onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Wakering & Foulness

Officers Recommend : Don’t Allow This Church To Be Demolished

united reform church

There’s a planning application on the latest “Weekly List” to demolish the United Reform Church to be demolished and be replaced by a two-storey garage/ games room for an adjacent dwelling.

The key question here is not whether the building should be kept as a church, because planning permission has already been given to convert it to one residential unit. The key question is whether the building should remain, as part of the Great Wakering Conservation Area.

Officers are recommending refusal of the application because of its ‘positive contribution’ to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

You can find the officers report here.

Lost Walks Of Rochford

Paglesham -lookingouttoWallaseaIsland

 

From the District Council website

 

Help us rediscover lost walks and hidden heritage in rural and coastal Rochford District.

Join us on foot or online and help reveal the stories of Rochford’s changing landscape through a series of public walks.

Walk 1: Barling – Wakering
Wednesday 9 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet at All Saints Church, Church Road, Barling
Ends at St Nicholas Church, 2 New Road, Great Wakering

Walk 2: Hullbridge – Hockley – Hullbridge
Wednesday 9 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Walk starts and ends at the Anchor Riverside Pub, Ferry Road, Hullbridge
Free Public Car Park next to the Anchor Inn

Walk 3: Ashingdon – South Fambridge – Canewdon
Thursday 10 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet by Ashingdon Primary Academy, Fambridge Road, Ashingdon
Ends at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon

Walk 4: Canewdon – Wallasea Island – Paglesham East End
Thursday 10 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Starts at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon
Ends at The Plough and Sail Public House, East End, Paglesham

Please further information please phone 01702 318171or email arts@rochford.gov.uk

Share your stories and photos of rural and coastal Rochford on the Facebook page in related links

Follow the walks on Twitter @RochfordWalks

Lost Walks of Rochford is led by artists Ali Pretty and Richard White, working with Rochford District Council Arts Development. Ali and Richard regularly collaborate on creative walking projects described as ‘feet on the ground and digitally connected’. Their walks through Rochford District will be documented and archived using social media, mapping and tracking technology.

 

116 Homes, A Takeaway, And Lots Of Windows

bellhouse

It was a long meeting for the District Council Development Committee on Thursday evening. There were only 3 items, but a lot of debate! This was the outcome:

Star Lane Brickworks, Great Wakering – 103 houses and 13 flats. This is the kind of application that councillors like in principle – converting a derelict brownfield site into homes. The density was reasonable, and every house met our minimum garden standards. But most councillors were unhappy. Some Councillors , such as Ron Oatham, criticised the architecture, others, such as Jo McPherson , were concerned that there was only 10% affordable housing when our policy is for 35%. The response from officers was that independent assessments had shown that the scheme was only financially viable with a low percentage of affordable housing.

The chair of the meeting, Phil Capon, read the mood of the meeting well, and showing good chairmanship, moved that the application be deferred to allow further discussions, and this was agreed. It shows how difficult it can be to deal properly with large planning applications in one meeting.

215 London Road, Rayleigh – conversion of a shop into a takeaway This item had been called in by Toby Mountain. Joan Mockford moved refusal for aa number of reasons including noise,and nuisance, and it was refused.

Bell House, High Street, Great Wakering – New Windows This is a sheltered housing complex in Great Wakering, just outside the Conservation Area (see the picture above). Sanctuary Housing Association had applied to replace the old rotting wooden windows with pvc ones. Officers had recommended refusal because of the unsuitable appearance next to the Conservation Area. However councillors thought that brown pvc would actually be suitable, and approved the application. The elderly ladies in the public gallery, who had sat there cheerfully all night, went home happy – they are going to get warmer hosues and no drafts…..

The Battle Of Wakering Common

essex police logo

We haven’t mentioned the Rochford District Community Archive for a while. So here’s a link to  a story of alcohol and violence from 1912:

“At that time there was just one village policeman who depended to a great extent on the good will of most of the villagers and his strong wooden stick to keep order. There was no telephone, no police car, just him, his bicycle and… “

 

The Buddha Pizza Oven

Here’s something a bit diferent… planning application 13/00693/FUL on Foulness Island. It’s the last item on this weeks weekly list, and will be passed if no councillor calls it in by next Wednesday.

