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Characteristics of Thurrock

Characteristics of Thurrock


3.1 This section of the Core Strategy provides information about Thurrock, including characteristics and the key drivers of change, to help put into context the ‘Spatial Vision’ and Strategic Objectives that follow. 

3.2 Thurrock is situated north of the Thames, twenty miles east of central London, in South Essex, and has a population of approximately 157,000. The Borough covers 165 sq km and has a diverse range of land uses and associated environmental issues.  More than half of the land in Thurrock is designated Green Belt and it has over 18 miles of riverfront. 

3.3 Much of the riverside area of Thurrock is highly urbanised, with a mixture of industrial and residential development at the western and eastern ends.  The Borough has a number of main settlements, including Grays, Stanford-le-Hope, Corringham, South Ockendon and Tilbury, together with a number of villages in the Green Belt.  Thurrock also contains the relatively new community of Chafford Hundred and also the Lakeside Regional Shopping Centre, located west of Grays and east of the M25. 

3.4 Thurrock has a diverse and thriving economy, with retail, public services and manufacturing as dominant employment sectors.  The Government has, in recent years, approved a major port and employment development at the former Shell Haven refinery site.  The East of England Plan, adopted in May 2008, and the South Essex Thames Gateway Partnership reinforces this by promoting Thurrock as a ‘world leading logistics centre’.

3.5 Thurrock benefits from a good location in terms of transport.  The M25 and A13 act as strategic crossroads of national importance.  Regular rail services operate between London and Southend on Sea, serving seven stations and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link passes through the Borough.  The existing Port of Tilbury provides international connections for both passengers and freight.

3.6 Thurrock has more than 60% of its land in the Green Belt.  Some of the Green Belt throughout Thurrock is also of considerable nature conservation and landscape value.  The Borough has sites of international and national importance for nature conservation including a Ramsar site and 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.  There are 7 Conservation Areas and 241 Listed Buildings. 

3.7 Further information about the population of Thurrock, where they live and where they work, is given in the Profile of Thurrock at www.thurrock.gov.uk.  Further information on these topics is available in the Council’s Annual Monitoring Report and the Sustainability Appraisal.


3.8 This section highlights the key positive and negative social, economic and environmental issues that are facing Thurrock now and that are anticipated for the future.  

