onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003


October 25th, 2014

Poor Air Quality In Parts Of Rayleigh Town Centre

Rayleigh  High Street From the Tower

Not good news.

Levels of  Nitrogen Dioxide are still above national agreed levels  in parts of Rayleigh Town Centre. (Nitrogen Dioxide is a pollutant that comes from, amongst other things,   vehicle exhausts. ) The District Council is now planning to set up an “Area Quality Management Area” and is consulting  the public on how big an area it should cover.

Find out more on the District Council Website here.

October 24th, 2014

Great News From Wilko

Best news of the week …. As the Echo has reported, Guitarist Wilko Johnson says he has been cured of his terminal pancreatic cancer.

Back in 2012, about the time he received his diagnosis, we linked to this very evocative article by Wilko, about his life, Canvey, and the Thames Estuary

October 23rd, 2014

Essex Street Lights Switch-off To Be Raised In Commons

The decision by Essex County Council to switch-off street lights at midnight is to be raised in the House of Commons this morning by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell.
Liberal Democrat Sir Bob has had his name drawn for this morning’s Questions to the Secretary of State for Transport – and he has said that he will be asking about the road safety consequences for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians because of the black-out.
Sir Bob – who is a former Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Road Safety Group – has tried to get Essex County Council to alter its policy, but the Council has refused to do so.

October 22nd, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Phil & Tracy Capon Quit Tory Group

blue rosette

We understand that District councillors Phil and Tracy Capon have quit the Tory group today and gone independent.

That means we now have 25 Conservatives and a combined opposition of 14….

October 21st, 2014

Congrats To Jack

Congrats to Jack Monroe on winning the “Observer Food Monthly” Blogger of the Year Award !

October 20th, 2014

Mark Francois Sends In Objection To “North Of London Road”

It’s not that easy to navigate around the council website, but if you go here:

And then search for “London Road” , you will get to Counntyside’s application for about 500 homes North of London Road”.

Then click on “plans and comments” and then “view associated documents” – you have then got to people’s objections and comments.

One notable objection has been put on there today October 20th- a 4 page objection from Mark Francois MP. His key reasons can be summarised as:

  • Traffic situation along Rawreth Lane
  • Lack of binding guarantees regarding infrastructure
  • Cumulative Flood Risk
  • Educational, Medical and Dental Facilities
  • We are still reading through other comments and objections….

    October 19th, 2014

    Lucky Leicestershire

    From the Liberal England website:

    For Christmas shoppers in Market Harborough this year, here’s a surprising fact.

    As you walk across The Square in town in December, six metres below your feet will be a drilling machine – and the man operating it.

    He will be digging a tunnel for a pipe 1.2m in diameter as the first part of Anglian Water’s £1.5m flood alleviation scheme for the Coventry Road area of town.

    Anglian Water contract manager Rod Young said: “You won’t be able to see anything, and you probably won’t hear or feel anything either.

    “But there’ll be a drill bit tunnelling underneath The Square, with the driver sat towards the front of it.”

    October 18th, 2014

    Cheshunt Drive


    The District Council released the following press release yesterday:

    Prevention of Travellers’ site on Greenbelt

    Rochford District Council has successfully negotiated a solution to block travellers moving onto a greenbelt site in Rawreth.

    This comes after the authority’s Legal and Planning Officers attended the High Court on Friday, October 17, in relation to the site off Cheshunt Drive, Rayleigh.

    The council had previously obtained an interim injunction to prevent a residential occupation of the site ahead of the August bank Holiday weekend.

    It was deemed prudent to take this action rather than deal with the aftermath of any Travellers’ site being established, potentially saving the Council hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    A further hearing was not due to be held on October 30, but the parties were able to negotiate an agreeable solution without the need for a full hearing, saving considerable time and money.

    It was agreed that the defendant give a legal undertaking (a consensual promise) to the Court, instead of an injunction, not to:

    1. use the site as gypsy or traveller pitch

    2. erect, build or allow caravans, mobile homes, sheds, structures or storage facilities

    3. introduce hardstanding onto the site

    4. install or connect services to the site

    The Court accepted this undertaking and it is now legally binding.

    The legal effect of the undertaking is the same as an injunction. If the defendant were to breach this undertaking they could be held in Contempt of Court, which is punishable ultimately by imprisonment.

    Rochford District Council’s Portfolio holder for Planning, Councillor Ian Ward, said: “I am delighted that we have negotiated with the landowner to prevent a Traveller’s site from becoming established in this greenbelt location. This agreement is legally binding and is the best possible outcome for this site.

    “Rochford District Council decided to take pre-emptive action in this case, rather than risk a situation where we could have to shell out hundreds of thousands of pounds on an eviction.