It’s basically an application to allow some former allotments to be a communal garden with some sculptures. It is a retrospective application – the sculptures are already there. The location is “Land Opposite 19 Churchend, Foulness Island”

Here’s some extracts from the report:

….This application is retrospective and seeks retention of the land as residential garden/storage and the retention of various sculptures including faux Roman ruins, steps, a sculpture of one plus infinity, a loggia, Buddha pizza oven and canopy, marble sculpture tropism, marble sculpture gala and marble sculpture daemon…


24 letters and drawings of support have been submitted with this application from the community of Foulness and in addition to this a petition in support has been signed by 88 people. Whilst the proposal description refers to the site as ‘residential garden/storage’ it is clear from the letters and from a visit to the site that this area has been left open to the community of Foulness to view and use as a community garden.
The site is a parcel of land surrounded by trees and hedging on its boundary. There is no planning history confirming the historical use of this area although the supporting information suggests that its last use was as allotments…

….It should be made clear that it is the exceptional circumstances at this site relating collectively to the previous allotment use, the unique nature of Foulness Island, the enclosed nature of the site with hedging and the community support towards this venture which makes this proposal acceptable. This should ensure that a precedent would not be set for comparable land to be used as residential garden in general across the Island. This equally would not allow a precedent to be set for other sites throughout the district to undertake similar work which are more likely to be located within the Metropolitan Green Belt and thus to be more stringently controlled anyway…

Essex County Council Conservation Dept. don’t object , even though they have doubts about having some of these items inside a conservation area (CA):

ECC CONSERVATION
-
Comments as follows:
o I have no objections in principle to the proposed change of use of the site from allotments to what is basically a “sculpture garden”.
o While this is, in theory a very nice idea, some of the larger features of the garden are considered to have an impact on the character and
appearance of the conservation area.
o The loggia and the canopy of the “Barry the Buddha” recycled pizza oven are not of the standard of structure expected in a CA, are extremely unsightly and would, if seen from the public realm, have an adverse impact on the CA. The “faux Roman ruins”, while not unattractive in themselves, are so out of place in the CA that they would detract from its character.
o I understand that the intention is that the garden will be screened by bushes – “anything visible will be concealed by further growth”. This seems reasonable to me. The site would be much more effective as a
“secret garden”, anyway, with the element of surprise.
o I raise no objections to the application, and consider that the problems of the potentially unsightly appearance of a few of the items of display would be resolved by the use of planting – native species, preferably. I suggest a condition of permission to the effect that a programme of new planting/maintenance of existing be produced by the applicant and agreed with your arboriculturist, to ensure that this happens

You can find the full application here.

Recent Planning Applications – One Traveller Pitch, Late Night Opening, A Church Conversion And Two Chalet Bungalows

Here are some brief details of a few recent planning applications (no decisions have been made yet):

13/00392/FUL Retention of a one pitch gypsy/traveller site
Land West of pumping station , Watery Lane, Rawreth.

13/00607/FUL Extend opening hours of cafe/restaurant with takeaway facility up to 3 am .
8 Eastwood Road Rayleigh

13/00621/FUL Form accommodation within St Mary’s Church, Foulness

13/00588/FUL Subdivide plots and build a pair of four-bedoomed chalet bungalows.
Rear of 38 and 36 Brooklyn Drive Rayleigh, on land adjacent to
12 Dartmouth Close, Rayleigh.

You can find them all here

Pavement problems In Great Wakering….

twyford

 

From FixMyStreet

Grass verge pitted by parking of cars.

Reported in the Pavements/footpaths category anonymously at 08:27, Thursday
Sent to Essex County Council 3 minutes later

Grass verge muddy and unsightly, edge of pavement becoming broken and dangerous. might not be long before an elderly person trips on pavement due broken edges. Requires to be concreted as has been carried out previously.