  1. Population and Household Growth – The growth of Thurrock’s population has exceeded regional and national growth since 1991.  Thurrock is a designated growth area within the Thames Gateway.  Future growth is projected to continue to outstrip national and regional rates due to a combination of indigenous growth and net inward migration.  The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has predicted that the population of Thurrock will reach 183,200 in 2031, an increase of 34,300 population (23%) over a 25 year period from 2006. This is according to 2006 based population projections based upon previous trends. The implications of this population growth include the need for substantial further housing development, improved social, green and transportation infrastructure, increased capacity of waste recovery facilities and demand for water. Thurrock needs to plan to accommodate at least an additional 18,500 new homes over the period 2001 to 2021 and up to a further 4750 dwellings to 2026 and beyond in order to provide a 15-year supply to meet Government requirements.
  2. Ageing Population – Thurrock is expected to experience a significantly ageing population due to longer lives, falling birth rates and ageing of the baby boom generation.  For example, the proportion of people aged over 65 will increase by 13,800 people (a 71% increase) and people aged over 85 will more than double, increasing by 3,100 people (a 141% increase). An ageing population has serious implications for the Local Development Framework as it is important that future housing development is adaptable to the needs of the ageing population and adequate health care provision is appropriately planned for and delivered. 
  3. Ethnic Population – Thurrock has lower proportions of men and women from minority ethnic communities than the national average. In 2001, the census showed 4.7% (6729) of Thurrock’s population to be from non-white groups compared with 9.1% across the Country as a whole. Asian/Asian British is the largest ethnic group at 2%. In 2007, it is estimated that the ethnic population has risen to 9.0%.
    The implication for the Local Development Framework is that it is important that the policies adopted are flexible, to ensure that the needs of a more ethnically diverse population are appropriately addressed throughout the Plan period.
  4. Deprivation - Thurrock’s ranking in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation has improved from 113th in 2000, to 124th in 2007 (Deprivation/Thurrock Analysis, 2007). This is two places lower (less deprived) than from the 2004 survey (122nd). Despite this increase, there are still deep pockets of deprivation in some wards.  The Indices of Multiple Deprivation shows that Thurrock has 24% of identified communities in the lower quartile, 62% in the medium quartiles and 14% in the upper quartile.  Five of the identified communities are in the 10% most deprived areas of England and 12 are in the 20% most deprived areas.  The most deprived communities have the highest levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, poor health and increased instances of school-age pregnancies. In Thurrock, 21 identified Super Output Areas (SOAs) are within the 10% most deprived areas in England for education, skills and training, while 48 SOAs are within the 20% most deprived areas. 
    The most deprived wards in Thurrock include Tilbury St Chads, Grays, Belhus, Chadwell St Mary, Ockendon and West Thurrock. The Council therefore aims to ensure that the Local Development Framework assists in narrowing the gap between rich and poor, by supporting these communities, improving their access to affordable homes, health and community facilities and integrating the principles of "Secured by Design" into all new developments to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
  5. Incidences of Crime – Evidence demonstrates that the overall crime rate in Thurrock continues to fall. There were over 1,000 less crimes in 2008/09 than in 2007/08, a 9% reduction which is in line with the national decline in crime rate. However, although the proportionate rate of crime is declining, the perceptions of anti-social behaviour in the Borough are worse than the national average although reported anti-social behaviour is decreasing. In 2008/9 serious acquisitive crime was recorded at 21 per 1,000 households and assault with injury 60.2. The Council therefore aims to ensure that the Local Development Framework facilitates and promotes the delivery of high quality design, where the principles of “Secured by Design” are integral to all new development throughout the Borough.
  6. Educational Attainment – The Council has concluded that raising attainment levels in schools is a key priority for Thurrock. Evidence demonstrates that the qualifications and skills profile in Thurrock is improving but remains below the national average. It is therefore important that the Local Development Framework seeks to facilitate and promote the development of existing and new educational and training establishments.  Improved educational attainment and training within the Borough will also stimulate a more diverse economic base, through growth in the cultural industries and knowledge sectors. There is currently a lack of a major higher education facility in Thurrock: The Core Strategy addresses this major deficit in tandem with improving access to further education. The Core Strategy will address the educational and training needs of both existing and the new communities arising from population growth, including reinvestment in primary and secondary schools.
