Agenda and minutes

Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 5th October, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Training Room, The Beehive Community Resource Centre, West Street, Grays, RM17 6XP

Contact: Grace Le, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 327 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committeemeeting held on 6 July 2021.



The minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2021 were approved as a true and correct record.


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. To agree any relevant briefing notes submitted to the Committee.


There were no items of urgent business.


The Chair asked the Committee if they were happy to approve the Thurrock Transport Strategy and Vision Briefing Note that had been circulated to Members. The Committee did not agree this briefing note as it had only been circulated the day before the meeting.


Declaration of Interests


In regards to item 6, Councillor Snell declared that he lived in a Permitted Parking Area (PPA).


Flooding in Thurrock pdf icon PDF 423 KB


The report was presented by Navtej Tung.


The Chair queried how effective the ‘innovative techniques’ would be in preventing future flood events. Navtej Tung explained that the purpose of the project was to identify how effective these techniques would be. He said that some implemented measures had shown to be effective and there were some measures to be implemented as it required more work with Riparian land owners. The project was currently at a business case scenario and more details would be brought back to committee.


Referring to 3.5 on page 17, Councillor Kerin sought further detail on whether the test cases had been completed yet and asked for a briefing note to update the committee on the test cases. In regards to the action plan, he asked what actions had been completed for the committee to endorse and queried whether there was flood strategy in place before the flooding incidents that had occurred in January 2021. Navtej Tung answered that the test cases were not completed yet and that the service was working with the Enforcement Team to manage these. The next step would be to issue the section 25 process. He said that an update would be shared with a full list of the measures and processes to be implemented. He went on to say that there were processes for flooding issues in place before January 2021 but there had not been many flooding incidents before this time. Since the incidents, it had enabled the service to work better with other council departments to improve the council’s flooding strategy.


Councillor Watson queried the timeline for the action plan. She highlighted concerns of the coming winter season, climate change issues and that parts of Thurrock were at higher risk particularly areas that were on a flood plain. Navtej Tung answered that the timeline was dependent on a number of factors that included resourcing as there was currently one staff member in the Flood Team. Some measures were easily undertaken such as updating the flood information on the Council’s website and some measures would take longer such enforcement processes as it involved legal input. He said that the action plan was constantly reviewed and would ideally be implemented by the end of the year. The biggest challenge was in how to make residents more aware of managing and preventing flood issues. Mat Kiely added that the service was looking at the service’s internal structure to find the resources to support the Flood Team.


Councillor Snell queried the process that followed a flooding report from residents and the contact number for flooding reports. Navtej Tung said that the Highways Team would provide sandbags to reported flood issues for immediate protection. He explained that the protection of the home would be the responsibility of the homeowner. He stated that the improvement on the website would provide a number to call for these sandbags and to report flood issues.


The Chair invited Councillor Hebb to speak as the Ward Councillor for Stanford-le-Hope West  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Parking Policy and Strategy and Parking Design & Development Standards pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Additional documents:


The report was presented by Navtej Tung.


The Chair noted that there were 1.5 spaces per dwelling in flats with medium accessibility and commented that the bare minimum was too low as page 38 showed that there was an increase in car ownership. He questioned whether it was unreasonable to ask for a higher minimum of car parking spaces.


Matthew Ford explained that extensive research had been undertaken in the car parking standards which had been based on Chafford Hundred as a viable research area. The research had looked at how various government parking policies had affected the development over the past 20 years. There had been a very high level of parking provision until 2013 when the government applied the Planning Policy Guidance 2013 (PPG2013) for maximum parking standards and developers had to reduce the level of parking demand by providing a lower parking standard. The research had identified on the eastern side of Chafford Hundred, there had been a very high level of parking provision at the start but most of that relied on off street parking or garage spaces due to people converting their garages or extending out onto their driveways. In western Chafford Hundred, there were more on street parking and allocated parking spaces so the level of parking was quite consistent.


Matthew Ford went on to say that since 2013, the PPG2013 had been removed as a policy statement and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provided guidance on a more reasonable approach to parking spaces which should be based on local circumstances. The Council had considered a range of parking scenarios for flats and houses to ensure the right mix in the right location.


Referring to page 39 on car ownership figures in Thurrock from the 2011 census data, Matthew Ford gave examples of Aveley Upland and Grays Riverside which showed a level of consistent car ownership with the one to two parking provisions. He pointed out that the increase in car ownership between 2001 and 2011 was not enough to change parking standards. He said that the service worked with developers on parking spaces to reduce car ownership for their sites otherwise they would not be able to provide the density needed on the site. Parking provision was taken into consideration on certain sites such as a recent development near a school which had a rigid one space per unit provision for two, three, and four bedroom properties. The Highways Team had identified that there was a very high level of on-street parking provision that would overspill onto the road network so they had requested for more parking spaces as part of these standards. This would also enable people to install electric vehicle charging points on their properties. The service encouraged developers from providing garage spaces to avoid conversion of these into rooms which would reduce a parking space on a property. For four or more bedroom properties, the service requested for an additional parking space due to larger amount of people living  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Procurement of Fuel Cards pdf icon PDF 138 KB


The report was presented by Sarah Bennett.


The Vice-Chair asked if there were other fuel card providers that the service had considered. Sarah Bennett explained that other fuel card providers were considered in the procurement process but the service had to be particular in who to choose in regards to fuel station locations that accepted fuel cards and costs.




Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee were requested to:


1.1      Note the content contained within the report and;


1.2       To provide Cabinet with any relevant observations or recommendations to aid their consideration of this proposed procurement.


A13 Widening Project pdf icon PDF 138 KB


The report was presented by Keith Rumsey.


The Chair sought clarification on the completion date of the project. Keith Rumsey answered that the forecasted date was February 2022.


Councillor Kerin felt that the report was short and did not have enough details considering the number of issues with the project. He referred to the July 2020 report on the project which had given a completion date of Autumn/Winter 2021. He said that the completion date was constantly pushed back from the original date of 28 October 2019. He noted that the report in July 2020 had costs on the project and questioned the current cost of the project. Keith Rumsey explained that the figures were being looked at and there were compensation events to negotiate with the contractor so was unable to provide the costs yet. He would provide information concerning the number of compensation events.


Councillor Snell pointed out that the costs of the project would need to be known soon. He mentioned that a barrier had been completed on the project but was demolished shortly after and questioned if this was a compensation event and whether it had caused a delay to the project. Keith Rumsey explained that the cause was likely to be a design element which was the Contractors responsibility but this was complicated by a number of parties contributing to the design inputs. This could have a minor impact to the schedule which was why the forecasted date for completion was February 2022.


Councillor Watson raised concerns on the completion of the project which was now delayed by two years and also wished to know the costs. She said that the A13 was closed every weekend for the works which caused traffic issues in Thurrock. She asked whether there were more planned weekend closures. She also requested that the report come back to every committee meeting for the rest of the municipal year and for a breakdown of the costs to be included in those reports. Keith Rumsey answered that there would be three more planned weekend closures.


Councillor Kerin proposed a recommendation to be added – ‘To request Cabinet to commission a LGA peer review into the A13 project’ which Councillor Watson seconded. He said that the review should provide the service with learning outcomes. The Chair, Vice-Chair, Councillors Kelly and Snell voted against the proposed recommendation.




That the Planning, Transportation and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted and commented on the report content.


Stanford-le-Hope Interchange Report pdf icon PDF 138 KB


The report was presented by Keith Rumsey.


Councillor Kerin stated that the report was not detailed enough and pointed out that the July 2020 report on this project had reported no delays and had a completion date of August 2021. He questioned when the project and each of its phases would be completed and the final estimated budget. He also asked if the Daybreak Windows site would be part of the hub. Keith Rumsey answered that the completion dates were indicative only and subject to the tender process which was currently in process. The commencement date for phase 1 was potentially September 2022 with potential completion around December 2023 and phase 2 would start afterwards. He was unable to give further details due to the confidential nature of the tender process.


The Committee asked that the report be brought back to each meeting with the milestones completed on the project timeline along with costs. The reports needed to include completion dates for each phase and more details of the project.




That the Planning Transport Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted and commented on the information provided relating to the Stanford le Hope Interchange project.


Bus Service Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:


The report was presented by Navtej Tung.


At 8.27pm, the Committee agreed to suspend standing orders to allow the agenda to be completed.


Councillor Snell noted that there was a total of 100 responses on page 190 and commented that this was not enough people to give a representative view of the bus service in Thurrock. He stated that bus services could be better and that it was mostly used by people who did not have a car and that it would be hard to persuade car users to take a bus instead of driving. He pointed out that Thurrock was not similar to London or other cities so the bus network would not necessarily work in Thurrock. He also raised concerns over traffic issues with buses. Navtej Tung said that it was worth trying to persuade people to use a bus instead of a car and this could be done by providing more bus services in Thurrock. He said that buses should be used and not seen as a last resort mode of transport or for non-car users only.


Councillor Kerin commented that integration was a key point and that Thurrock needed to work with neighbouring boroughs to join bus routes as people wanted to travel outside of Thurrock as well. He questioned the amount of funding that the Council could receive from the £3 billion from government. He also asked when the bus services plan would be implemented. Navtej Tung answered that the service was looking into integrated fares and engaging with other boroughs to explore options with other bus operators. He stated that funding was needed to explore these options. He explained that the first step was to develop the BSIP and integrate this into the Thurrock Transport Strategy which would be revised as part of the submission to government for the funding. He went on to say that there were a number of measures needed to support the BSIP that included the Local Plan.


Councillor Snell stated that he did not agree with or endorse the recommendations.




To note and endorse the Bus Service Improvement Plan for adoption by Thurrock Council.



Approach to the Local Plan pdf icon PDF 163 KB


The report was presented by Leigh Nicholson.


Councillor Kerin stated that the Local Plan needed to include specific details on social housing in addition to affordable housing. He also said that the cultural assets of Thurrock needed to be preserved. Leigh Nicholson said that a report on the Models of Housing was due in the next Local Development Plan Task Force meeting which could be circulated to the Committee as a briefing note.


Councillor Watson said that the housing strategy and green spaces strategy needed to be included in the Local Plan. Regarding the technical studies in 3.6, she asked when these would be ready. Leigh Nicholson answered that these strategies were linked to the Local Plan and also fell in with the design charrettes. He referred to 3.5 and said that the service continued to work on the technical studies and the evidence from these would help to support the Local Plan which was constantly refreshed.




1.1       That the Committee noted the report and provide comment on the approach being adopted by the Council in preparing a new Local Plan.


1.2       That the Committee continued to receive regular progress reports on the preparation of the Local Plan and provides oversight of the Plan making process.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 212 KB


The following reports were added to the work programme:


  • A13 Widening Project (to include costs, completion dates and more details) – 7 December 2021 and 1 February 2022.
  • Stanford-le-Hope (to include costs, project timeline, completion dates for each phase and more details) – 7 December 2021 and 1 February 2022.
  • Paid for Car Parking – 7 December 2021.


The Committee agreed for the Approach to Local Plan report on 7 December 2021 to go as a briefing note instead.