    “However, I would also emphasise that the Council is taking steps to provide suitable space for Gypsies and Travellers through our Allocations Plan, which has provision for a lawful site at Michelins Farm which should reduce the potential for illegal encampments elsewhere.”

    October 17th, 2014

    Rawreth Parish Council’s Response In Full


    “RE: Planning Application 14/00627/OUT
    Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd
    Land North of London Road, and South of Rawreth Lane and West of Rawreth Industrial
    Estate, Rawreth Lane, Rawreth Essex

    Further to your letter, enclosing a copy of the submitted plans and applications in respect
    of the proposals detailed above, Council have the following comments and observations to make.
    The Council still have very grave concerns about the effect that developing the land will
    have on an area that already suffers from flooding. Whilst Council note that balancing
    ponds, basins and swails have been accounted for, the Parish of Rawreth is very unique
    in that it suffers from fluvial, tidal and surface water flooding and the Council does not
    feel that adequate notice has been taken of these factors and the correct information
    gathered and analysed. The Parish has suffered from the “one in a hundred years”
    event three times within eighteen months, however the advice given to the Developer
    from the Environment Agency asks them to work on the one in a hundred years scenario
    only, this is proven to be ineffective, vast areas of the Parish are cut off for days when
    these events happen, properties flood, roads are impassable and lives are devastated
    through loss and fear of it happening again.

    The Council would like to re-emphasise that the Rawreth Brook is influenced by tidal flow
    and this is a major contributory factor to flooding in the Parish.

    The Council would also like to re-emphasise that in addition to water from the immediate
    area draining into Rawreth Brook, water from Bowers Gifford also drains into it via the
    Benfleet Brook, a very significant factor that has been overlooked.

    The Council are concerned that all the technical work is being done upstream of the site,
    but none is planned for downstream, Council believe this is because it is assumed there
    is no adverse effect downstream which is totally unacceptable and incorrect

    The Council also considers that the roads and infrastructure in the Rawreth area are
    completely inadequate to accommodate this proposed development as they are already full to capacity .

    The A127, A1245, A129 London Road, Rawreth Lane and Watery Lane
    just cannot take any more traffic and the proposed development will increase traffic to a
    completely unsustainable level. On numerous occasions this year and last year incidents
    within and on the outskirts of the Parish have brought traffic to a standstill for hours along
    London Road, Rawreth Lane, Watery Lane/Beeches Road and the Hullbridge Road. It
    took some residents 1 1⁄4 hours to proceed along Rawreth Lane and into Hullbridge –
    a distance of 1 1⁄2 miles. We strongly recommend that an independent Traffic Survey
    and assessment should be done before any approval of this scheme. Without a long
    term solution to existing transport needs then this and any new developments are

    Council considers access to the site to be inadequate too, the access point is to and
    from Rawreth Lane, a road already over congested. Failure to improve the infrastructure
    at the access point and on surrounding roads will only add to the problems already
    experienced, the overall traffic flow to and from the development means congested
    roads will not improve and existing residents will only be inconvenienced more which
    Council doesn’t consider acceptable. It is assumed by Countryside that most traffic will
    exit via London Road and that is where they will spend money to “improve” traffic flow
    there will be very little improvement to Rawreth Lane, or the Rawreth Lane Hullbridge
    Road junction. There appears to be too much reliance on the Hullbridge Development
    financing any improvement on Rawreth Lane.

    Below is a copy of a traffic survey undertaken by Rawreth Parish Council in 2010, this
    survey is woefully out of date as traffic has increased since it was taken, but it still gives
    an idea of the traffic volumes that use Rawreth Lane and Beeches Road on a daily basis.

    Rawreth Parish Council – Traffic Survey 25th March 2010.
    Location Beeches Road, held between the hours of 7am and 7pm.

    7-9 AM 732 333
    9-11 AM 250 322
    11-12 PM 130 147
    12- 1 PM 131 140
    1-2 PM 128 150
    2-3 PM 118 195
    3-4 PM 120 247
    4-5 PM 131 384
    5-6 PM 171 595
    6-7 PM 111 335
    2022 2848

    The odd statistic from the figures show eastbound traffic is running at about 220 vehicles
    per hour whilst westbound is averaging at only about 170 vehicles per hour . This may
    be because of the congestion on Rawreth lane encourages more cars going east .
    There were considerable numbers of overweight vehicles mainly large transit type with
    double wheels or long wheelbase.

