5: Thematic 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



5.1 A growing population and smaller household sizes are creating demand for new homes in Thurrock. Access to good quality housing is vital for the creation of sustainable, mixed communities and is key to the economic prospects of Thurrock, as the Borough’s ability to attract and retain its workforce will be determined in part by the quality and affordability of its housing stock.

5.2 The Council seeks to maximise the use of redundant and underused land in the Borough by increasing potential residential capacity, whilst maintaining a commitment to delivering high quality and well designed housing and liveable and inclusive neighbourhoods.

5.3 PPS3 places a statutory requirement upon local authorities to plan, monitor and manage the supply of housing land in their areas. A key aspect of this requirement is to set in place, through planning policy, the mechanism for identifying broad locations that will enable continuing delivery of housing for at least 15 years from the date of adoption. Thurrock is required by the East of England Plan (2008) to make provision for at least 18,500 new dwellings between 2001 and 2021.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.4 The emerging Thurrock Housing Strategy is being developed to address all aspects of housing and housing need across all sectors, and will set out detailed delivery plans for each strand of the strategy covering the following policy areas (paragraphs 5.5 to 5.10):-

5.5 Decent Homes and regeneration - an Estate/Neighbourhood approach to estate regeneration will be developed linked to the Council’s Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy and supported by the LDF policy. The Council will investigate all potential models for securing investment and regeneration including the potential for a local housing company.

5.6 New Homes - the Council will encourage development to meet our patterns of housing need, and our ambitious targets for new supply, with an aim of making Thurrock a place where people choose to make their home and stay.

5.7 Private rented sector - the Council will work to secure a thriving, well controlled, private rented market, putting in place a Landlord Accreditation Scheme open to any landlord in Thurrock.

5.8 Young People - the Council recognises our current gap in specialist provision for young people, including the need to assess the potential for a foyer scheme and specialist provision for homeless 16/17 year olds. The Council also recognises the need to develop a response to a potential future need for student accommodation in specific areas.

5.9 Older People - the Council will develop our provision for older people, ensuring we have the accommodation we need for the future. This will involve addressing the current over supply of sheltered housing and meeting the need for extra care provision.

5.10 Vulnerable Groups - the Council will ensure we have the right type and supply of homes to meet those who have a wide range of special needs.

Housing Provision

5.11 A proportion of this housing is already accounted for by recent housing completions and extant planning permissions. Thurrock has delivered 4,950 new dwellings between 2001 and 2009 at an average rate of 587 dwellings per year. In April 2009, there were 2,036 dwellings with outstanding planning permission. Thurrock is therefore required to make provision for a minimum of 13,550 new dwellings between 2009 and 2021. The Thurrock Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (2010) (SHLAA) identifies an adequate supply of deliverable housing sites for the five-year period from 2011 to 2016 and the longer-term periods of 2011 - 2021 and 2011 - 2026. This has been rolled forward to apply to the Plan period up to 2026. A summary breakdown of the housing land supply position is set out in the table below, based on completions as at 31st March 2009 and a 5 year supply from April 1st 2010. This analysis is provided for information purposes only to illustrate the position at these base dates. Table 4 are figures based on RSS housing allocation, actual completion counts and site capacity assessments in the SHLAA, rounded as appropriate.

Table 4 - Figures based on RSS housing allocations, actual completion counts and site capacity in the SHLAA.

(a) Plan period - 20 year housing land allocation April 1st 2001 to March 31st 2021

East of England Plan Allocation


Dwelling Completions April 1st 2001- March 31st 2009


Residual allocation to be identified


Comprised of:-


Sites with Planning Permission as at April 1st 2009


Sites without Planning Permission as at April 1st 2009 drawn from the SHLAA and pool of identified sites




Comprised of:-


Previously Developed Land


Greenfield sites (Green Belt)


Contingency: the SHLAA pool identifies alternative or additional housing sites that can be brought forward into this time period if required.



(b) 5-year requirement from April 1st 2010 to March 31st 2015 (all figures approx)

Estimated dwelling completions April 1st 2009 - March 31st 2010


Managed Delivery 5-Year Supply requirement derived from Housing Trajectory: April 1st 2010 - March 31st 2015


Comprised of:-


Previously Developed Land


Greenfield sites (Green Belt)


Contingency: the SHLAA pool identifies alternative or additional housing sites that can be brought forward into this time period if required. The position will be reviewed on a regular basis and the Housing Trajectory and resultant 5-year housing land supply revised accordingly

(c) INDICATIVE 15-year allocation from Adoption: this is based on a standard allocation of 950 dwellings per annum for years post 2021 and assumes Adoption during 2011.

Provisional Allocation 2021 -2025: 4 years @ 950 dwellings per annum


Residual Allocation April 1st 2009 - March 31st 2021

[Table (a) refers] that has to be rolled up under the current RSS and counted into the 15 year supply from 2011, the anticipated year of Adoption.


Sub-Total to 2025


Add additional year 2025 -2026


Total indicative 15 year supply from 2011.


Total acceptable land supply identified in SHLAA pool




5.12 The Council is required to demonstrate a rolling 5-year supply of deliverable housing land. The latest position will be set out in the most recent Annual Monitoring Report and the Housing Trajectory [See Appendix 3] that is refreshed on an annual basis. This monitoring process will track the progress of housing completions against the provisions of this policy and will make an annual reassessment in respect to the supply of deliverable and developable housing land.

5.13 To assist the delivery of housing the Council has produced a SHLAA, which is not a one-off study but an integral part of the Annual Monitoring Report process that will enable the supply of land to be regularly reviewed and rolled forward. Through the Annual Monitoring Report, the Council will review existing sites with and without planning permission to judge whether there are any actions that can be taken to unlock sites and allow development to go ahead, such as, holding discussions with developers and landowners to identify barriers to delivery; use of the Council’s land acquisition powers; and investigating and progressing urban renewal projects.

Housing Density Approach

5.14 The Council seeks to maximise the use of redundant and underused land in the Borough and increase potential residential capacity whilst maintaining a commitment to delivering high quality and well designed housing and liveable and inclusive neighbourhoods. The Council considers it essential that the density of new residential development is an output of a design-led process that takes account of local context and distinctiveness, site constraints and public transport accessibility. The role of the policy seeks to enable high-density development in the areas of good accessibility and access to services and an enabling mechanism which supports the Council’s regeneration vision for some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the Borough. 

5.15 The South Essex Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2008) (SHMA) provided a residential density assessment of the sub-region and concluded that a density of at least 60 dwellings per hectare would be appropriate in urban locations with high public transport accessibility and good access to services. The Council welcomes this approach and considers it entirely appropriate in Thurrock. In respect to suburban locations, a density range of 30 to 40 dwellings per hectare was suggested. It is considered that in the urban context of Thurrock a density range of 30 to 75 dwellings per hectare would be more appropriate in such locations. The Council will produce a Design and Sustainability SPD that will set out the design principles that will guide density levels in the Borough and provide a character assessment of each area to provide area specific density guidance.    

Housing Size and Type

5.16 It is apparent from the national statistics and evidence sourced from the SHMA that there would be growth in most age groups over the next twenty years with the age group over 60 experiencing the greatest growth. The impact of this population growth is a projected 47% increase in single person households. This compares to a projected 19% growth in all households. The SHMA expects a high proportion of the growth in single person households to result from more single persons aged 55 or over. The growth in this age group and the high proportion of single person households within it, gives rise to the need for provision of bungalows and specialist and extra care housing for older persons.

5.17 The SHMA indicates that that there is not, however, a direct relationship between household size and housing size in the market sector. In particular it is noted that the size of dwellings relates more to age and wealth than it does to the sizes of households. As such, across Thames Gateway South Essex an estimated 75% of all homes were considered to be under-occupied in 2001. On this basis, the SHMA considered that it was inappropriate to provide specific dwelling size targets for market housing through the LDF and that the market housing sector in the sub-region was effective at matching the size of dwellings to market demand at a local level. By contrast the SHMA sets out the range of affordable housing dwelling sizes required in the sub-region. It was noted that across the sub-region there is a need for family accommodation. However, the situation in Thurrock is different from the sub-region in that the affordable housing demand is primarily for one and two-bed properties.

Inclusive Residential Developments

5.18 The national Lifetime Homes standard allows for new dwellings to be adapted as residents’ circumstances change over time, and increases flexibility in the housing stock. The Government is proposing that all housing meets the standard by 2013. Given the changing demographic structure in Thurrock, the SHMA recommends that the Lifetime Homes standard be implemented during the interim period to 2013.  

5.19 National statistics indicate that in Thurrock, 4% of the population are claiming a disability living allowance, which provides care and mobility assistance. Approximately 75% of those people that claim disability living allowance, which amounts to 3% of the total Thurrock population, have been doing so for over five years. The Council will therefore require residential development proposals to meet the highest standards of accessibility and inclusion with 3% of new residential dwellings built to full wheelchair standards as set out in the Housing Corporation’s ‘Wheelchair Housing Design Guide’. The Design and Sustainability SPD will provide further guidance on inclusive design matters.


Thurrock is required to deliver a minimum of 18,500 dwellings between 2001 and 2021.The Council will promote a mix of dwelling types, size and tenure, to meet the needs of Thurrock’s current and future population.  The Council will monitor and review housing land supply on a regular basis to ensure sufficient land is available to enable the following:-

1. Housing Growth 2009 to 2026

  1. For the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2021, an additional 13,550 dwellings are required to meet this policy aim.
  2. For the 5 year period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2026, the Council has made an indicative provision for 4750 dwellings.
  3. The SHLAA and future reviews will identify deliverable sites for 5yrs and developable sites within 10yrs and 15yrs period that will underpin the AMR and Housing Trajectory.
  4. Housing Sites will be allocated as part of the Site Specific Allocations and Policies Development Plan Document.
  5. The Council uses a Managed Delivery Approach to the calculation and maintenance of a continuing deliverable 5-year housing land supply. This approach is based on a ‘plan, monitor, manage’ regime using the key tools of the Annual Monitoring Report and the SHLAA to monitor and review the Housing Trajectory. Through this process the Council will track the progress in housing delivery and the continuing maintenance of a deliverable 5-year housing land supply in accordance with the current PPS3 or its statutory successor.
  6. The Council and partners will actively seek to increase the supply of deliverable housing sites where it appears that the five-year housing supply will not meet the required dwelling provision.

2. Housing Density Approach

  1. Proposals for residential development will be design-led and will seek to optimise the use of land in a manner that is compatible with the local context. The Council will strongly resist excessive density that would lead to a poor quality of life for existing and future occupants of the local area and would undermine the Council’s commitment of delivering sustainable neighbourhoods.
  2. New residential development will be led by the design standards set out in the Layout and Standards SPD and the Core Strategy Policies.
  3. Within the Borough’s Town Centres, Regenerations Areas, key flagship schemes and other areas with high public transport accessibility, the Council will, subject to other development plan policies, seek to secure a minimum density of at least 60 dwellings per hectare. Outside of these areas, a density range of between 30 and 70 dwellings per hectare will generally be sought.


  1. The Council will require new residential developments to provide a range of dwelling types and sizes to reflect the Borough’s housing need, in accordance with the findings of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, any relevant development briefs, the local context, amenity and car parking standards.


  1. The Council will require all future development to meet the highest standards of accessibility and inclusion. All new dwellings will be required to meet the Lifetime Homes standard.
  2. The Council will seek 3% of new dwellings on developments of 30 dwellings or more will be built to full wheelchair standards.
  3. The requirements for Lifetime Homes and Accessible Housing may be adjusted where the developer is able to prove that these requirements will be economically unviable, rendering the site undeliverable.

Key Diagram and Maps

Broad locations are shown on the Key Diagram.

Sites will be identified in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.20 The delivery of Affordable Housing to meet the current and future needs of Thurrock is an essential component of creating sustainable communities. The Council seeks to deliver a wide choice of high-quality homes to address the needs of local people and to create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities.

5.21 PPS3 sets out the definition of Affordable Housing and highlights the need for delivery of high quality housing for people who are unable to access or afford market housing. PPS3 also indicates that it is important that Development Plan Documents set out sufficient guidance on the Council’s approach to seeking developer contributions.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.22 The Thurrock Housing Strategy (2004), Thurrock Housing Need Survey (2004) and SHMA (2008) have established what the people of Thurrock need in terms of the type, affordability and tenure of dwellings.

5.23 The SHMA (2008) provided an independent assessment of housing need across the South Essex sub-region. The SHMA indicated that across the South Essex sub-region, 54% of anticipated housing delivery levels should be affordable to meet the housing need. The SHMA recognised that this level is not deliverable and suggested that subject to specific viability testing by each local authority, a 35% affordable housing target across the sub-region would be an appropriate threshold. The SMHA recommended that subject to specific need identified by each local authority, a policy of an 80:20 split of Affordable Housing between social rented and intermediate provision should be developed. However, to further sustainable communities within Thurrock a minimum split of 70:30 split of affordable housing between social rented and intermediate provision, should be the starting point for negotiation.

5.24 The Council has commissioned an Economic Viability Assessment (EVA) that assesses the delivery of Affordable Housing in Thurrock. The EVA includes the analysis of a representative sample of housing site typologies using the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) approved model. The outcome of this study confirms that in broad terms green-field sites are capable of delivering Affordable Housing at a 35% level in most market conditions and within the range of assumptions input into the model. Brownfield (Previously Developed Land PDL) sites are necessarily more challenging but the Council’s and Development Corporation’s  track record since 2001 shows that Affordable Housing can be delivered on these sites when the market conditions allow and the necessary support and intervention is provided.  Therefore, where appropriate the Council will assess deliverability issues when considering particular residential development proposals in the light of all relevant economic and market factors operative at the time. This approach will apply in relation to particular brownfield sites which have substantive constraints and barriers to development. The Council will be ready to negotiate with developers on such identified sites on the basis of an open-book economic viability assessment for the particular site in question. The Development Corporation is frequently directly instrumental in bringing forward the largest brownfield sites, assembling various land-holdings and establishing partnerships with developers e.g. Purfleet PRIDe.


1. In order to address the current and future need for Affordable Housing in Thurrock, the Council will seek the minimum provision of 35% of the total number of residential units built to be provided as Affordable Housing.  The Council’s policy is that provision should be maintained in perpetuity as Affordable Housing as far as legally possible.

2. The Council will seek Affordable Housing to meet local needs on qualifying sites subject to:

  1. its suitability for on-site provision;
  2. the economics of providing affordable housing;
  3. the extent to which the provision of affordable housing would prejudice other planning objectives to be met from the development of the site; and
  4. the mix of units necessary to meet local needs and achieve a successful sustainable socially inclusive development.

3. The Council recognises that the majority of Thurrock’s identified housing land supply is on Previously Developed Land often subject to a variety of physical constraints. The capacity of a site to deliver a level of Affordable Housing that can be supported financially will be determined by individual site ‘open book’ economic viability analysis where deemed appropriate. This analysis will take into consideration existing use values, as well as other site-specific factors.

4. In some areas of Thurrock, the local need for Affordable Housing may be less than 35%. In this case the Council will require a financial contribution to off-site Affordable Housing provision at the equivalent rate to meet priority needs elsewhere within Thurrock.      

5. In order to meet the overall target, the Council will seek to achieve, where viable, 35% Affordable Housing on all new housing developments capable of accommodating 10 or more dwellings or sites of 0.5 ha or more irrespective of the number of dwellings. Sites below threshold will make an equivalent financial contribution towards off-site provision.

6. The Affordable Housing provision should seek to achieve a target of 70% social rented accommodation with the balance being provided as intermediate housing. In determining the amount and mix of Affordable Housing to be delivered, specific site conditions and other material considerations including viability, redevelopment of previously developed land or mitigation of contamination will be taken into account.

7. Where appropriate for specific sites, criteria setting out variations in the form the contribution should take (including tenure mix) will be provided in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD.

8. The following Affordable Housing dwelling size mix will generally be  sought where affordable housing is provided:

Dwelling size: No. bedrooms


2-Bed 3-Bed 4-Bed

Affordable Housing Provision


35% 15% 10%

Where this affordable mix is not considered appropriate developers will be required to justify to the satisfaction of the Council a more appropriate affordable dwelling mix. 

9. The above proportions relating to social rented housing, intermediate housing and dwelling size may be varied where justified and with agreement with the Council; the Council will take account of the latest available evidence from the SHMA (or its equivalent successor).

10. The Council will require developments to integrate Affordable Housing and market housing, with a consistent standard of quality design and public spaces, to create mixed and sustainable communities.

Key Diagram and Maps

Not Applicable



5.25 Gypsies and Travellers comprise a number of diverse groups that have different origins, traditions and ways of travelling. In Thurrock there are currently 3 Council owned Gypsy and Traveller sites and several authorised private Gypsy sites. The number of unauthorised caravans (including tolerated) on various sites in 2008 was equivalent to 18 pitches. The policy seeks to maintain Gypsies’ and Travellers’ way of life and seeks to improve their quality of life and access to services. 

National and Regional Policy Context

5.26 Policy H3 of the East of England Plan: Provision for Gypsies and Travellers requires an additional 44 pitches to be provided in Thurrock between 2006 and 2011. Policy H3 states that beyond 2011, provision should be made for an annual 3% compound increase in residential pitches across the region, giving Thurrock a total of 87 additional pitches by 2021.

5.27 The Council considers the provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers within Thurrock to be sufficient for its needs for the foreseeable future and continues to seek a more fair and equitable distribution of Gypsy pitch provision in the East of England.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.28 Thurrock is home to a significant number of Gypsy and Traveller populations. In order to understand their needs and characteristics, the Council commissioned Fordham Research (2006) to conduct a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA). It was found in the assessment that that there is a need for additional pitch provision, however the large populations in the Borough are disproportionate compared to the wider Essex area. As such, Fordham Research recommended a joint approach with the East of England Regional Assembly and neighbouring authorities to increase provision in a more appropriate manner across Essex.

5.29 The GTAA reported that Gypsies and Travellers experience barriers to key services such as education and health. The GTAA recommended that the Council form a coherent policy that seeks to improve the health and education status of Gypsies and Travellers and their access to services. Evidence from the GTAA has demonstrated that Gypsies and Travellers have a preference to live on small-scale sites, principally to ensure that family bonds are retained. This requirement is recognised in Policy CSTP3 in terms of how the Council will assess individual applications for additional pitch provision from future Gypsy and Traveller site proposals. 


1. The Council will support proposals that seek to ensure that the standard of the existing approved Gypsy and Traveller sites in the Borough is progressively improved and upgraded.

2. The Council will seek to make provision for a total of 87 additional pitches (see i to iii below) in accordance with RSS Policy H3, for the period 2006-2021, subject to credible evidence of actual need for any further pitch provision demonstrated over the period to 2021 through the GTAA review.

  1. The Council will review the existing unauthorised “tolerated” Gypsy and Traveller sites through the Site Specific Allocations DPD and where appropriate regularise their status at existing pitch levels or with appropriate extensions to the site, if satisfied that they meet the provisions of this policy and if required at the time.
  2. The Council will provide an additional five pitches at the Pilgrims Lane site.
  3. Subsequently the Council will make additional pitch allocations through extensions of the other existing sites, authorised and regulated, and through allocation of new sites if proven to be necessary and appropriate.

3. The Council will refresh its own GTAA to assess the evidence of actual need over the Plan period from 2021 to 2026/7 and shall identify further pitch provision to meet any such need through the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD or a revision thereto. 

4. The Council will continue to engage with local gypsies and travellers through the work of the dedicated Gypsy liaison and planning officers.

5. In relation to the identified need beyond 2021, the Council will continue to work with our partners in the region to develop a fair and equitable distribution of provision.

6. Proposals for new or extensions to existing Gypsy and Traveller Sites will be considered by reference to the following criteria:

  1. The Council is satisfied that there is a clearly established need for the site and the number of pitches involved cannot be met by an existing site;
  2. The site is accessible by foot, cycle and/or public transport to local services and facilities, such as shops, primary and secondary schools, healthcare and other community facilities;
  3. The site proposal will not unacceptably impact upon the safety and amenity of the occupants and neighbouring uses;
  4. The site proposal will not unacceptably harm the character and appearance of the area and will not result in an unacceptable visual impact;
  5. The proposed accommodation on the site or site extension will not normally comprise more than 5 individual pitches. This threshold may be exceeded where the site location and topography allows always subject to the availability of credible evidence of actual need;
  6. The site will have safe and convenient access to the road network and would not cause a significant hazard to other road users;
  7. The site will make provision for parking, turning, service and emergency vehicles;
  8. The site will be supplied with essential services such as water, power, sewerage and drainage, and waste disposal;
  9. Proposals incorporate a landscape strategy where appropriate;
  10. The vulnerability of the proposed site to flood risk.

Key Diagram and Maps

Sites will be identified at Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD stage and shown on the Proposals Map.



5.30 Thurrock is home to a large Travelling Showpeople population, which is concentrated on just a small number of large sites that incorporate both authorised and unauthorised elements. In Thurrock there are currently 64 authorised Travelling Showpeople plots and 62 plots with temporary permission. This policy aims to set out robust locational principles for new sites and the means by which the Council will develop jointly with adjoining Local Authorities the future strategic pitch provision for Travelling Showpeople. The policy seeks to ensure that the Travelling Showpeople population enjoys a good quality of life, appropriate living conditions and opportunities to operate their businesses effectively.

National and Regional Policy Context

5.31 Travelling Showpeople are defined by Circular 04/2007 as “Members of a community that consists of self-employed business people who travel the country, often with their families, holding fairs”. The Circular states that although their work is of a mobile nature, Travelling Showpeople require secure, permanent bases for the storage of their equipment and residential purposes.

5.32 Policy H4 of the East of England Plan RSS Gypsy and Traveller Review July 2009 requires local authorities to make provision for plots to meet the identified needs of Travelling Showpeople in the area and where development plans look beyond 2011, they should provide for an annual 1.5% compound increase in plots. It also states that local authorities should work in County groupings with local Travelling Showpeople and the Showmen's Guild to identify the sites required in meeting the need.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.33 The plan area is home to a significant Travelling Showpeople population. The Thurrock Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showperson Accommodation Assessment (2007) notes that there is an overcrowding issue amongst the Travelling Showpeople population at Buckles Lane.

5.34 Travelling Showpeople’s Sites - A Planning Focus (2007) was published by theShowmen's Guild of Great Britain. This document sets out the site requirements for Travelling Showpeople sites and suggests a site criteria in which to assess planning applications. This document describes Travelling Showpeople’s Sitesas being generally characterised as mixed-use in land use terms with a combination of residential, commercial and storage areas within one site.  


