onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003


September 1st, 2014

Outline Application For “North Of London Road”

Countryside have now submitted an outline planning application for “North of London Road”. It is still being validated by the District Council planners, so we haven’t seen it yet , we’ll provide more info when we get it. But remember that all district councillors, including Chris and Ron, have to stay impartial until the meeting.

At a guess, it might come to the Development Committee in November for a decision.

The District Council have a webpage for “Major Residential Planning Applications”:

We would expect the application to appear on that page soon.

August 31st, 2014

Charity Quiz Night – October 4th

On Saturday the 4th of October Hayley Bloomfield is holding a Fundraising Quiz Night at Rawreth Village Hall. She has told us:

The Quiz is being held to raise money for my friends son, who at the age of 21 has been diagnosed with three brain tumours, and having now undergone two major brain operations and three rounds of unsuccessful chemotherapy there is no available treatment left for him on the NHS so, we are raising money to pay for Reece to receive private treatment, and a drug that could significantly alter his life.

The quiz starts promptly at 7.30pm, teams can have a maximum of 8 members, and the cost per team member is £13 which includes either a fish and chip, or chicken and chip supper from Peggoty’s.

If you would like to support this event and enter a team please email me ( ) and I can forward an entry form to you.

You may have seen or heard about Reece Hawley in the local press, national press, and on ITV’s “This Morning” Reece lives in Basildon, and until he was diagnosed last year was training to be a teacher, he is one of the most humbling young men I know, and I am truly privileged to be part of his fundraising team.

I hope you can join us on the night, it will be a lot of fun, with a very tried and tested Quiz Master.

Kind Regards
Hayley Bloomfield
Clerk to Rawreth Parish Council

Here’s just a little bit about Reece.

Reece was a fit healthy young man, when in May 2013 two weeks after his 20th birthday he had a bleed on the brain. He had surgery after which the surgeon advised us that the bleed was caused by an AVM (Arterial Venous Malformation) which was as he thought. It was removed and as far as he was concerned he had cured Reece. 5 days later we received the pathology report which confirmed high grade aggressive malignant brain tumour.
Reece went on to have the standard treatment of 6 weeks daily radio/chemotherapy followed by 6 cycles of chemo Reece flew through the treatment with hardly any side effects and was doing so well, which was confirmed by his first follow up MRI in October 2013, it showed no enhancement or re-occurrence.

Then suddenly Reece had a few strange symptoms hiccups that lasted 2 days, couple of headaches and then felt really strange one day which led to him being hospitalised. Reece was scanned a week early to when his next scheduled scan was due and unfortunately they found two new tumours had grown just outside of the radiation perimeter.

The three different chemo’s used so far haven’t worked which means all treatments that are available on the NHS have now been tried.

We are now looking to fundraise as much as we can to give Reece more options. These would include consultations with Neuro-Oncologists around the world and other methods of treatment. One type of treatment in particular, Avastin, has been recommended by Reece’s Oncologist. Avastin was, up until last year, available and provided by the NHS but unfortunately funding for this was pulled leaving those in Reece’s position no choice but to fund it themselves at approximately £4,000 per cycle every 2 weeks.

Reece has his whole life stretching ahead of him with so many hopes and dreams to fulfil. He is a gentle, friendly, loving and selfless person that will always put others before himself and we are so proud to have him as part of our family. He has promised his girlfriend of nearly 4 years that he will try anything but the unfortunate thing is that it seems no-one has anything much to offer him to try.

Reece is a real inspiration and has said that if his life had to end now he is really grateful for the 21 years that he has already had. His words were that he feels his upbringing was the best and he had been lucky enough to meet the girl of his dreams. This breaks our hearts and makes us feel so helpless, we would do anything within our power to help him.

We understand that not everyone is in the position to spare money but any help that can be provided, including raising awareness of this predicament that those diagnosed with brain tumours find themselves in, is extremely appreciated.
If you would like any further information regarding Reece’s progress or other fundraising events we have going on at the moment please feel free to contact us at or follow Reece’s journey through his facebook page ‘Reece Tumournater Hawley’

August 30th, 2014

Drainage Update

Laburnum Way

Laburnum Way

The District Council have a page here. The next meeting of the Flood Forum is at at the Civic Suite, Rayleigh, at 4pm on October 1.

