New Application At Timber Grove For 83 Dwellings And A Replacement Care Home

There’s a new planning application at Timber Grove, off London Road. You can find it on the district council website here.

Application Reference:16/00899/FUL

Address Of Proposal:Timber Grove, London Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9DT

Proposal:Demolition of existing care home and all other buildings, erection of 83 dwellings comprising 5no. two bed houses, 25no. three bed houses, 16no. fourbed houses, 3no. five bed houses, 19no. one bed flats (including 4no. ‘FOG’ units) and 15no. two bed flats, construction of replacement part single andpart two storey 13 bedroom care home, associated parking and landscaping, stopping-up of existing access, and improvement of existing access ontoLondon Road.





Business Owners Beware

We’ve been asked to alert people in the Rawreth Lane area – reportedly there were a couple of burglaries around there last night. However these were NOT burglaries of people’s homes , but of other types of premises. So if you have a business – or help manage some kind of community building –  in the Rawreth / West Rayleigh area maybe it’s probably worth being extra careful…


Caravan Site Application Recommended To Be Rejected – Enforcement Action To Follow

There’s been an application to give planning permission for the unauthorised caravans at the Pumping Station in Watery Lane, Rawreth.

This weekend the planning officers are recommending refusal – it will be refused unless any councillor calls it in by 1 pm on Wednesday.

You can find the officers report on this document, starting on page  31.  These are the reasons for refusal:

watery-lane1This part of the report explains why the applicants would be given 6 months to comply with an enforcement notice:

watery-lane2This part explains why County Highways are opposing the application:







Development Update

As regular readers will know, the Liberal Democrat councillors OPPOSED the principle of development of any of the green fields between London Road , Rawreth Lane and the A1245 .  We were concerned about many things – including the extra traffic , increased risk of flooding in Rawreth , and  insufficient health, education and leisure facilities.

However after some bitter battles in the council chamber, we lost the vote, and development is slowly but surely going ahead at that site and elsewhere. This is an update:

Countryside Developments have got ‘outline’ permission  on their big site between London Road and Rawreth Lane. This means that they WILL be able to build. The details of the house design, etc.will still have to be agreed in a further “detailed” application, but there’s no sign of it yet.

An application for 44 dwellings was passed this month September near the BP garage on London Road (without Lib Dem support)

There is going to be a third application for about 80 dwellings on London Road near the Timber Grove care home (which is likely to be rebuilt as part of the application).

There is also of course a big scheme  in South West Hullbridge, near the border with Rawreth parish. This has also been passed. It  will lead eventually to an improved roundabout at the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction. But nothing seems likely to happen with the Hullbridge site in the next few months.

lib dem rosette

Last Minute Reminder

If you live in Downhall and Rawreth ward, we’d just like to remind you that you have <em>three</em> votes for the District Council, and we have three candidates – Chris Black, Ron Oatham and Chris Stanley.

Please give us all three of your votes:


<li>We are the most local team, and we all want to serve.</li>

<li>We need to win all 3 seats to guarantee a place for a Downhall and Rawreth councillor on the committee that deals with planning applications. That could be crucial.</li>

<li>Winning all 3 seats sends a message to the council that local people aren’t happy with the overdevelopment in our area and want improvements in infrastructure.</li>

<li>Winning all 3 seats gives you a united team of active local councillors that aren’t under the Tory whip.</li>


We are also hoping to get Ron, Chris Stanley and Bruce Smart elected to the Town Council for the “Sweyne Park” Town Council ward , and James Newport to the Town Council “Victoria ” ward.


Bits And Pieces

A few things in and around Downhall and Rawreth Ward, in no particular order:


Sweyne Park:

Following a complaint about the wooden railings in the stretch of the bridle path from Canterbury Close southwards, we have reported this to Rochford DC. We understand that as the hedging has grown in size, the railing may not need replacing as it gets older , but some of it is falling down and could become a danger to riders – apart from making the park look uncared for.

Hullbridge Road


Following a complaint from another resident, we have asked Rochford Dc to ask Essex County Council to complete their rubbish clearing of the ditch and look at the railings here.

Down Hall Road

school signWe have asked the County Council to put a new warning sign here – the existing one has changed colour from red to grey. Please note we are also thinking about complaints we’ve had about parent parking and driving around Downhall School.


London Road, Rawreth


Following complaints from a third resident, we have also pursuing two flood-related issues with Rochford DC.


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 councils 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 days) x (52 weeks) x (2 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.