A New Clock Tower In Rochford?

A new planning application is just in for a 6.4 metre high Clock Tower in Cherry Orchard Way. Unfortunately there’s a problem on the RDC website tonight, so we can’t look at the details yet…

scout building2

Scout Building Application At the End Of Priory Chase

There’s a new planning application just in – for a scout building next to St Nicholas School and adjacent to Arundel Gardens, Rayleigh
scout building


A Few More Thoughts About That Roundabout….

1. According to the document from the applicant’s traffic consultant, the 500 houses in Hullbridge would cause a big increase in congestion if no improvements are carried out. They predict that by 2019, without the 500 houses , there would be queues in Rawreth Lane in the evening rush hour of 45 cars, with delays of 210 seconds. (some people might argue  the queues  are that bad already)  With the extra 500 homes, the queues would be more than twice as bad – 107 vehicles long and 475 seconds.

roundabout12. Their consultants reckon the bigger roundabout would solve the problem, even with “a  proposed development on the adjacent land of up to 100 dwellings”. Who is proposing 100 houses on the adjacent land?!

roundabout23.  Just to make it clear , the plan that was passed does NOT cut off Mortimer Road from Hullbridge Road.

44. The chair  of the  meeting,  Cllr Seagers, cut off Chris Black from speaking after 5 minutes, even though he was still  talking  about  the details of the roundabout and the surrounding features .   Though council rules DO give the chair discretion to allow speakers to continue for longer:




Getting Back To Normal – And Back To Business

Hopefully, the hacking attack on onlineFOCUS has been dealt with now (fingers crossed).
We are trying to get back to normal.

The main event this week is tomorrow night’s meeting of the Development Committee, where a decision will be made on the big housing application on the SW Hullbridge /Rawreth borders and the roundabout application at the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction…


The Hullbridge/Rawreth and Roundabout Applications Have Their Own Pages On the Council Website

If you want to study the two applications due to come up on March 22nd, they  both have their own pages on the council website, full of links to lots of documents, plans etc.:

Click here for the Hullbridge/Rawreth application page.

Click here for the Roundabout application page.

It makes them a lot easier to look at.



BREAKING NEWS: New Roundabout Application

The planning application for the new roundabout at the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction has just been submitted. It is application 16/00162/FUL and you can see it here

The first thing we’ve noticed is good news.  Unlike  a previous plan that we’ saw, Mortimer Road still has access onto Hullbridge Road.

The other news is that there is no longer a extra road access going ominously into Lubbards Farm. That’s been removed. But there’s still room to add an extra exit at a later date. Also the accompanying Transport Assessment states:

“a requirement of the landowner is to consider future development access”

That looks like a hint for a future planning application  on part of Lubbards Farm. We will say no more, to avoid ‘fettering our discretion’

This is the current plan (click to enlarge)




This is the previous plan we saw:

roundabout plan


Breaking News: Hullbridge/ Rawreth Housing Application on March 22nd

We have just heard the following from Hullbridge Green Party Councillors Michael and Diane Hoy about the application for 500 homes on the Hullbridge / Rawreth borders

We have just been advised that the Outline Planning Application for Hullbridge is going to the Development Control meeting on 22 March.
Both myself and Diane will be there to speak for residents.




Fairly Quiet On the Western Front

Here’s a brief update on the 3 substantial planning applications that we’ve had in Rawreth :

The “North of London Road” application from Countryside was of course passed last year. This was an outline application and the number of homes wasn’t , but would be between 400 and 500. The paperwork and legal stuff following the approval is still being sorted out. At some stage you can expect one or more detailed applications.

The “Timber Grove” application was , perhaps surprisingly, withdrawn last month. This was for 91 homes plus a replacement care home for the existing Timber Grove. No doubt there will be a new application at some stage.

The “Site Adjacent to Grange Villa” application is still ongoing and will be coming to the Development Committee sooner or later (but not this month). This is for 47 homes.

So watch out for more news in the future…


A Red Card Or A Winning Goal ? Sports Pitch Application at Fitzwimarc

There’s only one planning application on this week’s “Yellow List”- but it’s an interesting and important one. It’s a planning application for an outdoor artificial sports pitch, with floodlighting, at Fitzwimarc School. It’s recommended for approval – if no councillor calls it in to committee by 1 pm next Wednesday, it will be passed.

The report is lengthy – 67 pages long. You can download it here. It’s too long to summarise here, but issues such as nuisance from floodlighting, noise and potential flood risk are discussed, as is the need for sports pitches in the western part of the district. Proposed hours are 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm Saturdays and 9am to 8pm Sundays and Bank holidays.