Below is what the council are saying about particular sites. In addition we know they are looking at part of Ferndale Road, Rayleigh , and that the Environment Agency have identified a problem in the ditch between Deepdene Avenue and Willow Drive, Rayleigh. Surprising to see no mention of Church Road, Rawreth here….. !

1. Watery Lane
Rochford District Council has been working with Essex County Council to try to find a way to resolve the situation there. There has been some maintenance work on the existing highway drainage system and ditch system. We are now in talks with the landowner about additional drainage works to alleviate the situation. As the work would be on private land, the landowner’s consent is needed.

2. Hedgehope Avenue
Anglian Water have run pipes through a section of open ditch in the area. Information from residents is that this has been successful.

3. Sweyne Park
Rochford District Council is set to go out to tender with a contract for ditch clearance and reconstruction of screens (which work to prevent debris from entering the pipework.)
Subject to contractor availability, this work will commence in the Autumn.

4. Beneath the railway bridge in Spa Road, Hockley
The gullies have been cleared of all blockages and Essex County Council will be ensuring regular maintenance takes place.

5. Beneath the railway bridge in Hall Road, Rochford
There was a problem was one of the gullies, which has now been replaced. The other gullies have been cleared of all blockages.

6. Rectory Road, Hawkwell
This will be put on Essex County Council’s schedule for maintenance

7. Beneath the railway bridge in Church Road, Hockley
The gullies have been cleared of all blockages. Essex County Council has an urgent job planned for high pressure water jetting, in order to remove any blockages. This will be followed up with a CCTV survey.

8. Kingsmead Cottages, Barling
A contractor has been instructed to dig out the ditch, there will be a meeting with landowners and work is due to proceed imminently. The carriageway retaining wall serving the highway culvert will be repaired/replaced after the ditch works have been completed.

9. Salem Walk & Fairmead
Work has been done by Anglian Water to clear ditches and vegetation. Anglian Water, the Environment Agency and the landowner are discussing the requirements for further maintenance of this major storm sewer.

10. Westminster Drive, Hockley

Rochford District Council has cleared out a section of ditch. We can confirm that the remainder of the ditch will be cleared by the relevant landowner now that his crop has come off the field.

11. Riverside Industrial Estate and The Horse & Groom Pub

This site falls under the remit of the Environment Agency and this is being discussed with them.

12. Laburnham Way, Rayleigh
Rochford District Council has made the landowner aware of problems with the ditch and discussions will be continuing.

13. Rochford Reservoir
Work is done on a regular basis to prevent silt building up in the inlet to the reservoir. This will be incorporated with the Sweyne Park contract, with maintenance set to be carried out.

14. Blower Close, Rayleigh
Work being done to clear the grille and reinstate ditches at Turret Open Space, which will alleviate the problems of Blower Close. Residents have been advised and have cleared two road drains which are not part of the adopted road structure, and further investigations are taking place.

15. Windsor Way, Rayleigh
Nothing obvious was found on a visual inspection. Work will be done to clear the gullies. The need for regular maintenance was discussed at the meeting, and Essex County Council will take back the points raised.

16. Trinity Road, Rayleigh
Rochford District Council has brought this site to the attention of Anglian Water, who are going to do a CCTV survey.

17. Fairland Close, Rayleigh
Essex County Council and Anglian Water have been made aware of issues here. Anglian Water will carry out a CCTV survey.

18. Tudor Close, Rayleigh
Essex County Council attended but a car was parked over the gully, they knocked on the door, but were unable to gain access. Essex County Council have been asked about the possibility of forewarning residents prior to visits, which will be taken back and reviewed.

19. Warwick Road/Warwick Close, Rayleigh
The problem seems to be occurring where the new re-surfaced road meets the existing road. Essex County Council are looking into the matter.

