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Archive for Rayleigh

REFUSED 23-10 …. Victory For Now

nolr plan

 

The application “North of London Road” was refused tonight by 23 votes to 10.

Chris Black and Ron Oatham moved refusal on the grounds of:

  • inadequate  flood risk assessment
  • highways (particularly lack of guarantees on improving the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction
  • objection from Sport England regarding Sports Pitches
  • issues around secondary school places

The Echo had a live blog:

9:18pm

And with that, I shall end the blog.

For the full fallout of tonight’s decision, make sure to pick up a copy of the Echo on Monday.

9:17pm

The public, in their vast numbers, leave the council chamber with a spring in their step.

The application will no doubt be back in front on councillors with amendments, but for now the people of Rayleigh will be breathing a sigh of relief.

9:12pm

Linda Kendall, who has lost around £45,000 fighting this application, takes a bow as the public leave the chamber.

9:11pm

They’ve done it – the proposal is refused!

Twenty-three members voted with Mr Black, ten against.

Rapturous applause from the public.

9:07pm

Linda Kendall calls out from the gallery and sparks further angry jeers from the public.

Mr Capon brings about calm but if the public interrupt again I’m not sure he will be so understanding.

9:04pm

Committee chairman Phil Capon calls time for a vote.

9:03pm

Mr Scrutton again: “The flood risk assessment does not need to assess the Church Road flooding issue.”

Cue despairing laughter from the public.

9:00pm

Shaun Scrutton, head of planning for the council.

He said: “The fact of the matter is that the flood risk assessment meets necessary criteria and members would have trouble to pass a refusal on that ground.”

9:00pm

Sean Scrutton, head of planning for the council.

He said: “The fact of the matter is that the flood risk assessment meets necessary criteria and members would have trouble to pass a refusal on that ground.”

8:56pm

Mr Black sums up.

He said: “If we refuse this tonight and get a better flood risk, better road, more sports pitches then it might come back to the committee again.

“This application here tonight is not acceptable.

“The flood risk assessment does not recognise areas that houses have flooded, how can that be appropriate?

“I object due to a lack of highways planning, the Sport England objection and an inadequate flood risk assessment.”

8:53pm

We’re just going through a few questions from councillors now to clarify aspects.

The public have been very respectful so far and the meeting has gone without interruption.

8:51pm

Jo McPherson, Conservative: “This provision would provide 140 affordable homes, we have a need for 600 from the Rochford District at the minute – that should be known.”

8:49pm

Mr Burton again: “The people fo Rayleigh are intelligent.

“They are not against building, we have already tolerated building.

“If there is a site where building is the only option then I’m sure people would welcome it.”

8:47pm

Neil Hookway, UKIP councillor for Foulness and Great Wakering objects.

Keith Hudson, Conservative and former councillor for planning.

He said: “There are problems and they need to be addressed before development commences.

“One thing no-one has mentioned is that Rawreth Brook is tidelocked so in the event of a deluge, where does that water go?

“That is not for the developer to fund, but it is for the authorities to resolve.

“Partially within their remit is the roundabout in question – that needs to be forward funded.

“The developer has put forward around 25% of the cost.

“The junction is already ridiculous.

“Why would we wait for up to ten years for this roundabout to be sorted when it has already got worse in recent years.

“It needs to be forward funded, build the roundabout, and only then build the houses.”

8:42pm

Heather Glynn (Con), states her support for the plan.

She said: “We have not seen a plan come to us for a long time with so much green open space.”

8:39pm

Keith Gordon, Conservative councillor for Rochford.

He said: “I am amazed at some of the comments being made by some of the councillors here tonight who voted for an application in Rochford that makes this one pale into insignificance.

“I cannot go with what Mr Black states.”

:

8:33pm

Michael Hoy (Green): “It is not acceptable to rely on funding from a development in Hullbridge, that has not been before the council yet, to fund the roundabout at Hullbridge Road and Rawreth Lane.

“There is not room to expand at Sweyne Parkand I am worried a provision for education would go into the general pot, and not be spent on our area.”

Jamie Burton, UKIP: “This is a vast amount of land that was once arable green belt and this should not be lost forever.

“I see very little benefit that the plan will bring to Rayleigh.

“It should not be the case that education, traffic and flooding only get funding when a development is planned.

“The west of Rayleigh is not a dumping ground for new homes, traveller sites, golf courses or any other application the council cares to throw at us.

“Those that have officially objected is a significant and powerful group to ignore.”

John Hayter, UKIP leader on the council, also objects.

 

8:28pm

Toby Mountain, former Tory but now a member of Rochford District Residents, takes his turn.

He said: “£250,000 for a roundabout is quite laughable really.