1. The existing approved and established sites listed below will be safeguarded as permanent accommodation in the Borough for Travelling Showpeople:

  • Buckles Lane, South Ockendon
  • Rear of Mill Lane / London Road, West Thurrock
  • Rear of St Chad’s Road, Tilbury

2. The Council will meet any jointly agreed and identified future need for Travelling Showpeople in the Borough through the allocation of land at the existing temporary site to the west of land south of Buckles Lane and upgraded to meet Showman Guild Standards. The extent of this site will be identified in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and shown on the Proposals Map.

3. Should the East of England Plan be revoked or the Joint Review process abandoned, the Council will initiate a Review of further need through the GTAA Review process with a view to making further allocations if necessary.

4. Subject to the completion of the Review process no further plots will be permitted for this use unless the proposed site/s meet the relevant following requirements:

  1. The Council is satisfied that there is a clearly established need for the site within Thurrock.
  2. The number of plots involved cannot be met by an existing or allocated site within Thurrock;
  3. The plot meets the Showman Guild Standards;
  4. The plot is suitable for mixed residential and business/storage uses;
  5. The plot is accessible by foot, cycle and/or public transport to local services and facilities, such as shops, primary and secondary schools, healthcare and other community facilities;
  6. Development of the plot will not unacceptably impact upon the safety and amenity of the occupants and neighbouring uses;
  7. Development of the plot will not unacceptably harm the character and appearance of the area and will not result in an unacceptable visual impact;
  8. The plot will have safe and convenient access to the road network and would not cause a significant hazard to other road users;
  9. The plot will make provision for parking, turning, service and emergency vehicles;
  10. Proposals incorporate a landscape strategy where appropriate;
  11. The  vulnerability of the proposed site to flood risk and potential danger to occupants has been assessed in accordance with the requirements of Policy PMD15;
  12. The plot is not situated on, or adjacent to, sites of international, national, regional or local biodiversity and/or geological diversity importance;

Key Diagram and Maps

Sites will be identified at Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD stage and shown on the Proposals Map.

CSTP5 - Neighbourhood Renewal


5.35 The Council, working with its LSP partners to ensure that Thurrock will be the location of choice - a place where people thrive and prosper; have access to high quality services; and where development is sustainable and supports Thurrock’s new and existing communities as they grow. While many of Thurrock’s neighbourhoods already provide attractive living environments with good access to local facilities, there are several neighbourhoods that suffer from high levels of deprivation. To reduce this inequality it is necessary that a number of the Borough’s neighbourhoods are renewed, regenerated and integrated within the wider urban fabric to meet the needs of the existing and future residents.

5.36 The policy seeks to provide a framework for regeneration initiatives across the most disadvantaged communities in Thurrock. The focus is not just on improving housing and the physical fabric of neighbourhoods, but also addressing the fundamental problems in relation to access to health, education, local services and job opportunities.

5.37 The NPPF sets out the framework for delivering sustainable communities. In support of the regeneration approach the DCLG recently published Transforming places; changing lives: taking forward the regeneration framework (2009). This document sets out the Government’s approach to taking forward regeneration initiatives. It is stated that regeneration can help remove the barriers, that hold back local areas and provide an important catalyst for reversing decline and improving prosperity and can help retain existing businesses whilst also attracting new inward investment and enterprise.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.38 The Neighbourhood Renewal Working Group (NRWG) is leading on the preparation and implementation of the Thurrock Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy. This strategy has been developed within the strategic framework provided by the Borough’s Sustainable Community Strategy and supports delivery of the overarching vision for Thurrock. The Thurrock Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy has established the priority areas in the Borough for renewal based profiling information primarily derived from the Office of National Statistics’ Indices of Deprivation (2007). It is evident from this information that deep pockets of deprivation are experienced in some wards. The Indices of Deprivation show that 24% of Borough’s identified communities are within the 25% most deprived communities in England with five of these communities being within the 10% most deprived areas. The highest levels of deprivation in the Borough can be found in parts of Tilbury, Grays Riverside, Belhus and Purfleet.

5.39 The NRWG is developing a strategic and cross cutting approach to neighbourhood renewal that seeks to ensure that no one in the Borough is disadvantaged by where they live. This will be achieved by improving the quality of life in the most disadvantaged areas of Thurrock by tackling poor job prospects; high crime levels; educational under-achievement; poor health; problems with housing; the local environment; and access to services. The strategy will target two levels of activity - ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’. The ‘top down’ approach will be led by ‘strategic intervention projects’ identified in the Thurrock Economic Development Strategy whilst the ‘bottom up’ approach will seek to engage the local communities and empower them to resolve the issues that adversely affect their lives on a daily basis.

5.40 Thames Gateway Development Corporation: Corporate Plan 2008 - 2011 (2008) identifies the need to reduce the high levels of deprivation in Thurrock.  Of particular concern are the low levels of employment, income and qualifications in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, together with a lack of community facilities and infrastructure, high levels of child poverty, poor health and a low life expectancy. The TTGDC has identified a number of specific areas where direct neighbourhood renewal initiatives are required. These initiatives will be recognised and incorporated within the action plans prepared for each of the four priority areas.

5.41 At Purfleet, the TTGDC is working in partnership with the Council to secure the long-term regeneration of the Garrison Estate. The regeneration of the estate will enable the TTGDC to improve the integration of Purfleet’s existing communities with the wider redevelopment and regeneration proposals in the surrounding Purfleet area. The TTGDC’s Corporate Plan also noted the acute problems facing Tilbury and in particular the level of social deprivation and exclusion in the town. It is the TTGDC’s, and Shaping Thurrock partners’ view that comprehensive regeneration initiatives are required to remodel the existing settlement at Tilbury.

5.42 The TTGDC has produced a number of Masterplans that include several of the regeneration areas indicated in the policy. These Masterplans will guide development in the respective areas and direct and set out the principles for regeneration.  


1. The Council and Partners seeks to ensure that no one in the Borough should be disadvantaged by where they live, particularly in relation to health, education, local services, job opportunities and good housing. The Council will work with all relevant agencies in the delivery of regeneration in the Borough to achieve sustainable, mixed and balanced communities. The following neighbourhoods been have identified as priority regeneration areas by the Thurrock Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy:

  • Purfleet;
  • Grays Riverside and Grays Central;
  • Tilbury and Chadwell St. Mary;
  • South Ockendon (including Belhus).

2. All developments in the regeneration areas will be required to support and assist:

  1. The creation of a more balanced housing stock through the development of high quality new dwellings that offer a better choice of housing types and tenures based on specific needs of the area.
  2. The retention and improvement of social and private sector housing to meet decent homes standards and resident aspirations.
  3. The improvement of the external environment through the provision of:
    1. Community facilities and infrastructure including health and education facilities.
    2. Public open space and recreation facilities and enhancement of existing open spaces to create a green corridor network integrated throughout the area.
  4. The enhancement of the area’s economic viability by promoting the creation of business space for new start-up and local businesses.
  5. The promotion of high quality architecture, public realm and environmental design throughout the development.
  6. High standards of sustainable construction and design, energy and water efficiency and flood risk management that contribute to meeting the climate change challenges locally.
  7. The development of capacity within communities to create cohesive, engaged and empowered communities.
  8. The Borough-wide approach to neighbourhood management.

Key Diagram and Maps

Key Diagram: The broad locations of the priority regeneration areas

Employment and retail thematic policies



5.43 A sound economic future is essential to securing Thurrock’s future. The Council will seek to encourage and develop a thriving economy, where there is sufficient land and floor-space to accommodate projected employment growth in the core and growth sectors and to facilitate the continuing and emerging needs of business. The policy focus will contribute to three broad outcomes - supporting employment growth; creating the conditions required for sustainable growth; and ensuring direct benefits to local communities.

5.44 The Annual Business Inquiry indicates that the level of employment in Thurrock has increased from 53,400 in 2001 to 57,000 in 2007, an increase of 3,600 jobs. This represents a slowdown in employment growth compared to the period 1995 to 2001 where approximately 9,000 new jobs were created in the Borough. The most significant change in employment over the last fifteen years has been the rapid growth in services. The growth of service employment has occurred nationally, however within Thurrock this growth has been more pronounced through the retail expansion of Lakeside since the 1990s. The largest absolute increase in numbers was in wholesale and retail trade sector, which increased from 9,923 jobs in 1993 to 17,759 jobs in 2003. Hotels and restaurants, education and health also enjoyed large increases of around 40-50% between 1991-2001. In contrast, financial and business services, and personal services, had risen by a much lower rate and extractive, energy and manufacturing employment had fallen.

5.45 Given Thurrock’s strategic location, logistics and distribution remains the Borough’s major employer, however national data suggests that employment in this sector peaked in 2000 with as many as 15,600 jobs, but declined to 12,400 jobs by 2004. Within the South Essex context, Thurrock is one of the three main employment hubs, alongside Basildon and Southend-on-Sea. Thurrock’s economic role within South Essex is as a logistics and distribution hub with 22% of employment in the Borough in 2001, generated from this sector. By comparison, the manufacturing and service sectors are under represented in Thurrock when compared to Basildon and Southend-on-Sea. The statistical effects of the 2008-2009 recession on levels of employment across sectors in Thurrock, have not yet been fully collated and published in the Annual Business Inquiry.  The ONS Annual Population Survey indicates, however, that unemployment in Thurrock rose steeply during this period, reaching 8% in 2009, or double the rate of 2004.

5.46 An important component of the strategic employment provision is the development of a culture and leisure sector. As Thurrock’s economy diversifies and its communities regenerate, grow and become more prosperous, there will be increasing demand for cultural and leisure activities. The Council seeks to facilitate the development of this sector to meet the future demands and encourage health and well-being amongst the existing and future communities of Thurrock. It is expected that this sector will emerge as a significant employer of Thurrock’s population over the forthcoming years.

5.47 This policy aims to support employment growth, create the conditions required for sustainable growth in the core and growth sectors and ensure the local communities receive direct benefits. A co-ordinated and consistent approach has been developed to create opportunities for up to 26,000 additional jobs throughout Thurrock over the Plan period and beyond. This policy will set out the indicative land supply to complement the broad locations set out in Policy CSSP2. The Council’s approach to sustainable economic development includes:

  • Achieving increased prosperity and employment growth;
  • A sustainable balance between housing and jobs growth across the Borough;
  • Supporting indigenous business;
  • Attracting inward investment;
  • Diversifying the economy;
  • Providing improved skills and jobs for local people; and
  • Providing for land and sites of appropriate type and location.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.48 The Thurrock Employment Study (2005) indicates that there are three basic elements to the potential employment growth. First there is trend-based growth, which is projected to provide circa 6,800 jobs. Secondly there is London Gateway, with a potential to provide at least 10,000 net direct and indirect jobs by 2026, subject to delivery timescales. Thirdly the recently Adopted RSS Lakeside policy sets out the future potential employment that could be generated at Lakeside that could be in excess of 6000 new jobs subject to a final determination of retail, commercial and leisure floor-space thresholds.  Finally, there are the possible impacts of additional inward investment, particularly through the efforts of the TTGDC, which could generate at least 1,300 jobs. The Thurrock Employment Study indicates that the East of England Plan 26,000 job target for Thurrock will be very challenging to deliver by 2026 and that there is a strong reliance upon the delivery of the London Gateway Port at Shell Haven. Given the recent delays to the London Gateway scheme, the Lakeside Basin now stands centre stage as the most likely Key Strategic Economic Hub to produce significant numbers of jobs in the short and medium term.

5.49 The Employment Land Review (2007) noted that the 26,000 job requirement for Thurrock relates to total employment across the different sectors in the Borough and it does not relate specifically to employment land. As such an assessment of the Borough’s employment land was undertaken to demonstrate the actual industries that are located on the employment land. The analysis demonstrated that employment growth on employment land, as a percentage of overall employment growth in Thurrock would account for 44% or 11,440 jobs. The proportion of new jobs on employment land may continue to decline in Thurrock with the introduction of flexible working practices.

5.50 To meet the job growth requirements, the analysis from the Thurrock Employment Land Review has identified a need for between 45.2 and 83.8 hectares of employment land outside of the London Gateway over the Plan period and beyond in order to accommodate employment growth in B class uses. The Thurrock Employment Land Review identifies a total need for re-designation of between 69.8 to 88.6 hectares of designated employment land to other uses in the forthcoming plan period. It is stated that part of this figure will include an approximate displacement of between 10-15 hectares of employment uses to the London Gateway.

5.51 Further technical studies have been prepared including the Employment Sites Review (2010) that assesses job densities of sites proposed and intensification of existing sites.  This assessment included an initial appraisal of sites identified in the Lakeside Single Issue Review.  A revised Employment Land Review (2010) has also identified the sustainability of existing and proposed sites for employment.

5.52 The updated technical studies (2010) have identified that up to 5345 jobs have been delivered from net additional employment land between 2001 and 2009.  The net additional employment land provision identified including mixed-use, leisure and retail could accommodate almost 28,000 jobs and therefore provides sufficient capacity for the 26,000 jobs growth the Council wishes to promote in the Borough during the lifetime of the plan.  The calculation takes into account the proposed loss of some employment land to other uses, notably housing.  The Employment Studies have also identified that 1000 jobs could be provided from small scale public services and home working.  The Local Development Documents for Lakeside may identify additional jobs through further intensification of sites.  The total number of jobs identified exceeds the RSS requirement.

5.53 The Council designates Industrial and Commercial land in the Borough as either Primary or Secondary employment land.  Primary employment land has good access to the strategic/principal road network. Secondary employment land is an important source of local jobs, but is not ideally located in relation to the highway network or neighbouring housing areas.  Activities on Secondary employment land, or traffic generated by them, can cause significant environmental problems for local residents. Exceptionally, housing development may be considered acceptable on Secondary employment sites if this enables a particular environmental or traffic problem to be overcome.  These sites will be defined in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD.


1. Key Strategic Economic Hubs

  1. The Council will actively seek to maintain high and stable levels of economic and employment growth by creating a network of high quality, mutually reinforcing Key Strategic Economic Hubs, identified in Policy CSSP2. The Key Strategic Economic Hubs will provide 445 hectares of the Industrial and Commercial and Mixed-Use Land between 2009 and 2026.  This provision is included in 2 and 3 below.

2. Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial Areas

  1. The Council will safeguard existing Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial land and premises in, or last used for employment purposes, where it is required to maintain a sufficient supply of employment land in the Plan period.  The Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD will include policies and identify existing Industrial and Commercial land that will be protected for employment purposes, as well as existing employment land to be allocated to other uses.  These areas and sites will be shown on the Proposals Map.   
  2. The proposed new Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial sites (identified in the Site Allocations and Policies DPD and Proposals Map) will provide approximately 372 hectares of net employment land across the Borough between 2009 and 2026.
  3. The Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial areas will be reserved for employment generating uses falling within Class B1, B2, and B8 and sui generis uses. The Council will consider economic development that includes non-B Class uses within the Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial areas provided that it meets the following:
    1. The non-B Class Use provides a complementary and supporting use for the existing Class B uses; or
    2. The non-B Class Use is necessary for the day-to-day service requirements of the existing Class B uses; or
    3. There is a demonstrable need for the non-B Class Use within the Borough and there are no other reasonable alternative sites within the Borough;  and
    4. The introduction of the non-B Class Use will not compromise the supply of Class B land within the Borough and will not adversely affect Thurrock’s existing and future economic structure;
  4. Non-B Class uses will not be supported within the Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial areas where they materially change the Class B character of the Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial areas. 
  5. Where proposals for new economic development are proposed outside the Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial areas, the Council will make an assessment against the following criteria:
    1. Compatibility with uses in the area surrounding the proposal and potential impacts on those uses.
    2. Capacity and impact on the road network and access by sustainable modes of transport.

3. Mixed-Use Employment Locations

The Council will encourage development that maximises the employment contribution from mixed-use development sites.  In total, the Council has designated 75.4 hectares of land throughout the Borough for mixed-use development between 2009 and 2026. The mixed-use development sites will be included in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.

4. Redundant and Under-Used Employment Land and Buildings

In addition to those employment sites allocated to other uses through the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD, the Council will accept the redevelopment of genuinely redundant or underused employment land and buildings to non-employment uses provided that it can be demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Council that: 

  1. Employment uses are no longer feasible on site;
  2. There are sufficient alternative sites/provision to meet existing and future employment needs as identified in this Plan and any future review.
  3. The new uses are compatible with neighbouring uses and will not harm the viability of the surrounding employment area;
  4. The proposals are compliant with other development plan policies.

5. Relocation and Expansion of Existing Businesses 

The Council will positively encourage the relocation (within Thurrock) of existing firms wishing to expand and major non-conforming installations where this will improve their economic and environmental sustainability, improve the local environment for local residents and enhance the sustainable development potential of adjoining sites. The Council will promote the regeneration and renewal of these sites and their surroundings for housing and mixed-use development.

6. Office Development

The Council will seek to direct office development to the town centres identified on the Key Diagram and the Key Strategic Economic Hubs.  The Council will review locations for office development as part of the Development Plan Documents on Lakeside.  Office development will generally be supported in the Primary and Secondary Industrial and Commercial areas provided that it is accessible by sustainable modes of transport and that it does not:

  1. Impact upon the viability and amenity of surrounding uses.
  2. Unacceptably impact upon the road capacity and network. 

7. Knowledge and Cultural Based Regeneration

  1. The Council will work with partners to enhance local employment opportunities within the Regeneration Areas.
  2. Knowledge based, cultural, retail, leisure and office developments will be directed to existing centres and the Regeneration Areas to promote their vitality and viability. These sectors will act as drivers for sustainable economic growth. The priority centres for the promotion of these sectors are:
    • Purfleet;
    • Lakeside / West Thurrock Basin;
    • Grays; and
    • Tilbury.

8. Environmental Industries

The Council will seek to encourage and direct the development of environmental industries to the Key Strategic Economic Hubs. The Council will work with partners to bring forward the delivery of priority environmental industry projects at the preferred following locations:

  • Tilbury
  • London Gateway

9. Range of Unit Sizes

  1. Where appropriate the Council will require the provision of a range of unit sizes including small and medium sized business units in new economic development to ensure the needs of businesses are met.
  2. Where appropriate the Council will seek to incorporate small and medium sized business units into mixed-use developments and development proposals within the Regenerations Areas and Key Strategic Economic Hubs.

10. Skills and Local Employment Opportunities

The Council will work with partners and developers to enhance the knowledge and skills and local employment opportunities for residents including the promotion of local labour and training agreements on major construction projects. The Council will utilise Section 106 obligations to further the objectives of this policy.

11. Tourism

The Council will support the sustainable growth of the tourist industry in Thurrock. Where appropriate, planning permission will be granted within the town centres and Key Strategic Economic Hubs for overnight tourist and visitor accommodation, including hotels, provided the proposed development would:

  1. Avoid any adverse effect on the amenity of occupiers of nearby properties;
  2. Be compatible with the character, appearance and function of the area;
  3. The proposals are compliant with other policies in the Core Strategy;
  4. Where appropriate, the Council will support development proposals that seek to support the development of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and legacy. 

Key Diagram and Maps

Key Diagram: Key Strategic Economic Hubs; Regeneration Area.
Areas and sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.54 Thurrock’s network of centres is an important factor underpinning sustainable growth.  The transformation of Lakeside into a new regional (town) centre and the enhancement of existing centres are vital for sustainable development ensuring the provision of local accessible services and employment opportunities for the Borough’s residents.

Lakeside Single Issue Review

5.55 The East of England Plan (May 2008) called for a Single Issue Review of Policy ETG2 Thurrock Key Centre for Development and Change, with the purpose of preparing a robust strategic planning framework to guide the regeneration and redevelopment of the Lakeside Basin.

5.56 The Single Issue Review of Policy ETG2 commenced in autumn 2008.  In October 2009, the Secretary of State published Proposed Modifications to Policy ETG2 and identifies the northern part of the Lakeside Basin as a regional centre under Policy E5 of the East of England Plan.  Retail expansion is limited to 50,000 sqm of net comparison floorspace by 2019 and no expansion can be approved until Local Development Documents satisfy a series of pre-conditions set out in the policy.

Thurrock Strategies and Plans

5.57 Evidence on retail and town centre uses is within the Thurrock Retail Study (September 2007) and the Lakeside Basin Single Issue Review Agreed Final Report (March 2009).   In combination, these documents provide robust evidence on the need and location for additional retail and town centre floorspace within the Borough.

5.58 It is expected that Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (TTGDC) will jointly inform the development and management of Thurrock’s network of centres through its masterplans and other strategies.

5.59    Within Grays town centre and existing local and neighbourhood centres, good access to day to-day facilities and services is necessary to ensure that the local community is in close proximity to those services used regularly.  Day-to-day facilities and services include: primary schools, health centres, convenience shops, branch libraries and local offices and service providers.

5.60 Policy ETG2 of the East of England Plan provides detailed guidance regarding the pre-conditions for Lakeside to attain regional centre status.  The Council remains supportive of these pre-conditions and they will be addressed in the Local Development Documents.


1. New Lakeside Regional Centre: Consistent with emerging Policy ETG2, the Council supports the transformation of the northern part of the Lakeside Basin into a new regional centre.  This will be achieved in policy through a detailed chapter and inset plan within the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and the Lakeside Implementation and Delivery SPD.  The Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD will also include the Regional Town Centre boundary which will be identified on the Proposals Map.  Expansion at the new Lakeside regional centre will include the following:

  1. Up to 50,000 sqm of net comparison floorspace (by 2019);
  2. At least 4,000 sqm of net convenience floorspace;
  3. Up to 3,000 new dwellings; subject to review and the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD.
  4. Employment and other services floorspace to broaden the employment base;
  5. Commercial leisure floorspace, including food and drink uses, consistent with the function of a regional centre.

2. Grays Town Centre: the Council supports the regeneration of Grays town centre. It will become the focus for cultural, administrative and educational functions, whilst providing retail development that is complementary to the Lakeside Basin.  Development should be of an appropriate scale and should be well integrated with the existing centre.    Development in Grays town centre will include the following:

  1. Up to 5,500-6,500 sqm of net comparison floorspace by 2026;
  2. Up to 4,000-5,000 sqm of net bulky durable floorspace by 2026;
  3. Between 1,500-2,000 sqm of net convenience floorspace by 2026;
  4. Other cultural, administrative and education developments consistent with the spatial vision for Grays.

