‘Missing’ documents on controversial planning development were submitted on time councillors will be told

AN investigation has shown bungling Thurrock Council messed up by not putting a vital document before planning councillors.

Tonight (Thursday) those councillors will get a second chance to review a planning application that left developers with their head in their hands when it was deferred last month.

The bid for 102 homes on Devonshire Road was put on hold because council officer failed to include comments by the NHS, and what levy they might require from the profits of the development towards healthcare on the agenda.

Instead, they told councillors no response had been received.

However, it has now been revealed the NHS did respond with a three page letter months before the planning meeting and the council had posted that response on its planning portal website.

In the letter, dated May 18, the NHS states: “The GP practices do not have capacity for the additional growth resulting from this development and the cumulative development in the area.”

It also provided a health assessment that explains the application would require a contribution of £40,227 to create additional floor space at the Thurrock Health Centre in Grays.

Developers Bellway have said they have already gone as far as they can in meeting the requirements of a community levy on the project – known as a 106 agreement – and they have committed to making a payment of £550,000 towards primary and secondary education.

Planning chief Andy Millard told last month’s meeting if money was required for health resources, it would have to come from the pot already earmarked for education otherwise the developers would not see the project as financially viable in its current form.

Despite now having a report that says the new development will add to the strain on already over-burdened services, planning officers are still recommending the project should go ahead.