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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:

<ul>

<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>

</ul>

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.

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Bits And Pieces

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

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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

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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

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

 

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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.

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Look to The West

Rawreth Parish Council kicks off 2016 with a meeting next Wednesday Jan 6th at 7:30 pm in the village hall.

Nothing extraordinary on the agenda, but a chance for some participatory local democracy with a warm beverage.

Or in simple terms – the public can ask questions and express views, and get a cup of coffee or tea and maybe a biscuit!

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More On Streetlighting

It seems that there is a delay in faulty streetlights being inspected, due to long-term illness, for which we can only sympathise with the person(s) concerned. However the County Council do need to raise their game on this!

By special request, here are a couple more maps to show the situation in most of Rawreth, Hullbridge and the Wakerings. Green circles are OK, brown circles are known to have a fault – and as you can see, there are a lot of brown circles in Rawreth:

 

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This gives the approximate location.

Another London Road Planning Application !

There’s another planning application on London Road, just over the parish boundary into Rawreth:

The location is “Land Adjacent Grange Villa , London Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9DR” The application is to provide “Residential Development Of 21 Flats And 26 Houses ( 47 Dwellings In Total)”.
It is a full application – not an outline. It is additional to the Countryside Scheme and the Timber Grove application.
You can find it on the District Council website here and then typing in the reference 15/00736/FUL

We are still of course studying this. Ron Oatham has asked for a site visit for councillors.

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Christine Paine

At tonight’s Rawreth Parish Council meeting, everyone stood for a minute’s silence in memory of Vice-Chair Christine Paine.

Christine passed away last Saturday after a very brave battle against illness.

Many of our readers will remember her hundreds of comments on onlineFOCUS – she was a lady who cared very much about her local area, and indeed the wider world. So we were particularly delighted when she became a parish councillor.

Christine was a very intelligent, determined, thoughtful and caring person, and will be sorely missed. Our condolences and our thoughts go out to her family and friends.

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“North Of London Road” Application Recommended For Approval

The officers report for the meeting on September 30th can be downloaded here. (1001kb)

It is 122 pages long, so Ron Oatham and Chris Black have a lot of reading to do….

Officers are recommending approval, with 40 conditions..

This is the second application – the first was refused in January, and Countryside have appealed. The District Council has already decided at a confidential meeting last month not to defend that appeal (a decision which we opposed).

So the reality is this.
If the council passes this second application next week, then it is of course passed.
If the council refuses this application, then the appeal on the first application will go ahead. And as the council has already decided not to defend the appeal , the first application will almost certainly be passed.
So one way or another, one of these applications is going to go ahead.