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Archive for District Core Strategy

RAG’s View

Rayleigh Action Group summarise their view of the situation here. Here’s an extract:

…To expand on the above Rochford District Council’s evidence to the court they stated that just 195 residents from a possible 33,000 in Rayleigh, made representations on one consultation process. Of these, 194 objected and rejected their proposal and just one individual supported their submissions. The programme continued unabated. This simple fact establishes the fact that the ‘consultation’ exercises, on which RDC have expended £2.1 million pounds of public money (confirmed by a Freedom of Information request in July 2013), are simply a total waste of public money at a time when essential services are being slashed to save precious resources.
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The Judgement makes clear that the Judge accepted there is now established major opposition to this Local Plan. This is evidenced by both the petition collated by Brian Carleton of Hullbridge Action Group and the list of 5062 residents connected to the objection produced by Rayleigh Action Group in 2013. Despite this he has refused to quosh the disputed Allocation document, which will serve to destroy swathes of the green belt across our area, as it conforms with the RDC Core Strategy, adopted in 2011. Despite clear evidence that the public were oblivious to the many proposals he found RDC had acted in compliance with their STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT (SCI). Produced by RDC Officers and RDC Councillors. It is becoming increasing evident that RDC have no legal requirement to take account of any public opposition to the plans they put forward. Any ‘Consultation’ appears to be an exercise in useless public relations that has no effect on eventual outcomes. This is evidenced by the results of actual ‘consultations’ as presented in evidence to the court by RDC where the overwhelming majority of those who did respond rejected RDC proposals.
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My opinion remains that RDC have not acted in the best interest of the people they serve. Our roads will become increasingly gridlocked, many residents will face increased risk of flooding, our services will become further stretched. The Core Strategy decisions are thus enshrine for the future including every proposal sanctioned in that document, don’t forget the removal of Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club grounds are still an integral part of that plan. Further to place both a Heavy Industrial complex and huge Gypsy and Traveller site in this vicinity will be an error of judgement that will devalue the homes of the hard-working families that have chosen to live here. I do not believe democracy is well served by the decision of the High Court as it will further erode the trust ordinary citizens have in those that are charged with protecting our interest. It is a sorry day for us all.
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Mr Justice Lindblom recognised some failures of the RDC legal team. He has confirmed an agreed wasted costs order against RDC to the sum of £ 11,815.20 which includes the fees due for their failed challenge to the requested Protected Cost Order. The action to prevent the PCO would have halted the hearing. It would have had the effect of silencing the huge protest that emerged when local residents became aware of the full implications of RDC future plans for the district….

Legal Challenge Defeated

It’s been announced today that the legal challenge by Linda Kendall against the Allocations Document has failed. The Echo reports on it here

This is very disappointing news for very many people, though even if the challenge had succceded it would have only affected the Allocations Document, and not the previously agreed Strategy Document that already specified housing “North of London Road” and SW Hullbridge .

Linda Kendall certainly deserves a lot of respect for making the attempt, reportedly at her own financial risk.

The council should not crow too much about winning this. The aim should have been to produce a strategy that had public acceptance , not one that has angered hundreds or more probably thousands of residents, and been simply pushed through by one political party with a huge majority.

The council also shouldn’t complain about the cost of the appeal. It’s a drop in the ocean compared with the millions of pounds already spent on the planning strategy.

Looking back …. We had our biggest success on this very early on , when we got the proposed 1800 new houses for Rayleigh reduced by about half – and in fact the figure for Rayleigh is now about zero because all the “North of London Road” housing is in Rawreth.

The key night and our big defeat was back in 2009 when the council voted by 23-4 to submit its core strategy to the inspector. The four who voted against were, in alphabetical order, Chris Black, Jackie Dillnutt (Lib Dem ) John Mason (independent) and Ron Oatham (Lib Dem).

This is what the the Conservatives said at the meeting in 2009, it doesn’t quite ring true now:

…it is well that we and our residents never forget which political
party, which outgoing socialist government, instigated this fiasco…..

…..Following its adoption and when our electorate returns a Conservative
Government to Power next spring, we shall be able to carry out our own
housing needs study, it is then that we shall be able to adjust the housing
allocations, as I promised so many months ago, to satisfy the needs of our
community – not a penny more nor a penny less.

Now we are towards the end of the process, but there is still plenty for campaigners and councillors alike to think about and do.

Hullbridge / Rawreth Planning Application Now In….

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Another big planning application, part of the District Council’s Core Strategy has now been submitted.You can find more on the council website here. A lot of resident’s comments have already been submitted over the weekend.