3. Existing Local Centres: Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope, South Ockendon, Tilbury, Aveley, Socketts Heath are designated as local centres.  The Council encourages the following development for local centres:

  1. Renewal, upgrading or remodelling of existing floorspace;
  2. Additional small scale retail floorspace space in suitable locations that will strengthen the centres’ retail offer;
  3. Investigation into the potential of a new supermarket on an appropriate site in Stanford-le-Hope to reduce convenience expenditure leakage from the east of the Borough.

4. New Centres: A new local centre is designated at Purfleet.  Two new neighbourhood centres are designated at West Thurrock and South Stifford and will be developed in conjunction with major residential development.  The Council encourages the following development for these new local centres: 

  1. In Purfleet, a new food store of between 1,500-2,000 sqm (net) convenience retail floorspace and complementary floorspace;
  2. In all new local centres, an appropriate mix of day to day services will be provided to accommodate the needs of the residential development.

5. Existing Neighbourhood Centres: Larger neighbourhood parades are identified at Chadwell St Mary, Stifford Clays, East Tilbury, Corringham, Grays, Little Thurrock, Chafford Hundred, Tilbury.  Smaller neighbourhood parades are identified at South Ockendon, Aveley, Grays, Tilbury, Linford, Stanford-le-Hope, Corringham, Purfleet.  The Council encourages the following for neighbourhood centres:

  1. Maintain existing retail function, with changes of use to ground-floor retail units to non-retail use permitted where it can be shown there is no long-term demand for retail use of the unit or where there is a particular community need that would be met by the change of use.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram - existing and new centres.
The Regional Centre Boundary will be identified in the Adopted Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and on the Proposals Map.
Existing centres are shown on the Proposals Map.
New centres and sites will be included in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.


5.61 Alongside the transformation of Lakeside into a regional centre and the creation of the new Purfleet Centre, the improvement of the vitality and viability of Grays town centre, the local centres and neighbourhood centres is fundamental to the achievement of sustainable development.  Therefore, development of an appropriate scale will be directed to these centres, and out-of-centre proposals for main town centre uses will be resisted if suitable sites are available within, or failing that, adjacent to these centres.

5.62 These include an indicative area for the future town centre boundary of the Lakeside regional centre which will be set out in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD consistent with Policy CSTP7 and on the Proposals Map; also boundaries for Grays town centre, the existing local centres, broad locations for new local centres and the locations of existing neighbourhood centres (larger and smaller).


The Council will maintain and promote the retail function of existing centres. Measures to improve the vitality and viability of the network of centres will be encouraged in order to meet the needs of the Borough’s residents and act as a focus for retail, leisure, cultural, business and residential uses.  The Council will do this in the following ways:

  1. Permitting applications for main town centre uses on suitable sites of an appropriate scale to the role and function of the centres, with Town Centres being the preferred locations, followed by edge of Town Centre locations;
  2. Resist proposals for main town centre uses in out of centre locations if town centre or edge of town centre locations are available, and also at edge of town centre locations if Town Centre locations are available;
  3. Encouraging diversification and improvement of the range and quality of facilities including retail, employment, leisure and entertainment, community, culture and education;
  4. Retaining and, subject to other Core Strategy policies, permitting additional residential development in appropriate locations and in particular on sites identified for mixed development;
  5. Improving access for public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and those with special needs, whilst managing road traffic and improving road safety;
  6. Improving the wider environment by ensuring new development protects and/or enhances the designated centres including historic character, townscape and biodiversity
  7. Where appropriate seeking to improve personal safety and contribute to crime reduction by design and other measures

‘Town Centres’ for the purposes of this policy means:- Grays; Aveley, Socketts Heath, South Ockendon; Corringham; Stanford le Hope; and Tilbury on the Proposals Map.

‘Main town centre uses’ for the purposes of this policy means:- retail development, including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres; leisure, entertainment facilities and the more intensive sport and recreational uses, including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars and pubs, night-clubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres, and bingo halls; offices except where ancillary to other permitted or permissible uses; and arts, culture and tourism development, including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, hotels and conference facilities.

‘Edge of town centre’ for the purposes of this policy means:- for retail purposes, a location that is well connected to and up to 300 metres of the primary shopping area.  For all other main town centre uses, a location within 300 metres of a Town Centre boundary.  For office development this includes locations outside Town Centres but within 500 metres of a public transport interchange.

‘Out of centre’ for the purposes of this policy means:- a location which is not in or on the edge of a Town Centre but not necessarily outside the urban area.

Key Diagram and Maps

Key Diagram.
The Regional Centre Boundary will be identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and on the Proposals Map.
Existing Town Centres and other centres are shown on the Key Diagram and Proposals Map.  Primary shopping areas and any additional Town Centres will be identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and on the Proposals Map.




5.63 Leisure and sport are of prime importance to improving and maintaining the quality of life in the Borough by encouraging an active and healthy community. Thurrock Council is committed to meeting the leisure and sports needs of the community and this policy aims to address identified deficiencies and maintain and improve existing provision. Leisure and sport facilities have an important role in improving the wellbeing of the community.  This includes ensuring the physical and mental health of individuals, preventing disease and reducing the health inequalities that exist across the Borough.

5.64 It is important that leisure and sports provision links well to communities in the Borough, providing facilities that are accessible to all through walking, cycling and public transport and which people are confident to use. These forms of provision often form part of the Borough’s green and historic infrastructure and links between those infrastructures and sports and other leisure facilities are of great value and should be benefitted from as far as possible.   

5.65 Several agencies have produced guidance related to Leisure and Sports, including the Sport England Strategy 2008-2011, which confirms that local authorities and partners can use sport to deliver stronger, healthier and more cohesive communities. The NHS promotes physical exercise and activity in order to cut the risk of serious illness.   

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.66 A Framework for Regeneration and Sustainable Growth, Transforming and Revitalising Thurrock (TTGDC, 2005) includes strategic goals aiming for increasing opportunities for entertainment, leisure and culture in the Borough. Thurrock's Sustainable Community Strategy 2009 (SCS) aims at promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing the health inequalities that exist between different parts of the community. 

5.67 The Core Strategy has also been informed by the Sports and Active Recreation Strategy for Thurrock (Thurrock Council, TTGDC and Sport England, 2009) which considers how existing sports facilities can be enhanced, as well as the creation of new sport and leisure facilities.  This strategy will be used to direct future resources and ensure Thurrock has up to date, accessible and inviting sports facilities to support both the existing population and the predicted growth. The Council’s Thurrock Outdoor Sports Strategy assesses and audits playing pitch provision within the Borough.

5.68 The Council’s Community Needs and Open Spaces Study (2005) assessed the quality, quality and accessibility of open space across the Borough.  The study showed that there were deficiencies in the provision across Thurrock. Some areas having little pedestrian access to parks, for example, while play spaces for children are often considered to be of poor quality; natural greenspace is unevenly distributed across the Borough, and changing room facilities for sport fail to provide adequately for female participation.  There is clear need to address the weaknesses illustrated in the study, as well as accommodate the needs associated with the substantial growth planned over the lifetime of the plan.  A Play Strategy for Thurrock: The Thurrock Play Partnership 2007-2017 reflects access, quality and types of spaces in which children and young people play.  The strategy identifies gaps in the provision of play spaces and actions to address the gaps and opportunities for funding.

5.69 The Council will ensure that future investment improves sport resources and improves their accessibility.  The Council will work for the funding to ensure improvements in adult participation in sport by 1-2% per annum, as set out in Council’s national indicator targets included in the Shaping Thurrock Partnership’s Local Area Agreement (LAA) 2008/09-2010/11.


The Council and Partners will support the delivery of a physically active, socially inclusive and healthy community through the provision of high quality sports and leisure facilities and appropriate spaces for those that live, work, and visit the borough. To achieve this, the Council and Partners will:

1. New and Existing Facilities

  1. Safeguard existing and future provision of leisure, sports and open space facilities. The Council will only allow the loss of a particular facility where appropriate alternative provision can be made elsewhere.  
  2. Support the provision of new or improved leisure and sports facilities to address deficiencies identified in the Thurrock Outdoor Sports Strategy, Sports and Active Recreation Strategy and the Community Needs and Open Spaces Study.
  3. Promote smaller-scale sports and leisure facilities in town centres, local centres and Lakeside Regional centre.
  4. Ensure that new or improved facilities are in locations that are accessible to the local community and create or improve links to Thurrock’s network of green and historic infrastructure, including the Thames riverside.
  5. Provide facilities for schools and other institutions which can be linked and shared with the community.
  6. Where appropriate, encouraging development proposals that seek to support the development of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and legacy.
  7. Ensure that the potential health impacts of development are identified and addressed at an early stage in the planning process

2. Key Sites

  1. The Council will work with relevant partners to progress the development of key flagship leisure and sports facilities at key locations to promote regeneration. The identified flagship sites include:
    1. Sports and Well-Being Hubs (initially at Belhus, followed  by facilities at Blackshots-North Grays)
    2. Leisure and sports facilities for Lakeside will be identified and set out in the relevant Development Plan Documents.
  2. The Council will review the potential for enhanced leisure facilities at Grays river front.
  3. A Supplementary Planning Document will be prepared at a future date to consider the issues of health and wellbeing with regard to Chadwell St. Mary and Tilbury.

The sites will be included in the Adopted Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.

3. Developer Contributions

Proposals for new development will be required to contribute towards the leisure and sports needs generated by the development and address any deficiencies in the locality that they may generate or exacerbate.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram
Map 3: Location of Greengrid
Sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.70 Community facilities contribute towards meeting the varied needs of local people, including providing opportunities to engage in learning, develop skills and talents, and to interact with other members of the community.  It is important that sufficient community facilities, including libraries, museums, village halls, places of worship and other public halls, community centres, organised attractions and festivals are in place to support the community, including the substantial additional growth planned for Thurrock during the lifetime of the plan.

5.71 This policy aims to ensure the delivery of community facilities within the Borough, through action by the Council and its partners, in order to address identified needs and to maintain existing provision.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.72 Thurrock Council’s Refreshed Cultural Strategy (2006) highlights the importance of delivering community facilities.  It sets out the Council’s vision to maintain and enhance cultural facilities in the Borough. The Council has commissioned an Infrastructure Implementation and Prioritisation Programme (2010) to assess the infrastructure requirements for the Borough, which is required to consider the needs associated with the substantial growth planned.  A Faith Infrastructure Study has been undertaken to identify the infrastructure requirements of faith groups and their future need for new premises. The study identifies an estimated need for four new sites on or adjacent to major housing developments identified by applying the Three Dragons standards; and 38 new or shared premises identified through direct consultation with faith groups

5.73 Studies produced by the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation include the Preferred Option Spatial Plan (TTGDC, 2006) and A Framework for Regeneration and Sustainable Growth: Transforming and Revitalising Thurrock (TTGDC, 2005).  Both these studies acknowledge the importance of culture, heritage and leisure to the quality of life of the people of Thurrock. 


1. Existing Facilities

  1. The Council will safeguard existing community facilities and will only allow their loss in circumstances where appropriate facilities of equal or better quality will be provided as part of the development.
  2. The Council and partners will promote higher levels of active participation of existing community facilities through campaign awareness, education and community engagement.

2. New or Improved Facilities 

  1. The Council will support the provision of high quality, accessible community facilities to serve new and existing communities, regenerate areas and raise the profile of Thurrock as a destination for culture and the arts.
  2. The Council will encourage the development of multi-functional community facilities as an integral part of all major development in the Borough.

3. Key Projects

  1. The Council will work with relevant partners to deliver the following projects:
    1. Multi-functional Hub Community Centres at centres such as Chadwell St Mary and Purfleet.
    2. The Royal Opera House Production Park, High House Farm, Purfleet.
    3. National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills (Purfleet).
    4. The modernisation of libraries and community centres.
    5. Facilities for performing and visual arts and museums.
    6. Tourism, Festivals and Attractions to support Regeneration areas and town centres and other Thurrock assets including Coalhouse Fort, Tilbury Fort, Thames riverfront and the RSPB Nature Reserve.
    7. Community facilities identified for Lakeside and set out in the  relevant Development Plan Documents.
    8. A strategic approach to the provision of new and enhanced places of worship within the Borough, in response to planned population growth and identified need. The identification of appropriate sites will be linked to regeneration areas and other broad locations, co-located with other facilities.

The sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.

4. Funding and Developer Contributions
Proposals for new development will be required to contribute towards the community needs generated by the development and address the identified deficiencies in the locality that they may generate or exacerbate.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram
Sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.74 According to Thurrock Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (2008), the health of the population has been improving steadily. However, despite this general improvement, the gap in the main causes of death between those in advantaged and disadvantaged groups has widened. Those in disadvantaged groups are more likely to die earlier and to be in poorer health than the rest of the population. This is linked to social and demographic circumstances such as educational attainment, occupation, income, housing type and where people live. A range of policies within the Core Strategy provide measures to help tackle health inequality in Thurrock by ensuring good accessibility to services and facilities, including open and green spaces, community spaces and infrastructure and sport facilities. 

5.75 This policy aims to highlight the planned delivery of health services that will benefit the existing and future local community of Thurrock.  The longer-term vision for health care provision is to introduce a sustained realignment of the whole health and social care system.  Far more services will be delivered safely and effectively in settings closer to home, and services will be built around the needs of individuals and not service providers.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.76 Thurrock’s Sustainable Community Strategy (Strategic Partnership for Thurrock, 2009) highlights a range of objectives related to health.  With reference to the spatial planning framework, it highlights the importance of reducing the health inequalities that exist between different parts of our community, including the joining up of health and social services.

NHS South West Essex Vision

5.77 The vision of NHS South West Essex is ‘for the entire population served by NHS South West Essex to become one of the healthiest and best cared for in the country’. To enable this to happen a Strategic Plan 2009-2014 (‘A Golden Opportunity’) was developed, incorporating 5 key strategic priorities:

  • Access to quality primary, community and dental care.
  • Integrated care pathways.
  • Prevention and screening.
  • Patient experience, quality and safety.
  • Organisational Development.

The NHS South West Essex Strategic Service Development Plan will ensure that services are planned, commissioned and provided reflecting these priorities in order to achieve the vision statement.

This vision will be supported by four goals:

  • To improve life expectancy and reduce health inequalities through faster improvements in the most deprived areas of our community.
  • To support healthy lives by reducing the key determinants of ill health, providing preventative care and access to screening.
  • To improve access to high quality care so that care is provided at the right time, and in the right place.
  • All patients experience high quality care which is safe, clinically effective and offers a good patient experience.

5.78 The NHS South West Essex vision further outlines a tiered model of health care provision across SWE, for Thurrock this translates the model into a number of developments as set out below. 

Within Thurrock a wide range of health provision will be provided from the tier 0-3 levels. The highest order of health care provision available within Thurrock will be the New Generation Community Hospital in Grays (tier 3). However, Thurrock’s local community will also benefit from health care infrastructure from a higher tier provision located outside the Borough. 

Figure 2: Hierarchy of Health Care Provision

Hierarchy of Health Care Provision

(Source: NHS South West Essex, 2009)

5.79 The Strategic Outline Case: Development of a New Generation Community Hospital in Grays as Part of Regeneration Thurrock (NHS South West Essex, 2008) sets out the needs that have been identified and options for development in Grays to inform consultation of the community hospital for Grays. Once completed, NHS SWE will prepare an Outline Business Case, confirming the location and architectural plans for the new hospital.  The final stage of NHS planning will be set out in the Final Business Case, before construction of the hospital can begin.  Timescales for the preparation of these further documents and development of the hospital are to be confirmed later in 2010.


1. Health Care Provision

The Council will work with partners to deliver:

  1. A healthy, strong and vibrant sustainable community by ensuring the delivery of health care infrastructure within Thurrock through a tiered model for health care provision. 
  2. A significant reduction in health inequalities between different groups within the Borough, and between the Borough and the region, in line with national and regional NHS objectives.  
  3. Health care facilities that are located according to need, and which are accessible to all people in the Borough, including by public transport, cycling or walking.
  4. Health care facilities that meet existing and future community needs, including those needs arising from the new housing and employment that will be developed in the Borough over the lifetime of the plan.
  5. Improved access to General Practitioners within West Thurrock and Purfleet where an existing deficit has been identified.

2. Tier 3 - A Community Hospital - Offering High level Intermediate Services

  1. The Council supports the development of a New Generation Community Hospital (NGCH) in Hogg Lane, Grays with an anticipated built completion date of late 2013.  This will be the highest tier health care facility in Thurrock, and will be supported by secondary and tertiary care facilities outside the Borough.
  2. The Council supports the provision of a wide range of health and social care services for local people through the NGCH.  Services are anticipated to include a GP surgery, x-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, a minor injuries unit, primary care assessment and outpatient facilities.    

3. Tier 2 - Health Centres with Community and Extended Services

i. The Council supports the development of Tier 2 health care infrastructure in Thurrock, with each facility providing a range of specialist health services for a population of approximately 30,000 people.  They are anticipated to be delivered at the following locations:

  1. Purfleet - Over the next ten years the population of Purfleet is expected to increase due to proposed housing developments. An increase in health care services will be provided to meet increasing needs in Purfleet as the area is developed. The level of these facilities and timing of construction will depend on the phasing of the proposed development.
  2. Grays Town Centre - New GP-led health care facilities at the Equitable Access Centre. This service will be available in 2010 and will lead to a requirement for four additional Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) GP’s in 2010, and one further WTE GP by 2014.  
  3. Tilbury - Proposed new modern heath care facilities to address the deficit in provision in Tilbury following a strategic review and public engagement during 2009.  It is anticipated that this will lead to a requirement for three additional WTE GP’s by 2012. 
  4. The Council will work with health partners to plan for additional facilities in Thurrock Urban area if need is identified from any future assessments.

4. Tier 1 - Local Service Providers in fit for purpose premises offering a range of services
The Council supports the provision of new and improved tier one services, particularly in areas where a deficiency is identified.  There is currently a deficit in tier 1 services across the Borough that will be affected further by the increase in population and employment envisaged in the Regional Spatial Strategy.


Current figures


Planned developments


36 GP practices housed within 34 GP centres and
7 Health Centres
(79 GPs, which is equal to 71.6 whole time equivalent ( wte) GPs)

Thurrock is recognised as being under-doctored by c. 20 wte GPs when compared to the England average.

Grays Equitable access centre = 5wte
Potential Tilbury development = 3 wte
Potential West Thurrock/Purfleet = 4 wte
Succession planning scheme - funding for new partners and grants to support practice mergers - 4wte


21 dental practices (Approx. 60 dentists)
193,992 units of dental activity
9,847 units of orthodontic activity

PCT target: 66% of the population with access to NHS dentistry. (Thurrock currently at 55%)

143,000 units of dental activity including dental access centre to be incorporated in new Equitable Access Centre (Grays)

Increased orthodontic activity

5. Partnership Working

The Council and NHS South West Essex are committed to working closely with partners to respond to local population changes.  NHS SWE will ensure good communication with partners and Thurrock’s local community to ensure that health care infrastructure development is responsive to patients’ needs.

6. Adult Social Care

  1. The Council will support the development of adult social care facilities that allow people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, rather than providing more space in care homes and nursing homes. 
  2. Where alterations to residential property are required to allow people to retain independence and stay in their home, the Council will support them subject to the normal controls on design and layout of residential properties and protection of neighbouring amenity. 
  3. The Council will only support the development of specialist care facilities in small units, to provide facilities for members of the community who cannot be cared for at home.  These will include facilities for specialist areas such as autism, profound physical and learning disabilities, where there is no local provision.
  4. The Council will look to expand the provision of extra care housing and will be working with Housing colleagues to identify sites that can be developed as an alternative to long term residential care.

7. Private Sector Provision
The Council supports, in principle, the provision of hospice accommodation at a location to be set out in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD. The Council will give consideration to allowing enabling development if it can be demonstrated that this is essentially required.

8. Developer Contributions
Any significant new developments that will have an adverse impact on the current accessibility and capacity of health care services will be required to contribute towards the community needs generated by the development and address any identified deficiencies in the locality that they generate or exacerbate.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.80 The Sustainable Communities Plan: Building for the Future highlights the important role of education and learning in contributing to the delivery of a sustainable community.  This policy aims to highlight the planned delivery of education and learning services and facilities that will benefit the existing and future community of Thurrock.  Other policies within the Core Strategy aim to ensure good accessibility to educational and learning and community services through a range of transport, access and other policies.  Further policies within the Core Strategy must be taken into account when seeking to achieve integration of education and learning with other facilities and services.

Thurrock Strategies and Plans

5.81 Thurrock’s Sustainable Community Strategy (2009) highlights a number of objectives related to education, including providing better access to learning opportunities for skills and personal development.  The Core Strategy highlights the spatial implications for providing better education and learning opportunities in Thurrock and for realising opportunities to co-locate and integrate with other services. 

5.82 Thurrock has a strategic vision for educational transformation; it is embodied in the Children and Young People’s Plan: this plan overarches all other strategies and plans for education and learning. Thurrock Council’s School Strategy 2020 Vision and plans for education emphasise the importance of integration of services to deliver the Every Child Matters agenda; integration through partnerships, collaboration, federations, and clusters is a central part of the vision for delivering education and learning. Therefore appropriately sized and located sites and high quality communications and transport infrastructure are essential for access and delivery.

5.83 Thurrock Council’s vision for education commits to developing a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to delivering the 14-19 curriculum entitlement.  In accordance with the Education and Skills Act 2008 Thurrock Council has arrangements in place to promote co-operation between the local authority, relevant partners such as the Learning Skills Council (LSC) or successors, and 14-19 providers, as part of the Children’s Trust.  The 14-19 Strategic Partnership, as a sub-set of the Children’s Trust is the key body for this work.  Thurrock Council, South Essex College, TTGDC, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Anglia Ruskin University, University of East Anglia, University of Essex and regional/local providers are leading implementation of co-located higher education in Thurrock at the Thurrock Learning Campus.  The Core Strategy supports the vision and highlights the development of the proposed Thurrock Learning Campus in Grays town centre and other higher educational facilities such as the linked Royal Opera House and National Skills Academy.

5.84 Thurrock Council is committed to developing its secondary education, training and community provision for young people and their families through the national programmes for Academies and Building Schools for the Future (BSF).  These programmes and developers’ obligations will substantially fund the enlargement, replacement and/or refurbishment of all secondary schools both mainstream and special.