  7. Healthy Living and Inequalities – The health of Thurrock’s residents is generally comparable to national trends. The proportion of Thurrock’s population living in disadvantage is quite low at just over 10%, however life expectancy of those residents is 8 years less than those living in more affluent areas. There is an identified lack of a major centre providing integrated medical services and the network of health centres throughout Thurrock needs to be progressively extended and upgraded. Throughout Thurrock there are 46 GP surgeries with a total of 62 GPs.  Many of the GP’s operate as single practitioners.  The spatial distribution of surgeries is uneven with two clusters in central Grays and central Tilbury.  There is an identified lack of GPs in the West Thurrock and the Purfleet area. There is also a shortage of nurses and health visitors within the Borough.  It is therefore important that the spatial distribution of development planned within Thurrock addresses current deficiencies as well as additional requirements to ensure adequate health provision for existing and future communities.
  8. Industrial and Occupational Structure – Thurrock’s economy is centred on distribution, hotels and restaurants, public administration, retail and transport and communication. Local people employed in professional occupations increased from 6.3% to 8.3% between 2008 and 2009 and those employed as associate professionals or in technical occupations increased from 11.25% to 12.6% during the same period. The less skilled occupations experienced a decline over the same period: - Distribution, hotels and restaurants (39%), Public administration, education and health industries (17%) and Transport and communications (14%). The implications for the Local Development Framework are that there is a need to diversify Thurrock’s economic base to provide the local community with more training and employment opportunities in the identified growth sectors.
    Evidence suggests that the VAT registered business stock in the Borough has grown by 40% since 1997, which is higher than the national rate (21%). VAT registered business stock at 2007 was 3,620. Since 2007 there has been a global economic restructuring that has affected parts of Thurrock's economy. However the indications from regional forecasting are that Thurrock's economy will continue to grow over the long-term period to 2026 with retail, transport and communities, health and public administration being the key growth sectors.
    The implication for the Local Development Framework is that it is important that policies aim to ensure that growth in local businesses is supported and promoted. Overall, the Core Strategy aspires to help secure an additional 26,000 jobs in Thurrock over the period 2001-2026, in conformity with the East of England Plan, mainly located within the five strategic employment growth locations.
  9. Retail Centres and Local Centres – Within Thurrock, Grays is the major town centre, but only received 10% of comparison goods spend in 2007, a decline from 11% in 2000.  Grays was the dominant retail centre in the Borough until the opening of Lakeside Shopping Centre in 1990. Lakeside Shopping Centre has ten times more floor-space than Grays.  Grays is the administrative centre for Thurrock and the focus for service and cultural facilities.  Of the local centres, Corringham and South Ockendon are the largest, with a greater proportion of comparison goods in Corringham than South Ockendon. There is an identified need to promote the further diversification and development of Lakeside as a strategic employment location, whilst securing the health and vitality of Grays, through the promotion of the cultural, knowledge, retail, and public services sectors.
  10. Heritage Assets – Throughout the Borough of Thurrock there are seven Conservation Areas located within the following areas; Horndon-on-the-Hill, Corringham, Orsett, Fobbing, Purfleet, West Tilbury and East Tilbury. Other heritage assets within the Borough include Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments and the Registered Park at Belhus. All these provide a strong and positive contribution to local distinctiveness and character and should be maintained, enhanced and respected.
  11. International National, Regional and Local Designated Sites for Nature Conservation – Thurrock has 1 Ramsar Site and 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. 57% of these sites are classified by Natural England as in a favourable condition.  There are 70 Local Wildlife Sites, with further potential sites identified.  The Borough also has 2 designated Local Nature Reserves at Linford Wood and Grove House Wood.  Within the Borough there are 2 Special Landscape Areas classified for their landscape importance in a regional and countrywide context: the Mardyke Valley and Langdon Hills.  The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England has classified Belhus Park as an Historic Park.  The implication for the Local Development Framework is that it is important that the location, type and scale of development planned within Thurrock is in keeping with the designated sites, does not impact negatively on them and, where possible, positively enhances their quality. 
  12. Waste – Evidence suggests that recycling and composting of household waste in Thurrock is improving. The proportion of household waste recycling and composting has increased from 4% in 2003/04 to 30% in 2008/09. The Council recognises that recycling and composting of household waste should be promoted to reduce the utilisation of landfill.  The Council concludes that the design and layout of residential and commercial development should facilitate sustainable waste disposal, with due consideration given to recycling and composting. Commercial and industrial waste arisings are significant and Thurrock still receives a sizeable amount of London‘s waste. Land-fill capacity is limited and all other options for waste recovery and disposal must be addressed.


3.9 This Plan will guide and deliver the regeneration of Thurrock, consolidating the approach to regeneration developed by the Shaping Thurrock Partnership. The Borough will become by 2026 a place where residents are provided with the education and skills to capture a wide range of local jobs, where the range of jobs is expanded to provide high quality employment with facilities and places that all members of the community can use and enjoy.

3.10 The regeneration of Thurrock will be concentrated in five regeneration areas (as described below), with the nature of growth in each designed to create the establishment and maintenance of new purpose and identity. Purfleet will have a new centre with a thriving community at its heart and Lakeside will be transformed into a Regional Centre (town centre) providing a range of retail, leisure, employment, housing and new transport facilities. Grays will be an administrative centre and will include municipal, education, health and leisure facilities catering for Thurrock’s communities. Tilbury Town Centre will be an eco-quarter and an expanded Port of Tilbury and London Gateway Port will be some of the UK’s leading ports, providing employment, investment and facilities that benefit Thurrock as well as the sub-region.

3.11 The Council and its regeneration partners will prioritise efforts to bring about the transformation of Lakeside into a Regional Centre and in doing so, will create an image, re-shape perceptions and consequently encourage and drive forward inward investment.  The level of investment in Lakeside by both private and public sectors will create confidence throughout the Borough.

3.12 The Borough’s 26,000 planned new jobs will be derived from a combination of expansion of existing employers and new business start-ups, although the majority will come from inward investment. The jobs will broaden the range of skills to include management, administrative and technology based work with a significant contribution made by creative industries following the successful establishment of the Royal Opera House Production Park within Thurrock. Further evidence on the emergence of this sector will be found throughout the Borough, but notably at the Bata Estate at East Tilbury.

3.13 This level of investment will drive demand for new housing. The Local Development Framework provides for over 18,500 new homes by 2021 and up to a further 4750 dwellings to meet provision to 2026 and beyond with an emphasis on achieving a more balanced housing supply, providing greater numbers of family houses to rectify the present lack of supply of family housing and the deficit of Band D and above dwellings.

3.14 To facilitate employment and housing growth, the Council will develop and strengthen the role of education within the Borough. The flagship will be a thriving Learning Campus located in Grays, with Further Education and Higher Education facilities. It will operate on a ‘hub and spoke’ model – being linked to the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills at the Royal Opera House Production Park, a new Logistics Academy at London Gateway and businesses throughout the sub-region. These schemes will be serviced by new and redeveloped secondary schools that offer a range of Academy, Federated and Independent places.

3.15 In delivering unprecedented levels of employment and housing growth by 2026, considerable attention will be given to maintaining the environment and creating community identity.   The Borough will have moved from a haphazard pattern of land use to a series of distinct communities.  Place making will result in recognisable centres, many of which will establish new connections to the river frontage (in Purfleet, Grays and Tilbury) and will be well related through some of the best Green Grid facilities in the Region.

3.16 By the end of the Plan period, Thurrock will be a place where investors are confident and communities are successful.   Thurrock lies at the centre of the Thames Gateway and will be an exemplar of how growth can effectively achieve the regeneration of places and communities.


3.17 The great majority of new housing, employment and associated infrastructure will be located within the Thurrock Urban Area Key Centre for Development and Change extending from Purfleet to Tilbury/Chadwell.  This will provide approximately up to 10,000 of the additional homes and 15,000 additional jobs and improved community infrastructure sites on Previously Developed Land (i.e. brownfield sites).

3.18 The Council has identified five key Regeneration Areas and key strategic Economic Hubs, which focus development on the Thurrock Urban Areas (KCDC) and the London Gateway site. Smaller scale development is also identified for the outlying settlements.


3.19 The Key Areas of Regeneration and Growth Locations are:

  1. Purfleet
  2. Lakeside/West Thurrock
  3. Grays
  4. Tilbury
  5. London Gateway (employment only)

1. Purfleet

3.20 Regeneration will be founded on the development of a mix of dwellings, employment and community facilities focused around a new centre adjoining the railway station and riverside. Approximately 3,000 new homes will be built in a variety of dwelling types and there will be a Neighbourhood Renewal project for the Garrison Estate and wider regeneration of Purfleet delivered through the Purfleet PRIDe Strategy.

3.21 There will be a new Neighbourhood Area at the southern end of Botany Way adjoining the station, with a Community Hub Centre, a Health Centre, school and shopping facilities.

3.22 High quality mixed-use and small business development will be encouraged at Botany Way and west of the railway station.  Cultural industries, including the Royal Opera House project, will be located on a site at High House Farm.  There will be additional employment sites at the northern and eastern ends of Purfleet.

3.23 Public access to and along the riverfront will be improved and new urban open spaces will be provided as part of the Greengrid network. There will be a new road link connecting London Road with the Purfleet by-pass to improve access and traffic flow.

