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:
The main theme at tonight’s Rawreth Parish Council Meeting was probably flooding.
There had been flooding in Church Road since the last meeting – Hayley the parish clerk had been out in her specially purchased parish waders to deliver sandbags . The sandbags had been provided by Rochford District Council, though it was disappointing that nobody from RDC had come to see the flooding, despite a urgent request to do so.
“Idiot” motorists who had tried to drive through the floodwater came in for some criticism , especially those who caused additional flooding by the wake of their vehicles.
Rawreth Flood Action Group have asked if the parish council can give them a grant, and this will be discussed at the next meeting in December.
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.”
“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
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
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
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.
Clerk to Rawreth Parish Council ”
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.
…..leaves the council in no doubt that there will be an extreme lack of infrastructure to support this development
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.
If you look at the traffic impact assessments from Countryside, they predict that most of the traffic from their 500 dwellings will go via London Road, instead of Rawreth Lane. On this basis they predict that the new homes will only have a tiny impact on the Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road junction. In fact they predict only 7 extra vehicles in the morning peak and 8 in the evening peak!
Obviously, Countryside have to make some assumptions before they can prepare these figures. One of them is about where people in the new homes will shop. They predict that 63% of their shopping will be done at the nearby Asda:
We are wondering just how realistic that 63% figure is. It might give us a clue about how accurate their other assumptions are. So if you live on Rawreth Lane, or on Downhall Park Way, or on one of the many side roads , we’d be interested to know where you go shopping. So, after about 11 years of onlineFOCUS, here’s our first ever survey. We are not sure how well it work , or if anyone will answer, but let’s try it….
Rawreth Parish Council have received the following advice today:
Having spoken to the engineers at the bridge today (Wed) they hope to open the road later today at rush hour provided the re-surfacing is finished and the signs for ‘lack of road markings’ are available.In any case, it should be open tomorrow for the next fortnight during morning and evening rush hours, ie: shut during the day between 0930 and 1630 hours whilst they continue to finish the job.
A helpful warning from Rawreth Parish Councillor Christine Paine:
I wonder if you could put something on OnLine Focus to warn walkers, dog walkers and riders about late season adder explosion, especially on the footpath/bridleway that goes round Dollymans and over the bridge then back to the A129. One of my neighbours dogs has been bitten, fortunately they got it to the vet in time and it’s OK, but he saw several and when I saw some riders yesterday they said six had slithered across the path in front of them. We think the work at the back of the sub-station has disturbed and displaced them as there are far more than usual, and it’s late in the season for there to be this number around, possibly the summer like weather is encouraging them out as well.
Find out more about adders here.
There was a lot of discussion at the Local Highways Panel last week about the frequency and quality potholes – even though the panel is not supposed to touch maintenance issues.
Chris Black took the opportunity to mention the big pothole at the junction of Mortimer Road and Eastview Drive, that Bruce Smart had reported it in January, and that the Smart household would be baking a cake to celebrate its first birthday. This caused people there to pay attention, and hopefully we will have a cake to celebrate the repair, rather than the birthday.
In the meantime, the following roads in Downhall and Rawreth Ward are on the list for thorough repairing:
This is a hard one to understand…
Old London Road in Rawreth is a road where the national speed limit of 60 mph applies. It goes between London Road and Church Road, which are both 40 mph zones, so that you can only drive at 60 mph for about half a minute! But going at this speed isn’t a good idea, as this is a country lane with lots of cars on Sunday mornings , plus heavy lorries and horseriders. Local residents have asked for the speed limit to be reduced to 40 mph , which seems sensible, especially as we now have umpteen football pitches along here.
Rawreth Parish Council has asked repeatedly asked for this, but been turned down by County Highways. However on Thursday Chris Black tried again at the Local Highways Panel again, without success. County Highways basically advise that they won’t reduce the speed limit here because 1) there aren’t enough houses along the road (sports pitches don’t count) and 2) according to the last survey , vehicles are going too fast….
We are Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners in Rochford District.
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If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.
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