The outline proposal includes:

“Residential development for 500 dwellings including a proportion of affordable housing, associated open space, landscaping and drainage and infrastructure works”

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Incidentally, the Council website shows the parish for this application as Hullbridge, but we believe it also includes part of Rawreth, so that Rawreth Parish Council should be consulted as well.

Here We Go Again?

If you look at the District Council’s “Key Decisions Document”  you will find this section:

 

key decisions documentAnd what does a ‘call for sites” mean? It means asking landowners and property companies etc. to submit suggestions for possible sites for development. This would normally be somewhere where they have a financial interestt.

 

This is how local plans begin, and we asked the council to explain   – we  got the following  answer:

 

“This is part of the process of building the evidence base for the review of the local plan – the call for sites information will feed into the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, but it is important to bear in mind that the assessment does not allocate sites for development , or of course give planning consent –   it simply provides information to be considered as the review of the plan progresses.”

Rawreth Meets…

240px-Rawreth_sign

 

Just a reminder that Rawreth Parish Council meets on Wednesday at 7:30 in the village hall. As usual there will be a public question time, and the public and press are welcome.

One of the biggest items will be the planning application for “North of London Road” which is entirely in Rawreth.

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.

Changes To Look At Carefully !

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:

  • The density across a site should be a minimum of 30 dwellings per hectare, unless exceptional circumstances can be satisfactorily demonstrated.
  • Instead of just refusing ‘tandem development’ ‘, which has been council policy for 30 years, tandem development would be allowed when ‘overlooking, privacy and amenity issues’ can be overcome (tandem development is when one house is built directly behind another in a ‘tandem’ arrangement)
  • Instead of sticking to minimum floorspace standards, a smaller floorspace would be allowed if compliance with the standards would be unviable or undeliverable.

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

 

Landhold’s Ideas For the “West Of Hullbridge” Site

hullbridge

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:

hullbridge 2

And here’s what they say about transport (nothing very dramatic here….)

hullbridge 3

hullbridge 4

And these are their design principles:

hullbridge 5

“Rayleigh woman’s £45,000 High Court fight over homes plan”

bbc

The BBC covers the court case here.

BBC Essex….

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Chris Black is likely be interviewed on BBC Essex at about 7:30 Tuesday morning, about the proposed housing “North of London Road” in Rawreth.

As some of us find speaking live on the radio a bit of an ordeal, don’t expect anything wonderful!

The Education Situation

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).

“Rochford Fears Possible Merger With Wickford”

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.

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
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Latest Comments

  • Jim Cripps: I can only agree CHRIS , we have been ‘American ized’ – sucked into a materialis...
  • Chris black: Jim, we live in a world where people are more stressed out, we have more holidays and fancy gadgets but...
  • Jim Cripps: CHRIS @11 – the fact that all the main party leaders have a ‘net ‘ minus rating only...
  • Jim Cripps: Admin @8 – so how does this get to happen ?, my concern is that Christmas / New Year will come and...
  • Chris Black: Oz, I’m almost in too much of a pre-Christmas good mood to reply…. But… really....
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  • The Mighty Oz: The whole issue of voters being ignored is also being played out at a national level. We have three...
  • admin: Jim. The rules are that one member of the public can speak in favour, one can speak against, plus a...
  • Jim Cripps: Oz – I’m sure Linda will be on and give you the reference document that defines a...
  • The Mighty Oz: There is one thing that Is incorrect, I cannot see anywhere a plan for a HUGE travellers site. I do...
  • Chris Black: Jim, it’s something I’ve witnessed , but can’t explain. Toby Mountain probably could,...
  • Jim Cripps: 10,000 probably represents pretty much all of West Rayleigh & Hullbridge who are against it , the...
  • James Newport: It’s totally disgusting how this many residents views can be disregarded. I hope that come...
  • Linda Kendall: Thank you for the above report. Very fair. Perhaps it should be clearly reported that RDC were found...
  • Jim Cripps: Disappointing yes, surprise no – the ‘establis hment ‘ always gets what it wants via...
  • admin: We will be writing about this later tonight…. Save your comments till then!
  • Jim Cripps: Oz @ 22 & 23 above – It is you being so cheerful that keeps us all going mate 😛. @22 – I...
  • The Mighty Oz: And here is some more depressing news, still all those new people will need somewhere to eat…....
  • The Mighty Oz: I’m with Christine @ 1, the developer will be back again and again until the golf course is...
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500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

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.

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

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