Councillors to decide on 750 homes on Thurrock Airfield

Thurrock councillors are set to decide on a plan for 750 new homes on green belt land.

Planning officers have recommended refusal of the homes along with a medical facility and retail and commercial units on Thurrock Airfield at Kings Farm, Parkers Farm Road, Orsett.

The plans were first submitted in 2019. After undergoing an environmental impact assessment the application was registered with the council in July 2021. They will finally be considered by Thurrock’s planning committee on Tuesday.

The council has received 85 letters objecting to the application, including from Dunton Community Forum. Objectors said the development was “unsafe” and would cause increased traffic congestion particularly around proposed new roundabout. Residents also objected to the loss of the airfield and if fully developed the site would be “twice as big as Bulphan” and could result in “urban sprawl”.

The council’s highways department recommended refusal saying: “The plans fail to incorporate appropriate measures to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists. Severe concerns remain with the lack of facilities for cyclists and pedestrians both in the vicinity of the site, along the A128 and in terms of linking the site to the nearby villages of Bulphan and Orsett.

“Therefore, it is clear that there will be a heavy reliance on motor vehicles for the residents of this development”.

The airfield, which has aircraft storage and repair services is currently in use and has between 15 and 20 aircraft parked there.

Planning officers said: “The proposals are inappropriate development in the green belt, would lead to the loss of openness and would cause some harm to the purposes of the green belt.

“Substantial weight should be attached to this harm in the balance of considerations. Although positive weight can be given to some of the benefits of the proposals, the identified harm must be clearly outweighed. In this case it is concluded that the identified green belt harm and any other harm are not clearly outweighed.”


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter