Posted: 11.06.21 at 07:43 by The Editor
A MAJORITY of Thurrock Council planning committee members voted to reject a controversial development set to bring 95 news homes to Corringham town centre as part of the redevelopment of the Springhouse Club.
Having had a formal vote to reject an officer recommendation to approve the scheme – and chair of the committee Cllr Tom Kelly had drafted reasons to refuse - members then backtracked and agreed to defer a decision to give the developers time to redraft parking proposals.
The meeting had been addressed by ward councillor Shane Ralph who said: “The planners attended the Corringham community forum, residents have made their concerns known about parking.
“Residents remain concerned and they believe the parking will overspill into the town. Residents feel their own parking spaces will be taken up as parking overspills from this site.
“I am already dealing with a lot of parking problems in Springhouse Road. Parking has a massive impact on the lives of residents and local traders.
“On the site visit yesterday (10 June) it was a quiet day and there was not much going on but on another day it is very busy. The report says there will be 55 movements a day which seems very low to me for 98 flats, it just seems tight.
“The residents of Corringham struggle for parking anyway, they are very passionate. They have asked us to highlight the dangers they feel the lack of parking will cause. Residents in the area would like this to be rejected on parking alone.”
Concerns about parking and access were shared by Cllr Gary Byrne, though he did say he felt many of the other parts of the plan ticked all the boxes.
Cllr Mike Fletcher said: "A half blind ferret could take a look at this and say there is not enough parking."
Cllr Terry Piccolo said parking 'needs to be on site or next to the site', not spread around the town. He added: "The lack of parking is a major concern for me, I can see it causing problems in the town centre."
Members voted 5-3 to reject the scheme, which necessitates the committee to come up with legitimate reasons for going against an officer recommendation. Cllr Kelly did just that with a details explanation of why there should be a refusal on two material planning decisions, mainly that had the development gone ahead it would have an adverse impact on the local road network and the lack of parking on site was considered to be severe. He also referred to recent similar planning decisions where permission was refused.
However, planning officers then suggested the developers might be persuaded to come back with different parking options and councillors agreed to defer a decision (despite already having formally recorded one).
Cllr Kelly said: “We will defer to see what they come back with, but it had to work but they absolutely cannot have a situation where residents will be parking in the main street, let’s see what they come back with. I want to see a lot more parking.”