Presented by Chris Purvis, Principal Planner, the application sought full planning permission for the erection of a new warehouse and distribution centre with relevant facilities to accommodate staff and users of the warehouse. The proposal would use the newly created access point from Purfleet Road and a 'left-in' access from London Road along with landscaping, boundary and drainage treatment.
Table 3.4 within the report pointed out the differences between this current application and the previous application that had been heard at the Planning Committee in September 2018. This application was larger than that application but smaller than the approved outline/reserved matters application which were all live consents. The current application demonstrated improvements in terms of design, benefits to the Borough in terms of economic growth and job creation. The site is well linked to the nearby strategic road network for the A13 and M25 from the Wennington Interchange for HGVs. The application was recommended for approval subject to the planning conditions and obligations stated within the report
The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions.
Councillor Little noted the number of available HGV parking spaces and questioned whether these were private or open to all HGVs. The Principal Planner answered that the number of available HGV parking spaces were less than the previous application but the application includes provision for van movements and that these were proposed to be on either side of the site. The previous application included HGV docking on 3 sides of the building. Councillor Little went on to ask if there would be cafes and toilets for people using the site. The Principal Planner confirmed that there were welfare facilities located within the buildings and enough to cater for staff and other users.
Noting the scale of the proposed warehouse and distribution centre, Steve Taylor wondered whether there was an opportunity for the local businesses from Botany Quarry (that was mentioned in the earlier application of the evening 17/01668/OUT Purfleet Centre) to relocate to this site. The Principal Planner replied that the applicant had an end user for the proposed site. The Chair commented that Steve Taylor’s suggestion was good and one to bear in mind.
Councillor Lawrence said that planning permission had already been granted on the first application from September 2018 and the Applicant must have noted it was not big enough at the time. She sought more detail on point 6.29 of the report as the noise impact description seemed vague. The Principal Planner explained that noise control through the construction process could be managed through a Construction Environmental Management Plan planning condition on big construction projects . The Applicant would need to provide measures to the Council on how the site would be managed.
Regarding piling works, Councillor Lawrence asked when piling would begin and at what times of the day. The Principal Planner answered that the application was going through the consultation process and the conditions of piling were set out in points 19 and 20 on page 382 of the report and would form part of the Construction Environmental Management Plan.
Noting the 7m bund with a 2m high acoustic to be constructed above the site, Councillor Lawrence questioned if this would be installed before construction took place. The Principal Planner explained that this was a landscape implementation and may not be installed before construction happened. However, it would be in place before the site was fully operational. Councillor Lawrence stated that this was not sufficient. On point 6.30, she asked how much room there was for expansion. If the warehouse was built, there would be increased traffic with vehicle movements and more fumes. She thought the proposal should move onto a bigger site as it would affect the residents nearby. Regarding layout, the Principal Planner said that the plan showed the development would occupy all of the site and appeared to have been designed to its maximum capacity within the site. The previous application proposed a 24 hour movement and this application would be the fall back. This application also proposed a larger landscape bund which would reduce the noise levels for surrounding residents.
On the landscape bund, Councillor Rice asked whether it could be incorporated into the s106 agreement as a condition that the bund be installed before construction began. With piling, there should be set times implemented such as between the hours of 8.30 to 17.00 to make life more comfortable for nearby residents. Councillor Rice went on to say that on the last application, there had been discussion on planting big trees in front the site to provide a screen between the site and homes. He was concerned that with construction works, there would be lights constantly on along with noise that came with construction and asked if it could be incorporated into the conditions of the application that the bund be implemented first. The Principal Planner answered that there was a condition in regards to landscape implementation which was upon occupation of development. It would be down to the Agent to accept the condition. Regarding the detail for piling and hours of operation for construction works, the Principal Planner said the hours would be discussed and agreed upon.
Commenting on the constant HGV movements that would result from the use of the warehouse from Grays, Councillor Hamilton asked whether the entrance into the road from the roundabout could be widened. The Principal Planner explained that any HGVs from Grays could use the A13 to access the site and if they came via London Road then they would need to use the Wennington roundabout to the access the ‘left in’ access on London Road. As this application had less parking spaces for HGVs, there would be more vehicle movement from vans and small vehicles than HGVs.
The Chair invited the register Speakers to address the Committee.
Alastair Bird, the Agent of the Applicant, presented his statement in support of the application.
The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for debate.
Councillor Rice thought the words from the Agent were encouraging where it was said that the bund could be installed first before construction began and the native species that would be planted along the road. He went on to say that the fact that the built warehouse would create a lot of jobs was significant and thought that the Applicant had provided enough detail for the Committee to approve the application.
Councillor Lawrence said residents and the environment had to be considered as there would be constant vehicle movement along the road.
The Chair said that the application was recommended for approval from Officers and if the application was approved, he hoped it would be the last time seeing this application.
Moving onto the Officer’s recommendation of approval subject to conditions, it was proposed by the Chair and seconded by Councillor Sue Shinnick. The Chair moved onto the vote.
For: (7) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Graham Hamilton, David Potter, Gerard Rice, Sue Shinnick, Abbie Akinbohun and Sue Little.
Against: (2) Councillors Angela Lawrence and Sue Sammons.
Application 19/00271/FUL Land adjacent A13 A1306 and to front of 191 – 235 Purfleet Road, Aveley, Essex was approved subject to conditions.
Before moving onto the next item, the Chair asked for nominations for a Member to chair the next item.
Councillor Shinnick nominated Councillor Rice. Councillor Rice seconded.
There were no other nominations and the vote across the Committee was unanimous.