    Rawreth Parish Council – Traffic Survey 25th March 2010.
    Location Rawreth Lane, Recreation car park, held between the hours of 7am and

    Easterly Westerly
    7 – 8am – 460 7 – 8 am – 800
    8 – 9 – 565 8 – 9 – 910
    9 – 10 – 515 9 – 10 – 605
    10 – 11 – 457 10 – 11 – 496
    11 – 12 – 518 11 – 12 – 520
    12 – 1 – 460 12 – 1 – 515
    1 – 2 – 550 1 – 2 – 495
    2 – 3 – 607 2 – 3 – 526
    3-4 740 3 – 4 – 555
    4 – 5 – 821 4 – 5 – 594
    5 – 6 – 801 5 – 6 – 665
    6 – 7pm – 685 6 – 7pm – 536
    Total 7179 7217

    Council also considers the provision for a primary school to be unnecessary given that
    the Parish School of St Nicholas could easily be extended to accommodate any future
    need. Council feel that the space allocated for a school would be better utilised as a
    Doctors surgery as the existing surgeries in the area will not cope with a development of
    this size.

    The Council are extremely concerned that inadequate risk assessments and calculations
    have been undertaken with regards to flooding, and the effect of flooding on the Parish
    and surrounding area that together with the lack of assessment with regards to increased
    traffic movement and flow leaves the Council in no doubt that there will be extreme lack
    of infrastructure to support this development.
    Yours sincerely
    Hayley Bloomfield
    Clerk to Rawreth Parish Council ”

    October 16th, 2014

    “Extreme Lack Of Infrastructure”

    Rawreth Parish Council have now submitted their response to RDC regarding the proposed housing “North of London Road” (which is all within Rawreth). Hopefully we can publish their whole letter in a day or two; it concentrates on flooding issues, highways, infrastructure and education.

    The response ends with the words :240px-Rawreth_sign

    …..leaves the council in no doubt that there will be an extreme lack of infrastructure to support this development

    October 15th, 2014

    What’s Out At Sea?


    If you are  down by  the Thames , and are curious  about a cargo ship going past, you can find out about it by going to Type in “Thames Estuary” and you will get a map of the Thames with little markers showing the ships. You can click on the markers to get more info. Or you can search for the ship by name. It covers most of the world….

    October 14th, 2014

    No Birthday Cake Now For Pothole In Eastview Drive

    mortimer pothole


    Last month we mentioned a big pothole in Eastview Drive, Rayleigh   and how we’ve been trying to get it fixed.  Bruce was told last night at Rayleigh Town Council that there will be repairs done there on the 27th and 28th (with the road being closed)

    Choose the layout you want to see

    October 2014
    M T W T F S S
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    Latest Comments

    • The Mighty Oz: Bruce, yes in this case I agree but, of course, I would want to see the actual figures first̷...
    • admin: Thanks for your responses Bob – I think it’s the first time we’ve had an MP on here….
    • Bob Russell MP: Rest assured I will be pursuing the issue of road safety and street lighting – if there is no...
    • admin: I think Bob is still amassing evidence . And a useful part of that is to ask the minister. It also gets the...
    • bruce smart: Pretty dumb question as it obviously should cover everywhere. All of us will want the highest air...
    • The Mighty Oz: Jim, that is a good point, I have never seen a rabbit wearing sunglasses̷ 0;.😄
    • Jim Cripps: Oz – if you cannot see the better visibility logic then maybe you should eat more carrots then...
    • Christine Paine: I too would like to wish both of you the very best for the future. It seems as though the layers are...
    • The Mighty Oz: Jim, no it is not obvious, where are the facts to back up the scaremongering& #8230;.before the switch...
    • Jim Cripps: Oz – simple logic says that poorer visibility ( ie: dark ) certainly does’nt enhance the odds...
    • A.Matthews: All power to independent thought .Good luck to you both in the future ,hope you stand again at the next...
    • Phil Capon: If you want to know the truth we did not attend enough of the Conservative Constituency luncheons which...
    • John Mason: If memory serves me correctly the Hawkwell Development had been Refused planning permission prior to the...
    • The Mighty Oz: Wilko, is, as they say in these here parts, a “Top Geezer” but I have to say this is one...
    • The Mighty Oz: Mr Russell, do you have the figures / stats that irrefutably prove the accident rate has increased...
    • Bob Russell MP: “Street lights provide safety for all, so will the Minister responsible for Road Safety confirm that...
    • Jim Cripps: Ref: my point in post #2 above – MF article and photo in today’s Rayleigh Essex page, even he...
    • admin: Now THAT’S interesting! Nice work.
    • John Mason: The Green and Rochford District Residents Group believe that there is £30K saved in the budget from over...
    • Jim Cripps: Or they are waiting for the court ruling ( and hopefully the current traffic surveys )……
    • admin: Probably January. There are lots of important issues to be examined with this application, it will take a...
    • richard lambourne: Whilst I dont know all the circumstances, please remeber they were both “deselect ed”...
    • Jim Cripps: Admin – any sign of a date for the Planning Committee Review yet , it was muted as Oct/Nov , or are...
    • JIM Cripps: Also pleasing is the number of new names appearing on the postings on here now – A big increase...

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    There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

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    This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

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