This is one, VERY expensive demolition site!

£11 million and who is counting’ What next for Stanford rail station project’. This is what has been spent so far on the botched ‘re-building’ of the railway station at Stanford-le-Hope – a project that’s being overseen by Thurrock Council. Note the use of the quote marks around ‘rebuilding’ because despite the station having been demolished over two years ago, apart from a ‘temporary’ gateline on the up platform, there’s sod all to show for this £11 million.

At a meeting of Thurrock Council’s standards and audit committee that took place on Thursday 11 March, the finance director of the council, Sean Clark attempted to put some of the blame for the ever rising costs of, and delays to this project on members of the planning committee. Clark implied that the insistence of the committee in not approving the first phase of the rebuilding until plans for the second phase had been properly drafted could prove ‘costly’.

This is how we covered the decision of the planning officers: Councillors 1 – Planning Officers 0. Given the screw ups that have happened so far on this ill fated project, wanting to consider the plans for the station in their entirety seems like common sense to us. But hey, what do we know? We’re just mere plebs and must defer to the wisdom of the senior officers engaged on this project at Thurrock Council.

To Sean Clark and any other senior officers who are engaged in this game of trying to shift the blame onto councillors who are only doing their duty in holding them to account, we’d like to draw their attention to the elephant in the room. Namely that the existing station buildings were demolished before plans for the replacement station structures had been properly drawn up and costed. Senior officers at Thurrock Council can’t escape the harsh fact that one or more of their number sanctioned the demolition of perfectly serviceable structures that should have been left intact until the replacement had been properly planned and costed.

We’ve said this before and make no apology in repeating it until we get answers and an apology:

All the while, the question of who the f**k sanctioned the demolition of the buildings at the railway station while plans and costings were no where near being finalised remains unanswered after two years. Also absent is any hint of an apology to the staff and users of the station who’ve had to put up with two years of working in and travelling to and from what to all intents and purposes is a demolition site.

Our patience is running thin…

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