The report on pages 41 – 156 of the Agenda was presented by Chris Purvis.
The Vice-Chair noted that the causeway proposal and questioned the impact of this on the riverbank. Chris Purvis answered that the causeway proposal was by the existing sea wall and a section of the existing sea wall would be removed to allow the development to start which would be managed with floodgates. As the site was situated to the east of existing development areas, it would not impact on the riverbank or existing infrastructure which was to the west of the causeway proposal.
In regards to the removal of the sea wall, the Vice-Chair asked whether the Council could request that the defences there be replaced or updated. He raised concerns on the impact on the riverbank without the sight of a plan. Chris Purvis answered that the Environment Agency was also a consultant on this application and would be responding on the flood defences and whether they would need to be upgraded and what could be secured through the process. He said that the Applicant was aware of the impact on the flood defences and had investigated this before reaching the proposals set out in the report. There would be gates and other measures in place to ensure the flood defence was secure to protect the area when vehicles were not crossing over. The application was an outline application and planning conditions would resolve these issues as part of the planning process. He went on to say that Members’ concerns would be raised with Environment Agency and Members would be updated as the application progressed.
Councillor Rice questioned if most of the traffic would be travelling along the A1089 to get onto Fort Road and would not be travelling through Chadwell St Mary. Chris Purvis confirmed this and said that during the construction phase, the route would via the Asda roundabout and then access the site from the new road serving Tilbury 2. Once the site was operational, the amount of traffic would be reduced. He referred Members to the Local Impact Report and said that there was a separate application for another site in the Borough, the Arena Essex site, seeking a temporary planning permission where future workers could be bused to the site during the construction process in order to minimise traffic movements to the development. At the busiest times, the number of people on the development would be 250 to 350.
Steve Taylor sought clarification on whether the site was an existing site. He also questioned whether the chimneys mentioned were exhausts. Chris Purvis answered that the site was not an existing site but that it had an existing electricity infrastructure with the electricity substation of the former power station to the south. The proposals sought to use this existing infrastructure. He also confirmed that the chimneys were exhausts to emit the fumes and emissions from the power station.
Following on from the Vice-Chair’s earlier question on the sea wall, Councillor Lawrence mentioned that the pathway along the sea wall from Coal House Fort to Tilbury Fort had collapsed and was shut off. She questioned if a condition could be added to make this pathway safe along with the sea wall structure as the area was collapsing. Adding to this, the Chair asked if there would be additional funding to improve the area. Chris Purvis said that the Environment Agency may be seeking funding from the Applicant through the planning process to improve the sea wall and if the pathway was collapsed near the sea wall, this could be considered through s106 contributions but this would need to be fully investigated beforehand and agreed with the Applicant. With regards to this process, he highlighted that Members needed to consider the proposal within the red line boundary and that the footpaths would still be open to the public.
The Chair commented that the development would bring jobs and redevelopment to the Borough but the area needed to be accessible to residents. Councillor Sammons added that residents had raised the issue of the footpath and that a condition should be added to ensure that the footpath could be improved. Chris Purvis said that this issue would be highlighted to the Applicant.
The Chair questioned what measures were in place to manage the volume of traffic in the area of the site. He mentioned the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) in which a link road had been suggested to assist Tilbury Port and asked whether this application’s development as well as future developments in the area would impact the proposal of the LTC. He referred to the habitat zone on page 159 and questioned if a link road could be placed there. He also highlighted that this development and the LTC were both national infrastructure projects that would affect the same areas so it was important that it worked together to ensure consistency. On the management of traffic in the site’s area, Chris Purvis said that the traffic generation showed that the existing road network would be used. During the construction phase, there would be more traffic movements with around 40 HGV movements on average each day. He went on to say that the LTC and the link road was not part of this application which would be for the LTC and relevant team within the Council to discuss. He noted that previous LTC plans had shown a link road that would have been part of the site but the latest LTC plan did not show this so was not considered within this development. He highlighted that the Planning Inspector, who were the decision makers, would consider the factors of this development and LTC when it would be resubmitted.
The Chair proposed the Officer’s recommendation and was seconded by the Vice-Chair.
FOR: (8) Councillors Tom Kelly, Mike Fletcher, Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman,
Angela Lawrence, Gerard Rice, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.