5.85 Thurrock’s long-term aims for primary education are to raise and accelerate progress in attainment, raise aspirations, secure all through primary provision in all schools and provide for growth but also redress any marked imbalances between supply and demand.  Primary schools will be renovated and a few rebuilt: this will be substantially funded by the national Primary Capital Programme (PCP) and developers’ obligations.  Additional primary schools will be necessary where there are large housing developments.  The PCP includes both mainstream and special schools.

5.86 The Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s (TTGDC) Regeneration Framework: Transforming and Revitalising Thurrock encourages participation and attainment in lifelong learning and skills development by co-ordinating the input of partners to improve the pattern and take up of local education.  This vision has been carried forward into the TTGDC Spatial Plan, its masterplanning exercises, particularly in Grays Town Centre, and the Core Strategy.

5.87 It is the Council’s objective and priority to maximise the benefit of investment in buildings, grounds and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), to achieve educational transformation.  These are the three principal themes of transformation, with educational attainment our priority, to drive forward:

  • Education vision - focus on vision and defining the needs of the future and not just address today’s problems.
  • ICT integration - challenge how the teaching and learning opportunities from ICT affect the design of facilities and the delivery of curriculum.
  • Design - explore design opportunities for educational settings, for example learning spaces and security, and designs which are inspiring and memorable - places where students want to come and enjoy every day.

An essential part of achieving transformation is the relationship between these themes.


1. General Approach
In order to enhance educational achievement and skills in the Borough, the Council will work with the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF), the TTGDC, schools, learners, employers and other partners to ensure:

  1. The Council’s objective and priority to maximise the benefit of investment in buildings, grounds and ICT, to achieve educational transformation.
  2. The provision of pre-school, primary school, high school, further education and special education facilities meets current and future needs: where appropriate different levels of education may be located together.
  3. The integration of schools into multi-functional hubs with linkages to key facilities such as sports and leisure facilities, health and social care.
  4. Facilities in schools are fully integrated into community use where possible.
  5. Opportunities for learning and training facilities associated with new and existing businesses are realised (in particular, the Council will promote Enterprise and Learning Hubs, such as The Royal Opera House Production Campus and Skills Academy).
  6. The co-ordination of new educational provision with new development.
  7. The provision of high quality communications and transport infrastructure.
  8. ICT which maximises the benefits from its use for teaching and learning, and administration and communication, being available anytime anywhere for life-long learning, to engage parents and support integrated working to safeguard children.
  9. Environmental, economic and social (educational and community) sustainability.
  10. That educational opportunities are accessible to all.

2. Post 16 Education

The Council is working with partners to transform post-16 routes to achievement, increase choice and diversity for learners and parents, and improve educational services and facilities. The Council will pursue engagement between post-16 educational institutions and 14-19 partners.  Where appropriate this will include the creation of Trusts and Academies.  The Council will progress development schemes including:

  1. Thurrock Learning Campus, Grays - the plans for providing 21st Century facilities for further and higher education in Grays Town Centre are being progressed. A consortium including Thurrock Borough Council and four Higher Education Institutions will establish co-located higher education at the Thurrock Learning Campus;
  2. Palmer’s Sixth Form College, Grays;
  3. Additional Sixth Form Provision - a sixth form presumption at Gable Hall School resulting from the awarding of High Performing Specialist School status, sixth forms are also being put in place at the Gateway Academy, Ormiston Park and Chafford Hundred;
  4. The Royal Opera House together with the National Skills Academy for Creative Arts, Purfleet;
  5. The Logistics Academy at London Gateway, Stanford-le-hope / Corringham.

3. Secondary Education
To meet the educational, training and community needs of young people and their families for the period of this plan, the Council is committed to replace and improve mainstream secondary school provision and will work with partners to identify and/or confirm sites of an appropriate size and location for schools as set out in the School Strategy 2020 Vision including:

  1. New build, refurbishment and expansion of existing mainstream secondary schools under the BSF programme and other capital investments.
  2. Rebuild Belhus Chase School on its existing site as Ormiston Park Academy and safeguard adjoining land for long-term expansion.
  3. The priority is to provide additional school places at existing schools in the major regeneration areas and where appropriate to relocate schools to linked facilities identified in the Plan.

4. Primary Education
The Council has outlined a programme of refurbishment, expansion and new schools required to support long-term aims and growth in Regeneration Areas and other Broad Locations in the Plan; it includes:

  1. New additional primary schools in Purfleet and South Stifford;
  2. Long term - a further new primary school in Grays;
  3. Relocate and expand Chafford Hundred Primary School on adjoining land safeguarded for this use;
  4. Lakeside (to be addressed in other Local Development Documents);
  5. Through its Primary Capital Programme (PCP) new build, refurbishment and expansion of up to forty three existing mainstream primary schools.  This development will be phased by areas, prioritised according to high levels of deprivation and low levels of educational attainment.

5. Special Education
The Council and partners will support children with special educational needs through further development of specialist bases and resource bases at mainstream schools, as follows:

  1. Refurbishment and expansion of existing resource bases at mainstream primary and secondary schools as part of the PCP and BSF;
  2. Completion of the special education campus at Buxton Road, Grays by relocating Beacon Hill School there from South Ockendon.

6. Developer Contributions
Proposals for new development will be required to contribute towards education in accordance with Policy CSSP3, Policy PMD16 and the Developer Contributions SPD. 

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key diagram
Sites will be included in the Adopted Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.88 Adequate infrastructure such as emergency services and public utilities (police, ambulance, fire services, water, gas, electricity and sewerage) are essential for creating sustainable development of land for housing. Transport, open space, and health infrastructure are critical, but these have been covered in other policies in the plan. The Council will work with partners such as utility providers, the Local Strategic Partnership, the Police, the Community Safety group, and the Community and Voluntary sectors to ensure the provision of these facilities.

5.89 Future development in Thurrock will also put pressure on infrastructure. Without appropriate investment, further development will be neither sustainable nor acceptable. The infrastructure requirements of new development will need to be established, and the need for any infrastructure should be planned before development takes place. In many cases, this might be provided by developers in the form of contributions. This policy aims to ensure that key services are located in sustainable locations to promote service delivery for existing and future communities.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.90 The Thurrock Water Cycle Study (comprising Scoping Study, 2009; Outline Study, 2010; and Detailed Study, forthcoming) assesses the effect of the growth proposed for Thurrock in this Plan, under the terms of the RSS, on water cycle infrastructure and the water environment within the Thurrock study area.  The study determines where additional investment is required in order to (i) supply the new infrastructure required to support the housing growth, and (ii) to protect the water environment.  The Detailed Study will define in more detail the infrastructure requirements to support development in the Borough, and will enable Thurrock Council and its partners to determine when phased delivery of waste water infrastructure will be required, in parallel with the development of new housing, to safeguard the water quality of European Sites (Ramsar Sites, Special Protections Areas and Special Areas of Conservation) against increased volumes of waste water. The Thurrock Infrastructure Prioritisation and Implementation Programme (2010) assesses Thurrock’s infrastructure needs, including emergency services, health infrastructure and other community facilities and utilities, in light of the growth proposed in the Borough during the lifetime of the plan.

5.91 The Sustainable Community Strategy (2009) aims to ensure that Thurrock’s Third Sector will be thriving and providing high quality services according to identified needs. Clearly the inclusion of this policy aims to ensure that health, police, fire and statutory undertaker’s services and facilities are appropriately located to maximise service delivery for the existing and future Thurrock community.


1. The Council will work with partners to ensure the adequate provision of emergency services and utilities to meet existing and future needs. The Council will ensure that:

  1. Proposals for development will not be permitted unless the Council is satisfied that any consequential loss or impact on utility infrastructure or emergency services is fully mitigated.
  2. The Council will aim to facilitate co-location of services especially within community hubs where opportunities arise.
  3. The Council will ensure that services are easily accessible to minimise response times for the local community within Thurrock.
  4. The Council and partners will work with the Essex Local Resilience Forum in order to ensure that emergency services are able to reach all members of the community within Thurrock.
  5. The Council will work with partners to ensure that facilities and services are located and designed to be resilient to flood risk and other emergencies to ensure continuity of service in times of flood.
  6. Proposals for development will not be permitted unless the Council is satisfied that mechanisms to ensure the co-ordinated and timely delivery of utility infrastructure has been put in place.
  7. Proposals for development must provide for the phased delivery of any necessary new infrastructure linked to the phasing of development, particularly water supply and waste water treatment.

2. Key Schemes

  1. Emergency Services
    1. New police facilities at Purfleet.
    2. New ambulance station will be required to meet the needs of the growing population.
    3. Longer term relocation of Grays Fire Service station to a new location closer to Junction 30/31.
  2. Utilities
    1. New waste water sewer serving Purfleet and West Thurrock Area - already planned by Anglian Water Services and due to be built during by 2015.
    2. Potential upgrades to Tilbury Sewage Treatment Works to treat and discharge additional waste water flow generated by development.
    3. Proposed new power station at existing location in Tilbury.
  3. Funding and Developer Contributions
    1. Where new or improved utilities or services are required to serve the proposed development, which are unfunded by other means, the Council will require contributions in accordance with Policy CSSP3, Policy PMD16 and the Developer Contributions SPD.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.

Transport and access thematic policies


5.92 The Thurrock Transport Strategy 2008 - 2021 establishes the way in which congestion, road safety, air quality and enabling better access to services will be tackled in Thurrock. It sets out how transport improvements will be delivered between 2008 and 2021. The strategy will deliver better accessibility to services such as education (particularly further and higher education), employment, healthcare and other Regional Transport Nodes. This will be achieved first and foremost by reducing the need to travel, especially through policies and practices that will encourage the location of new development and delivery of services in places that have good levels of accessibility for people, especially the location of new education and hospital facilities.

5.93 The strategy is consistent with the subsequently issued NPPF which states that transport policies have an important role to play in facilitating sustainable development but also in contributing to wider  sustainability and health objectives.  It further states that plans and decisions should ensure that developments generating significant movement are located where the need to travel will be minimised and the use of sustainable transport modes can be maximised.  The priority will be to deliver accessibility improvements both where deprivation is most apparent and where significant levels of growth need to be accommodated sustainably. The strategy will give a priority to promoting active transport to improve health, a key element of which will be helping to deliver the Greengrid. Improved accessibility will also be delivered in a way that supports the large-scale jobs growth in Thurrock, such as widening the labour market.

5.94 The strategy will tackle congestion by focusing interventions on where congestion and poor journey reliability are having the most adverse impact on quality of life and on economic productivity and competitiveness.  This will mean tackling congestion as a priority around strategic employment sites and employment growth locations (much of the Thurrock Urban Area and London Gateway), and on the routes that provide access to strategic employment and ports, especially for freight traffic.

5.95 The strategy will achieve reduced congestion by, in priority order, delivering a modal shift to more sustainable modes of transport particularly in the urban areas (including Smarter Choices), improving the efficiency of the road transport network, and as a last resort providing additional highway infrastructure. This is broadly consistent with national policy as set out in the NPPF and the Government’s vision for the transport system as set out in the Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon White Paper.

Modal Shift: The movement of people and freight to more sustainable/alternative modes of transport including walking, cycling, public transport, and river transport.

Smarter Choices: These are techniques for influencing people's travel behaviour towards more sustainable options such as encouraging school, workplace and individualised travel planning. They also seek to improve public transport and marketing services such as travel awareness campaigns, setting up websites for car share schemes, supporting car clubs and encouraging teleworking.

5.96 In addition, the strategy will improve air quality and minimise emissions by reducing the need to travel and encouraging a modal shift (as described respectively in the accessibility and congestion strategies above), with benefits being most pronounced in areas suffering from both poor air quality and health deprivation.

5.97 The Road Safety Strategy, whilst aiming to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured, will take a proactive approach by reducing road danger and thereby promoting accessibility and community regeneration as a way of supporting other strategy areas. The strategy will therefore improve conditions for vulnerable road users and sustainable transport modes, and give priority to improving road safety in disadvantaged communities as well as around schools and major workplaces. In addition, the strategy will give a priority to casualty reduction where the resultant incident based congestion has the greatest adverse impact on economic productivity and competitiveness, such as routes to strategic employment locations, as well as on inter-urban public transport routes.



5.98 The Thurrock Urban Area (Key Centre for Development and Change) is the main focus for growth for new housing, employment and associated development extending from Purfleet, West Thurrock/ Lakeside, Grays, Chadwell St Mary to Tilbury. Focusing growth in these areas will improve accessibility, as it will enable people and services to be located closer together, including through the delivery of community infrastructure such as the Learning Campus at Grays. It also risks generating high levels of additional traffic in a constrained and highly populated urban area.

5.99 In order to achieve the delivery of growth in the Thurrock Urban Area, the policy will enable improvement in accessibility and achieve modal shift to improve the quality of life for residents.

5.100 Combined with parking controls, the improvement of sustainable transport modes can tackle congestion in urban areas by means of modal shift and improve economic productivity. The policy highlights the benefits of modal shift for reducing emissions, and the health benefits of active transport.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.101 The Thurrock Transport Strategy 2008 - 2021 recognised the necessity of improving sustainable transport modes, combined with good management of car parking, in order to deliver the planned growth sustainably. It plans to improve accessibility and prioritise road safety interventions so as to help tackle the high levels of deprivation in parts of the Thurrock Urban Area, and to promote a modal shift. The Sustainable Communities Strategy (Thurrock LSP 2009) priority sets out that roads, public transport networks and housing will be enhanced so that local people have better access to employment opportunities, other amenities and affordable housing.

5.102 The forecast traffic increases will result in considerable congestion (Infrastructure Deficit Study 2004 - 2021) and associated air pollution, and will therefore require strong interventions to make the growth deliverable and sustainable. Local policies are required to address challenges identified in the Thurrock Transport Strategy Evidence Base 2008), such as increasing the low levels of walking and cycling, making the most of the good levels of accessibility to local services, improving access to hospital and further education, building on modal shift achieved through travel planning, meeting the forecast demand for public transport, enabling access to and use of the Greengrid and helping to deliver the National Cycle Network Route 13, and managing the increased risk of walking and cycling accidents as a result of modal shift.


1. The Council will work with partners to deliver at least a 10% reduction in car traffic from forecast 2026 levels.  To achieve this the Council and partners will:

  1. Phase the delivery of a network of walking and cycling core routes, with priority in growth areas. These will be supported by widespread provision of good quality cycle parking facilities. The core routes will improve access to education, healthcare, transport interchanges, employment, sports facilities, the riverside, Grays town centre, and Lakeside Regional Shopping Centre. They will also form an integral and substantial part of the Greengrid. In fulfilling this role the core routes will also provide sustainable access from the urban doorstep to both strategic and local green space. Wherever possible the design and route selection will assist to deliver biodiversity enhancement and habitat corridors. 
  2. Implement widespread 20mph zones in residential areas in the Thurrock Urban Area. Priority will be in areas of deprivation, especially health deprivation, in order to create neighbourhoods that are safer for pedestrians and cyclists as well as residents.
  3. Deliver the National Cycle Network Route 13 by 2026.
  4. Improve public transport infrastructure in the Thurrock Urban Area through the phased delivery of the South Essex Rapid Transit (SERT) and other inter-urban public transport and bus priority, allowing fast and reliable services to the new Community Hospital and Learning Campus at Grays, Lakeside Regional Shopping Centre, and employment opportunities.
  5. Ensure new development promotes high levels of accessibility by sustainable transport modes and local services are conveniently located to reduce the need to travel by car.
  6. Employ Smarter Choices measures to change travel behaviour to achieve a reduction in forecast traffic and help to deliver better air quality and a better environment for job creation. Priority areas for Smarter Choices programmes include Grays and Lakeside.
  7. Identify priority areas such as Grays town centre and Lakeside Basin, for network efficiency improvement measures to address congestion and air quality issues. Other Air Quality Management Areas as well as growth/regeneration areas will undergo transport network improvements, including where improved access is required.
  8. Road space will be reorganised to improve the public realm and give further priority to sustainable modes at transport interchanges, with priority at Grays rail station.
  9. The maximum and minimum residential car parking standards and the maximum non-residential car parking standards will be reduced where accessibility is high.  This would principally be in areas within the vicinity of transport interchanges, inter-urban public transport routes, and town centres.

2. New Lakeside Regional Centre

The Council supports the transformation of the northern part of the Lakeside Basin into a new regional centre.  This will be achieved in policy through other Local Development Documents.  Regeneration and remodelling of the wider Lakeside Basin and West Thurrock areas will be taken forward with the following guiding principles:

  1. Securing more sustainable movement patterns, reduced private motor vehicle dependence and complementary travel demand management measures including an area-wide travel plan.
  2. Improving local accessibility and connectivity by public transport and pedestrian and cyclist permeability throughout the area including consideration of ways to reconnect the north and the south of the area, a high frequency service rail station in the south, and a personal rapid transit system.
  3. Providing the necessary improvements to the local and strategic road network.
  4. Introduction of a car parking charging and management regime.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram
Transport proposals will be included in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and on the Proposals Map, where appropriate.



5.103 Greater Thurrock consists of the areas outside of the Thurrock Urban Area (Key Centre for Development and Change). Although settlements such as South Ockendon, Aveley, East Tilbury and Corringham/Stanford-le-Hope will accommodate some degree of growth, they will be a focus for regeneration including provision of a limited number of additional homes as well as jobs, community facilities and services. Development such as the London Gateway will constitute the main employment growth area in Greater Thurrock. It is important that development contributes to improvements in accessibility, especially by sustainable transport, and ensures that communities can enjoy the benefits of growth.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.104 The Thurrock Transport Strategy 2008 - 2021 plans to focus accessibility improvements in Greater Thurrock on helping to deliver the Greengrid strategy and on supporting Demand Responsive Transport, especially to link up with good public transport services. The Sustainable Communities Strategy (Thurrock LSP 2009) aims to improve access to sustainable modes of transport, promote healthy lifestyles, and improve the natural environment, as well as overall try to enable existing as well as new communities to benefit from development.

5.105 A number of transport challenges were identified in the Thurrock Transport Strategy Evidence Base (2008), such as building on recent improvements to public transport accessibility and the availability of Demand Responsive Transport, improving accessibility to further education and hospitals by public transport, ensuring the most is made of a Rights of Way network that is easy to use, delivering accessibility to London Gateway and the Thurrock Urban Area, and implementing the School Travel Plans.

5.106 The Greengrid Strategy 2006-2011 recognises that improved green access links which enable movement of people and wildlife between countryside and strategic openspace to doorstep spaces, is key to maximising the benefits of all green spaces. The Greengrid Strategy for Thurrock 2006-2011 is supported by the Thurrock Open Space Strategy 2006-2011, the Thurrock Biodiversity Study 2006-2011 and the Green Infrastructure Plan for Thurrock 2006-2011.


In Greater Thurrock, accessibility, especially to work, education and healthcare, will be improved. To achieve this the Council and partners will:

  1. Promote and support the use of passenger services that respond to demand particularly in areas with poor accessibility.
  2. Integrate local passenger transport services with the inter-urban public transport routes such as SERT.
  3. Prioritise Rights of Way/Bridleway improvements, such as the Mardyke Valley route, that contribute to the development of the Greengrid.
  4. Develop local walking and cycle routes that link to the Thurrock urban area and that link the National Cycle Network Route 13 to employment. Access to London Gateway will be a priority. These local routes will also form an integral part of the Greengrid strategic and local green links.  Wherever possible the design and route selection will assist to deliver biodiversity enhancement and habitat corridors.
  5. Support more sustainable and healthy travel patterns through school and workplace travel plans, particularly in South Ockendon and in accessing London Gateway.  The latter should include improved public transport interchange at Stanford-le-Hope railway station and with SERT, to connect with local bus services to London Gateway. 
  6. Growth or regeneration areas will also undergo transport network improvements where new accesses are required, particularly for sustainable transport modes.
  7. Ensure new development, especially London Gateway, promotes high levels of accessibility by sustainable transport modes and local services are conveniently located to reduce the need to travel by car.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram
Transport proposals will be included in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and on the Proposals Map, where appropriate.



5.107 Although most of the growth in Thurrock will be in the Thurrock Urban Area, as well as at the London Gateway development, considerable growth will take place just outside the Borough as part of the wider Thames Gateway growth and regeneration. Thurrock is also an area of port-related activity and industry generating considerable and growing numbers of HGVs, which require access to destinations well beyond Thurrock. All this means that travel demand for both HGVs and people along key corridors is considerable and is forecast to grow.

5.108 Supporting economic growth by ensuring sustainable, high quality and reliable access to key employment locations and the ports is critical. This will be achieved by enabling more inter-urban movements to be made by public transport, thereby improving accessibility, as well as achieving modal shift and a consequent reduction in emissions.

5.109 The NPPF indicates that the transport system needs to be balanced in favour of sustainable transport modes.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.110 The Thurrock Transport Strategy 2008 - 2021 plans to achieve a modal shift onto a high quality inter-urban public transport network, with high quality bus routes where rail does not exist. Where modal shift is not sufficient to ease congestion on those routes important for the Thurrock economy, it plans to ease congestion by improving highway capacity and to complement this with a high priority being given to tackling incidents, such as accidents, that cause sporadic congestion.

5.111 According to the Thurrock Transport Strategy Evidence Base (2008) and the Infrastructure Deficit Study 2004 - 2021, the situation in Thurrock creates many challenges that need addressing including providing transport choices for the high levels of in and out-commuting, continuing the recent increase in bus and train use to facilitate the forecast demand for public transport, improving accessibility to non-local services such as hospital and further education, overcoming the remoteness of London Gateway from the urban area, and addressing congestion and capacity issues adversely affecting key pieces of infrastructure (with knock-on impacts for local roads), such as parts of the A13, M25 and also some rail stations.


