Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 4th July, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Items 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.


There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests


There were no interests declared.


Delivering Our Free School Programme - Land Disposal pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director of Property and Development introduced the report and explained that the Committee were being asked to note and comment on the item before it goes to Cabinet. The report informed Members that the Council has a statutory responsibility to provide school places. The Council are limited by statute and cannot build new schools, so work with the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) who have granted circa £58 million in funding to Thurrock. He then informed Members that the new Pupil Place Plan has identified an increase in the number of school places needed, and that the building of new homes in the borough will also result in the need for new schools. He went on to say that the identified Elm Road site was 6.04 acres and included playing fields, a basketball court, and a children’s playing area. The Officer advised the Committee that the site would hold a 6 form entry (FE), 900 place school funded through the ESFA, and the community could use the school’s amenities outside of hours. He went on to say that public consultation would take place as the land was public open space, and that the Secretary of State may need to give consent before disposal.


The Chair welcomed the report and asked what the process had been for identifying the site, and if any other sites had been considered. The Assistant Director of Property and Development answered that it had been a collaborative process with the ESFA and Department of Education to identify sites in areas where there was demand. He stated that the ESFA had also identified sites closer to Tilbury, as well as central Grays, but these had constraints and challenges. The Chair then examined the process of consultation, to which the Officer stated that there would be public consultation before the land was disposed, in line with the Local Government Act, and again at the planning process. He also stated that the public consultations would be included in the delegated decision report.


The Chair then raised concerns over increased traffic in the area, and problems this would cause residents, as well as the loss of amenities. The Assistant Director of Property and Development responded that during site analysis there had been preliminary investigation into the problems and opportunities the potential site might raise. He stated that it was the responsibility of the local planning authority to mitigate those issues, and this stage was for identification only. The Chair drew the Committee’s attention to point 1.6 of the report and stated that the recommendation delegated significant powers to one Officer, and asked what powers Officers and Portfolio Holders had if the Elm Road site is not bought forward. The Assistant Director of Property and Development answered that they could only identify, and not dispose of other sites. He went on to say that Officers and Portfolio Holders were not allowed to develop sites until they had gone through the planning process.


Councillor Fletcher drew attention to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.