New flats and shops plan for derelict Grays site

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A LONGSTANDING blot on the Grays town centre landscape could soon be demolished to make way for a development of shops, restaurants and flats.

Thurrock Council’s planning committee will be recommended to approve the plans for the building to replace the fire-ravaged former Dominoes nightclub and gym, which is next to St Peter and St Paul’s Church on the High Street.

The site has been a long-running place of contention, and was the cause of a major row between Thurrock councillors and Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation in the past over who should determine its future.

Several plans for the site have also met with local opposition and have been rejected, though the new four storey development of retail space and 41 flats is being backed by planning officers.

In 2011 permission was granted for a 24 unit homes development on the site with four shops.

The new plans have already brought opposition from local residents. One, Alan Falder, says: “The proposed development is excessive for the site and the scale and design of the proposals would be harmful to the setting of the listed adjacent church building and does not demonstrate the quality which should be required in this sensitive location.

“The development ‘over-bears’ the significant and only listed building in this location. The significant lack of parking provision would place undue stress upon parking in the locality. The present application increases the previous approval dramatically with little amenity space provision and should be refused.”

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