The Planning Process

Thurrock is set to change a lot over the next few years, with a growing population, new jobs, and increased investment in local services. The planning system seeks to guide this growth to the right places. To do this, all planning decisions are assessed against the Local Plan for the area, as well as taking into account a wide range of other relevant, often site specific, factors.

The current ‘local plan’ (which in this case is known as the Core Strategy, and was adopted in 2011) already identifies Purfleet as a place for regeneration and growth. The vision is to deliver a mix of new homes, jobs and community facilities. In response to this, a planning application was made by Thurrock Council in 2012 and granted planning permission in May 2013 to show how this vision might be put into practice. That application though was ‘in outline’. This means that it only sought to explore the broad principles of how such a development might turn out , but didn’t go into many of the details ( these are known as the ‘reserved matters’ ).

Now, Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited (PCRL) want to take things on to the next stage. Our aim is to deliver the vision. To do this, we are preparing a fresh planning application. This will not only refresh and update the principles behind the previous ‘outline’ scheme for the whole site, it will also show details of a significant, mixed use, Phase 1 project.

However, our new application will only be submitted after we have undertaken an extensive process of pro-active consultation with the many people and organisations that have an interest in the future of Purfleet. This is technically known as a programme of pre-application consultation and will include the local community and local businesses as well as organisations such as Network Rail, the Port of London Authority, Environment Agency, BugLife and the RSPB. In parallel we will be undertaking comprehensive background technical work to support the application. The more issues that can be resolved at the outset, the better.

The application will then be submitted to Thurrock Council, who are the local planning authority. Besides drawings showing the intended designs, the new application will be supported by a comprehensive range of technical documents. These will explain the background to the proposals, as well as the benefits that will result. They will also show the results of our investigations into likely impacts and how we intend to respond to them. Since the right information is crucial to good decision making, there will be a further round of public and stakeholder consultation on the contents of the application at that stage. When Thurrock Council are satisfied that they have sufficient information in front of them to make a sound, balanced judgement they will make a decision about the application.