2. Lakeside/West Thurrock

3.24 The great majority of new housing, employment and associated development in the Borough will be located in the Lakeside/West Thurrock Regeneration Area. A mix of 3,300 new dwellings will be located to the south and east of Lakeside; new Neighbourhood Areas will be developed at West Thurrock and South Stifford including community and health facilities, primary schools and shopping facilities.

3.25 The Lakeside Basin will be transformed into a Regional Centre (town centre), and, together with the wider area, will provide between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs. Development will include a substantial expansion of retail floorspace (50,000 sqm net of comparison floorspace) to serve sub-regional needs and additional convenience and service retail, office and leisure floorspace to broaden the mix of uses. There will be an additional 3,000 dwellings, improved open space, and more community and health facilities. 

3.26 The transport network will be redesigned with improved accessibility east and west to Lakeside Shopping Centre from the A13, a relocated bus station and environmental improvements surrounding the Shopping Centre, including road and parking alterations.

3.27 The Plan proposes the provision of a new railway station at West Thurrock, introduces the South Essex Rapid Transit and will ensure pedestrian access will be improved, including north-south access from the river through Lakeside and West Thurrock to the Green Belt and beyond to South Ockendon.

3.28 There will be improved public access to and along the riverfront at Wouldham Works and West Thurrock. New urban open spaces will be incorporated, as part of the Greengrid network

3. Grays

3.29 Grays will be modernised and regenerated as the key Civic, Cultural and Education centre in the Borough. There will be provision of approximately 2,600 additional dwellings of different types and 1600 jobs including commercial offices in and around Grays. A new commercial and residential quarter will be developed to the south of the railway.

3.30 Grays will be a focus for education with the location of HE/FE Open Learning Campus in the town centre and new schools around the town centre. A new Community Hospital and further community facilities will be located in the northern part of the town centre.

3.31 Cultural facilities will be improved, including the Thameside Theatre and refurbishment of the State Cinema. Shopping facilities will be retained and improved including redevelopment and refurbishment of certain sites.

3.32 A new Transport Zone will be developed around the station including an improved railway crossing. The pedestrian environment will be improved, including better links between north of the railway line and the south and the riverfront.

3.33 There will be new housing-led development in Titan Pit area with community facilities, and development of a Sports Hub area in North East Grays (including Blackshots).

4. Tilbury

3.34 Tilbury is a key location for employment in the Borough and will provide between 1,600 and 3,800 additional jobs in logistics, port and riverside industries. Port-related employment land is located to the north of Tilbury.

3.35 Approximately 1000 new dwellings over the longer term will also be built in Tilbury, together with improved health and community facilities.  Major renewal of housing and local facilities in the centre will take place to create an eco-quarter that is also sustainable in a flood-risk zone.

3.36 The land between Tilbury and the riverside will be enhanced and opportunities for appropriate re-use and refurbishment of Listed Buildings and green linkage between the urban area and the river pursued. The landscape setting of Tilbury Fort and approaches to it will be enhanced. There will be further development of cultural facilities and industry based upon the riverside development and cultural heritage of the riverside.

3.37 Public access and informal recreation along the riverside will be improved. There will be improvements to transport links.  A Strategic Lorry Park will be developed to the north of Tilbury on Tilbury Marshes.

5. London Gateway/Corringham and Stanford-Le-Hope

3.38 There will be a major logistics, import-export based employment development at London Gateway with 11,000 to 13,000 jobs created to secure the long-term future of the industry in Thurrock. Development of ancillary, associated and spin-off employment activities will take place on the wider employment site, including a strategic lorry park.  There is also potential scope for large-scale high quality campus style relocation or inward-investment business developments.

3.39 New homes will be provided mainly on Previously Developed Land (brownfield) at Corringham and Stanford-le-hope.  There will be some Green Belt land release around Stanford-le-hope.

3.40 There will be improved community facilities including refreshed schools and an improved and enhanced town centre of Stanford-le-hope.


