Arena Essex, Thurrock

A hybrid planning application for up to 2,500 dwellings; a new lido with ancillary café; community pavilion; mountain bike / pump track; primary school; convenience retail store; open space and transport upgrades

Iceni Projects were instructed in late 2017 to submit a hybrid planning application for up to 2,500 dwellings; a new lido with ancillary café; community pavilion; mountain bike / pump track; primary school; convenience retail store; open space and transport upgrades. This planning application was submitted in November 2018.

The site is extremely challenging from a technical perspective and has a very large number of planning constraints. For this reason, the site has historically stalled, notwithstanding a single-issue review as part of the former Regional Spatial Strategy that identified the site as being well-placed to support growth around Lakeside Shopping Centre. These constraints include: Green Belt; existing uses (motorsport circuit); overhead pylons; protected cudweed; HSE consultation zones; being within an air quality management area; a susceptibility to noise from the A13 dual carriageway and M25 motorway; being in an area prone to highway blockages and as a former quarry site there are also significant topographical challenges.

In responding to the above, Iceni Projects prepared a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) that responded to the number and breadth of statutory and non-statutory consultees. This PPA was supported by Thurrock Council as the Local Planning Authority and is now being used as the basis for all PPAs in the Borough.

Consultees were also agreeable to several focused workshops that were framed around: (1) transport access; (2) the environment and ecology; (3) health and wellbeing; (4) amenities (e.g. noise, air quality, daylight / sunlight) and (5) utilities and water management. These workshops enabled inherent tensions between stakeholders to be unlocked and provided a platform to share the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be discussed. A separate business orientated group was set up with businesses in the Lakeside Basin as the largest amalgamation of retail space in Europe – so sensitive to any changes to the highway network.

A decision is expected in March 2019.

Key Contact

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Director of Business Development
T: 020 3435 4203 M: 07736 314 143
E: jbompas@iceniprojects.com
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Director
T: 020 3640 1033 M: 07557 805 372
E: esmeaton@iceniprojects.com
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Director
T: 020 3640 1031 M: 07584 886 068
E: djestico@iceniprojects.com