1. The Council will work with partners to deliver improvements to national and regional transport networks to ensure growth does not result in routes being above capacity. Public transport improvements will be prioritised in order to achieve a modal shift. To achieve this the Council and partners will:

  1. Develop a high quality network of inter-urban public transport routes offering a minimum of a half hourly frequency during the day, linking the Thurrock Urban Area with other Regional Transport Nodes and London.
  2. Improve capacity by lengthening platforms at key railway stations.
  3. Provide a route linking Thurrock Urban Area to Basildon through SERT by 2016 followed by additional routes to other Regional Transport Nodes.
  4. Improve passenger connections that make use of the River Thames, such as linking Tilbury and Gravesend.
  5. Improve capacity and connections between modes of transport at key transport interchanges such as rail stations. Priority will be given to:
    1. Improvements of inter-urban public transport routes and connections, and especially access to Strategic Employment Sites.
    2. Improvements at Grays, Stanford-le-Hope, Chafford Hundred/ Lakeside, Tilbury, and Purfleet, and a new rail station at West Thurrock.
  6. Target key economically important routes for accident reduction interventions.
  7. Support the delivery of additional highway capacity, including through the use of technology and information, but only where modal shift will be insufficient to address congestion. Opportunities will be taken to improve public transport as part of any enhancements. Priority will be given to routes that provide access, especially for freight, to Strategic Employment Sites, the ports at London Gateway, Tilbury and Purfleet, and regeneration areas. This will include:
    1. M25 between junctions 27 and 30
    2. M25 junction 30
    3. A13 from A128 to A1014
    4. A13 and A1089 junction improvement
    5. A1014 from A13 to London Gateway

2. Thurrock Council will, with the Highways Agency and relevant stakeholders where appropriate, identify cost effective interim measures to deliver sustainable and efficient national and regional transportation infrastructure within Thurrock.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram
Transport proposals will be included in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and on the Proposals Map, where appropriate.



5.112 Thurrock is traditionally an area of port-related and freight activity. Growth over the plan period, particularly the London Gateway development and Tilbury port, is forecast to increase freight activity, especially HGVs. The policy will support economic growth by ensuring sustainable, high quality and reliable freight access to the ports and other key employment locations, whilst minimising the adverse impacts such activity might have on people, the environment and the transport system.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.113 The Thurrock Transport Strategy 2008 - 2021 plans to support a Freight Quality Partnership and to use this and other means to achieve a freight modal shift onto rail and the River Thames, to ensure HGVs use the most appropriate roads around Thurrock, and to reduce harmful pollution from HGVs. It also supported improved lorry parking provision.

5.114 The Thurrock Transport Strategy Evidence Base (2008) along with the Infrastructure Deficit Study 2004 - 2021 identified a number of challenges including the worsening congestion on key roads such as the A13, concerns about the capacity of the rail network to deliver freight modal shift and continue the increasing use of rail freight, opportunities for moving freight on the River Thames, the adverse impact on air pollution with this spreading eastward with the development of London Gateway, increasing CO2 emissions, and HGVs parking in residential areas and other inappropriate places.


The Council will support the logistics and port sectors, and the positive impacts of freight activity in Thurrock and beyond, by:

1. Facilitating a shift to rail freight and freight carried on the River Thames. This will be through

  1. Protecting inter-modal, rail and water-borne freight facilities from other development at locations where a demand exists or is expected to exist.
  2. Promoting the use of rail and water borne freight facilities by supporting the development of appropriate infrastructure.
  3. Supporting improvements to facilitate sustainable freight movements, including the rail hub at London Gateway, the South West Thurrock Railhead and improving access to the ports.

2. Facilitating the provision of 24 hour lorry parks at Tilbury Port, London Gateway and West Thurrock. Subject to compliance with other policies in this plan, other lorry parks will be considered in locations where demand can be shown to exist, which are located away from residential areas and have good access to the Strategic Road Network

3. Working as part of a Freight Quality Partnership and with other relevant partners, in order to:

  1. Maximise modal shift opportunities.
  2. Ensure freight traffic keeps to the most suitable routes as defined in Thurrock Council’s Road Network Hierarchy.
  3. Promote the use of less polluting freight vehicles.
  4. Reduce the adverse impact of congestion caused by road freight on the A13, A1089, and A1306. 

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram
Transport proposals will be included in the Site Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and on the Proposals Map, where appropriate.

Environment Thematic Policies



5.115 The Thurrock Green Infrastructure Plan is a key delivery document for the Sustainable Community Strategy. Its principle puts natural environment features and processes at the centre of land use management and development of both private and public land. Green Infrastructure assets include both large and small scale, natural and developed land, such as rivers and flood plains, road and railway corridors, civic spaces, private gardens, street trees, green roofs, cemeteries and churchyards, productive land, vacant and derelict land.

5.116 Thurrock’s approach is to ensure the provision of a multi-functional landscape and maximise connections between assets.  It will deliver a network of green assets and green links to serve and connect the urban and rural areas and their communities, enhance local landscape character and promote a sense of place for Thurrock. A key element of the Green Infrastructure approach is the use of green assets for multiple functions. Green Infrastructure has a wider approach than open space and aims to influence private land holdings as well as public land.

Green Infrastructure provides a number of ‘ecosystem services’:

  • Supporting services: soil formation, photosynthesis, primary production, nutrient cycling and water cycling. 
  • Provisioning services: food, fuel (especially low-carbon/renewable resources), genetic resources, ornamental resources and fresh water.
  • Regulating services: air quality regulation, climate regulation (e.g. reducing urban ‘heat island’ effects, providing shade and windbreaks), improved water resource and waste management, storm water surcharge and flood risk reduction and erosion control. 
  • Cultural services: spiritual enrichment, landscape values such as heritage interpretation, recreation and aesthetic experiences.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.117 The Greengrid Strategy 2006-2011 recognises that improved green access links between green assets is key to maximising the benefits derived from green assets for residents, workers and visitors to the Borough. 

5.118 The Green Infrastructure Plan for Thurrock 2006-2011, sits within the Thurrock Greengrid Strategy 2006-2011 along with the Thurrock Open Spaces Strategy 2006-2011 and the Thurrock Biodiversity Study 2006-2011. It identifies green assets as having the potential to perform multiple functions and details the appropriate Green Infrastructure to be delivered to address deficiencies and meet the needs of the growing population.  There is a need to enhance existing provision to ensure that it meets the standards set out in the Council’s Community Spaces and Open Spaces Study (2005). It also identifies many examples of Green Infrastructure assets in addition to potential sites for creation or enhancement of green infrastructure assets including:

  • the creation of a new, multi-functional country park at the Cory Landfill site, Mucking;
  • enhancement of multifunctional greenspace at Belhus Park, sports hub and associated woods complex, East Thurrock Marshes and Blackshots sports hub; and
  • flood management opportunities within the Mardyke valley, and Fobbing and Mucking Marshes areas.

5.119 A Landscape Strategy for Thurrock 2002-2017 confirms the Council’s commitment to conserving and enhancing the landscape character of the Borough, and sets out specific features to be preserved and enhanced.  Within this there are opportunities to improve the quality of the urban fringe through the provision of new woodland planting, hedgerow planting and other habitat improvements.  This may also come through allowing appropriate uses in the countryside, such as informal recreation and access, which is further addressed in the Well-Being: Leisure and Sports policy.

5.120 The Thurrock Landscape Capacity Study (2005) sets out the landscape character areas for Thurrock. This informs the policy which aims to ensure that:

  • The landscape character types which give Thurrock its sense of place are identified and valued;
  • Key characteristics which contribute to each character type and create local distinctiveness are recognised;
  • Key landscape qualities desirable to safeguard are identified; and
  • Key landscape conditions and options for sustainable development are identified.


1. Green Infrastructure Network

  1. The Council, with its partners, will restore, protect, enhance and where appropriate create its green assets. The Green Infrastructure seeks to address the connectivity between urban and rural areas in the Borough and ensure that such green assets are multi-functional in use.  Green assets can be those in public or private ownership and can be legally protected or covered by non-statutory designations. 

2. A net gain and New Development

  1. The Council will require a net gain in Green Infrastructure. This will contribute to addressing the existing and developing deficiencies, ensuring connectivity and relieving pressure on designated biodiversity sites such as SSSI’s.
  2. Alongside the requirements for biodiversity set out in Policy CSTP19, development must contribute to the delivery of Green Infrastructure, including the acquisition, planning, design and ongoing management consistent with the emerging Greengrid SPD. A key element of this will be connectivity and the integrity of the network; sites should not be considered in isolation.
  3. Opportunities to increase Green Infrastructure will be pursued in new developments through the incorporation of features such as green roofs, green walls and other habitat/wildlife creation and also innovative technology.
  4. Green Infrastructure assets will be identified, enhanced and safeguarded through:
    1. Not permitting development that compromises the integrity of green and historic assets and that of the overall Green Infrastructure network;
    2. Using developer contributions to facilitate improvements to the quality, use and provision of multi-functional green assets and green linkages; and
    3. Investment from external funding sources.

3. Deficits

Where there is an identified deficit the Council will require the creation of green assets including parks and gardens; natural and semi-natural spaces; amenity greens; children’s play space; and outdoor sports facilities. Developments in areas of deficiency should provide for the supply and ongoing management of new areas of high quality natural and semi-natural space to address the new demand for green infrastructure. The guidance for provision of Green Infrastructure will be identified in the Greengrid SPD.

4. Programmes

  1. The Council will work with partners to develop and implement Green Infrastructure through an area-based Greengrid Improvement Zones at a local level as necessary in order to deliver the green infrastructure in accordance with the overarching objectives of the Greengrid Strategy.
  2. The Council will lead in Green Infrastructure management through developing best practice biodiversity enhancement throughout both urban-amenity and infrastructure land. This will be coordinated by programmes of education and community engagement and will support the development of environmental skills training in the region.
  3. Allocations for new Green Infrastructure for Lakeside will be identified in other relevant Development Plan Documents.  
  4. The Council will identify projects to enhance the network further by improving the quality of existing provision and create new facilities to address existing deficiencies and serve the increasing population and to improve links between sites. 

Key Diagram and Maps

Map 3: Location of Greengrid
Map 5: Location of Strategic Biodiversity Sites
Green Infrastructure proposals will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.121 Thurrock has unique biodiversity significance owing to a combination of factors, including its geology, orientation and microclimate together with past and present land-uses.  The large amount of brownfield land that has been left unmanaged has resulted in significant plant and invertebrate communities. There are features such as the River Thames, remnants of the Thames Terrace grasslands and the coastal marshes that also support a rich collection of marine and terrestrial species; however much has been lost to agriculture or industrial uses.  More detail about the priority habitats and species within the Borough is provided in the Thurrock Biodiversity Action Plan (2006).

Thurrock has a number of sites designated for their wildlife importance. This includes:

  • 1 Ramsar site
  • 1 Special Protection Area (SPA)
  • 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • 12 Wildlife Corridors
  • 11 Habitat Chains/clusters
  • 2 Local Nature Reserves

5.122 There are also other sites contributing to the network that have considerable biodiversity value but which are not statutorily protected, including 70 Local Wildlife Sites and 69 Potential Local Wildlife Sites.  While some species have specific legal protection, many Red Data Book and/or UK Biodiversity Action Plan species are not formally protected but are of particular importance to Thurrock due to the presence of a diverse assemblage of invertebrates, many of which are nationally scarce.  It is important therefore that consideration is given as to how best to protect sites with particularly rich assemblages.

5.123 Biodiversity is not solely about site protection, but can be achieved through choosing to use native species and adopting appropriate management regimes. This policy seeks to protect sites of existing biodiversity value and to develop an ecological network that is sufficiently robust to withstand the impacts of additional development and climate change.  The substantial growth planned for the Borough should not be to the detriment of the biodiversity of the area.  New development should understand and respect this, and not lead to any net loss of species or habitats.  There are opportunities to achieve benefits for biodiversity through the way land is managed.

5.124 The Biodiversity: The UK Action Plan published in 1994, sets out broad strategies for biodiversity conservation in the UK for the next 20 years. A UK Biodiversity Steering Group was set up, and its report published in 1995 gave more detailed action plans for species and habitats of highest priority for conservation action. The report also promoted Local Biodiversity Action Plans as a means of implementing the national plan. Currently Geodiversity Action Plans are being developed by local 'geo' groups in Eastern England as part of the East of England Geodiversity Partnership. Sites within Thurrock will be key elements in the plans.

5.125 Essex Biodiversity Action Plan (1999) was developed by a steering group of representatives from local authorities, statutory agencies and voluntary organisations. The plan selects species and habitats from the UK list that are appropriate to Essex and also others of local conservation value, and details actions to be taken.  The EBAP currently contains action plans for the 25 species and 10 habitats.  The EBAP is currently being rewritten.  Essex Wildlife Trust has identified seven Living Landscape areas either wholly or partly within the Borough.  All of these are situated close to the main growth locations and therefore will bring important landscape, biodiversity and recreational benefits for residents. The Council supports the development of Living Landscapes as a tool for addressing the issues of habitat loss and fragmentation at a landscape scale.  The first step is to develop clear visions with action plans setting out how the areas of biodiversity significance can be improved.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.126 The Thurrock Biodiversity Study 2006-2011 and Thurrock Biodiversity Action Plan 2007-2012 aims to conserve priority species and habitats in Thurrock.This Biodiversity Action Plan identifies the key biodiversity habitats and species for Thurrock and aims to:

  • Raise awareness of Thurrock's important biodiversity species and habitats to the people of Thurrock.
  • Outline an action programme to help protect and enhance Thurrock's priority species and habitats.
  • Encourage developers and planners to integrate biodiversity improvements into new development.

5.127 There are a mix of designated sites within the Borough including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  Some of these are also protected under international legislation and agreements including Special Protection Areas that are protected under EC Directive on the conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC) and Ramsar sites.  There are currently two Local Nature Reserves declared under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, with plans to declare further sites. 


Development will be encouraged to include measures to contribute positively to the overall biodiversity in the Borough.  

1. The Biodiversity Network
The Council will create a robust network of ecological sites centring on the designated sites, i.e. SSSIs, SPAs, Ramsar, Local Nature Reserves and Local Wildlife Sites.  These sites will be safeguarded and enhanced to mitigate the effects of past habitat loss and fragmentation, development and climate change. 

2. Positive Biodiversity Management

  1. The Council will ensure that all designated sites are managed appropriately and will prepare suitable Biodiversity Management Plans, with partners, to demonstrate how positive management will be achieved. 
  2. Buffering and extensions to existing sites and additional habitat will be sought through the adoption of appropriate Biodiversity Site Management Plans. 
  3. Access will be balanced against biodiversity interest.

3. Key Sites
The Council has identified the following key sites that it will work with partners to enhance, and will pursue appropriate opportunities to increase the biodiversity network in the Borough.

  1. East Thurrock Marshes;
  2. Mardyke Valley Project;
  3. Local Wildlife Sites; and
  4. Living Landscapes Sites.

4. Climate Change and Habitat Loss

The Council recognises the need for mitigation for habitat loss due to climate change. It supports the identification, through the Thames Estuary 2100 project, of potential inter-tidal habitat creation sites at Fobbing Marshes and East Tilbury, and fresh water habitat creation sites at North Fobbing Marshes, South Fobbing Marshes, Tilbury and West Tilbury Marshes and the Mardyke.

5. Biodiversity and Geodiversity Action Plans

  1. The Council is committed to delivering the actions set out within the Thurrock, Essex and UK Biodiversity Action Plans.
  2. The Council will promote small-scale biodiversity interventions such as green roofs.   
  3. The Council supports the production and implementation of the Geodiversity Action Plans being developed by local 'geo' groups in Eastern England as part of the East of England Geodiversity Partnership.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram.
Map 5: Location of Strategic Biodiversity Sites.
Where appropriate sites will be identified on the Proposals Map and included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD.



5.128 Thurrock has a broad range of existing public open spaces, parks, and recreational areas, from Country Parks to amenity green spaces, with a range of equipped play spaces and natural play areas. These spaces provide varied opportunities for formal and informal active and passive recreation and make an important contribution to Thurrock’s Green Infrastructure and the Greengrid. Thurrock’s evidence base shows that there are a number of areas in the Borough that are deficient in good quality, accessible public open spaces.

5.129 The open space policy will ensure a network of high quality, accessible public open spaces is provided, maintained and enhanced for the benefit of Thurrock’s residents, visitors and investors. 

5.130 A high quality, accessible and well-used open space network can:

  • improve social cohesion,
  • provide a sense of place,
  • provide a learning environment for adults and children,
  • encourage investment and local economic development,
  • improve the health and well-being of individuals and the community,
  • reduce opportunities for crime and the fear of crime; and
  • help protect and enhance the natural environment, its systems and the services it can offer.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.131 The Open Spaces Strategy 2006-2011, which sits within the Thurrock Greengrid Strategy 2006-2011, identifies a network of open spaces, many with heritage and biodiversity value.  The recommendations in the Open Spaces Strategy will help Thurrock and external partners to deliver a network of high quality open space that will serve the whole community, now and in the future.   The Council’s Community Needs and Open Spaces Study (2005) assesses open space including parks and gardens, amenity green spaces, children’s play space, allotments and community gardens.  The report sets out current provision levels, and confirms local deficits throughout the Borough.  It identifies a need to enhance existing open space provision to ensure that it meets the standards for quality, quantity and accessibility as set out in the Open Spaces Strategy 2006-2011.


  1. The Council will seek to ensure that a diverse range of accessible public open spaces, including natural and equipped play and recreational spaces is provided and maintained to meet the needs of the local community.
  2. New provision will be encouraged particularly to address areas of deficiency as identified in the Open Space Strategy.  Areas identified include:
    1. Purfleet;
    2. West Thurrock/Lakeside Basin;
    3. Chafford Hundred;
    4. South Chafford;
    5. Grays;
    6. Parts of South Ockendon and Aveley;
    7. North Stifford;
    8. Parts of Chadwell St Mary;
    9. Parts of Tilbury;
    10. Parts of Stanford-le-Hope; and
    11. Horndon-on-the-Hill.
  3. Proposals for new development must ensure the adequate provision of a range of accessible, high quality open space, including natural and semi-natural green space. Consideration must be given to the open space standards for open space provision within new developments set out in the Layout and Standards SPD and Appendix 5.  
  4. Wherever possible, open spaces should be identified, planned, designed and managed as areas that can perform multiple functions.  Functions to be considered in the planning, design and management of open spaces include:
    1. strategic functions (buffering and linkages);
    2. biodiversity;
    3. climate change mitigation and adaptation;
    4. historic interest;
    5. urban quality;
    6. health and well-being;
    7. sustainable transport and movement;
    8. productivity of land (food production, allotments);
    9. community use (places for congregating and events) and
    10. visual amenity.
  5. The Council will work towards the achievement of Green Flag status for Thurrock’s public parks.

Funding and Developer Contributions

The Council and partners will require developer contributions and pursue opportunities for external funding for open space improvement through capital funding streams or via successful bids to other funding bodies.

Key Diagram and Maps

Map 3: Location of Greengrid
Sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.132 The landscape in Thurrock comprises a matrix of land uses and has been shaped by the underlying geology, hydrology, soil quality, woodland and agricultural practices.  As part of the multi-functional Green Infrastructure approach, it is recognised that land is a limited resource and as such, it is important to ensure a mix of appropriate uses that maximise productive use of land alongside other uses such as biodiversity sites and open space. The productive land policy will ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of productive land and soil throughout the Borough. The policy seeks to ensure appropriate management, opportunities for food production in urban areas and to support the rural economy.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.133 The Thurrock Greengrid Strategy emphasis the importance of recognising the economic value of food production, promoting local food production and distribution.


The Council recognises the importance of food security and will ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of agriculture, productive land and soil in the Borough.

1. Ensuring appropriate land management

  1. The Council will promote the appropriate management and conservation of agricultural land and soil to address the changing climatic and economic environment anticipated in the future.
  2. Development of the best and most versatile land (DEFRA Grades 1, 2 and 3) will not be supported except in exceptional circumstances. Developers will need to demonstrate that:
    1. there is no suitable site in a sustainable location on land of poorer agricultural quality; or
    2. alternative sites have greater value for their landscape, biodiversity, amenity, heritage or natural resources or are subject to other constraints such as flooding.
  3. The Council will take into account the importance and quality of agricultural land when considering land allocation for climate change adaptation/mitigation activities such as new fresh and salt-water habitat.

2. Supporting productivity

i. The Council, with its partners, will support the rural economy through:

  1. Recognising and promoting the economic value of local food production and distribution.
  2. Promoting farming and local food co-operatives and supporting rural grant applications.
  3. Promoting and encouraging the expansion of agri-environment schemes.
  4. Maintaining and enhancing soil quality and resilience and optimising the areas where soil degradation has occurred.
  5. Encouraging energy-efficiency and renewable energy in agriculture.
  6. Promoting sustainable water use.
  7. Promoting woodland creation in appropriate places.

3. Complementary uses

  1. The Council will encourage farm diversification where appropriate through the development of complementary small-scale businesses, which do not undermine nor degrade agricultural capacity. Businesses such as:
    1. Rural shops, pubs and services which contribute to maintaining the clusters of facilities serving the rural community;
    2. Country pursuits that make a significant contribution to rural areas and have the potential to expand the leisure and tourism industry.
  2. The Council will support sustainable transport for rural access.

4. Allotments and urban production

  1. The Council will support opportunities to engage residents in food production to increase education and awareness of healthy living.
  2. The Council will seek to identify opportunities for food production in urban areas including allotments, community gardens and orchards.
  3. Developers will be required to consider provision for allotments in new development in line with the standards in the Greengrid Strategy and Appendix 5.
  4. Some areas of Thurrock have been identified as being deficient in quality sites for allotments.  The following allotment areas have been identified as sites for improvements to allotments:
    1. Anchor Field;
    2. Bull Meadow;
    3. Cromwell Road;
    4. Thurloe Walk;
    5. Whitehall Lane;
    6. West Road;
    7. Adams Road;
    8. Wharf Road; and
    9. High Road.
  5. Where deficiencies exist in small-scale allotments in rural areas, the Council will identify potential sites and any improvements to these sites.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Map 3: Location of Greengrid.
Sites will be included in the Adopted Sites Specific Allocations and Policies DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



Good design is crucial to achieving Thurrock’s environmental, economic and social objectives, including enhancing the environment and improving the quality of life and the prospects of those who live in the Borough.

The Council wants to promote an understanding of good design in Thurrock that extends beyond the quality of the architecture of individual buildings and encompasses the effect of development on the environment, character and quality of Thurrock as a whole. All development has the potential to contribute to the objectives of the Borough and should be designed to do so, integrating into and enhancing the Thurrock Greengrid, contributing to efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change, contributing to the local economy and the quality of life of residents and delivering sustainable development throughout the Borough.   

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.136 Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s (TTGDC) Spatial Plan (2007) reiterates the Council’s commitment to promoting the success of Thurrock through development of high quality, which reinforces local community identities.  The Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership’s Delivering the Future (2003) stresses the role of high quality design in the regeneration of the region.

