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MP demands answers after objection to Purfleet regeneration

28th October 2019
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

The long discussed plans for regeneration of Purfleet have suffered another setback as Highways England has lodged an objection due to the potential burden that the additional vehicles will bring to the A13.  Highways England have given notice that they will object to any development which exceeds 250 homes.  This will make it all but impossible to deliver much needed new homes in the area.  Furthermore, Highways England’s planned route of the Lower Thames Crossing will inevitably impact the A13 more than the new homes.  Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price raised the issue with Ministers in the House of Commons, saying:

“Plans to deliver 3,000 new homes in Purfleet in my constituency have ground to a halt following Highways England’s decision to reject any planning application for more than 250 houses due to pressure on the A13. I find it difficult to explain to my constituents why Highways England is putting a new motorway through Thurrock while preventing us from planning and delivering new homes. Will the Minister meet me to discuss the matter?”

Minister George Freeman replied,

“Yes, I would be delighted to meet my hon. Friend. She will be pleased to know that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport are working on the much closer integration of housing and transport”

After the exchange Jackie said,

“It is ridiculous that the Government has awarded over £60m to allow for the purchase of land to build new homes in Purfleet only to be thwarted by Highways England due to extra pressures on the A13.  It is even more ridiculous when the new Lower Thames crossing will add far more pressure than the plans for Purfleet.  There is no way that Thurrock can meet its future housing demand if Highways England is going to behave in this way.  If Highways England wants to reduce the future pressures on the A13 it should reconsider the route for the Lower Thames crossing and join it up with the A127.  This is the preferred route of people who live in Thurrock and which removes fewer sites for new homes.  If the Government is serious about delivering new homes, it really does need to get Highways England to change its behaviour.”

Image: UK Parliament