Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL
Contact: Rhiannon Whiteley, Senior Democratic Services Officer
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Local Development Plan Task Force meeting held on 26 July 2022
The minutes of the Local Development Plan Task Force meeting held on 26 July 2022 were approved as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business
There were no items of urgent business.
Declaration of Interests
There were no interests declared
Thurrock Strategic Transport Model Presentation PDF 3 MB
The Chair agreed that item 6 should be heard first due to an external speaker giving the presentation.
Tom Van Vuren from Veitch Lister Consulting provided members with a presentation on the Thurrock Strategic Transport Model. The presentation can be found on the following link:
(Public Pack)Thurrock Strategic Transport Model Presentation Agenda Supplement for Local Development Plan Task Force, 26/09/2022 19:00
Tom confirmed that the transport model will produce transport evidence to inform the preparation of the Local Plan and to support potential business case development for transport interventions related to the Local Plan.
Tom explained that they look at the current travel patterns and estimate how these will evolve in the future. They predict how new developments and new transport projects will affect these travel patterns.
In order to prepare the transport model they have to collect a lot of data and since February 2022 they have mainly focused on data collection. They will now be starting the model development.
Councillor Worrall asked why they were using data from the 2011 Census as Thurrock has changed a lot in the last 11 years.
Tom clarified that at the current time they only have partial access to information from the 2021 Census. However, the information they use from the Census is only a small part of the data they collect as they are using mobile phone data which will be the most up-to-date data.
Councillor Redsell commented that the Borough has 3 big roads and she cannot see people wanting to use bicycles.
Tom confirmed that two thirds of travel journeys in Thurrock are made by a driver or a passenger so other models of transport cannot be ignored as there is a significant population in the Borough who don’t have access to a car.
Councillor Redsell noted that new developments such as the one in Lakeside have no car parking spaces and she is concerned people will not buy them for this reason.
Tom confirmed that the Transport model will try to supply the evidence of the implications of such decisions and what interventions might be needed to make Thurrock a thriving place.
Councillor Pearce stated that she is worried about the number of cars on the road and in particular the traffic problems caused by the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and Dartford Roundabout. Ideally, she would like to see a train station in Aveley.
Councillor Redsell questioned if they had been asked to look at a lorry park.
Tom confirmed they had not.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services explained that if a lorry park site was identified the transport model would give them the ability to understand the impact of a lorry park on the current transport network.
Tom Van Vuren left the meeting at 19.33
Transport Strategy Presentation PDF 3 MB
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services gave the Committee a presentation on the Thurrock Transport Strategy. The presentation can be found on the following link:
(Public Pack)Thurrock Transport Strategy Presentation Agenda Supplement for Local Development Plan Task Force, 26/09/2022 19:00
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services explained that his team with support from consultants are preparing an interim transport strategy. The current strategy runs until 2026 but was written back in 2011. They need to refresh the strategy so it aligns with the Local Plan. They need to consider how people will travel in the future.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services highlighted that they wanted to promote non-car journeys such as using the river more for freight and commuter journeys, increasing rail capacity and rail freight and improving walking and cycling routes. The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services also explained to the meeting about Electric vehicle car clubs which would allow residents to hire a car for an hour or a day which could reduce the need for residents to own a car in the future.
Integrated ticketing is also being looked at so commuters only need one bank card to use on all modes of transport as opposed to purchasing separate tickets.
Councillor Redsell thanked the Strategic Lead for Transportation Services for the presentation and noted the hard work that goes into it. Councillor Redsell stated that she was pleased that using the river more was mentioned and that she would like to see more images of Thurrock in future presentations.
Councillor Worrall commented that she liked the idea that you might not need to own a car in the future as it is very costly but currently she would not feel safe walking to a train station at night.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services explained that as they bring forward the local plan and build new developments they can ensure that things are put into the design to promote safety.
The Local Plans Manager confirmed that the Local Plan looks at all these issues holistically and if you create a vibrant High Street and early evening economy this can make places seem more welcoming and safer at night. The Local Plans Manager clarified that they wont just be looking at new developments but also how to improve current places.
Councillor Redsell highlighted that many people still need to make long journeys to visit family who live far away and using a car remains the easiest and quickest way to travel as with trains you need to travel into London to change trains.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services responded that electric vehicle car hire has real potential for people who want to use a car for infrequent long journeys.
Councillor Redsell commented that more electric car power points were needed.
Councillor Arnold queried if there had been any discussions with Kent County Council about getting more ferries.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services confirmed that there was no specific work being done with Kent on this ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
Creating Successful Places Presentation PDF 5 MB
Owen Reading and Robert Hayward of David Lock Associates gave members a presentation on Creating Successful Places. The presentation can be found on the following link:
(Public Pack)Creating Successful Places Presentation Agenda Supplement for Local Development Plan Task Force, 26/09/2022 19:00 (thurrock.gov.uk)
Owen Reading explained that they are working on a new Thurrock Design Strategy which will essentially be a guide to set out to developers the expectations as to what designers need to do to get quick planning permission so they can get building. It will help designers, developers and planning officers to understand what will be considered as good design in Thurrock.
Owen talked about the key design principles, creating pride in Thurrock, Healthy places for all, Connected to Opportunity and a Sustainable Future.
Owen explained that the Design Strategy is in its early stages and they are currently engaging with Officers at the Council. This will include consulting with the Planning officers as to what issues are coming up again and again in planning applications.
Councillor Redsell queried how many PPA’s are currently being received.
The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection confirmed that the number of applications has slowed down due to the economy however as the local plan progresses it is envisaged that numbers are likely to increase. The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection highlighted that they want to ensure only the best planning applications make it through.
Owen Reading added that developers that come to the Council with poor designs should have a hard time in the planning process and designs that are good should be sped through the planning process.
Councillor Watson expressed concern about engagement with residents and commented that there are already going to be consultations for the local plan and transport strategy and if there are too many consultations with residents they will get to the point where they don’t care.
The Local Plans Manager responded that the Local Plan does overlap with other areas such as transport and design and they are trying to coordinate with other teams where possible so as not to overwhelm residents with consultations. However, they do have to follow statutory processes and some things must be done separately.
Councillor Watson queried whether current applications with poor design can currently be stopped.
The Local Plans Manager confirmed that there is a National Design Guide which they can apply weight to. The current Thurrock Design strategy is also still relevant but is not progressive enough.
Robert Hayward presented the second half of the presentation regarding the site assessment study. He explained they are assessing sites for their potential for allocation.
Councillor Watson requested a copy of the locations of the sites.
The Local Plans Manager confirmed the PDF copy is very large and so they will be breaking it down into ward maps which will be more manageable to look through.
Councillor Redsell queried how long it will be until they receive details of the specific sites chosen.
The Local Plans ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
Thurrock Local Plan Update Presentation (including review of Covid-19 impact on plan making) PDF 2 MB
The Local Plans Manager provided members with a presentation with an update on the local plan. The Presentation can be found on the following link:
(Public Pack)Thurrock Local Plan Update Presentation Agenda Supplement for Local Development Plan Task Force, 26/09/2022 19:00
The Local Plans Manager confirmed the proposed plan for roadshow events in November 2022 and the updated work programme for the Local Plan.
At 21.29 the Committee agreed to raise Standing Orders so the meeting could continue beyond 9.30pm
The meeting discussed how Covid 19 and the increase in people working from home has altered what people want from their homes and local area.
No items were added to the programme.