/01680/FUL Claylands, 186 Branksome Avenue, Stanford Le Hope, Essex, SS17 8DF pdf icon PDF 222 KB

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The report was presented by Nadia Houghton.


Councillor Byrne commented that the Applicant had been running their business ‘under the radar’ for the last two years and questioned whether this had complied with planning laws. He also mentioned that there was an investment into reducing traffic in Branksome Avenue but that the proposal would bring in an additional 60 traffic movements and questioned if this had been considered. He also asked if the minibus on the site had been considered as it took up a parking space and the commercial waste collection.


Nadia Houghton explained that the Applicant ran a childminding business and was looking to expand. She said that the Council had received the first enforcement complaint in September 2020 and noted the neighbour complaints. She highlighted that Members were to consider the application that was before them. In regards to commercial waste, she said that this had been considered in terms of the impact on resident amenity and that the minibus was a SORN vehicle. In regards to traffic movements, Julian Howes said that the Highways Team did not have concerns here as it was not a significant increase. He highlighted that the Highways Team had concerns to the accessibility of the parking and whether the six spaces was feasible for the proposal and to achieve the drop-off and pick-up facilities required. 


The Chair commented that it was usual for people to be childminders in their own homes and sought further details in this case. Nadia Houghton explained that a childminding business could operate from home which was informal and usually had a handful of children to look after. She said that in the Applicant’s case, this number of children had increased and required expansion into a more formal setting like a nursery.


A speaker statement in support of the application was presented by Dean Hermitage, Applicant’s Representative.


Councillor Byrne noted the number of children and staff to be on the site in the proposal and commented on the number of traffic movements which would be dangerous for the cycle route in the area. He also noted that the proposal detailed different play times for children outside and mentioned an existing building that had been closed which was ideal for this proposal. He said that the proposal was good but not in the right location. Nadia Houghton answered that the application generated a need for at least nine parking spaces along with a drop-off and pick-up point to ensure the safe dual use of the site as it only had one formal access point which made manoeuvring and parking difficult. She said that it was not unusual to have a nursery in a residential area but was unusual to have it operating from the use of a dwelling.


The Chair said that the proposal was good but not in the right location given the neighbour complaints. He said that nurseries were important for the local community and much needed and noted Councillor Byrne’s mention of an ideal building  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.