Venue: Committee Room 4, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions
Contact: Kallum Davies, Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
Items 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.
There were no Items of Urgent Business
Declaration of Interests
There were no Declarations of Interest
The Chair began the meeting by reading aloud the two recommendations of the report (1.1,1.2) to the committee before inviting Andrew Millard, Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection, to present the report.
Andrew Millard introduced the report and explained that recommendation 1.2 referred to the proposed report to Cabinet which had been scheduled for the following week. The officer further explained the need to review and update the Local Plan was because the current plan was out of date in terms of timescales, but also because it needed to have references to the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan added.
The officer introduced a PowerPoint presentation which aimed to highlight key matters and facilitate debate. He further emphasised that this was not a consultation on the plan itself, but was a consultation on a step towards the creation of a Local Plan. This step set out a series of questions that sought responses which would be used to shape the Local Plan going forward.
Lastly the officer explained that this stage of the plan was not about agreeing on specific locations or numbers of homes, rather it was agreeing an approach to, and the teasing out of views on options that were available. These views were to be used in the future when decisions were to be made.
The Chair invited Members to pose questions. Councillor Pothecary asked if the choices referred to in the presentation were the choices that residents were asked to express a preference on and, in terms of the guide figure of 32,000 new homes, if any one of the options presented would realistically provide that number of properties. The Councillor further asked if that was not the case, did the consultation in its then form fail to manage the expectations of residents by inviting them to express a preference but ultimately it might be necessary to use all the options.
The officer stated that it was highly unlikely that any single option would meet the required provision, and that a blend would be required. The Officer clarified the presented options were to highlight the pro’s and con’s of each approach and further pointed out that some of the options would, by their nature, not be appropriate for some locations.
The officer added that the report referred to developments which the development industry had expressed interest in, in order to gain an understanding of how it envisions future growth in Thurrock. This was because one of the tests for a local plan was if the plan was deliverable. If calls for sites did not yield any interest within the industry for bringing sites forward, the plan was not deliverable. The spatial categories gave an understanding of what land owners and developers were looking to provide in the borough and opened the debate about each option.
Councillor Pothecary sought clarity, asking if it would be a combination of the options regardless of the consultation. The Officer confirmed this was correct.
Councillor Pothecary asked whether ... view the full minutes text for item 3.