Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee
Thursday, 19th September, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Wendy Le, Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

35.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 15 August 2019.

 

Minutes:

On item 33 of the minutes, Councillors Lawrence and Byrne stated that they had not voted for the site visit to the George and Dragon and had voted against. This was amended to:

 

For: (4) Councillors Mike Fletcher (Vice-Chair), David Potter, Gerard Rice and Sue Sammons.

 

Against: (5) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Colin Churchman, Gary Byrne, Angela Lawrence and Sue Shinnick.

 

Abstained: (0)

 

The minutes of the Planning Committee held on 15 August 2019 was approved as a true and correct record subject to the amendments.

36.

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.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

37.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

The Chair declared a pecuniary interest on item 11 – planning application

19/01101/ELEC as he was an employee of DP World Development so would be unable to chair on that item and would be vacating the meeting upon the hearing of the item.

 

Councillor Sammons declared a non-pecuniary interest on item 9 – planning application 19/00828/FUL in that she was the Ward Councillor for East Tilbury and had made some comments prior to the site visit. However, after attending the site visit, she stated that she would be keeping an open mind on the application.

 

38.

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

Minutes:

The Chair declared that he had received a few emails in regards to 19/01095/FUL.

 

39.

Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Minutes:

The report was presented by Jonathan Keen, Interim Strategic Lead for Development Services.

 

The Committee was satisfied with the report.

 

40.

19/00617/FUL Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL (Deferred) pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(In line with Thurrock Council’s Constitution, Chapter 5, Part 3(d), 13.5, Councillors Akinbohun and Chukwu were unable to participate or vote on the application as they had not been present when the application was first heard at Committee on 15 August 2019.)

 

Before hearing the application, the Chair stated that Councillors Akinbohun and Councillor Chukwu would be unable to participate or vote on the application as they had not been present when the application was first heard at Committee on 15 August 2019.

 

Councillor Byrne felt that the application should be deferred to a later Committee date as the substitute Members would not be able to vote on the item. He said the application was important and affected all of Thurrock. The Chair reminded the Committee that the Planning Committee was an independent Committee and should not be voted along political views. He sought clarification from Leigh Nicholson, Interim Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection.

 

Leigh Nicholson explained that the application was already published on the agenda and due to be heard at Committee that night. The application should be heard. Members could propose an alternative recommendation to defer the application to a later date if they wished to do so.

 

The application was presented by Chris Purvis, Principal Planner (Major Applications) who gave a brief overview of the proposal set out within pages 35 and 36 of the report. He referred the Committee to the 3 bullet points in paragraph 1.1 on page 27 of the report which were the reasons Members at the last Planning Committee had given, as they had been minded to refuse the application. The report assessed these 3 points in more detail.

 

There was one update to the application in which an additional letter in support of the application had been received from New River. They were the new owners of the Grays Shopping Centre and supported the application as part of the regeneration framework of Grays Town Centre.

 

The Chair said the concerns raised at the last Committee on the application was well researched and assessed. Referring to a past planning application at 76 High Street, Grays, he asked if it was still a live application because he had seen hoarding around the site. He went on to question whether the St Peters and Pauls Church had commented on the 76 High Street, Grays planning application at the time it was considered.

 

In confirmation, Chris Purvis said the 76 High Street, Grays planning application was still live and that planning permission had been granted in 2013 – 14. The development to that site would bring a benefit to that part of the High Street. St Peters and Pauls Church had objected to the 76 High Street, Grays planning application but the church had not objected to the current planning application.

 

Noting that the report mentioned significant benefits that would outweigh the heritage impact of the St Peters and Pauls Church, the Vice-Chair sought clarification on what the significant benefits were. He  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

19/00828/FUL Land Adjacent George And Dragon, East Tilbury Road, Linford, Essex (Deferred) pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(In line with Thurrock Council’s Constitution, Chapter 5, Part 3(d), 13.5, Councillors Akinbohun and Chukwu were unable to participate or vote on the application as they had not been present when the application was first heard at Committee on 15 August 2019.)

 

The report was introduced by Chris Purvis who gave a brief recap of the application. He reminded the Committee that trees had been removed from the site at the end of July and after the last Committee meeting, all trees and shrubbery had been removed. This now opened up the landscape of the site.

 

A new site plan had been received following the last Committee meeting and in light of this, reason two for recommendation of refusal of the application was removed. However, the other two recommendations for refusal remained.

 

Noting the new site plan, Steve Taylor sought clarification on the number of trees that was currently on the site. Chris Purvis replied that one tree had been retained at the site and the site plan proposed other trees to be planted.

 

Councillor Sammons noted the landscaping to the front of the site on the site plan and was that it would obscure the view of the road upon exiting the site. The road itself was often heavily congested and busy. Chris Purvis explained that the plan was indicative and if it the application was to be approved, then there would be conditions attached to this which would be requested from the Highways Team in relation to access and site splays.

