Agenda and draft minutes

Local Development Plan Task Force - Monday, 19th July, 2021 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Wendy Le, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: direct.democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Nomination of Chair

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Minutes:

Councillor Redsell was nominated and voted as Chair of the Local Development Plan Task Force for the 2021/22 municipal year.

2.

Nomination of Vice-Chair

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Minutes:

Councillor Kerin was nominated and voted as Vice Chair of the Local Development Plan Task Force for the 2021/22 municipal year.

 

3.

Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 245 KB

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Terms of Reference were agreed.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Local Development Plan Task Force meeting held on 8 March 2021.

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Minutes:

The minutes from the Local Development Plan Task Force meeting held on 8 March 2021 were approved as a true and correct record.

5.

Items of Urgent Business

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There were no items of urgent business.

6.

Declaration of Interests

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There were no interests declared.

7.

Thurrock Town Centres Study pdf icon PDF 2 MB

A presentation will be given at the meeting.

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Minutes:

Stephen Haines, David Lock Associates, provided members with a presentation on the Thurrock Town Centre Study. This presentation can be viewed from the following link:

 

https://democracy.thurrock.gov.uk/documents/b18445/Item 8 - Thurrock Town Centres Presentation 19th-Jul-2021 19.00 Local Development Plan Task Force.pdf?T=9

 

Councillor Redsell thanked Stephen Haines for the presentation and commented that however much we want to get cars off the roads this was not going happen. That most people going to Lakeside, particularly to the Lakeside Basin, would not go by bus as going by car was easy and had free parking. Councillor Redsell had reservations about the houses in the middle of the Lakeside Basin and questioned the pollution levels. Councillor Redsell questioned the closure of Village Road in Aveley Town Centre and stated that shutting that road off and to get traffic to travel away from that small area there was not much more that could be done. Stephen Haines stated there were discussions taking place with the planning department for a new link road that would take away a large number of HGVs. That a detailed design would need to be done that would take traffic out or to restrict the traffic and could have the opportunity to enhance the area without having to close Aveley High Street. Stephen Haines agreed that the Lakeside Basin was not the most appropriate for residential but a retail model would need to be undertaken over the next five years to look at future plans for Lakeside, discussions on how the area could be future proofed, have discussions with developers and landowners, look at how retail worked and the mix of users, to look at public transport strategy and to include the walking and cycling networks.

 

Councillor Redsell stated that accidents at Lakeside caused nightmares for drivers and closed Thurrock down. She commented that the bus transport to Lakeside was good but questioned how many people used it and commented that she did not agree that people would cycle to Lakeside. Stephen Haines stated the local plan would address sustainable modes of public transport.

 

Councillor Watson questioned what was in the plan to ensure Members and residents that road infrastructures were underway. Stephen Haines state that consultations were being held with officers, a consultation on transport modes was being undertaken and stated that future plans could not be supported if the infrastructure was not in place.

 

Councillor Kerin asked for some clarification that the report was not just about housing in town centres. Stephen Haines stated this was the methodology on how the work would be undertaken by looking at potential sites, opportunities and regeneration areas. That another consultation would be appointed to look at health and retail functions. That this was an opportunity for development and for the retail functions and was mindful not to just replace empty retail space with houses but to keep this retail space as well and look how this could be linked into regeneration.

 

Councillors Collins questioned the meaning of GIS - A geographic information system  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Thurrock Local Plan - Next Steps pdf icon PDF 335 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Redsell thanked Officer for the report in the agenda and stated as part of the key local plan deliverable for 2021 was affordable housing and this was only affordable if residents were able to afford it. Councillor Redsell stated there was no reference to bungalows being built in Thurrock in the report as bungalows could free up those big four bedroom homes that have only one person living in them. Councillor Redsell also stated that the river should be included into the transport needs as this could be a great opportunity for the borough. Sean Nethercott said that bungalows were part of the housing mix and would need to make sure that the Council was delivering different types of housing. In regards to the river there was an approach that would be taken forward which was the managing the growth and there would be an opportunity for significant development and to create open spaces for recreational needs.

 

Councillor Redsell questioned whether Grangewaters could remain and build two storey flats around the area so residents could continue to enjoy the area. Sean Nethercott stated that Grangewaters would be looked at as a whole to be used as a recreational area and would form part of the local plan process and would be reporting back to the committee later in the year in terms of the options under design.

 

Councillor Kerin referred to the references in the report on “Green Spaces” and how COVID had demonstrated that green spaces were important and questioned what more could the local plan do to protect those urban green spaces. Sean Nethercott agreed that urban green areas needed to be protected with development needs being met elsewhere and this was the opportunity to remodel, refurbish and improve existing areas that would contribute to meeting the needs of local communities. That connections to the wider green spaces could be created along the urban fringe where significant opportunities would enable this to happen as part of the planning process. All members agreed that green spaces were important and should be protected and agreed that brown field sites should be looked at imaginatively to see what could be achieved. Councillor Kerin referred to the “Return to Offices needed” on page 22 of the report and stated this would not be a council decision but that of those businesses but questioned what could the Council do to support businesses and communities that would be affected from the lack of footfall from people not returning of offices. Sean Nethercott agreed and stated that this should have formed part of a question in the report. That this was a factor that would need to be taken on board and when planning spaces were created they are adaptable and flexible that could be converted to different uses going forward. That the local plan had to be seen as the first step in that journey to deliver something better for Thurrock.

 

Councillor Redsell referred to new housing development planning applications that go to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 18 KB

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Minutes:

Members discussed the work programme and requested an update on when the three “to be confirmed” reports (Update on Sustainable Travel, The Impact of VOCID-19 on the Local Plan and Number of Homes to be delivered) would be presented.

 

Members requested an item on “Model of Housing” to be added to the work programme. A detailed report to look at the different models and types of new houses, the housing strategy as part of the local plan, clarification on the difference between affordable and specialist housing. Members requested that officers, the estate officer, director of housing and the portfolio holder for housing be invited to attend.

 

Councillor Collins requested an item on “Flood, Drainage and Power” be added to the work programme. A detailed report on how flood could be prevented on new developments and how power could be generated to accommodate these new developments. Councillor Collins also requested that a specialist be invited to attend.

 

Councillor Kerin requested an item on “Green Spaces” be added to the work programme. A detailed report to look at the green space strategy and identify what green spaces were currently used for.