5.137 Thurrock Council has adopted the Essex Design Guide (Essex County Council, 1997) as Supplementary Planning Guidance to inform the design of housing and covers such aspects as layout, landscaping, access, garaging and parking, services, building design and materials.  Although some parts of this document have been superseded by subsequent policy documents, it provides a solid basis for design.

5.138 This policy is informed by Thurrock Council’s Urban Character Study (2005), which assesses the features of each settlement.  Volume 2 (Design Exercises) includes design case studies undertaken to inform the capacity estimates including four ‘design exemplar’ sites within Thurrock. The Council is preparing a Sustainability Checklist. Under the Sustainability Checklist, development over specific thresholds will be required to demonstrate social, environmental and economic elements have been addressed to the satisfaction of the Council.


The Council will promote high quality design in Thurrock and will progress opportunities to improve the quality of the environment throughout the Borough and particularly in the Regeneration Areas and Key Strategic Employment Hubs.

  1. Development proposals must demonstrate high quality design founded on a thorough understanding of, and positive response to, the local context.
  2. The Council will promote a robust design process with the use of skilled designers so that proposals achieve the best balance of physical, social, economic and environmental outcomes.
  3. In particular, the Council requires developers to demonstrate that their proposals are designed to respect the distinct positive characteristics of areas within Thurrock, whether urban or rural, and create a sense of place within their schemes.
  4. Development must provide a high standard of inclusive design so that it is accessible to all users.
  5. Development must be safe and secure in its design and contribute to community safety.
  6. The Council will encourage distinctive new designs of high architectural quality in appropriate locations.
  7. Development must embrace the use of high quality design including sustainable, renewable resources of energy and low-emissions technology, and enhance Green Infrastructure.
  8. The Council will require that developments address the particular sensitivities and capacity of the places within which they occur, including how adverse impacts are mitigated.

Pre-application discussions with developers will be encouraged to help achieve the above and to ensure that the criteria set out in Policy PMD2 Design and Layout and other related policies are met. 

The Council will provide further guidance on Thurrock’s design principles in the Design and Sustainability SPD.

Key Diagram and Maps

Not Applicable



5.139 The character of a place or area is derived from the recognisable and consistent patterns of natural, historic and built elements within it, which make it different or distinct from another place or area. Thurrock recognises that protecting and promoting the best elements of the Borough’s character and strengthening its sense of place provides benefits for community cohesion, the quality of life, and economic growth. 

5.140 Thurrock is broadly characterised into areas of coastal marshes, the Thames terrace, rolling hills and rural villages in the north and larger residential and industrial areas in the south and east. Thurrock’s landscape includes large scale landmarks and fragmented but highly valued areas of historic interest, biodiversity and amenity value. The resulting character is of surprising contrast and juxtaposition of local and micro-character areas.

5.141 Thurrock’s proximity to London and its position as a transport gateway is reflected in its historical land-use features, as well as the existing pressures created by its busy road and rail network. The transport and energy infrastructures have resulted in the physical and visual subdivision of the Borough and significant decline in amenity and tranquillity values. Waste management and mineral working combined with incremental change in urban and rural areas has degraded the quality and cohesion of the Borough’s character.

5.142 The requirement for increased housing in Thurrock exerts pressure on both the industrial river frontage of the Thames and the central swathe of rural Green Belt, while the transport agenda also remains central and will have major implications for the character and sense of place of the Borough.  Residential areas are subject to proposals for infill and backland development but some of these areas have distinctive characters which would be degraded by such development.  Thurrock character studies identify five broad types: Fenland, Rolling Farmland / Wooded Hills, Marsh, Urban Fringe and Urban which are distributed into 23 distinct landscape character areas, 14 urban character areas and 7 villages. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the character of Thurrock is preserved and improved.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies  

5.143 The Urban Character Study (2005) assesses the features of each settlement. Other Studies include, Thurrock Landscape Capacity Study (2005), Essex County Council’s Thurrock Unitary Historic Environment Characterisation Study (2009), Landscape Character Assessment and Thurrock Urban Character Study- Recognising the sense of place (2007).

5.144 Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s (TTGDC) Spatial Plan (2007) reiterates the Council’s commitment to promoting the success of Thurrock through development of high quality, which reinforces local community identities. 


The Council will protect, manage and enhance the character of Thurrock to ensure improved quality and strengthened sense of place.

  1. The Council identifies the following key areas where character is a key issue:
    1. Regeneration Areas
    2. Lakeside Basin
    3. Strategic Employment Hubs
    4. High volume transport networks
    5. Urban Fringe
    6. Town/Village centres
    7. Historically Sensitive Areas
    8. Strategic Natural and Semi- Natural Spaces
    9. Strategic Multifunctional Green Space
    10. Rural landscapes
    11. Green Belt
    12. Wooded Hills
    13. Residential Precincts comprising distinctly spacious residential areas and the intensively developed Homesteads ward
    14. Small scale sites where development may contribute to cumulative degradation.
  2. The Council requires the retention and enhancement of significant natural, historic and built features which contribute to the character of the Borough as defined by their value, quality, cultural association and meaning or their relationship to the setting and local context.
  3. The Council requires the retention and enhancement of strategic and local views, which contribute to a distinctive sense of place.  Where development will affect these views, their sensitivity and capacity for change must be adequately assessed and the effect of the development on them appropriately tested.  

In order to assess the sensitivity and capacity for change of Thurrock’s character, the Council will require an assessment based on The Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, or other methodology supported by the Council.

The Council will provide further guidance in the Design and Sustainability SPD.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Map 4: Location of Landscape Character Areas
Residential Precincts are identified on the Interim Adopted Proposals Map.



5.145 The Council is committed to preserving or enhancing Thurrock’s historic environment, in accordance with the wishes of the community and other stakeholders as determined through consultation.  Thurrock’s historic environment includes a range of heritage assets:  

  • The significant surviving historic urban fabric of the towns and other settlements.
  • The cohesive hierarchy of smaller settlements ranging from nucleated villages, often marked by architecturally significant medieval parish churches, through a pattern of dispersed hamlets and isolated farms.
  • The historic coastal zone, which includes extensive submerged prehistoric landscapes, ancient salt manufacturing and fishing facilities, the relict sea walls of grazing marshes and ancient ports.
  • The outstanding regional and nationally important defence and military coastal fortifications, which reflect the strategic importance of the Thames Estuary, including Tilbury Fort and Coalhouse Fort.  The former is of international significance. 
  • Formal planned settlements of the early twentieth century including the factory village of Bata at East Tilbury.
  • Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings and historic parks and gardens, including both their fabric and their settings.
  • Rural landscapes as identified in English Heritage’s Historic Landscape Characterisation Study (2004), Thurrock’s Landscape Capacity Study (2005) and Essex County Council’s Thurrock Unitary Historic Environment Characterisation Project (2009).
  • Ancient woodland, hedgerows and trees.
  • Wide variety of archaeological monuments, sites and buried deposits which include many ancient monuments and other nationally important archaeological assets.
  • Extensive buried historic landscape of multi-period date known from aerial photography. 

5.146 Heritage assets are not only important in their own right but have a valuable role in helping to create a sense of place and links to the historic development of the distinct areas within Thurrock.  Heritage assets often have an important cultural and economic role, as they can attract visitors and can act as catalysts for development and regeneration. These assets also have considerable importance as part of the Greengrid, with larger features forming key visitor destinations.  It is important, therefore, that the settings of heritage assets are preserved or enhanced and access to them is secured.  The purpose of the policy is to prevent the loss, protect and achieve the broader benefits, of these important local heritage assets to the Borough and to the wider historic environment.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.147 Thurrock contains a number of important historic assets including:

  • 7 Conservation Areas;
  • 241 entries in the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest;
  • 16 Scheduled Ancient Monuments; 
  • 1 listing on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Interest;
  • 23 Ancient woodlands; and
  • 1095 Archaeological records on the Historic Environment Record.

5.148 Between 2007 and 2009, the Council adopted Character Appraisals and Management Proposals for each of the seven Conservation Areas in the Borough.  The Character Appraisals evaluate the Conservation Areas’ special interest and significance, and the Management Proposals set out how the areas will be preserved and enhanced.  The Council will review Character Appraisals at least every five years to ensure that they are fit for their purpose of preserving and enhancing the Borough’s heritage assets.

5.149 The Council aims to review the Thurrock Heritage at Risk Register annually, to identify the Borough’s Listed Buildings in need of repair and/or maintenance.  The register informs bids for grant funding, and work with developers, when relevant planning applications come forward.  The Council will also prepare a local list of heritage assets. In 2009, the Council also commissioned a Historic Environment Characterisation Project of Thurrock which highlights the sensitivity and importance of the Council’s historic environment.


1. Protecting and Enhancing Heritage Assets

i. The Council will preserve or enhance the historic environment by:

  1. Promoting the importance of the heritage assets, including their fabric and their settings;
  2. Encouraging the appropriate use of heritage assets and their settings;
  3. Supporting increased public access to historic assets, including military and industrial heritage;
  4. Reviewing the designation of local heritage assets, including considering the designation of new Conservation Areas;
  5. Retaining non-designated heritage assets which are considered locally important as well as those with statutory protection; and
  6. Encouraging proposals that include enhancement of surrounding landscapes and integration between priority heritage assets and the Greengrid.

2. Proposed Development

i. All development proposals will be required to consider and appraise development options and demonstrate that the final proposal is the most appropriate for the heritage asset and its setting, in accordance with:

  • The objectives in part 1 above;
  • The requirements of PMD 4 Historic Environment;
  • Conservation Area Character Appraisals and Management Proposals as appropriate; and
  • Relevant national and regional guidance.  

3. Priorities for Heritage Regeneration and Enhancement

i. The Council will work collaboratively with owners and partners to encourage the appropriate regeneration and use of priority heritage assets to secure their long-term future.  The Council will identify priority heritage assets from:

  1. English Heritage’s national Heritage at Risk Register;
  2. The Thurrock Heritage at Risk Register, which will be reviewed annually;
  3. The Conservation Area Management Proposals, which will be reviewed at least every five years, and
  4. A local list of heritage assets once produced.
  5. The Historic Environment Record 

ii. Of priority heritage assets already identified, the Council will:

  1. Ensure that the setting of Tilbury Fort, including views of it from the river, are appropriately protected and enhanced, and that encroachment on the open land around it is not permitted. 
  2. Ensure that the setting of Coalhouse Fort is appropriately protected from development and that its fabric is conserved. 
  3. Resist development that undermines an understanding of the role the river Thames has played in the historic development of Thurrock.
  4. Promote public access between Tilbury Fort and Coalhouse Fort through riverside links.  
  5. Ensure that any new development close to, or within, Bata Village or the Bata Factory complex is well designed and contributes positively to their settings. 
  6. Ensure that Thurrock’s historic landscapes, and the contribution made to them by ancient woodland, hedgerows and trees, are appropriately considered in all development proposals. 

Key Diagrams and Maps

Map 4: Location of Landscape Character Areas
Map 6: Location of Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Conservation Areas




5.150 Whilst climate change has been identified as one of the most important challenges we face as a global community, it may also have severe repercussions on a local level in Thurrock. Rises in sea level from partial melting of large ice masses could lead to widespread flooding. Climate change could also lead to higher local temperatures, stronger winds, significant changes in rainfall, and increases in coastal and soil erosion, all of which will have impacts on Thurrock’s economy, environment and population. Without substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, local and global climates may continue to change. Planning for adaptation to the impacts of climate change and reducing vulnerability to these impacts is equally as important as climate change mitigation measures. Adaptation involves adjustments to natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.1

5.151 As referenced in Policy CSTP22- Thurrock Design, new developments in Thurrock provide an opportunity to promote new techniques in design and renewable energy. To achieve this, the Council will:

  • Secure the use of sustainable construction techniques;
  • Develop guidance on sustainable construction and design for the construction of any new facilities;
  • Enable increase of sustainable construction, design and renewable energy in new housing and industrial development;
  • Reduce waste and carbon emissions; encourage better use of water and energy; and reduce environmental impact and increase efficiency of construction industry;
  • Reduce our impact and increase our preparedness for climate change;
  • Develop an action plan to improve energy efficiency in existing communities, and
  • Promote and support climate change adaptation measures through the use of green infrastructure.

5.152 This policy covers the overarching issues for mitigation and adaptation of climate change in order to meet National and Local Area Agreement targets on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and adapting to withstand and minimise the impacts of climate change.

5.153 The Climate Change Act (2008) sets challenging but achievable targets for net UK carbon emissions, to reduce emissions to at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline by 2050, with a reduction of at least 26% by 2020.  The NPPF indicates that Planning plays a key role in helping shape places to secure radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to the impacts of climate change and supporting the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure.

5.154 In 2003, the East of England Sustainable Development Roundtable commissioned Living with Climate Change in the East of England to determine the regional impacts of climate change.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.155 The Sustainable Community Strategy (Thurrock LSP, 2009) advocates for more homes and businesses with reduced carbon emissions and for Thurrock to be better prepared for the impact of climate change. This is reiterated by A Sustainable Framework for Thurrock (Thurrock Council, 2007), which promotes the highest standards of sustainable construction and the Code for Sustainable Homes.  In June 2007, the Council signed up to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, committing to various actions including reducing CO2; developing plans with partners to address the causes and impacts of climate change; assessing risks; and monitoring progress. These will be further expanded in the Thurrock Climate Change Strategy, which is anticipated to be adopted by 2011.  This will set out how the Council will lead by example by managing its own properties and providing services to residents, linking to priorities in the LAA and the Council’s Corporate Plan. 

5.156 The Thurrock Climate Change Evidence Base sets out the issues and opportunities surrounding climate change at a local level.  This analysis found that Thurrock is particularly vulnerable to water resource deficiencies, sea level changes, fluvial flooding and is also likely to be at risk from subsidence. This confirms that new development must be designed to cope with a changing climate, to protect those who utilise development and to protect investment.  Retrofitting existing development and infrastructure to adapt to climate change will also be essential for minimising the impacts of climate change on society and the economy. Based on the evidence, the following have been identified as priorities for Thurrock to consider in relation to strategic climate change action:

  • Reducing CO2 and N2O emissions from the industrial and commercial sector, particularly from gas and electricity consumption; 
  • Reducing CO2 and N2O emissions from road transport, particularly from diesel freight vehicles and the workplace commuter; 
  • Reducing methane emissions from the waste sector, particularly from landfill; 
  • Increasing renewable and low carbon energy generation; 
  • Ensuring that new development incorporates energy and water efficiency into design; 
  • Ensuring new build developments incorporate climate change ‘resistant’ features to minimise vulnerability;
  • Ensuring that new vulnerable development is not at risk of flooding; and 
  • Reducing flood risk at existing development. 

Thurrock Council’s Local Climate Impact Profile (October 2010) will support this policy and inform the forthcoming Design and Sustainability SPD. 


1. Adaptation

  1. The Council will require climate change adaptation measures and technology to be considered from the outset in any development proposal including reduction of emissions, renewable and low carbon technologies, passive design, recycling and waste minimisation, and through the application of green infrastructure techniques.
  2. The Council will work to ensure that vulnerability to climate change impacts is minimised in new development, and that such development does not increase vulnerability to climate change impacts.
  3. The location and layout of new buildings should minimise vulnerability to climate change.
  4. Developers must consider the potential effects of climate change on their development, including:
    1. Water conservation and drainage
    2. Need for summer cooling
    3. Risk of subsidence
    4. Flood risk from tidal, fluvial and surface water

2. Mitigation

  1. The Council will require new and existing development and associated activities to adhere to local, regional and national targets for reducing carbon emissions.
  2. The Council will seek the achievement and maintenance of the following minimum reductions in CO2 emissions compared to emissions in 2005:-


By 2015

By 2020

Domestic: CO2 per household



Road Transport: CO2 per AADT*



Business: CO2 per job



*Annual Average Daily Traffic

  1. The Council will employ innovative methods of reducing and mitigating emissions, including the introduction of a Carbon Offset Fund.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Not Applicable



5.157 Renewable energy covers those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment. Low-carbon technologies are those that can help reduce carbon emissions. It also includes energy for heating and cooling as well as generating electricity.

5.158 Thurrock is performing relatively well in terms of renewable energy with 52.6 MW of installed capacity. Thurrock currently contains 54% of the county’s and 11% of the region’s renewable energy generating capacity (2008). The majority of renewable energy in Thurrock (76%) is derived from utilising landfill gas, with the remaining 24% provided by a biomass facility at Tilbury Power Station.  Power stations in Thurrock currently generate over 1,800 MW of energy for homes around Britain, but they are also the largest point source emitters of CO2. Encouraging the conversion of existing power stations or new renewable energy or low-carbon development should work to reduce CO2 emissions from these point sources and also from industrial, commercial and domestic energy consumption.

5.159 Thurrock presents unique opportunities for encouraging additional standalone, large-scale renewable or low-carbon energy generation projects. For example, Tilbury Green Power has consent for a site in the Port of Tilbury for a 60MW facility using a mix of imported biomass and household waste. If this facility were to come forward, Thurrock’s renewable energy generation would more than double. In addition small-scale energy generation technology can be promoted as ancillary to other uses such as residential, commercial and community.  

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.160 The Thurrock Climate Change Evidence Base (2008) sets out the issues surrounding climate change at a local level, and notes the opportunities for increasing renewable energy supply, particularly through the Local Development Framework and the proposal for a large scale renewable facility at Tilbury.  


As part of the shift to low-carbon future and to tackle climate change, the Council will encourage opportunities to generate energy from non-fossil fuel and low-carbon sources.

  1. The Council will promote and facilitate proposals for centralised renewable or low-carbon energy schemes at appropriate locations and standards, including but not exclusively at Tilbury and London Gateway.
  2. The Council will promote the delivery of renewable and low-carbon energy developments utilising technology such as solar panels, biomass heating, small-scale wind turbine, photovoltaic cells, Combined Heat and Power and other methods.
  3. The Council will promote the delivery of district energy networks in appropriate locations, in order to increase the proportion of energy delivered from renewable and low-carbon sources in the Borough.
  4. The Council will ensure that effort is made to achieve a significant carbon reduction in all new development, at least matching the national targets.

The Council will view an application as unacceptable where it produces a significant adverse impact that cannot be mitigated, including cumulative landscape or visual impacts.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Not applicable.

water, riverside and coastal thematic policies



5.161 A large proportion of Thurrock’s urban areas are located within Flood Zone 3, translating to approximately 11,000 properties currently at risk of flooding. The changing climate, combined with increased development pressures, will continue to make flood risk a key consideration for the Borough into the future.

5.162 In relation to flood risk the primary aim of the NPPF is to ensure that flood risk is taken into account at all stages in the planning process in order to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding, and wherever possible, to direct development towards areas at least risk of flooding. This is achieved through the application of the Sequential Test.

5.163 An updated Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) was completed in September 2009 and assesses all forms of flooding relevant to the Borough. This confirms that the majority of Thurrock Urban Area is classified as Flood Zone 3a, the high risk flood zone, with some areas of Flood Zone 3b, the functional floodplain, associated with the main rivers (River Mardyke and Stanford Brook) and the Flood Storage Area designated under the Reservoirs Act 1975 in the marshes immediately to the north of Tilbury.

5.164 The tidal floodplain associated with the River Thames is considered to be defended from tidal flooding to the 1 in 1000 year standard including climate change. The SFRA therefore concludes that the greatest flood risk posed to the Borough would result from the residual risk associated with a failure of those defences during an extreme tidal event. This residual risk has also been assessed in the Thurrock SFRA and includes the identification and classification of areas of flood hazard and also the times to inundation in the event of a breach of the defences.

5.165 The SFRA will be periodically reviewed and updated when necessary to keep pace with policy changes and new climate change guidance.

5.166 Core Strategy policies CSSP1 to CSSP5 identify the 5 Broad Areas for Regeneration within the Borough, these have all been subject to the Sequential Test.  Future site allocations will be subject to a more detailed Sequential Test in accordance with the NPPF.

5.167 Due to the location of the main settlements in Thurrock and the nature of flood risk in the Borough, it has not been possible to locate all new development in areas of least flood risk.  The NPPF therefore requires the application of the Exception Test which will ensure that proposed development will deliver sustainability benefits to the whole community, makes effective use of land and can be achieved safely without increasing flood risk elsewhere, and where possible, reduces flood risk overall.

5.168 In achieving the final part of the Exception Test at a strategic level, it will be essential to employ effective floodplain management through working with partner organizations, such as the Environment Agency and the Emergency Services, to deliver strategic flood management plans and programmes, and in the production of a comprehensive Emergency Plan for the Borough.

5.169 5.169 Of particular icular importance to Thurrock will be the Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) Plan, produced by the Environment Agency to provide a flood risk management plan for London and the Thames Estuary into the next century. The plan is due to be submitted to Defra in the first quarter of 2010 and will recommend what flood risk management actions will need to be introduced and when over the next century. It is designed to be adaptable to a changing climate, even if climate change accelerates beyond current predictions.

5.170 The TE2100 Plan has divided Thurrock into four Policy Management Units (PMUs) covering Shellhaven and Fobbing Marshes; East Tilbury and Mucking Marshes; Purfleet, Grays and Tilbury; Rainham Marshes and the Mardyke.

5.171 In the east of the Borough the TE2100 Plan highlights that defences should be maintained to their current level into the future, although this would result in an increase in flood risk over time as sea-levels rise due to the impacts of climate change. Opportunities in these areas to manage the floodplain through effective land-use and emergency planning, as well as making space for water must therefore be sought.

5.172 To the west of the Borough the TE2100 Plan highlights that more action should be taken to keep up with the impacts of climate change. This would most likely be achieved through a combination of floodplain management techniques as described above, and also maintaining, and where possible improving, flood defences (subject to funding and approval).

5.173 The continued reliance on flood defences has implications for the biodiversity of the Borough due to the exacerbated threat of coastal squeeze. A range of flood risk management options should therefore be employed across the Borough to mitigate for this and opportunities to make space for water and recreate those habitats threatened or lost through coastal squeeze should be sought.

5.174 The South Essex Catchment Flood Management Plan identifies that, other than the residual flood risk associated with tidal sources, surface water flooding is also an issue for the Thurrock area. It is usually associated with heavy rainfall over a short period of time, particularly when the ground is already saturated or when flow channels become blocked or tide-locked.

5.175 The flood risk posed by surface water will be addressed in the Thurrock Surface Water Management Plan which will be undertaken following the completion of the Thurrock Water Cycle Study.