20. Rawreth Lane
A collapsed drain is being repaired by Essex County Council.

21. Victoria Avenue
The majority of blocked gullies have been cleared. Anglian Water have indicated there are ongoing investigations regarding the main sewer, in conjunction with Essex Highways.

22. Nr Cornhill Avenue, Hockley
Anglian water will look into a matter where a landowner at present is responsible for a grille/screen which protects one of their pipes. Hockley Parish Council is responsible for the ditch through Marylands Open Space and they are taking steps to ensure that it is clear flowing.

23. Sir Walter Raleigh Close
Anglian Water is due to do some surveying work.

24. Rayleigh Weir underpass and Eastwood Brook
Concerns were raised about the arrangements for pumping water from the underpass when flooded and whether water is pumped into the Eastwood Brook network. Eastwood Brook runs from Rayleigh (Rochford District Council’s area) through Eastwood (Southend Borough Council’s area) and is a major ditch, which for most of its length is the responsibility of the landowners. Rayleigh Weir falls under the remit of Essex County Council.

25. Shakespeare Avenue/Grove Road, Rayleigh
There have been problems with a storm water drain blowing. This is now on the list for Rochford District Council to visit. Anglian Water are also carrying out investigation work.

26. Canterbury Close, Rayleigh; Wyburns Avenue East, Rayleigh; Vernon Avenue, Rayleigh; Kimberley Road, Great Wakering
These will be now reviewed.

27. Pump Stations at Etheldore Avenue and Wood Avenue
Rochford District Council will be contacting the developer of Etheldore estate with a view to meet on site and resolve situation.

August 29th, 2014

Under Attack

Sorry for our brief absence . We’ve had nasty online criminals attacking our website, but things are OK now and we are back…

August 27th, 2014

The District Council’s Annual Report

annual report july 2014

The District Council are encouraging people to read their annual report, which you can download by clicking here.

Perhaps the most positive thing this year is recycling – we are back to being the number one district in England.

August 26th, 2014

Register To Vote Online

polling station sign

You can register online to vote at the website here.

It takes about 5 minutes, you will need your NI number , if you have one.

August 25th, 2014

The Essex Eye

the essex eye

OnlineFOCUS readers may be interested in a newish website called “Essex Eye”. It has local crime news and crime prevention advice. It’s not altogether clear who’s writing it. The site conveniently collects together information that’s been published elsewhere.

There is almost too much crime data to look at , including links to monthly crime figures for each council ward!

August 24th, 2014

Where Is Cheshunt Drive?

Cheshunt Drive today

Cheshunt Drive today


If you are wondering where Cheshunt Drive is, it is along Rawreth Lane, between Priory Chase and Trenders Avenue. There is no road name shown on Google Maps , perhaps because it is an unmade road with no houses.

August 23rd, 2014

District Council Takes Pre-Emptive Action Against Travellers

From the District Council website yesterday:

Rochford District Council has successfully obtained a High Court Interim Injunction to block travellers moving onto a greenbelt site in Rawreth.

The High Court Order was obtained as a pre-emptive measure to prevent the site off Cheshunt Drive, off Rawreth Lane, from being used as a Gypsy/Traveller site.

The move was taken by the Council because hardcore and fencing had appeared on the site, and it was considered necessary and expedient to take action to prevent a residential occupation of the site.
It was viewed that it would be prudent to take action ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend rather than deal with the aftermath of any Travellers’ site being established.

By taking pre-emptive action, this could save the Council hundreds of thousands of pounds associated with a situation where Travellers have already settled on a site.

If the landowner were to breach the Interim Injunction they would be in Contempt of Court, which is punishable ultimately by imprisonment.
The order means the landowner cannot:

Use the site as a Gypsy/Traveller pitch
Erect, bring or allow caravans or mobile homes (of any type whatsoever including touring or static), sheds, structures or storage facilities on the site
Introduce hardstanding onto the site
Carry out any building works or engineering operations whatsoever including but not limited to the installation, or connection to, services on the site.
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Councillor Ian Ward, said: “Rochford District Council has successfully obtained a High Court Interim Injunction to block travellers moving onto a greenbelt site in Rawreth.

