onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003


Archive for Planning Applications

Countryside Amend Their Documents

We’ve been advised that Countryside have amended some of the documents in their application for “North of London Road”  We’ve not studied it in depth yet, but the amendments include:

  • an extra plan showing the alignment of the estate link road
  • a change in the proposed bus route
  • a revision to the illustrated masterplan , regarding the bus route
  • updated flood risk assessment
  • an addendum to the environmental statement
  • a supplement to the transport assessment


High Street Demolition Application

4 high st

There’s a planning application in to build 2 houses behind the existing old house at no. 4 Rayleigh High Street. It involves demolishing some outbuildings behind the exiting old house, but not the house itself.  Find out more here. The application to demolish the outbuilding is 14/00714/DEMCOM. The application to build the houses is 14/00716/FUL.

Tescos Withdraws Application For Extended Hours

As Councillor Toby Mountain explains here Tescos have withdrawn their application for extended opening hours at their London Road , Rayleigh, store.

Rayleigh Town Council Discusses The 500 Homes Application

The Echo report is here.

by Philip Jones

BATTLE lines have been drawn over plans for 500 new homes west of Rayleigh as councillors insist the town cannot cope with extra traffic.

Developer Countryside has submitted an outline application to Rochford District Council, but Rayleigh town councillors strongly railed against the plans on the grounds of overdevelopment and a lack of adequate roads.

The town council argues righthand filter lanes, for access to the site between London Road and Rawreth Lane, simply will not cope with the extra traffic associated with 500 new homes.

Councillor Chris Lumley said: “In 1777, there was London Road, Rawreth Lane and Downhall Road, more than 200 years later these are still the same basic roads we use.

“They cannot cope with the current traffic in Rayleigh, adding 500 more homes and their cars, will be a nightmare.”

Recent roadworks to Beeches Bridge, Hullbridge, have closed Watery Lane and forced villagers to use Rawreth Lane, leading to long delays on that and surrounding roads.

Councillor Bruce Smart said: “One day there will be an emergency vehicle that will not be able to get where it needs to go because the correct roads have not been put in.”

Rayleigh Town Council’s planning committee voted, almost without objection, against the outline application and called for a full traffic survey to be carried out to assess the impact of the new homes.

Residents were allowed to speak at the beginning of the meeting, with all of them raising similar concerns over congestion.

Tim [sic] Cripps said: “Rawreth Lane is just that, a lane, it is not a highway.

“Putting T-junctions in there, and on London Road, will cause mayhem, to add to the chaos we already have.”

Chairman of the Rayleigh Action Group, Linda Kendall, of Lubbards Close, is currently waiting to hear the result of her High Court challenge to Rochford District Council, which could stop these homes being build.

She said: “We have to stop Countryside getting outline planning because once they do, they will just bulldoze everything else through.”

The outline application will be heard by a meeting of the Rochford District Council development committee on an, as yet, undecided date.


The Cabinet System Should Be Scrapped



If anyone is looking at the District Council website to try to find out who initiated the idea to build houses on Brocksford Green – well it’s not easy!

But the decision seems to have been made by the Council Executive  (the Cabinet) back in December 2012 under “Asset Review”. The officers report was private and confidential , and isn’t shown on the council website. However these are the minutes(click on them to enlarge). We can’t be 100% that this was the decision, without seeking out a copy of the confidential paperwork.


asset minutes

As you can see, it deals with quite a few sites. Also note that this was a meeting of the cabinet, which at that time consisted on 8 councillors, all selected by Cllr Cutmore, none of them from Rayleigh!  Ordinary ward Councillors are NOT permitted to speak at cabinet meetings ! Which meant that no Rayleigh member could have spoken on this.

If the ward Councillors had wanted to challenge this decision – well, at that time any 3 councillors could have got together to refer it to Full Council. But none of them did. And by the way, that right of referral has since been taken away by the Conservatives.

It’s time the Cabinet system was scrapped. It’s undemocratic and expensive. And it’s not even that effective – if there had been an open debate involving all Councillors in 2012, the idea would have been squelched back then, saving council officers much-needed time and money.

Amenity Space Saved, Wakering Development Squeaks Through……

At tonight’s meeting of the Development Committee:

The outline  application for 6 dwellings on the amenity space at Brocksford Avenue was refused by an overwhelming vote of councillors. Refusal was moved by  Ian  Ward and seconded by Heather Glynn. This pleased the public gallery, which was packed with concerned residents.

The application for 116 dwellings at the old Star Lane Brickworks in Great Wakering was passed – but only just. This is another one of the big sites that has come forward as part of the local plan. Chris Black and Ron Oatham moved refusal, saying that the application was contrary to our core strategy, because extra funding for the local primary school wasn’t being provided. We lost the refusal  11-9. Interestingly , none of the ward councillors supported our refusal. Cllr Mrs Wilkins voted against our refusal , Cllr Hookway was absent and Cllr Seagers declared an interest and quite properly left the chamber.  A motion of approval was then moved and the scheme was passed 14-5

The District Council applied to itself for planning permission to install a banner in Bradley Way to advertise public events – and the committee refused this , on the grounds of it being a conservation area.

A New Arts And Crafts Centre In Rayleigh?