 

Countryfile Visits Our District

 

The BBC programme Countryfile visits the most dangerous public footpath in our country – the Broomway to Foulness Island.

You can find it on iplayer here - at least for a while.

Did you know Essex has the longest coastline of any English county?

“Should be attended to with urgency”

 

 

From FixMyStreet today, a Wakering problem:

.

Broken pavement edges.

Reported in the Pavements/footpaths category anonymously at 13:16 today
Sent to Essex County Council 4 minutes later

Pavement broken with large potholes at edge. This right outside Bell House main entrance, Bell House being shelted housing. Should be attended to with urgency when considering the residents who cross pavement in this location.

A Website About Wakering

If you are interested in local history, or the Wakering area, be sure to look at http://www.wakeringheritage.org.uk/index.html   . The website is full of stuff on Wakering, Barling and Foulness, from executing robbers in Anglo-Saxon times (men were hung, women were drowned) , to a list of people living there in 1874, to the Luftwaffe dropping in during WW2.

My aim is to reveal the history of Great Wakering and its surrounding villages over the past one hundred years. This period covers two World Wars and goes far enough back to the days when, cars, telephones, mobile Phones and computers did not exist. Life was much slower and aspirations lower but most communities co-existed in harmony.

 

 

One Way To Visit Foulness Island – And A Reason To Go

Foulness is surely one of the most curious places in England – it’s been inhabited for millennia, but has been a centre for Hi-Tech weapons research. You need a pass , and  a reason, to visit. There’s a slight Doctor Who or Quatermass feel to the place.

The Rochford District Community Archive explains one way to visit:

There is a very interesting and active Heritage Centre on the island of Foulness which is located in the old Foulness School buildings at Churchend. The centre is run by volunteers from the Foulness Conservation and Archaeological Society.
_
The Heritage Centre is a vibrant and fascinating place containing artifacts dating back to prehistoric times found on the island. There is also an extensive contributed collection of photographs, documents and memorabilia.
_
After many years of preparatory work the centre was opened in 2003 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the East coast floods. Since then many visitors from the mainland have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere. Islanders past and present also come regularly to share the community spirit found in these familiar buildings.
_
The centre is only open every first Sunday of the month from April to October between midday and 4pm. The entry gate is at Landwick. To get there, take the road from beside Great Wakering church. On arrival at the QinetiQ gatehouse you must obtain a vehicle day pass and drive from there directly to the Heritage Centre car park. There is no public transport between the gate and the centre and the distance is several miles.
_
Weather permitting, a one hour tractor tour of the far end of the island starts at 2:30pm outside the centre.
_
Sadly the pub at Churchend is closed down, but you can get a cup of tea and a cake at the centre. The post office beside the pub is worth looking at. It won’t be open on Sundays, but you can peep through the window! St Mary’s church is also now boarded up and in a dangerous state but still looks lovely in the Spring sunshine, witness the photo at the bottom of this page taken in April 2012.

 

Find out more about St Mary’s church here.

Two More FixMyStreets

And they are from opposite sides of the district:

 

From Councillor Colin Seagers in Great Wakering:

Pavement trip hazard

Reported in the Pavements/footpaths category by Cllr Colin Seagers at 12:45, Saturday 3 November 2012
Sent to Essex County Council 4 minutes later

In front of The Oysters, Common Road, Great Wakering, Essex (about 15m past Wedds Way) a crack and ridge in tarmac pavement running at 90 degrees across most of pavement width. 3 trips reported to me, including an ankle injury and broken teeth resulting.

 

and from Mark Hooper in Rawreth:

Blocked Drainage in Rawreth Lane

Reported by Mark Hooper at 12:29, Sunday
Sent to Essex County Council and Rochford District Council 1 minute later

After the downpour of rain today, water is escaping from the drainage gratings in Rawreth Lane near to Cheshunt Drive. The surplus water is then flooding the road. Presumably the drains are blocked. Please can this be rectified. Many thanks.

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
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