Thurrock Council has taken decisive action to halt unapproved work which was taking place in Biggin Lane, Grays, with officers issuing a Temporary Stop Notice to site operators today (Friday 15 May). It follows a multi-agency investigation, which has been on-going since early March, to tackle issues at the site and prevent operators removing sand without permission.
Cabinet member for regenration and strategic planning, Cllr Mark Coxshall, said: "Once again Thurrock Council has been resolute in its actions to stamp out works taking place without proper permission. This has followed a multi-agency investigation which has been ongoing for several weeks.
"We are now in a position to speak publicly about this matter for the first time and serve a notice on site operators which means that any work taking place in Biggin Lane must stop immediately.
"When critical enforcement action is being taken which requires evidence to be presented over a period of time in line with legal requirements, the council understandably will not comment in the public domain.
"I want to reassure the public again that we take all reports of such unauthorised activity very seriously and will take appropriate action to deal with those acting inappropriately. We will not tolerate this sort of activity in the borough and will use all means at our disposal to ensure that unapproved works do not continue."
Officers have served the site operators with a Temporary Stop Notice (TSN) which requires those responsible to: "Immediately cease all works, which include the engineering works, excavation works and the removal of materials from the embankment."
There is no right of appeal to a TSN and a failure to comply with a TSN can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court and a fine. The TSN takes immediate effect once served and remains in place for 28 days.
The council will be monitoring the site for compliance with the notice and will take action if the notice is breached in any way.