  1. The Council will ensure that flood risk management is implemented and supported through effective land use planning. The Sequential, and where necessary Exception Test, as set out in the NPPF and associated Planning Practice Guidance will be employed when allocating sites for development and an Emergency Plan for the Borough will be completed.
  2. The Council will also continue to work collaboratively with the Environment Agency by supporting the area based policy approach adopted in the Thames Estuary 2100 Project. In particular the Council will seek to safeguard existing flood defences and new areas for flood defences, water storage and drainage areas, as well as seeking secondary defences for key assets.
  3. The Council will support the work of the Environment Agency in the Environmental Enhancement Project for the Mucking Flats and Marshes to ensure the delivery of appropriate flood mitigation and environmental enhancement measures.
  4. The Council will work with the Environment Agency and other main stakeholders to ensure that fluvial and surface water flood risk is managed within Thurrock. This will include supporting the policies identified in the South Essex Catchment Flood Management Plan, such as identifying and safeguarding areas of land for existing and future areas of water storage in Policy Units 9, 10, 11 & 12 and in formulating System Asset Management Plans (SAMP) and the Integrated Urban Drainage Plans for Stanford-le-Hope, Tilbury and Purfleet.  A Surface Water Management Plan will also be carried out to assist in the identification and mapping of areas susceptible to surface water flooding as recommended by Defra and the Pitt Review. Development proposals that will affect these locations will be expected to contribute towards infrastructure improvements, including where appropriate green infrastructure, in these locations to enable the development to proceed.
  5. The Council will ensure that, where necessary, new development throughout the Borough contains space for water including naturalisation and environmental enhancement. 
  6. Developers will be required to incorporate sustainable drainage systems as a priority and to contribute towards flood risk management infrastructure where appropriate.
  7. Planning applications received for sites within Flood Zone 3 will be treated in accordance with the NPPF, this policy and Policy PMD15.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Where appropriate sites will be identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and on the Proposals Map.

Implementation Mechanisms

5.176 Less vulnerable development might therefore be permitted on previously developed land in Flood Zone 3a.  More vulnerable development may also be permitted in areas identified as Flood Zone 3a, but will be subject to the Exception Test, as outlined in the NPPF. Essential infrastructure will also be required to pass the Exception Test in both Flood Zone 3a and 3b. Highly vulnerable development will not normally be permitted in Flood Zone 3a in accordance with NPPF. All development within a flood zone must apply the NPPF Sequential Test and it must be shown that there are no other sites where the proposed development can be situated within a lower risk flood zone.

Infrastructure Delivery

5.177 The Council will work collaboratively with stakeholders to aid in the production and implementation of a range of plans by the Environment Agency.



5.178  The River Thames plays a vital role in the region’s economy because of the ports, current and planned power stations at Tilbury, and the freight links.  Tilbury is currently the busiest port on the river, and there will be the new deep sea container port at London Gateway. The river is also important as a natural habitat including a Ramsar site and important riverscape including heritage assets such as Coalhouse and Tilbury forts.

5.179 This policy sets out the basis for assessing the suitability of riverside development proposals, and for improving accessibility and recreational activities along the Thurrock riverside, balanced against the need for environmental protection. The Council will work collaboratively with relevant stakeholder organisations and agencies to ensure the delivery of a balanced approach to the Thurrock riverside.

5.180 A key feature of the Thames Gateway Parklands Vision (2008) is to improve the river setting, its environment and landscape, and make it more accessible and visible for people.  This is also reflected in Delivering the Future by the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership which promotes bringing the natural environment closer to communities through development of a Greengrid.  People can currently interact with the Thames ‘riverscape’ in a variety of ways, such as enjoying walks on the various nature trails.  However, much of the river and its landscape are not easily accessible or visible, both of which are important to define the area’s identity.  For operational reasons, many of the industrial complexes and port areas are fenced in, posing significant obstacles to permeability along the river edges.

Thurrock Riverside Opportunities

5.181 The Sustainability Appraisal (December 2007) and representations on earlier stages of the Core Strategy recommended that efforts may be needed to address the apparent conflict between some of the preferred policy approaches such as biodiversity, public access to the river, and the upgrading and operation of ports. In addition it raised the important issue of protecting Thurrock’s historical assets and their setting. There was strong support for improved access, through delivery of the Greengrid, though caveated by the need to ensure compatibility with industry’s operational needs. It was also suggested that priority should be given to allocating riverside sites to uses that require access to the river frontage.

5.182 So whilst industry and the large tracts of industrial landscape should be safeguarded and promoted to support the regeneration of Thurrock riverside in the broadest sense, the river and its setting needs to be accessible and visible, capitalising on the landscape and environmental improvements that will be realised for the future through the policies in this Core Strategy.


1. The Council and Partners will ensure that the  economic and commercial function of the river will continue to be promoted through:

  1. Priority being given to allocating riverside development sites to uses that require access to the river frontage, especially those which promote use of the river for passenger transportation purposes.
  2. Safeguarding port-related operational land.
  3. Safeguarding additional adjacent land required for further port development, including expansion. For port development onto additional land to be acceptable however, it will be necessary to substantiate the need for it over and above land that is already available for operational port uses.
  4. To safeguard existing and promote new jetties and wharves facilities where appropriate for transport of goods and materials.

2. New development will provide new or enhanced sustainable, safe and equitable access to and along the river foreshore, especially using natural and semi-natural corridors and other elements of the Greengrid.

3. Development Proposals will be required to undertake appropriate level of flood risk assessment as set out by the NPPF and take account of the need for flood mitigation measures and to accommodate any necessary flood defence measures.

4. New development will also maintain or enhance views, particularly of key features including heritage and landscapes, and will improve recreational interaction with the river and its setting. Critical elements include:

  1. The Thames Path through Thurrock, a designated National Trail.
  2. National Cycle Network Route 13, which overlaps with the Thames Path through much of Thurrock.
  3. Safeguarding of strategic and locally important views.

5. The following exceptions to this may apply:

  1. Where industrial/commercial development requires use of the river and its foreshore and needs to restrict public access for operational or safety reasons.
  2. Where unrestricted public access is likely to result in unacceptable adverse impacts on riverside habitat or biodiversity.

In both cases, reasons for access restrictions will need to be substantiated and justified with supporting evidence. In addition, the expectation will be that opportunities will still be sought to enable views of the river and its setting, such as through the design of development.
The proposed power generation plant at Tilbury will require controlled and secure access to the waterside including using the river as its water supply source.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Key Diagram - Where applicable.
Sites will be identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and on the Proposals Map

Minerals and Waste Thematic Policies



5.183 As a unitary authority Thurrock must plan for the management of waste by setting the planning framework for an adequate supply of waste treatment and disposal facilities. Those facilities must enable the Borough to be self sufficient in the way it manages its own waste and contribute to the management of a reducing proportion of wastes from London.

5.184 Although the emphasis will be on reducing waste at source, re-use and recycling wherever possible, Thurrock must still find new and alternative methods to manage and dispose of remaining waste arisings. This is because European and national legislation requires a reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill sites by applying alternative waste management methods.

5.185 In meeting this change, Thurrock is required to plan for waste management provision. Policy CSTP29 sets out Thurrock’s strategic approach toward planning for the additional waste management capacity throughout the Plan period and sets the strategic planning policy context for site allocations within the Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document (MWDPD).

5.186 Planning Policy Statement 10 - Planning for Sustainable Waste Management (PPS10) provides the overarching policy framework for planning for waste management facilities. The aim of PPS10 is to achieve more sustainable methods of waste management. A waste planning strategy will be delivered for Thurrock which achieves the sustainable management of waste in accordance with the requirements of PPS10, the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy and the 2007 Waste Strategy.

5.187 PPS10 advises opportunities should be sought to identify suitable locations for new waste management facilities on existing waste management sites; industrial sites and previously developed land. PPS10 recognises that some waste facilities are, in exceptional circumstances, acceptable in the Green Belt. Thurrock Council’s approach is that, although landfill may be required as part of an agreed and necessary restoration scheme of a mineral working, there will continue to be a presumption against ‘permanent’ waste management facilities within the Green Belt except small scale facilities serving a defined local need where no suitable sites outside the Green Belt are available. The Council will primarily identify sites and permit proposals for waste management outside the Green Belt.

5.188 Policy WM1 of the RSS, sets out the overall vision, objectives and capacity requirements for the provision of waste management facilities in the region. A number of key themes are apparent, including the timely and adequate delivery of waste facilities required for the recovery and disposal of the region’s waste and for  reducing quantities of wastes imported into the region; minimising the impact of waste management development; viewing waste as a resource; encouraging community support and participation in promoting responsible waste behaviour; maximising re-use, composting and recycling whilst responding positively to managing the residual waste and recognising the particular location needs of waste management proposals.

5.189 RSS Policy WM2 sets waste management targets which must be adopted by all authorities in the region to minimise waste and to provide the basis for implementing the overall aim of recycling, composting and recovering value from waste.  Targets in Policy WM2 are to be kept under review and extended to the end of the Plan period (2021) and beyond. There is also an ongoing review of the RSS until 2011.

5.190 The RSS Policy WM3 provides for imported wastes and requires Thurrock to plan for the management of an apportionment of waste from London of 210,000 tonnes per annum by 2010/11 and 100,000 tonnes per annum from 2015/16.  Annual tonnages are set in appendix C of the RSS. The draft Revision of the RSS to 2031 included reduced annual imports of London waste to Thurrock from London of 190,000 tonnes by 2010/11, 68,000 tonnes by 2020/21 and 9,000 tonnes by 2031. Thurrock Council has included the revised RSS waste tonnages for waste imported into Thurrock from London up to 2026 as the evidence base for the policy approach in the Core Strategy.

5.191 The RSS Policy WM4 outlines that each WPA must plan for self sufficiency in the management of their own waste arisings by planning for additional capacity. RSS Policy WM4 outlines the main strategic principle for the management of waste produced within each sub-region. In developing waste policies and considering waste proposals, waste planning authorities should take responsibility for waste arisings within their administrative boundaries. Thurrock Council has adopted the principle of self sufficiency of managing its own waste arisings in the policy approach of the Core Strategy.

5.192 The adopted RSS set out the quantities of waste to be managed including a proportion of London’s waste. The review RSS evidence base has provided what is considered to be more valid and up to date waste tonnages and indicates lower quantities of MSW, C&I and London Waste imports to be planned for in the region and for Thurrock. The apportionment set by the RSS is currently under review and where WPAs are confident they have more local and up-to-date information, there is an opportunity to present this as an evidential alternative to the apportionment contained in the RSS. Thurrock has undertaken its own study of waste management arisings and capacity requirements for the authority area based on the more recent RSS Review figures but adjusted to take account of the higher dwelling numbers and employment profile set out in this Core Strategy.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

Municipal Waste Strategy for Thurrock 2008-2020

5.193 PSS10 requires the Core Strategy to inform and take account of a relevant municipal waste management strategy.  As a unitary authority, Thurrock is responsible for both the collection and disposal of municipal solid waste, as well as being the waste planning authority. The Municipal Waste Strategy for Thurrock 2008-2020 provides information on municipal waste management in Thurrock and informed the preparation of this Core Strategy.

5.194 The MWMS sets out 6 key aims for a long-term municipal waste strategy, namely:

  • Deliver the principles of the waste hierarchy;
  • Deliver the diversion of bio-degradable municipal waste from landfill;
  • Ensure that Thurrock recycles enough material to comply with statutory recycling targets;
  • Ensure that Thurrock recovers sufficient value from residual waste to comply with statutory recovery targets;
  • Ensure that any procurement activities are in line with best value principles and achieve efficiency savings; and
  • Work towards achieving top quartile positioning with respect to waste management provision in the UK.

Other Evidence

Waste Arisings and Capacity Study for Thurrock

5.195 A study to assess the existing waste arisings, capacity and need for additional waste facilities in Thurrock for the period 2006-2021 was undertaken by Environment Resource Management (ERM) in 2007 with updates in 2009 and 2010 (‘the study’). The study provides an assessment of the capacity of existing and planned waste management infrastructure in Thurrock and, where not provided for in the RSS, forms the evidence base for the required additional waste management capacity for a range of waste streams.

5.196 The study identifies different possible growth scenarios for all waste streams including Municipal Solid Waste (MSW); Commercial and Industrial (C&I); Hazardous Waste and Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste.

5.197 The 2010 update to the Waste Arisings and Capacity Study has further assessed capacity taking into account the use of the evidence base of the draft Revision RSS and amendments to the C&D site data, arisings and capacity. This study forms the basis of revised arisings and capacity tonnages for the Core Strategy and future reviews. The 2010 update has also assessed MSW and C&I waste arisings based on the recent RSS Review figures but taking into account the higher dwelling numbers and more local assessment of the employment profile reflected in the Core Strategy. This latter scenario is set out as the evidence to support the top end capacity to be planned for in the Core Strategy and indicates higher MSW and C&I arisings. The capacity requirements over the period of the plan will be monitored and reviewed to take account of the level of development during the plan period and any review of future data.

Municipal Solid Waste

5.198 According to the draft revision RSS evidence base, the total MSW arising in Thurrock in 2009/10 was 75,000 tonnes. Table 5 illustrates the estimated growth in MSW over the Plan period taken from Appendix C of the draft revision RSS and also the higher level scenario of arisings to take account of the levels of growth set out in the Core Strategy.

Table 5 - Forecast of Thurrock MSW Arisings






RSS Review MSW Forecast Growth









Core Strategy adjustment of RSS Review MSW Forecast Growth









Commercial and Industrial Waste

5.199 Appendix C of the draft revision RSS also provides forecasts for C&I waste arisings in Thurrock. Table 6 below sets out the RSS Review tonnages and the adjusted forecast for higher level of arisings, taking account of the levels of growth set out in the Core Strategy.

Table 6 - Forecast of Thurrock C&I Waste Arisings






RSS Review Forecast C&I Waste Growth









Core Strategy adjustment of RSS Review Forecast C&I Waste Growth









Construction and Demolition Waste

5.200 The RSS does not provide forecasts for C&D waste. The Waste Arising and Capacity Study 2010 examined a range of forecasts. The highest growth scenario is based on the Core Strategy housing and economic growth.

Table 7 - Estimated  C&D Waste Arisings in Thurrock






Forecast C&D Waste Growth









5.201 An earlier government study (2007) for alternative provision for primary aggregates, estimated that 49% of C&D waste recycled; 29% landfilled and 22% spread on exempt sites. The proportional split has been revised in the Thurrock 2010 study to take account of higher recycling targets and less generous exemptions under the environmental permitting regulations during the plan period.

Table 8 Estimated requirements for management of C & D waste in Thurrock 2009/10 - 2025/26.  Worst case scenario.





Recycled aggregate and soil







Disposed at landfill








Used at exempt sites








5.202 Policy CSTP31 sets out the Council’s position on encouraging greater recycling and re-use of C&D waste. Therefore recycling rates are expected to increase over the Plan period. This will be considered in the approach for additional C&D recycling capacity and the need for sites in the MWDPD.

5.203 The revised 2010 Thurrock Study on waste arisings and capacity estimates, has taken into account the principle of increasing the amount of recycled aggregates and soil to achieve up to 70% recycling by 2021 in accordance with the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC.

Hazardous Waste

5.204 Policy WM7 of the RSS identifies the current regional approach toward the provision of hazardous waste management capacity. It is recognised there is a deficit in hazardous waste management capacity throughout the region. At this time there are no provisions for additional hazardous waste capacity made at the regional or sub-regional levels.

5.205 However, WPAs are required to consider the possible provision of hazardous waste capacity, where it contributes to the delivery for waste arising in the region. The draft Revision RSS stated WPA’s should identify suitable sites for Stable Non-Reactive Hazardous Waste Cells. The Thurrock study considered 5 growth scenarios and Table 9 provides the highest growth scenario based on economic growth.

Table 9 - Growth Scenario Hazardous Waste






Forecast of hazardous waste growth









Current Capacity and Gap Analysis

5.206 The Thurrock Waste Arising and Capacity Studies (2009 and 2010) identified the current waste management capacity within Thurrock for each waste management method.

Recycling and Composting

5.207 Currently there is 24,250 tonnes per annum of combined MSW and C&I waste recycling and composting capacity and 547,400 tonnes of C&D recycling capacity.

5.208 The level of recycling and composting capacity currently operational, including that with permission but non-operational, is insufficient to deal with the combined MSW and C&I waste arisings forecasts. Based on the 2010 study, the current combined deficit is estimated to be within the range between 46,200 to 53,733 tonnes per annum and by the end of the Plan period within the range between 142,400 to 159,000 tonnes per annum. This is expressed as a range of higher levels of recycling. The actual amount of recycling capacity required will be dependent on the proportion of recycling compared to other forms of recovery that may be available.  

5.209 There is a current surplus in C&D recycling capacity within Thurrock. However with the loss of temporary facilities associated with former quarries/landfill sites facilities, and through redevelopment, Thurrock will fall short of fixed site recycling capacity by 2015/16 and by the end of the plan period this deficit is estimated to be 250,000 tonnes per annum in the worst case scenario.  However in practise this deficit will be reduced by the extent of recycling carried out on development sites. 


5.210  There is at 2010 no operational treatment recovery other than tyre recovery facility and niche Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments (WEEE) facilities. Thurrock therefore requires additional recovery capacity. The 2010 study, identifies the need for between 71,200 to 133,000 tonnes per annum by the end of the Plan period. There is consent for 300,000 tonnes recovery facility but this is currently non-operational at this stage (See Paragraph 5.221). This consented provision, could meet all Thurrock’s needs.


5.211 The provision of adequate landfill capacity for waste generated within the Thurrock area and imports of London waste is an important policy issue. Policy CSTP30 deals with Thurrock’s approach to London apportionment in more detail.  Landfill capacity in Thurrock in 2008 is shown in Table 10.

Table 10 - Landfill Capacity 2008/2009

Waste Type

Consented and operational non- hazardous landfill capacity

Total non-hazardous landfill capacity (inc consented, currently operational sites, planned sites and potential void from mineral extractions)

Inert Landfill






5.212 The Adopted RSS predicts that the amount of waste from London is expected to fall, and by 2015 it would represent 30% of its 2003/04 level and then remain at that level. On that basis there would be enough existing capacity over the Plan period to meet Thurrock’s need and the remaining apportionment of London’s waste to the end of the Plan period. However, the current level of London imports exceeds the annual RSS apportionment and imports could continue at a higher annual rate than set out in the RSS. Thurrock will monitor and plan capacity to ensure it is able to meet its own need for landfill and it’s apportionment for London waste as set out in the Review RSS evidence base for waste imports.

Conclusions of the Capacity Study

5.213 The Thurrock study concludes by identifying the capacity gaps for each waste management method, although not all were split for each waste stream.

5.214 The Tables below summarise the existing capacity and additional waste management capacity requirements from the study. As new data becomes available and Thurrock monitors and reviews capacity, the forecasts may change and this will then inform the allocations in the MWDPD.

Table 11 - Existing capacity 2008/2009

Waste Management Method

Existing Capacity (2008/2009)

MSW and C&I waste recycling

23,750 tonnes per annum

C&D waste recycling
(excluding the wharfside sites)

547,400 tonnes per annum

Recovery of MSW only


Non-hazardous Landfill

5,600,000 tonnes total capacity

Inert Landfill

3,830,000 tonnes total capacity

Table 12 - Required waste capacity for Thurrock

Waste Management Method

Additional Capacity Required (based on end of Plan period 2026)

Recovery of MSW

Between 75,000 tonnes per annum (based on targets set out in the Municipal Waste Strategy) and 94,000 tonnes per annum by 2026 (Table 5 above).

C&I waste recycling and other recovery

Between 138,000 to 190,000 tonnes per annum at 2026.

C&D waste recycling

255,000 tonnes per annum
(worst case scenario assuming loss of temporary facilities).

Non-hazardous Landfill


Inert Landfill


Note 1: The figures set out above are based on the RSS Review adjusted to take account of the higher levels of dwelling provision and local employment profile set out in the Core Strategy.
Note 2: The figures do not take account of existing consent for 300,000 tonnes per annum recovery capacity

Delivering the Required Capacity

5.215 The Council will aim to ensure the above capacity requirements are met through the provision of appropriate criteria against which sites and waste management proposals can be assessed and brought forward to achieve a well planned and sustainable network of waste management facilities.

5.216 Thurrock Council is aware of the importance of providing waste facilities which are close to the major sources of waste arisings. For Thurrock the majority of waste arisings are located to the west and east of Thurrock.

5.217 This arisings issue together with capacity need, provide the strategic locational context for Thurrock. The overall strategy for the delivery of the additional waste management capacity is to provide a network of waste management facilities with a number of small scale facilities which support the collection, delivery and management of all waste streams, with one or two strategic sites containing a range of facilities and a reducing reliance on landfill facilities for the disposal of the residual element of the waste during the plan period.

5.218 It should be noted that on 27 August 2009 Tilbury Green Power were granted planning permission by the Secretary of State for a biomass and energy from waste power station run on a combination of cleaned and waste wood.  A condition of the consent allows for 300,000tpa of waste (80,000tpa of municipal solid waste, 220,000tpa of Commercial and Industrial Waste) and 350,000tpa of biomass and waste wood to be brought on to the site per annum, of which no more than 50,000 tonnes per annum of waste wood shall be brought to the site by road.  It is anticipated that the plant will be operational in 2012.  If this proposal is implemented and provides for Thurrock’s needs it could meet most of the total waste capacity required for Thurrock.  However until the scheme is implemented and until it is confirmed that it provides for Thurrock’s waste needs, a flexible and robust approach is required to plan for waste capacity to meet Thurrock’s need.


1. Waste Planning Strategy

The Council will seek to drive waste management up the waste hierarchy by:

  1. Ensuring developments minimise waste at source and maximise use of recycled materials. Within major developments provision should be made for local waste reduction, recycling and management.
  2. Reducing waste arisings and increased re-use/recycling and recovery of waste. The level of biodegradable waste going to landfill will be reduced by increasing recycling and composting rates for all municipal, commercial and industrial waste.
  3. Creating a sustainable network of waste management facilities that complements the sustainability objectives in accordance with the Thurrock Sustainable Communities Strategy.
  4. Seeking to treat waste as a ‘resource’ and where possible use waste to drive forward local renewable energy objectives.

2. Waste Management Capacity

Provision will only be made for total waste management capacity equivalent to the requirements for Thurrock (including imports) as set out in the Core Strategy (Tables 5, 6 and 7) or latest capacity requirements as identified through an update of the regional or local data as a result of a review of the LDF.

3. Strategic Site Approach and Contingency

In order to meet the provision in part 2 above, the Council will identify 1 or 2 strategic sites for the co-location of a range of waste management activities within the broad locations of Tilbury - Purfleet and the London Gateway as identified on the key diagram. These sites will be located within appropriate employment and industrial/port locations and will be identified in the MWDPD and identified in the Proposals Map.

Where it is demonstrated that the strategic site allocations are proven to be undeliverable, or where the waste management capacity requirements cannot be met on the allocated sites, planning permission in non-strategic areas will be considered where the site/s are situated within:

  1. existing waste management facilities, except landfill sites, where this does not lead to a reduction in the existing waste management capacity;
  2. appropriate employment locations; or
  3. appropriate port locations; and,
  4. Where the sites meet the relevant policies in this Core Strategy and criteria set out in the policies in the MWDPD and development management policies.

New development for waste management will not be permitted in the Green Belt, unless part of a necessary restoration scheme and the proposals conform with Green Belt policy. The exception to this is the provision of small scale facilities which address an identified local need where no suitable sites outside the Green Belt have been shown to exist following an alternative assessment.

4. Recycling and Composting

Additional recycling and composting provision is required in Thurrock to meet a predicted capacity deficit throughout the plan period (see Table 12 above). Proposed new provision for different types and sizes of specialist recycling and composting facilities will be considered against the specific policies contained within the MWDPD.

5. Landfill

  1. New non-hazardous or inert landfill capacity will only be considered where it can be demonstrated to contribute to the capacity requirements set out in the sub-text to this policy (as set out in Table 12 above) or the regional import approach set out in Policy CSTP30.
  2. Proposals for new landfilling will be resisted unless part of a necessary scheme to achieve approved restoration levels at a mineral working site. The Council will require satisfactory restoration in accordance with the aftercare and restoration policy within the MWDPD and seek appropriate after uses for waste management sites where they are not proposed to stay within a waste management use. Proposals for landraising above approved restoration levels will not be supported.

6. Construction and Demolition Waste

  1. Thurrock has a requirement for non landfill waste sites to deal with Construction and Demolition Waste. Thurrock will look to safeguard existing provision to handle construction, demolition and excavation waste at sites demonstrating high standards of operation in order to set benchmarks and raise standards across the Borough.
  2. Permanent authorised sites processing Construction, Demolition and excavation waste specifically to create quality secondary aggregate and to recover soils will be protected in line with the safeguarding Policy CSTP32 of this Core Strategy and criteria set out in the Minerals and Waste DPD.

7. Hazardous Waste

Proposals for the management of hazardous waste will only be considered where there is foremost an identified need for the management of Thurrock’s own hazardous waste, but recognising that such a facility might also contribute to the management of a proportion of the region’s hazardous waste.

8. General Environmental Principles

The Council will reduce, as far as practicable, any negative environmental impacts that may arise from waste management proposals, as well as ensure that the recovery or disposal of waste takes place without endangering human health, especially from the landfilling of waste, through cross-cutting development management policies set out in this Core Strategy and the MWDPD.

All proposals for waste management use will be required to conform with the policies and site allocations set out in the Minerals and Waste DPD.

Key Diagrams and Map

Sites will be identified in the Adopted Minerals and Waste DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.219 As well as managing Thurrock’s own waste, the Borough is also required to plan for a reducing amount of waste imports for landfill from London. After 2015, provision for waste originating outside the Borough should only be made for residual waste. Policy CSTP30 sets out Thurrock’s approach in meeting the apportionment for London’s waste imports.

5.220 PPS10 clarifies that Regional Planning Bodies (RPBs) should take account of the likely demand for waste management capacity arising from neighbouring regions, where meeting this demand would be consistent with the policies set out in PPS10.

5.221 In identifying the pattern of waste management facilities, RPBs should also take into account “the need for waste management, including for disposal of the residues from treated wastes, arising in more than one waste planning authority area but where only a limited number of facilities would be required”. This capacity requirement for imports from outside of the region is passed down to the WPAs via apportionment.

5.222 Policy WM3 of the RSS requires waste-planning authorities in the East of England to plan for a progressive reduction of the level of waste imported to the region for landfilling, in particular from London. It also sets out an apportionment for the amount of London’s waste to be exported and landfilled in the region.

5.223 Over the Plan period, Thurrock is required to plan for the provision of 13% of London’s waste imports apportioned to the East of England, an annual tonnage of 210,000 tonnes by 2010 and 100,000 tonnes by 2015. After 2015, the region is only required to plan for residual waste which has been subject to the maximum practicable level of treatment, exported from London, through the availability landfill capacity. The draft revision RSS sought to reduce tonnages imported from London over time to 2031 to the figure of 3% weight of the MSW and C&I currently exported to the East of England. Thurrock Council has included the revised RSS evidence base of London Waste tonnages to be planned for in Thurrock to 2026 for the Core Strategy.

5.224 In relation to other imports and the provision of new non-landfill waste management facilities for these imports, allowance should only be made for a proposed facility where it is proven to be of regional significance and which would enable the recovery of more localised waste arisings in order to meet the waste management needs of the recipient WPA.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

Thurrock Municipal Waste Strategy and Position Statement 2005-2010

5.225 As part of Thurrock’s overall approach to minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill, the Strategic Vision within the Waste Strategy seeks to reduce “ the levels of imported waste, especially from London, and continue to oppose landraising in the area”, recognising the unsustainable level of London’s imports being sent to landfill sites within the Borough.

Other Evidence

London Imports

5.226 Thurrock has already exhausted a significant proportion of its landfill capacity to accommodate waste imports arising from London.  The reality of current importation of waste from London to Thurrock for landfill is at odds with the requirements set out in the RSS.

5.227 If the estimated amount of landfill was to used up before the end of the Plan period, there would be a need to approve proposals for new non-hazardous landfill voidspace in order to meet the required landfill provision of London’s imports even though the cumulative apportionment will have been exceeded by that date.

5.228 Thurrock will ensure that provision is made for a declining amount of waste imports from London, but only a provision equal to the cumulative London apportionment for Thurrock for the Plan period outlined in the RSS and subject to any Review.

5.229 In terms of non-landfill infrastructure the Council recognises the RSS2 does not totally discourage the provision of non-landfill waste management facilities for waste predominantly originating outside of the region. However, the proposed facility will need to be proven to be of regional significance and there is some benefit to the recovery of localised waste arisings in order to meet the local recovery targets.


Strategic Approach to London’s Imports

  1. Thurrock will only make provision for London’s waste imports equivalent to the following cumulative tonnages across the Plan period (from2009/2010) of 1,885,000 tonnes.
  2. Thurrock will not allocate or grant planning permission for new landfill capacity to accommodate London’s waste arisings where the above capacity requirements have been met.
  3. Provision for new non-landfill waste facilities will only be made for waste not included within the above apportionment where a facility has a clear benefit to the region, such as the provision of specialist processing or treatment which would not be viable without a wider catchment and which would enable recovery of more locally generated wastes and contribute to meeting the capacity requirements set out in CSTP29.
  4. Proposals for facilities to manage waste imported into Thurrock will be assessed primarily against the requirements of this policy, Policy CSTP29 and policies provided in the MWDPD.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Sites will be identified in the Adopted Minerals and Waste DPD and identified on the Proposals Map.



5.230 Thurrock is a Minerals Planning Authority (MPA) and is required to plan for an adequate and steady supply of mineral resource to meet the material needs of its own, and contribute to the regions’ needs. This provision must be made in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

5.231 This policy sets out the Council’s strategic approach towards maintaining a supply of minerals throughout the Plan period. This will be achieved by providing for appropriate sites to assist in meeting the sub-regional apportionment and encouraging a more sustainable and prudent use of mineral resources.

5.232 The NPPF sets out the overall objectives of Government policy for minerals provision. It recognises that minerals are essential to support sustainable economic growth and quality of life.  It is therefore important that there is a sufficient supply of material to provide the infrastructure, buildings, energy and goods that the Country needs.  Local planning authorities are required to:

  • identify, and have policies for the extraction of, mineral resources of local and national importance;
  • so far as practicable, take account of the contribution that substitute or secondary and recycled materials and minerals waste would make to the supply of materials, before considering extraction of primary materials;
  • plan for a steady and adequate supply of aggregates by preparing an annual Local Aggregate Assessment based on a rolling average of 10 years sales data and other relevant local information, and an assessment of all supply options including marine dredged, secondary and recycled sources;
  • plan for a landbank of permitted reserves of sand and gravel to be maintained for at least seven years.

5.233 Policy M1 of the RSS applies the principles of national policy on minerals provision and requires all minerals planning authorities to identify and safeguard mineral resources to ensure they are sourced from the most environmentally acceptable locations whilst maintaining their respective average annual level of output. In doing so the Regional Aggregates Working Group sets out an annual apportionment for aggregates to which each sub-region must plan for. The East of England region is required to plan for the following tonnages to 2020:

Land Won Sand and Gravel

14.75 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) (total 236mt)

Marine Sand and Gravel

14 million tonnes (0.9mtpa)

Alternative Materials
(recycled & secondary aggregate)

117 million tonnes (7.8mtpa)

Net Imports to England

7 million tonnes

Land Won Crushed Rock (not in Thurrock)

8 million tonnes 

5.234 Thurrock is required to plan for a sub-regional apportionment of 0.14 mtpa (as part of the overall combined figure of 4.45 mtpa for Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea) of land won sand and gravel per annum throughout the Plan period.  A combined figure is used for monitoring purposes because of the limited number of sites and operators in Thurrock and the need to maintain commercial confidentiality for individual mineral operators.  Essex is separately planning for the provision of aggregates in accordance with their own landbank requirement.

5.235 There are a limited number of ports and wharves in the region able to receive marine sand and gravel imports to England and these include wharves and combined wharves and rail depots on the River Thames in Thurrock. There is a need for Thurrock to continue to maintain these facilities.  Although the NPPF effectively encourages facilities for recycling of construction and demolition waste there is no target or sub-regional split for the provision of alternative materials.  This is in part due to limited data.  Furthermore the great majority of facilities for the provision of such materials in Thurrock are temporary facilities associated with mineral workings which are being ‘fuelled’ by imports of waste into Thurrock.  Consequently while the Council will encourage the provision of appropriate facilities for these purposes it considers that it is not currently practicable to take account of the contribution these sites make to the supply of materials before considering extraction of primary materials.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.236 Thurrock has traditionally supplied sand and gravel, chalk and clay.  These mineral sites have been restored to a variety of afteruses including retail and housing at Lakeside and Chafford Hundred.  In addition, the River Thames has been a major route for the transhipment and distribution of aggregates including the landing of hard rock and marine dredged aggregate.  The material has been distributed within Thurrock, the wider region and London.

5.237 At present, there are 3 permitted sites in Thurrock (sand and gravel) with total sales over the last 3 years ranging from 25,000 tonnes to 77,000 tonnes per annum.

Primary Aggregate Plan Provision, Monitoring and Review

5.238 In order to make the necessary provision for land won sand and gravel, Thurrock is required to maintain a landbank (stock of permitted reserves) of at least 7 years, based upon the annual apportionment (0.14 mtpa).  If the landbank is below 7 years, additional resources (new sites or extensions to sites) need to be identified, to ensure the landbank is maintained.

5.239 The Plan period is from 1 April 2010 - 2026. In order to provide an up to date provision requirement, the Council will use the latest monitoring figures to identify the future Plan provision. The monitoring data for minerals is collected on an annual basis for the previous calendar year to 31 December, and a base date of 1 January is used. At 1 January 2008 there were 4 permitted sand and gravel sites in Thurrock with reserves totalling just over 2 million tonnes. However, at the end of May 2008, planning permission on one site with approximately 0.5mt of reserves had lapsed. Taking this into account, the current permitted reserves stood at 1.54 mtpa, equivalent to a 10.9 year landbank. The landbank is the sum of the permitted reserves expressed in years based upon the agreed sub-regional apportionment per annum.  This is calculated as follows:

Table 13 - Landbank as at 1 January 2008

Permitted Reserves at 1 January 2008

1.54 mt

Divided by annual apportionment

/ 0.14 mtpa

Current Landbank is 1.54 / 0.14

= 10.9 years

5.240 Therefore, the current permitted reserves are sufficient to meet the 7 year landbank requirement. However, if no new sites are permitted during the Plan period, sand and gravel reserves would be exhausted by 2019 and would fall below the 7-year landbank requirement during 2012. Thurrock is therefore required to plan for an additional 0.28mt before the end of the Plan period. It is therefore clear that additional sites are required to provide, as a minimum, sufficient resources for the Plan period to ensure the sub-regional apportionment of 0.14mtpa (or any subsequent change to the apportionment). It is the role of the MWDPD to identify and allocate appropriate sites and provide the criteria with which to assess proposals for mineral extraction, and control the phasing of any site allocations to ensure the prudent use of Thurrock’s mineral resources.

5.241 The Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document (MWDPD) will need to monitor and review the landbank to ensure that the Plan is reviewed at the appropriate time or additional resources are made available at the end of the Plan period, through the phasing of site allocations to maintain at least a 7-year landbank.

5.242 Several approaches could be adopted, with review triggers, for when the landbank and remaining planned provision reach a certain level (expressed in years) or for additional material to be planned for within the MWDPD beyond 2021.  Further details of an indicator, review cycle, or additional safety margin at the end of the Plan period are matters for the MWDPD.


1. Land Won Minerals

i. The Council will endeavour to maintain a landbank of at least 7-years and aim to meet the sub-regional apportionment of 0.14mt per annum of sand and gravel throughout the Plan period or meet any subsequent change in the period as agreed by national policy or as a result of a review of the regional apportionment.  The Council will assess the provision of the landbank through its monitoring framework. 

ii. To ensure the prudent use of Thurrock’s mineral resources:

  1. Mineral working will only be permitted where there is an identified national, regional or local need and the sites fall within the criteria policies outlined in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.
  2. The forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan will identify ‘Preferred Areas’ located within the Minerals Safeguarding Area (MSA) (Policy CSTP32) which, if granted planning permission, will contribute to maintaining the sand and gravel annual apportionment and the 7-year landbank. Sites will be phased depending on the identified need, based upon the requirements outlined above (see Table 13) to 2021 or beyond, where the site will contribute to maintaining the 7-year landbank and meeting the sub-regional apportionment throughout the Plan period.

2. Recycled and Secondary Aggregate

Subject to the waste policies of this plan the Council will encourage the use of facilities for recycling aggregate or secondary materials, or processing of such materials, as alternatives to land won aggregate. Proposals on unallocated sites which do come forward must meet the criteria set out in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Not Applicable



5.243 To ensure Thurrock is able to meet its mineral resource requirements over the Plan period, and beyond, it is important that all existing resources are safeguarded as far as practicably possible.

5.244 This policy sets out the Council’s approach toward safeguarding Thurrock’s mineral resources and facilities which contribute to the delivery of sustainable resource use including the application of the Thurrock Mineral Safeguarding Area (MSA).

National and Regional Policy Context

5.245 The NPPF requires local planning authorities to:

  • define Minerals Safeguarding Areas and adopt appropriate policies in order that known locations of minerals are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development;
  • safeguard existing, planned and potential rail heads, wharfage and associated storage, handling and processing facilities for the bulk transport of minerals including recycled, secondary and marine-dredged materials;
  • safeguard existing, planned and potential sites for concrete batching, the manufacture of coated materials, other concrete products and the handling, processing and distribution of substitute, recycled and secondary aggregate material.

5.246 The RSS reinforces principles of ensuring the prudent use and safeguarding of mineral resources. Policy M1 of the RSS states that LDDs should identify and safeguard mineral resources, in turn leading to the most environmentally acceptable site allocations.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.247 An Environmental Capacity Statement (ECS) has been prepared to assess the ability of Thurrock to absorb aggregate and other mineral provision within its environment and identifies a Mineral Safeguarding Area for Thurrock.  The ECS appraisal has taken into account a number of Thurrock’s planning constraints such as landscape, national and regional environmental designations. The ECS does not exclude any of the potentially workable mineral resources; however, it does make recommendations that minerals workings in some designated areas should be classed as ‘unfavourable’ in planning terms.

5.248 The Proposals Map will include the designation of the Mineral Safeguarding Area (MSA), in accordance with paragraph 143 of the NPPF. The purpose of the MSA is not to identify all minerals deposits which will be extracted, but to identify and indicate to developers the possible presence of workable mineral deposits, and to consider these deposits when submitting proposals for non-mineral related development. This is to ensure valuable mineral resources are not needlessly sterilised.

5.249 The Minerals Safeguarding Area is being identified in conjunction with the preparation of the Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document. The MWDPD will identify specific mineral extraction site allocations using the MSA. The MSA is based on the work undertaken for the ECS which used a constraint sieving approach to identify all potentially workable mineral deposits. Constraints include environmental designations and mineral deposits located under existing urban development where extraction is not possible.

Landing of Marine Sand and Gravel and imports

5.250 The Essex Minerals Local Plan Review One which covers Thurrock identified the following sites for safeguarding:

Table 14 - Sites for Safeguarding

Type of Facility

Location / operator

Marine Wharves

Purfleet Wharf - Civil & Marine and Aggregates Industries
Gibbs Wharf - Aggregates Industries

Combined Rail Depot and Wharves

Purfleet  - Aggregates Industries
West Thurrock - Lafarge

Operational port of Tilbury


5.251 The MWDPD will identify these existing areas as safeguarded, in conjunction with additional site allocations.


1. Mineral Safeguarding Area

All site allocations for mineral extraction identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan will be based on the MSA to be identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and on the Proposals Map. All areas identified in the MSA will be safeguarded from non-mineral related development. Applications for non-mineral related development on the site allocations will be assessed against the policies provided in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

2. Aggregate Recycling and Secondary Processing Sites

The permanent authorised aggregate recycling capacity will be safeguarded from non-mineral related development, unless the proposals meet the criteria outlined in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and/or the site is identified for alternative use in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

All safeguarded sites will be allocated in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

3. Coated materials and concrete products

The permanent authorised facilities for concrete batching, manufacture of coated materials and concrete products, and the handling, processing and distribution of substitute, recycled and secondary aggregate material will be safeguarded from non-mineral related development, unless the proposals meet the criteria outlined in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and/or identified for alternative use in forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

All safeguarded sites will be allocated in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

4. Aggregate Wharves
All existing aggregate wharves will be safeguarded against proposals which prejudice their use for the importation of aggregates. The Council will favour proposals which contribute to the importation of aggregates where they accord with the policies in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan. New sites for possible aggregate wharves will be encouraged through policies in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

All existing aggregate wharves will be identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Not Applicable - To be added at Adoption stage.
The Minerals Safeguarding Area and sites will be identified in the forthcoming Thurrock Local Plan and identified on the Proposals Map.

Infrastructure Thematic Policies



5.252 The Council and its partners recognise that successful delivery of the Spatial Vision for Thurrock and the Spatial Policies that drive the Core Strategy will be reliant upon timely investment in the necessary infrastructure to bring forward sustainable development. A robust Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Framework, and fit-for-purpose Partnership Delivery Arrangements to ensure development is implemented as planned, is therefore vital to the future successful delivery of sustainable benefits to the Thurrock community. 

5.253 Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (TTGDC) have regeneration resources, borrowing powers, access to Treasury funds, planning control over major developments and land assembly powers, and are leading on the regeneration of particular communities in Thurrock. Thurrock Council as a Unitary Authority has tax-raising powers, borrowing powers, access to Treasury funds, planning control over minor developments, and land assembly powers. The Council is also a major purchaser of supplies and services and provider of public services to local people.  As the Statutory Spatial Planning Authority, the Council is responsible for ensuring the growth targets for this part of the Thames Gateway can be accommodated in a sustainable manner. The two authorities have complimentary powers and resources and recognise the need to have effective fit-for-purpose partnership delivery arrangements.

Thurrock Plans and Strategies

5.254 The Infrastructure Prioritisation and Implementation Programme 2006-2021 will be the driver for providing the full range of social and community, utility, transport and green infrastructure to underpin the regeneration and growth of sustainable communities throughout Thurrock over the Plan period.

5.255 The completed Study and Implementation Programme provides the Technical Evidence Base to support this policy. A Summary of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan and the resultant Infrastructure Trajectory are set out in the Monitoring and Implementation Chapter demonstrating their under-pinning of the Housing Trajectory. Full versions of the Study Reports and Infrastructure Implementation Programme have been published in tandem with this DPD. (See Appendix1 for details all supporting Technical Evidence Base documents).

5.256 The Study and Implementation Programme is considered by the Council as a sound basis for negotiating, obtaining and delivering the necessary infrastructure to underpin the regeneration and growth agenda set out in the Core Strategy.



  1.  The Council and Partners will adoptthe Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Plan as the basis for the Core Strategy Infrastructure Trajectory. The Council and Partners commit to an Annual Review of the above Delivery Plan for Monitoring and Reporting purposes with a fundamental Review every 3 years or more frequently if required by local circumstances, changes in Government guidance, requirements or Regulations.


  1. The Council and delivery partners will work together with other partners and stakeholders to set up a Strategic Infrastructure Board reporting to the Sustainable Communities Board of the Thurrock Local Strategic Partnership “Shaping Thurrock”. The Board will not have executive powers but will seek to arrive at jointly agreed decisions on priorities for investment.
  2. The Council and delivery partners also recognise that there may well be the need for Scheme-led or area-based Local Asset Backed Vehicles to be set up, such as for Purfleet PRIDe.
  3. A Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)  and a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule will be produced in consultation with partners and published in due course to support this policy.
  4. The Council recognises that the current economic climate may cause delay to the Delivery Plan.  Reductions in public spending may mean that there is less funding available for infrastructure.  Development may be less profitable than envisaged so growth will be slower to take place, and infrastructure expected to be funded by Section 106 obligations and/or CIL will be correspondingly delayed.  This may mean that the Council has to prioritise, bringing forward those schemes which are most important and/or easiest to deliver.

Key Diagrams and Maps

Not Applicable

Monitoring and Review

5.257 The Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) will include a progress report on this policy and the updated Infrastructure Trajectory under-pinning the Housing Trajectory.  The LSPwill publish an Annual Review of the Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Plan.  Relevant Targets and Indicators of Success are set out in the Implementation and Monitoring Chapter.

1 Planning and Climate Change - Supplement to PPS1

2 Policy WM3: Imported Waste, East of England Plan, May 2008

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