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1: Introduction and Overview

A SPATIAL STRATEGY FOR THURROCK: THE “CORE STRATEGY”

1.1 This Core Strategy and Policies for Management of Development, Development Plan Document (Core Strategy) is a strategic document providing broad guidance on the scale and distribution of development and the provision of supporting infrastructure. It sets out the spatial vision, spatial objectives, the spatial development strategy and policies for Thurrock to 2026 and beyond together with a monitoring and implementation framework.

1.2 The Strategic Policies set out in the Core Strategy relate to housing, employment, communities, transport, the natural and built environment, climate change, water, waste and minerals.

1.3 The Thurrock Core Strategy also contains the policies and standards for the Management of Development.  These policies set out the criteria against which planning applications for the development and use of land and buildings will be considered to ensure that development occurs in the most appropriate location. 

Supporting the Sustainable Community Strategy

1.4 The Core Strategy directly supports the delivery of the Thurrock Sustainable Community Strategy by ensuring that land and sites are made available for health, education, open space, industry and housing, together with improved accessibility to these facilities by all sections of the community. 

THE NEW SYSTEM - THURROCK’S LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK

1.5 The Core Strategy is part of the wider Local Development Framework (LDF) for Thurrock.  The LDF is the current system of development plans in England that was introduced by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.  The Local Development Framework will replace the existing adopted Thurrock Borough Local Plan (1997). The LDF is made up of 2 types of Local Development Documents:

  1. Development Plan Documents (DPD) - A Development Plan Document has to be independently tested by a Government inspector and carries full weight in relation to planning applications. They include information of key development goals set out within the LDF. Thurrock’s DPDs include:
    • The Core Strategy is the overarching Development Plan Document (DPD) that provides the strategic framework for the other components of the LDF.
    • The Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD (including Lakeside) will set out the sites that will deliver the Core Strategy spatial strategy, policies and targets.
    • The Minerals and Waste DPD will contain policies and sites for these two specialist topic areas.
    • The Adopted Proposals Map shows the location and boundaries of adopted policies and proposals contained in the Development Plan.  The Proposals Map will be updated on the adoption of each Development Plan Document.
  2. Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) - Provide further guidance to support policies in the Development Plan Documents.

Figure 1/Table 1 illustrates where the Core Strategy fits into the LDF.

Figure 1/Table 1 – Role of the Core Strategy within the Local Development Framework for Thurrock

Figure 1/Table 1 – Role of the Core Strategy within the Local Development Framework for Thurrock

Three other documents will be included in the Council’s LDF folder.  These are:

  • The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI).  This will specify how the Council will involve stakeholders and the local community in the process of preparing Local Development Documents.  It has been subject to independent testing.
  • The Local Development Scheme (LDS).  This sets out details of each of the Local Development Documents to be produced by the Council, and the timescales and arrangements for its preparation.
  • The Council must produce an Annual Monitoring Report (AMR).  This will review progress in the previous 12 months in terms of production of Local Development Documents and the implementation of policies.

THE CORE STRATEGY- STRUCTURE OF THE DOCUMENT

1.6 This chapter sets out the structure and content of each chapter within the Core Strategy and provides information on previous consultation. 

1.7 Chapter Two sets out a summary of the key strategies, policies and programmes that have helped shape Thurrock’s Core Strategy.  Some of the key plans and programmes include the East of England Plan (EERA 2008) at the regional level, and also more local level documents such as Thurrock’s Sustainable Community Strategy and plans and strategies formulated by the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation. 

1.8 Chapter Three sets out the long-term Spatial Vision for guiding future development and land use in Thurrock.  This section aims to provide a portrait of Thurrock in 2026 and beyond.  This section also sets out Thurrock’s Strategic Spatial Objectives and highlights the key locations in the Borough. 

1.9 Chapter Four sets out the Core Strategic Spatial Policies (CSSP) which ensure that the Spatial Vision and Objectives are delivered. 

1.10 Chapter Five sets out the Core Strategic Thematic Policies (CSTP) which deal with the themes in the CSSPs and details how the Council intends to ensure the best outcomes are delivered.

1.11 Chapter Six sets out the Policies for Management of Development (PMD).  The Council will use these policies to assess planning applications.  These policies are not strategic, but are aimed to ensure that all development within the Borough meets certain criteria and contributes to the achievement of the overall vision of the Core Strategy.

1.12 Chapter Seven sets out Thurrock’s Monitoring and Implementation Framework. This chapter seeks to set out the key mechanisms that the Council will employ to maximise the opportunities for the successful delivery of the Core Strategy. 

1.13 Appendices include a list of the evidence base for the Core Strategy, relevant strategies, policies and guidance, standards and relevant maps.

1.14 The Glossary contains the definitions and abbreviations utilised throughout the document.

MONITORING AND IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK

1.15 The Policies set out in this Plan are designed to promote the co-ordinated delivery of strategies in Thurrock that have been prepared by the Council and other regional, sub-regional and local organisations and groups. The Monitoring and Implementation Framework sets out how the Council intends to ensure the successful delivery of the Strategic Spatial Objectives and how the Council will monitor the effectiveness of the Core Strategy and supporting documents within the Thurrock Local Development Framework.  The Council publishes an Annual Monitoring Report that sets out the progress on delivery of the LDF.

SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL AND APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENT

1.16 The Thurrock Core Strategy must be informed by a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which are carried out at all stages of its production. The purpose of SEA/SA is to promote environmental protection and contribute to the integration of environmental, social and economic considerations into the preparation and adoption of the Core Strategy, with a view to promote sustainable development.  An Appropriate Assessment (AA) is also a statutory requirement that relates to the impact of the Core Strategy’s spatial strategy and policies on the EU designated Ramsar site along the Thurrock riverside.

1.17 The Council has formulated this Plan in parallel with an SEA/SA and AA.  The SEA/SA and AA have contributed towards the reasoning behind and the refinement of the policies set out in the Plan.  The Council has published the Independent SEA/SA/AA Environmental Report to accompany this Plan. It highlights the economic, environmental and social implications of adopting the proposed strategic option and associated policies. 

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