Agenda item

Local Plan Report - to follow


The Director of Place presented the application and highlighted the following points:

·       There is a statutory requirement placed on all local authorities to have an up-to-date Local Plan.

·       The current Local Plan was adopted 8 years ago.

·       A report seeking approval to commence consultation on the Thurrock Local Plan: Initial Proposals document and the Initial Proposals Integrated Impact Assessment will be presented to an extraordinary meeting of Council on 6th December 2023.

·       The consultation will run for a minimum of 8 weeks.


Members asked the following questions to the Director of Place and the Local Plan Manager:


·       The Chair questioned how the figures were reached in the Local Plan and if those figures are tangible.

o   Figures would be fleshed out throughout the year.

o   Biodiversity is new and only published on recently.

·       The Chair wanted to see more information on biodiversity in the report.

o   Biodiversity of 20% is appropriate for the Local Authority.

·       Councillor Anderson asked if local authorities cooperate with one another in the creation of Local Plans near border areas, for example West Horndon.

o   Thurrock Council cannot plan for other local authorities but there is a duty to cooperate and review impacts on the Greenbelt.


Councillor Watson arrived at the meeting at 19:16pm


·       Councillor Anderson asked what the Local Plan would do to level the playing field.

o   Housing and health are the main concerns. There is a need for affordable housing. The Local Authority is not a provider of GP’s but needs to think of facilitating health needs of people where they live.

·       Councillor Anderson asked how similar the plan will look actualised on the map.

o   Plan for 17,000 new homes

o   Lower Thames Crossing could add time.

o   Plan contains many options.

·       Councillor Anderson asked what would happen if the Lower Thames Crossing were cancelled.

o   Plan has factored in the Lower Thames Crossing but is flexible.

o   Other sites may need to be revisited.

·       Councillor Watson asked why no sites are going through Planning.

o   Wating for approval and permission.

·       Councillor Watson further asked if it would cause an impact.

o   Not a direct impact, if approved it would need to be considered.

·       The Chair asked what net-zero means for the Local Authority.

o   Net-zero carbon emissions.

·       Councillor Anderson asked what net-zero means in practice.

o   A result of no additional carbon emissions when building homes.

o   Net-zero homes are more expensive to build but cheaper to run.

o   Net-zero will be more clearly defined in future reports.

·       The Chair noted the cost to build a net-zero home being £20,000-£30,000 more expensive and an impact on affordability.

o   New technology is hoped to bring the price down.

·       Councillor Anderson asked if all homes in the plan are net zero.

o   Only homes in new neighbourhoods.

·       The Chair asked what affordable housing means and if there were plans for social housing.

o   Social housing is included as well as first time buyer homes.

o   The plan is to blend social and other rents.

·       The Chair would like to see a commitment of affordable homes.

·       Councillor Watson stated the Local Plan is an ideological approach, the plan is fluid and that it is the residents plan.

·       The Chair disagreed. The committee debated the pros and cons of the plan.

·       The Chair asked about traffic modelling.

o   A detailed model to show the impact has not yet been created but will be developed with stakeholders throughout the year.

·       Councillor Watson asked if there is any way to improve the flow of traffic at junction 31 of the M25.

o   Possibilities of moving traffic offences at the junction

o   Traffic modelling work is the next stage.

·       The Chair noted that traffic was a major concern, traffic improvements would improve the quality of life of residents.

·       The Chair asked why he should vote for the Local Plan and informed the committee he was not happy with the progress framework prioritising growth over people.

o   To give residents a say.

·       Councillor Maney informed the committee that if the council does not vote for the plan, a plan would be forced upon the Local Authority.

·       Councillor Watson stated you have to weigh up the risks and said the Council should take the risk.

·       The Chair asked if there were concerns of cynicism from residents regarding health and medical services.

o   Infrastructure delivery plan includes health, education and community facilities.

o   Land cannot be allocated if infrastructure isn't there.

·       The Chair asked how the Local Authority can make Thurrock more attractive for health professionals.

o   The infrastructure plan sits alongside the Local Plan.


The Chair put the recommendation to vote.




That the Planning Transport & Regeneration Overview & Scrutiny note that Council will be recommended to approve the contents of the Thurrock Local Plan: Initial Proposals document (Regulation 18) for public consultation.

Supporting documents: