Thurrock Independents Vow To Fight Tory Plans To Concrete Over Thurrock

The Conservative Administration’s Local Plan would turn Thurrock into a private developer’s playground. Residents should not be surprised considering the Conservatives have taken tens of thousands of pounds in donations from construction and property related firms. The Thurrock Independents will not support any Local Plan which does not put the needs of Thurrock residents before commercial interests and the housing needs of London boroughs.

Thurrock Independent Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman, said: “The plans, as they stand, paint a frightening picture for Thurrock’s future. We will not back any Local Plan which does not:

– Prioritise housing needs of Thurrock residents over commercial interests and the housing needs of London boroughs.
– Commit to reducing air pollution in the borough.
– Protect the character of existing settlements.
– Commit to providing essential infrastructure and services first before new developments are built.
– Avoid urban sprawl by building a new modern settlement to the highest possible environmental standards.
– Protect our greenbelt and improve existing greenbelt.

“We have set out to the Conservatives our red lines (see below) and demand that they are included within the Local Plan report scheduled to be brought before the extra-ordinary Council meeting on the 11th December 2018. Should the Conservative’s refuse to include these within the Local Plan report we will move an amendment within the meeting calling for their inclusion. Should this amendment be blocked then we will vote against the Local Plan.

“There will be no ifs, buts or maybes. We will vote against any Local Plan which does not make solid commitments to protect and improve the quality of life of Thurrock’s residents.

“This ongoing episode has brought into the light the problems of party funding within Thurrock. By accepting such large donations from property related firms, the Conservatives, as custodians of the Local Plan, have a clear and irreconcilable conflict of interest. We call for a public commitment from the Tories not to accept any further donations from property related firms and pay back any donations they have received since running Thurrock Council in May 2016.”

Our amendments to the Local Plan paper scheduled to be presented on the 11th December 2018

1. Meeting the housing needs of Thurrock

Thurrock Council is committed to providing low cost housing, allocated through the Council’s housing allocations scheme, for Thurrock’s residents.
Thurrock Council accepts the local need to provide between 6,000-10,000 council homes. We will work with social landlords and Thurrock Regeneration Limited to build further low-cost housing. We will ensure that any eligible private developments include ‘affordable housing’.

Within the lifetime of this plan we are committed to exploring and implementing all available means to meet our aspiration of providing 15,000 homes (council, housing authority, affordable homes) which will be allocated through the council’s allocations policy. These homes will provide low income to middle income earners across the borough the housing security they deserve.

2. Managing the environmental consequences of a rising population

Thurrock Council recognises that any local plan, which could see an increase in the borough’s population by as much as 100,000 people, must prioritise preventing any associated rise in air pollution.

Thurrock’s Local Plan will set out clear and precise plans to protect Thurrock’s residents from all pollutants including:
– sulphur oxides
– carbon monoxide
– nitrogen oxides
– Volatile organic compounds
– Particulates
– Persistent free radicals
– Toxic metals
– Chlorofluorocarbons
– Ammonia
– Odours

3. Protecting the character of existing settlements

Thurrock’s Local Plan will protect and enhance the character of existing settlements. The Local Plan will be designed to prevent the over-development of any existing settlements, against the will of residents, which would fundamentally change their existing character.

4. Infrastructure first!

Thurrock’s Local Plan will be designed around the principle of infrastructure first. It will deliver the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time. This includes a commitment to explore all feasible options to build a new Hospital within Thurrock with an A&E unit.

5. A new modern, environmentally friendly garden city

Thurrock’s Local Plan is committed to fully exploring the design and build of a new garden city. A large-scale development built to the highest environmental standards which will include the infrastructure to meet the needs of its residents.

6. Maintaining, expanding and improving greenfield sites

Thurrock’s local plan will prioritise building on all viable brownfield sites before any further green spaces, outside of the new garden village settlement. The local plan will investigate all green fields sites which have the potential to be expanded and improved to provide much greater social and environmental value to the borough.