The eight areas are focused upon existing localities where there is a need and opportunity to bring forward investment which supports the aspirations of existing communities and in which we have chosen to use a placemaking exercise in collaboration with The Prince’s Foundation. The areas align with the ‘Call for Sites’ process and reflect those areas with the greatest development interest. The locations also reflect the options set out in the “Issues and Options” Consultation document, ensuring that the process is consistent.
Whilst there were eight growth areas explored at this stage of consultation, a similar consultation has was also conducted at Aveley in winter 2019/20. We also recognise that there is scope for growth and investment in other parts of Thurrock. We are keen to hear your views on this and understand how growth in the eight areas we have identified will affect residents who live elsewhere across Thurrock.
The Local Plan process is still at a very early stage with more information provided here – (link to The Process page). Thurrock Council intends to hold a consultation ‘road show’ later on in 2022 to speak with communities in person regarding potential opportunities for growth and investment in their area. Residents will also be invited to comment during all formal stages of consultation on the Local Plan, including on the initial (Reg 18) draft of the Local Plan next year and a further (Reg 19) draft before the Plan is sent to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.
A Local Plan sets out the vision for future development in an area. Thurrock Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan which will set out how Thurrock should be developed until 2040, in line with national policy and legislation.
Local Plans are used to help decide planning applications and other planning-related decisions. In essence, they are the local guide to what can be built where, shaping infrastructure investments and determining the future pattern of development in Thurrock.
The “Call for Sites” process is a request for landowners, developers, site promoters and individuals to suggest sites across Thurrock that might be suitable for future development. Since land will be needed for a wide range of uses, people are invited to propose locations that could be used for housing, economic purposes, and for local facilities and services.
The “Call for Sites” exercise does not determine whether a site should be allocated for development. However, it will help identify a potential pool of sites for further consideration.
Thurrock is one of three local authorities in the UK that have been selected to take part in this project, which builds in community engagement at the earliest stages of the planning process. We believe it is vital that local people have a chance to shape the future of the community before sites are allocated for development rather than afterwards.
There will continue to be opportunities for public involvement throughout the entire process which will be well-advertised. Our most recent round of consultation concluded on 13 March 2022. If you did not have the opportunity to get involved, Thurrock Council will also be hosting a further Local Plan ‘roadshow’ in person, later in the year. Further details of these events will be announced closer to the time.
The Council is keen to ensure local communities are involved in planning and development at the earliest stage of the Local Plan process. Your views will make us aware of future infrastructure needs in Thurrock (covering both physical infrastructure, such as roads, and social infrastructure, such as schools, community, and health facilities) and allow you to engage in discussions on good design.
The eight areas are focused upon existing localities where there is a need and opportunity to bring forward investment which supports the aspirations of existing communities. The areas align with the ‘Call for Sites’ process and reflect those areas with the greatest development interest. The locations also reflect the options set out in the “Issues and Options” Consultation document, ensuring that the process is consistent.
Whilst there were eight growth areas explored at this stage of consultation, a similar consultation was also conducted at Aveley in winter 2019/20.
This follows on from the first stage of Your Place, Your Voice and broadens the engagement out to the wider community. We have listened to what has previously been said and want to build on that with this process.
The charrette process is a way of bringing a wide range of people into the process of developing the Local Plan. The process included several stages:
- An internal Council workshop to understand the needs and priorities of all Council services within the Local Plan.
- A community focused survey which will give us broad views and aspirations of specific local areas, following from our previous conversations though Your Place, Your Voice.
- A series of workshops with landowners who may wish to promote their sites through the Local Plan process to establish what land is available, who owns it, and the broader constraints and opportunities that exist with each one.
- A series of community workshops and online conversations to develop early-stage plans for each area.
We want to ensure a design led, infrastructure supported and collaborative approach to the production of the new local plan, which considers the vision as a whole rather than focus on piecemeal sites. The charrette process supports the delivery of good growth in a way which enhances the character of area, by putting in place a proactive approach which can establish a shared vision and align this to design and planning processes.
The existing urban area development in Thurrock is focused around Lakeside and Grays. The intention is to develop masterplans or development frameworks for these areas as a separate future phase of planning and placemaking. The Council will be undertaking separate community engagement programmes for these areas at a later date.
In West Horndon, future development is, in part, dependant on the outcome of the Brentwood Local Plan. Once there is clarity on this, the Council will – in partnership with Brentwood Council – develop a community engagement programme looking at the potential for a new settlement in the area.