New planning application, just submitted:

arts and crafts centre

Brocksford Green Application

The District Council Development Committee has a meeting next week on September 25th, at 7:30 pm. One major item is the application from RDC itself to build 6 new homes on a bit of open space between Brocksford Avenue and Copford Avenue in Rayleigh. Local residents and Rayleigh Town Council are objecting…


You can find the officers report here  – it recommends approval.

The Echo have an article on it here.

Getting Your Comments In……

The District Council has sent out a number of ‘neighbour’ consultation letters on the North of London Road planning application. The official expiry date for replying is September 24th. But…..
You can still respond after that date!

If the council receives your response before the council officers finish their report it will be included in their report. But don’t expect your text to be quoted word for word. To keep things manageable when there are big responses, officers will write something like : “There have been x letters of objection, mainly on the reasons of a, b and c; and y letters of support “and then include a page or two of key quotes from some of those letters.

If they get your response after they have written their report it will be included in an ‘addendum’ produced the day before the planning meeting. The meeting could be in November or December…

You may wonder what is the point of responding (or coming to the meeting). Well, occasionally responses include information that councillors didn’t know about. But more often they simply add a bit of weight to a councillors arguments. If a councillor is trying get an extra condition included, or get an application altered, or get something included, or indeed get an application passed or refused, it’s hard to argue that this is a significant matter for the community if hardly anybody’s written in, or the public gallery is empty.

An Easier Way To Look At The “North Of London Road” Planning Application



The District Council have now put the “North of London Road” planning application on a special page here. It describes the application and then give links to various documents. This is the text:

Land North of London Road and South of Rawreth Lane and West of Rawreth Industrial Estate –

Outline Planning Application


The Council has received a planning application from Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd  for the development of land to the west of Rayleigh. The exact site to which the proposal relates can be viewed online by following the link to the ‘Location Plan’ under Related Documents below.

The application is outline and consequently the matters to be determined at this stage include the acceptability of the principle of the proposed residential (and other) development including the amount of development proposed and the proposed access points. Detailed aspects of the scheme including the design and layout of the houses are matters which would be dealt with at a later date in a Reserved Matters application, if outline planning permission were to have been granted.

The outline proposal includes;

  • Residential development  including a proportion of affordable housing  
  • Associated open space, landscaping and drainage and infrastructure works
  • Land for a new primary school
  • Land for proposed non-residential  use including any of the following: Use Class A1(Retail), A3(Food and Drink), A4(Drinking Establishments), C2(Residential Institutions), D1a (Health or Medical Centre) or D1b (Crèche, Day Nursery or Day Centre)

The application form, plans and other documentation submitted by the applicant can be viewed as individual items via the individual links below under the Related Documents heading (near the bottom of the page).

You can also ask to view a hardcopy of the full application including all submitted documents and plans at the Council’s reception in South Street, Rochford. The reception is open 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Thursday and 8:30am to 5:00pm on Friday.

Your views on this application and comments can be sent either in writing (quoting reference 14/00627/OUT) or via the Council’s online planning system, a link for the system is near the bottom of the page.

If you would like to submit your comments online please use the link at the bottom of the page to the Council’s planning system. To find the application you will need to enter the following reference 14/00627/OUT into the application search facility.

The scale of the proposed development is such that the application constitutes major development and will go to a Development Committee for determination. Once a date for consideration of the application at a Development Committee has been finalised, details will be published on the website.


How To Find The “North Of London Road” Application Online

The application for housing “North of London Road” is now online.


You can find it by going to the District Council Website here and then typing in the application number 14/00627/OUT or just “London Road”. Then just click on the link that comes up:


When you get to the application you will see there is a lot of information,. Here’s a few early observations:

1. This is an outline application. That means that most of the details will be decided later in a ‘reserved matters’ application. The only thing to be definitely decided is the road access to the site.

2. The title of the application is as follows:

“Outline Planning Application (with all Matters Reserved apart from Access) for the erection of Residential Development with associated Open Space, Landscaping, Parking, Servicing, Utilities, Footpath and Cycle Links, Drainage and Infrastructure Works, and Primary School. Provision of Non-Residential Floorspace to Part of Site, Uses including any of the following: Use Class A1(Retail), A3(Food and Drink), A4(Drinking Establishments), C2(Residential Institutions), D1a(Health or Medical Centre) or D1b(Crèche, Day Nursery or Day Centre).”

3. There is no date set for the when it will come to committee – probably November or December.

4. Neighbour consultations are supposed to be completed by September 24th.  You can leave comments by clicking on the tab marked ‘plans and comments’ and then following the instructions:




5. To read the planning application itself, click on the tab marked ‘plans and comments’,then click on ‘view associated documents’ and then click on “Redacted – Planning application Form”:


6. The applicants say that the land is within an area at risk of flooding, but say that it will not increase the flood risk elsewhere,

7. Their form indicates that there will be 325 houses to be sold at market value, 140 social rented housing and35 intermediate housing, giving a total of 500.


… and that’s just what’s in the application form, there’s a lot of other stuff to read , including Countryside’s supporting documents….which we will look at in the next few days.




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.

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Latest Comments

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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.

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.

Reporting A Problem

If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.

Food Hygiene Ratings

To find the food hygiene rating for eating places and other businesses in our district , click here.

Essex Political Blogs

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