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.
One part of the District Council’s Local Development Framework is the “Development Management Plan”. This is the document that sets out the day-to-day policy for determining planning applications.
The document has already been to an government inspector, the inspector asked for some changes, and the council officers have now amended the document.
Cllr Keith Gordon has been the portfolio holder for planning (at least until a few days ago). He has now agreed that the revised document should go out for public consultation over an 8 week period, with the consultation responses going straight to the inspector.
However there is still time for any 3 councillors to call this in to Full Council, or for the Review Committee to call it in. The deadline for calling it in is 5 working days after July 18th.
So where can you see the document and what are the changes? Well, you can download the document here (2mb)
Here are a few of the changes:
But there is a lot more for councillors to study. It’s surprising that this hasn’t gone to the Local Development Framework Sub-Committee
If you are interested in the big planning application or applications coming on the Hullbridge / Rawreth borders , you can find out more and offer comments (until June 30th) on Landhold Capital’s website here.
Here’s something on flooding:
And here’s what they say about transport (nothing very dramatic here….)
And these are their design principles:
The BBC covers the court case here.
We’ve been enquiring into the situation with primary school places in Rayleigh – why Essex County Council were originally asking for a new primary school “North of London Road”, and now they’re not.
It seems that on the basis of a planning application for 475 homes , ECC don’t believe an extra school is needed. Admissions to primary school places in Rayleigh for September 2014 are high, but future school intakes are projected to reduce (this is based on GP registrations).
Slightly surprising comments in the Echo from Councillor Keith Hudson, bearing in mind that the Conservative Group has already voted to allocate enough housing to double the population of the parish of Rawreth, that also causes a merger with both Hullbridge and Rayleigh:
ROCHFORD Council fears overdevelopment in Wickford could lead to it merging with Rawreth. Major development is in store for Wickford over the next 17 years, which campaigners claim could change the face of the town forever.About 2,800 homes are planned by 2031 as part of Basildon Council’s local plan, with 760 homes to the south, 620 to the north-west, 220 on the western edge and 150 to the north-east. Rochford Council shares residents’ concerns claiming the influx of new homes – particularly plans for 150 properties north east of Wickford – will lead to the town becoming indistinguishable from neighbouring Rawreth.
As was mentioned in a comment here last week , campaigner Linda Kendall has arranged and financed a legal action – a Judicial Review – into whether the council consulted properly on its core strategy and allocations document.
Even if she wins the court case and forced a rethink it might not ultimately change the amount of housing and the locations.
But even so its a very bold – though costly – thing for Mrs Kendall to do. If anyone wants to contribute towards the cost, you could contact her via the Rayleigh Action Group website.
The minutes of the last full District Council Meeting are now on the council website.
All the four group leaders are quoted on the Allocations Document, which the Tories pushed through on the night:
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr C I Black, made reference to the Allocations Document needing to be seen in the context of the Council’s objectives and values, as set out on the second page of the meeting Agenda. The Rochford Core Strategy was the overall key document. The Allocations Document did not adequately address known issues associated with subjects such as flooding in Hullbridge and the Rayleigh Sports and Social Club. Community benefit aspects were relatively light in the context of what had been achieved with previous projects such as Sweyne Park and the Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park. As far as Cllr Black was aware, there had been no public meetings on the Allocations Document.
The Leader of the Rochford Residents Group, Cllr J R F Mason, referred to the Council having already given approval to over one thousand houses without an Allocations Document in place. The value of the Document was questionable and it could be argued that it would be appropriate for the Council to hold a face to face public forum to enable residents to have their questions answered, particularly in respect of concerns about flooding and District infrastructure. It would be inappropriate to adopt the Document if residents had material concerns.
The Leader of the Green Group, Cllr M Hoy, observed that addressing residents’ concerns should be seen as fundamental. Notwithstanding the Inspector’s Report, it was felt that appropriate weighting had not been given to some of the evidence and that the document in its current form did not serve the best interests of the District.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr T G Cutmore, quoted paragraph 7.1 of the officer’s report setting out the risk implications of failure to have an Allocations Document in place, which included the Council being vulnerable to planning applications for development on unsuitable sites and/or of an appropriate form. The intention was for development plans to be spread as evenly as possible throughout the District in a fair and equitable way. Public meetings had been held in many parts of the District.
On a show of hands it was:-
That the Allocations Document, as attached to the officer report, be adopted as a Development Plan Document. (HPT)
Note: Cllrs C I Black, Mrs D Hoy, M Hoy, C J Lumley, Mrs C M Mason and J R F Mason wished to be recorded as having voted against the above decision. Cllr Mrs A V Hale wished to be recorded as having abstained.
Rayleigh Action Group held a public meeting on Sunday.Two of the onlineFOCUS team, Chris Black and Chris Stanley, were in the audience to listen.
The Echo have a report tonight:
CAMPAIGNERS want a judicial review to stop Rochford District Council build 2,785 homes in the next 15 years.
The call comes from a meeting of the Rayleigh Action Group meeting where more than 500 people turned out to show their displeasure at the plans.
The group would now need to raise £30,000 in less then a month to fight the housing plan, which were officially adopted by the council two weeks ago….
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