 

The Vice-Chair thought the reason for the site visit at the last Committee had been to view the road where the site was situated by. He queried if there was weight attached to this concern. Chris Purvis answered that if the application was to be approved, it would be subject to Highways conditions regarding sight lines and visibility splays.

 

Steven Lines, Senior Highway Engineer, explained the conditions included a keep clear marking that should be implemented across the entrance to ensure the road was kept clear at times of congestion and when the level crossing barriers were down. The Highways Team were aware of the proximity of the site to the level crossing and the Applicant had worked with the Highways Team to ensure the safest option.

 

Councillor Sammons understood the purpose of the keep clear box but was still concerned. She said that when the level crossing barriers for the railway was shut and traffic was queuing, vehicles often turned around thus ending up on the wrong side of the road and continued along on the wrong side of the road to overtake queuing traffic and vehicles that would exit the proposed exit of the site would not be able to see vehicles on the wrong side of the road. Steven Lines pointed out that the vehicles performing this move was illegal and was not aware of this as it had not been picked up in the surveys that had been undertaken.

 

Referring to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

19/01095/FUL Treetops School, Buxton Road, Grays, Essex, RM16 2WU pdf icon PDF 561 KB

Minutes:

The report was introduced by Matthew Gallagher, Principal Planner (Major Applications). The application proposed temporary permission for the siting of a double demountable classroom unit to the rear of the school site for a duration of 1 year in order to allow the school to accommodate pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). A current planning application for the construction of the new Treetops Free School (ref. 19/00725/FUL) was scheduled to be determined during this time and if approved, would give time for the construction to take place. Recommendation 8.1A no longer applied because the impact of the proposal was not considered to be so significant on the openness of the Green Belt that it would need referral to the Secretary of the State given the size of the proposed demountable unit. The date given for temporary permission to be granted until in recommendation 8.1B would also be changed to 30 September 2020 as opposed to 15 August 2020 as the Applicant had asked for a full year temporary permission.

 

Steve Taylor agreed with giving the Applicant a full year for the temporary classroom units and that an extra year to make it two years would not affect anything. Matthew Gallagher explained that it was within the gift of the Planning Committee to grant longer than a year if they wished to do so. The Applicant had sought 12 months temporary permission but if they needed this to be extended, they would need to apply again.

 

Picking up on Steve Taylor’s point, Councillor Churchman queried whether the Committee could give temporary permission for a longer time until the units were no longer needed, once the construction of the Treetops Free School was in place. Matthew Gallagher said that the Treetops Free School (19/00725/FUL) application was still live and under consideration so the application could not be pre-judged. The recommendation was to stick with the given time limit.

 

The Chair noted some of the comments from neighbouring properties referred to within the report and questioned how construction work would be managed around the area as he was aware of a road that backed around the site. Referring the Committee to condition 4 on page 101 of the agenda, Matthew Gallagher said that the vehicles accessing the site for the construction phase would be required to travel via Stanford Road and not Buxton Road.

Drop off and pick up points for pupils arriving on mini-buses would be subject to recommended condition no. 3 (car park management plan). Subject to these recommended conditions there were no significant concerns raised from Highways as the construction was relatively small in size.

 

 

The Chair noted earlier comments regarding extending the proposed temporary planning permission for up to 24 months and questioned the process. Matthew Gallagher explained that the national guidance was to not grant a succession of temporary permission. However if the Committee wished to grant a longer time period of 24 months, this could be allowed. If Treetops School required a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

19/01101/ELEC Land at London Gateway, The Manorway, Stanford le Hope pdf icon PDF 636 KB

Minutes:

The Chair excused himself due to his declared pecuniary interest on this application. The Vice-Chair took over as Chair for this item.

 

The report was introduced by Matthew Gallagher who reminded the Committee of a similar application that had been heard in June’s Planning Committee. The Applicant proposed a variation of the s36 Electricity Act consent and associated deemed planning permission for the construction and operation of Gateway Energy Centre (a gas-fired power station). Electricity Act consent and deemed planning permission had already been granted to the Applicant by the Secretary of State originally in 2011.  These approvals were subject to minor amendments in 2014 and 2016.  The applicant sought further amendments from the Secretary of State and Thurrock Council were a part of a group of consultees in the proposed variation to the s36 consent and deemed planning permission. The Applicant’s proposed changes comprised (in summary):

 

-       Introduction of battery storage within the consented generation capacity

-       A smaller and different area set aside for carbon capture

-       Extension to the time limit for implementation

-       Amendment to allow for easier phasing of the development.

 

It was considered that the Applicant’s proposed amendments were minor and there were no significant planning issues raised.

 

The Committee was satisfied with the application and detail provided within the report.

 

Councillor Churchman proposed the Officer’s recommendation and was seconded by Councillor Byrne. With this, the Committee moved on to the vote.

 

For: (8) Councillors Mike Fletcher (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman, Angela Lawrence, David Potter, Sue Sammons, Abbie Akinbohun and Daniel Chukwu

 

Against: (0)

 

Abstained: (0)

 

The suggested consultation response to the Secretary of State was agreed as per Officer’s recommendation.