Here are some sample comments, both for and against:

Currently, there are a number of local pitches which are not fit for
purpose in the winter as they become waterlogged and unplayable. I
believe that this installation will enable our
children to continue to enjoy football (and other sports) throughout the year.
As a parent and local Head Teacher I am passionate about the importance of sport in our
schools and communities, and I fully support the proposal

It will be sited as far away from local houses to avoid any nuisance and
it can also be used by children in the school holidays avoiding excess
travel to similar facilities in Southend or Thundersley. This facility if
approved will be great for the community of all ages.
In relation to the construction of the 3G pitch. I am supportive of this as
a Rayleigh resident. 3G pitches are the next generation to develop
skills for young and old alike in football and it was a disappointment
that this was not considered at the Rayleigh sports centre which
currently has hard court outside facilities when it was built. Hard court
pitches at the sports centre become dangerous when it’s cold and wet.
The 3G pitches will be safer and provide an all year round football
facilities to Rayleigh’s football teams and also bring Fitzwimarc school
on a par with Sweyne school with its facilities.

I am writing this objection from my position as a schoolteacher. I am
absolutely astounded and bewildered that FitzWimarc are even
considering installing a 3G synthetic full size pitch.
The school is struggling at present trying to maintain its high standards of teaching in
what can only be described as a very poorly maintained infrastructure.
FitzWimarc School requires a huge injection of cash purely to bring it
back up to a reasonable safe specification, let alone the modernisation
that is desperately needed. The sporting success of the school is
beyond doubt, all the facilities, including two indoor sports centres, are
currently enjoyed by all the pupils. The provision of this huge structure
will have a detrimental effect on these facilities. They will lose the
cricket pitch and running track along with many other field sports! I
cannot understand why these plans were not discussed with the staff; I
think management may find their views
very interesting.
I am also concern that once this pitch is in place where will the children
of the school do their athletics, cricket and cross country. I have been
informed that they will be doing all of these activities off site. As a
parent of the school I am not in favour of pupils being taken off the
school grounds when there is ample grounds at present, which when
this pitch is in place will take up most of the ground.
Fitzwimarc are a very sporty school but why would they get rid of their
rugby/cricket pitches to then rent out to clubs out of school and send
their own school children to Rawreth Lane when they need to play a
game of cricket!! Crazy and unfair to pupils of Fitzwimarc.

civic suite

A Couple Of Close Votes

At the Development Committee tonight, both applications were passed 7-5.

The Folly Lane, Hockley , application was particularly contentious, as the Core Strategy indicated 50 dwellings for the site but 75 were proposed. Approval was moved by Heather Glynn, seconded ny Terry Cutmore and passed 7-5. The 5 who voted against were Christine Mason, John Mason, Chris Black , John Hayter and Mike Carter.

The London Hill, Rayleigh, application for three 5-bedroomed houses prompted a finely-balanced debate. It just about met with our policies, although the council’s conservation adviser recommended refusal on grounds of bulk and scale, and it was borderline on the car parking policy. Chris Black moved refusal on grounds of bulk, the motion was seconded by Heather Glynn but failed 7-5. Christine Mason, John Mason and Johhn Hayter also voted for refusal

civic suite

London Hill and Folly Lane….

The District Council Development (or what’s left of it) meets tomorrow night to decide two applications:;

folly lane

london hill2

golf course plan

Rawreth Golf Course Appeal DISMISSED – Christine Paine’s Final Triumph?

We are very pleased to report an important success regarding a planning appeal in Rawreth.

Back in December 2014 the District Council had to decide on an application for a 9 hole golf course near the Chichester in Rawreth. Nothing wrong with that, you might think, and the application was recommended for approval. However Ron Oatham and Chris Black were NOT happy with this one, not because we dislike golf but because of the direct impact on neighbours and the huge amount of material being brought on site to alter the landcape. As we reported on onlineFOCUS:

The Golf Course application near the Chichester in Rawreth was refused tonight. Parish Council Chairman Alistir Matthews began by setting out the parish council’s objections. Chris Black and Ron Oatham then moved refusal on the grounds of:
loss of residential amenity during the construction period ( hundreds of thousands of tons of earth being moved there over 2 1/2 years)
loss of residential amenity when completed (one example was the position of the 9th hole an d the 9th green)
flood risk concerns during the construction period
flood risk concerns when completed
position of the access onto the A129, especially during the construction period

Councillors seemed particularly concerned about the vast quantity of material proposed to be brought to the site, some expressing the view that the application was all about making money from waste, rather than creating a golf course. In the debate we got particular support from John Mason and Michael Hoy, but when it came a vote we got support from nearly everyone , including Toby Mountain, Conservatives and UKIP.

We were really concerned about the vast amount of material involved. There were indications that there would be (40 lorries per day) x (20 tonnes) x (5 ½ days) x (52 weeks) x (2 ½ years) = 572 000 tonnes. Even at 20 lorries per day that would have been 288 000 tonnes. It isn’t often you get a “Sherlock Holmes” moment in a council meeting , but we noticed on the night that the layout plan was labelled “JKS Golf Course”, JKS being the haulage contractors. This was indicative that JKS were the driving force here.

The applicants went went to appeal, and we wrote to the planning inspectorate to reinforce our objections and also to endorse a very good letter written at that time by the now late Christine Paine, who lived nearby and wrote as a resident rather than as a councillor.

We’ve just heard that the planning inspector has rejected the appeal. So the application stays REFUSED. However the inspector didn’t seem to be bothered about traffic , or flooding – just on the openness of the Green Belt:

golf decision

We will be studying the appeal decision to see what implications it has for other sites.