Outlying settlements south of the A13

3.41 There will be some limited housing development at East Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary together with some improved local facilities.  There will be a focus of mixed use development within East Tilbury to regenerate the centre.  Cultural and leisure facilities will be developed at the riverside at East Tilbury.

Outlying settlements north of the A13

3.42 South Ockendon/Aveley will be a focus for regeneration including provision for a limited number of approximately 2,100 additional homes underpinned by enhancement of community infrastructure and services including an expanded and refurbished school.

3.43 Other villages will be a focus for conservation and enhancement of the built environment under-pinned by enhancement of community infrastructure and services.  The Strategy will not include any planned Green Belt release at these settlements.


3.44 Except for the limited specific planned land releases set out below, there will be no strategic scale release of Green Belt land in general conformity with the Regional Spatial Strategy East of England Plan. Where limited local scale land release is required for the planned developments, the overall schemes will provide for measures to enhance the surrounding Green Belt and incorporate design features that reinforce and secure defensible Green Belt boundaries that are sustainable into the long term.

3.45 The Council will support the relocation of a school currently located within the Green Belt at the North Grays Broad Location as complementary development to the proposed new Sports Hub and the relocation of a college to Grays Learning Campus town centre site.  The vacated sites will be available for housing development.  The Council will release land within the Green Belt if required on the urban edge of Stanford-Le-Hope for dwellings and at Corringham to provide for a new replacement secondary school. Recent planning consent granted on appeal has released Green Belt land for housing at Batafield in East Tilbury and Land at Aveley.

3.46 There will also be specific, defined Green Belt land release to meet a strategic requirement for additional employment land north of Tilbury, on Tilbury Marshes, including a Lorry Park.


3.47 To achieve the Spatial Vision for the Borough of Thurrock it is essential that the Core Strategy includes Strategic Spatial Objectives (SSOs).  The Core Strategy’s policies will deliver the SSOs.

3.48 The Council consulted on the SSOs in July 2006 and January 2008.  The SSOs set out below reflect the comments expressed by the local community.

3.49 Appendix 2 demonstrates the relationships between the SSOs and the Thematic Policies in Chapter 5.

Table 3 – Core Strategy Strategic Spatial Objectives   


Strategic Spatial Objectives


Achieve sustainable communities in Thurrock with regeneration and growth focused in the existing urban areas (Purfleet, Lakeside/West Thurrock, Grays, Aveley/South Ockendon, Tilbury, Stanford-Le-Hope, Corringham) with high quality mixed developments and higher density in locations accessible to existing and planned public transport and other non-car modes of travel.


Increase prosperity and employment growth in Thurrock in the five strategic Economic Hubs of Purfleet, Lakeside/West Thurrock, Grays, Tilbury and London Gateway whilst seeking a sustainable balance between housing and jobs growth across the Borough supported by integration and phasing with existing and planned transport and community infrastructure.


Support local business, attract inward investment and diversify the Thurrock economy into high skill logistics, cultural and environmental industries and additional public services to provide improved skills and jobs for local people by providing for land and sites of appropriate type and location.


To provide for sufficient sustainable housing to meet the sub-regional and regional requirement for Thurrock and provide for a mix of type, tenure and affordable housing to meet local people’s need, including family homes and smaller homes to meet lifetime need.


Create a safe, healthy, accessible and inclusive environment for the community of Thurrock through high quality design led development and open space.


Secure and make provision for health and education, and other community facilities that will enhance Thurrock’s community wellbeing by addressing current deficits and the requirements arising from new development focused on the urban areas (Purfleet, Lakeside/West Thurrock, Grays, Aveley/South Ockendon, Tilbury, Stanford-Le-Hope, Corringham).


Plan for provision of transport and utility infrastructure that will support and underpin a sustainable level of development in new and existing communities and address current deficits to include key interchanges at Grays and Lakeside.


Promote and diversify the role of Lakeside as a regional centre for employment, housing, retail and leisure.  Enhance the vitality and character of Grays as a major administrative, civic, cultural, educational and retail centre. Maintain existing local centres in the Borough for retail and community facilities. Provide some new local neighbourhood facilities.


