Friday, 23 November 2012

My Your Thurrock news items

Last night I submitted three news items to Your Thurrock, my local news website.  Only two were posted and one of those had additional bits added by my boss.  Below are the missing item and the original version of one of the posted ones for your information and entertainment.
Stanhope Industrial Estate planning application
The proposal for the use of the land at Stanhope Industrial Estate for open storage went before the Planning Committee last night.

A visit to the site was made on 13 November by council representatives in order to make a more informed judgement on the matter.

As part of the discussion, it was established that the height of storage at Stanhope would be kept to a specified minimum.  Cllr Anderson suggested that consideration should be made as to landscaping the area as there is a clear line of sight between the new Essex Wildlife Visitor Centre and the industrial estate.  Cllr Healy was happy to second the suggestion.

Cllr Hebb was concerned that the report presented to the committee was weighted heavily on the 2004 application and was not persuaded that it would add viability to the area.

It was also suggested by a committee member that, perhaps, purely industrial use for the site might not be appropriate in 2012.

Despite the points raised against the application, however, the proposal was approved with the proviso that landscaping was done to protect the view of the new amenity.

Controversial Corringham market plans thrown out
The controversial matter of the planning application for an open market in Corringham town centre was discussed during last night’s Planning Committee meeting.

In an initial presentation of the situation, it was pointed out that the market could prove to restrict access for emergency vehicles and the disabled, a point denied by the applicants.

Deborah Stuart, a representative for the residents, said that the residents were not against OMG, the applicant, but against the location chosen for the market.  The point was made that the Town Square was a residential focussed area, despite the commercial businesses.  Ms Stuart argued that there would be a need for increased levels of policing and traffic enforcement that would be costly.  “Corringham is not a town in crisis”, remarked Ms Stuart.  She stated the resident’s belief that the market would not help local traders and those whose business revolves around appointments would be adversely affected on market days.

Robert Wong, representative for the applicant, stated that there are 150 businesses in the area but no clothing or footwear shops.  The market was meant to offer a more diverse range of goods than is currently available in Corringham and safeguards were to be put in place to prevent unfair competition between the market and existing traders.  Safeguards were also to be put in place to reduce the noise for the local residents.

Cllr Hipsey was prepared to defer a decision on the issue until the next meeting but was over-ruled in a vote on the grounds that the committee owed the residents a timely solution.  Cllr Speight stated that a decision should be made sooner rather than later.

Cllr Anderson brought the discussion to a grinding halt with his view that the market would dominate the town centre and would fundamentally change the character of Corringham.  He stated that the plans would “seriously affect the vitality and viability” of Corringham which is against council policy designed to improve town centres.

The proposal was rejected in its current form by majority vote.

As always it was really nice to have been given the chance to add to my journalistic portfolio and to see that all important ‘by line’.
Until next time…

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