“We’ve all heard of the horror stories where councils have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to evict Travellers from a site which is unsuitable. It would seem much more sensible to take pre-emptive action where it is necessary. This is a much cheaper and more effective option, which saves the taxpayer from having to shell out large sums of money.

“The Council will not hesitate in taking firm and decisive action against those who breach planning rules.

“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.”

The Council will pursue a full injunction at the High Court next week.

Ron and Chris were consulted on this, and were in full support…

August 22nd, 2014

Looking Up……

Two WW2 Lancaster aircraft, flown over from Canada , were at Southend Airport today with a Spitfire and a Hurricane. If you were lucky, you might have seen them there, or watched them fly over Rayleigh and Rawreth this afternoon.

Incidentally Southend Airport was an RAF base in WW2. According to Wikipedia: 1939, the Air Ministry requisitioned the airfield and it was known as RAF Rochford during World War II. It became a satellite base. During World War II, it became a base for fighter squadrons comprising Supermarine Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes as well as Bristol Blenheims. Many of the 50 pillboxes that were designed to protect the airport from paratroop landings still survive, as does the underground defence control room, which is near to Southend Flying Club. A further 20 or so pillboxes also remain in the surrounding countryside.

We are grateful to Hayley Bloomfield for these photos (click on them to enlarge)

lancaster 4

planes  3

planes 2

planes 1

August 22nd, 2014

Looking Back….

1943   newspaper

model wiindmill

If you are going into Rayleigh over the weekend, Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass still have their exhibition until Monday. It’s in the Rayleigh Town Council Chamber, The Pavilion, King George’s Playing Field (back of Webster’s Way car park) from 13th August to 25th August 2014. Open daily from 10am to 3pm (4pm at weekends & on Bank Holiday Monday).

There’s a chance to find out about Rayleigh men who served (and died) in WW1, buy books about local history, look at the large-scale Ordnance Maps of Rayleigh for 1959 to see what your street was like then, see lots of old photos, and read about the gruesome Rayleigh Bathchair murder of 1943.

A copy of the Southend Standard for 1943 mixes snippets about the war –

“Private James Cotgrove is a prisoner in Japanese hands. His home is at Tranmere , Kensington Road, Thorpe Bay”

-with the more ordinary –

The sanitary inspector is authorised to erect a notice at the Junction of Down Hall Road and London Road stating that the depositing of tins and cans is prohibited”

August 21st, 2014

Consultation Number 2 : On Ward Boundaries

election consultation

Another consultation is on ward boundaries for council elections…

What’s it about? It’s about drawing up new ward boundaries for council elections in Rochford District.

What isn’t it about? – it’s not about parliamentary elections. Only District Council.

What’s the deadline for replying? 12th September

Give me a bit more info: Its time for a government commission to look at all the various council wards we have in Rochford District. This is to ensure that , roughly, each councillor represents the same number of people. There’s a bit of an imbalance at the moment – for example Downhall and Rawreth Ward has more residents than average. The current intention is to keep the same number of councillors – 39. But at the moment we mostly have wards with two Councillors each , for example, Rayleigh currently has eight 2-member wards. Though some wards, like Hullbridge, have 3 councillors, and some , like Barling and Sutton , have 1 councillor. The commission would change this to have all wards with 3 councillors. Now the new ward boundaries have to be drawn up, also taking into account new housing expected in the next few years.

Are there any big changes planned? Well, it’s going to mean big changes across the district. For example, in west Rayleigh and Rawreth we currently have three wards, each with 2 councillors – Downhall & Rawreth, Grange, and Sweyne Park. These are likely to become just two wards, with 3 councillors each. Where do you draw the new boundaries? One way to begin would be to expand Downhall and Rawreth ward southwards to include all of Down Hall Road.

Where can I find out more? Look at the District Council website here You can draw your own lines on a map, and leave comments.

Choose the layout you want to see

September 2014
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The Core Strategy

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

Planning Applications…

If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

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If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
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“Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

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