Promote participation and pride in culture and sport, leisure and recreation activities in Thurrock by the provision of sites and safeguarding of facilities to include Sports Hubs at Belhus and Blackshots and key flagship leisure at Lakeside.


Provide in Thurrock a safe transport system that supports accessibility, manages the need to travel, and encourages the use of more environmentally friendly modes of transport such as cycling, walking and public transport.


To sustain and enhance the open character of the Green Belt in Thurrock and only allow development in very special circumstances.


Protect and enhance the natural, historic and built environment including biodiversity, landscape character, Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments and other heritage assets and open space through positive improvement.


Develop the Greengrid network of biodiversity sites, historic sites, green infrastructure and open spaces linking existing and new communities, the urban areas to countryside and access to the river. Provide new open spaces, improve the accessibility of existing open spaces and ensure safe connecting routes and corridors linking them.


Promote sustainable development in Thurrock through the prudent use of water and other natural resources, sustainable design, methods and materials, and integration of land-use with the maximum re-use of land.


To ensure an adequate supply of minerals by promoting the use of secondary and recycled aggregates; safeguarding sites for their importation; and by safeguarding and identifying resources for future extraction to maintain at least a seven year landbank of permitted reserves, whilst seeking to minimise the impact on the environment.


To achieve a reduction of waste at source through promotion of the waste hierarchy, whilst securing a sustainable network of waste facilities to provide self-sufficiency for Thurrock waste focused within the Thurrock Urban Area and a reduction of imported waste from London into the Borough in accordance with regional apportionment.


To minimise the impact of climate change by supporting the provision of renewable and low carbon energy sources in Thurrock and ensuring that new development incorporates climate change adaptation.


To reduce and manage the risk of flooding to and from development through its location, layout and design.


To safeguard and enhance the Thurrock riverside and coastal land for its various roles as a key asset of the Borough: as a haven for wildlife, a cultural and heritage environment, providing for leisure and recreation at Grays and East Tilbury and for port –related activity at Tilbury, London Gateway and other locations. To provide land for flood risk management including new/relocated habitats across the Borough.


3.50 The Council has developed policies at four levels:

  • Overarching Sustainable Development Policy – sets out the Council’s commitment to the sustainable growth and regeneration of Thurrock’s communities through a presumption in favour of sustainable development. This policy is set out in full as the final section of this chapter as the scene-setter and overarching policy context for the spatial, thematic and Management of Development policies that follow in the subsequent chapters.
  • Core Strategic Spatial Policies– deal with the overall spatial distribution, broad locations and key strategic schemes for development that will deliver the Spatial Vision for Thurrock. Chapter 4 sets out in full the five Core Strategic Spatial Policies.
  • Core Strategic Thematic Policies – deal with each important theme or topic in turn and set out in detail how the Council intends to ensure the best outcomes are delivered.  Chapter 5 sets out in full the thirty-three Core Strategic Thematic policies.
  • Core Strategic Policies for Management of Development – which in conjunction with the Thematic and Strategic Spatial Policies are the basis for the determination of planning applications for the development and use of land and buildings.


Thurrock Council is committed to promoting sustainable growth in Thurrock that serves to regenerate its communities by proactively engaging with developers to deliver high quality sustainable development schemes across all types of land uses and facilities.

Thurrock Council, when considering development proposals, will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. It will always work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in Thurrock.  Working pro-actively to find solutions will be achieved by measures such as encouraging applicants to hold early pre-application discussions and through the use of Planning Performance Agreements and Local Development Orders in appropriate circumstances.
Planning applications that accord with the policies in this Core Strategy, (and, where relevant, with polices in neighbourhood plans) will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Where there are no policies relevant to the application or relevant policies are out of date at the time of making the decision then the Council will grant permission unless material considerations indicate otherwise – taking into account whether:

  1. Any adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole; or
  2. Specific policies in that Framework indicate that development should be restricted.

The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where development requiring appropriate assessment under the Birds or Habitats Directives is being considered, planned or determined.


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