“Also, what will happen to the allocated space for the school if Essex County Council do not need it – will it be turned into housing?

“The application should be refused.”

8:25pm

Chairman of the full council, June Lumley, another Lib Dem, speaks now.

“There will be no places in Rayleigh for the children to attend secondary schools unless either Sweyne Park of FitzWimarc are able to expand.

“Two other proposals will be coming before the council in the future which will also provide children for these schools, they cannot cope.”

8:23pm

Ron Oatham, fellow Lib Dem for Downhall and Rawreth, seconds Mr Black’s movement to object.

8:23pm

The reasons for objection from Mr Black (Lib Dem)

Objection from Sport England

Inadequate highways provision

Inadequate flood risk assessment

8:21pm

Mr Black continues: “The developers modelled flood area does not pick up the Church Road area in Rawreth and these people do and have flooded.

“They are real people that have not been considered.

“The flood risk assessment is unsatisfactory, so we can refuse the plan on flooding.

“Councillor Hudson mentioned to be today that the Rawreth Lane, Hullbridge Road, junction is the second worst junction in the district.

“There is no money for it and county highways will take forever to do anything.

“This should be refused tonight.”

8:17pm

That’s it for public speakers.

Councillor Chris Black, ward councillor for Downhall and Rawreth, goes first for members.

He said: “I was against this land being for housing and is no longer green belt so we cannot refuse it on those grounds.

“I will be moving refusal.

“There are eight different aspects to the plan.

“We are offered a possible site for a possible health centre, which may happen or it may not.

“There are concerns for school places from secondary level.

“I am genuinely fearful of all the screw ups that will happen if this is passed and the open spaces is run by a management company.

“Sport England also thinnk the sports pitch area should be bigger – the pitches are the smallest they can be.

“Sport England want to see adult pitches there, the Sports and Social Club also want a cricket pitch – not for kick arounds but for proper, organised sport.”

 

8:12pm

Mr Mitchell continues: “If approval were to be granted, first occupation would be late in 2016.

“This development accords to the council’s plan and is accompanied by the infrastructure required to support it.”

8:11pm

Ian Mitchell now speaks on behalf of the developer.

He said: “The application site is specifically allocated for residential use in the council’s allocations document.

“We are already within the window to which the allocated housing needs to be built [2015-2021].

“Our scheme goes further than the measures recommended by the Environment Agency.

“The transport impact has been fully considered by the county council and they have no objection to the proposals.”

Residents are now holding up signs saying “Silenced. Democracy UK 2015.”

8:07pm

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, is up now.

He said: “I wish to oppose this application.

“Having lived in the Rawreth Lane area for 15 years I know the area very well.

“The council have said development is only allowed is the necessary infrastructure is met.

“I believe is has not on two grounds, flood prevention and traffic.

“Flooding is an important and controversial issue.

“This site will create significant run off which will affect the drainage systems beyond the site itself.

“I asked the Environment Agency about Rawreth Brook in 2012.

“It is likely to be many years before work on Rawreth Brook is undertaked.

“The impact of 500 houses and 1,000 cars is obvious.

“The mini-roundabout at Hullbridge Road needs to be upgraded.

“To build a traditional roundabout would require £1million but the developer has only put forward £250,000.

“The plan for homes in Hullbridge offers no guarantee of funding for the upgrade of the roundabout either.

“The money for the junction is not guaranteed or funded.

“The infrastructure has not been provided.

“If the council is to be consistent I would urge them to turn it down.”

8:02pm

Mr Matthews gets a round of applause at the end of his five minutes but the chairman warns the public again.

Deborah Mercer, from Rayleigh Town Council, is next to speak.

She said: “Based on the information provided, the council objects as the proposed road access is inadequate and would have a detrimental effect on our residents.

“Of partiuclar concern is the impact the plan would have on the whole of Rayleigh, the surrounding roads and the people that use them.

“Further access roads, of already congested roads, would cause further congestion and have a detrimental effect of the whole town.

“It is widely known that the congestion the town experiences along these roads, prevents residents and visitors coming into the town.

“The economic stability of the town centre is already considered to be fragile.

“The town council believes that many improvements to the existing highways structure is needed before any development is begun.”

7:56pm

Mr Matthews continues: “Roads are not adequate to take current traffic movements, let alone new developments.

“East-West routes are at capacity, we all know this but it is ignored.

“Future gridlock is inevitable.”

7:55pm

The chairman of Rawreth Parish Council, Alistir Matthews, is now addressing the room.

He said: “We have three main concerns, flooding, access and loss of green belt.

“Rawreth has suffered increasingly from flooding in recent years.

“Smaller scale developments along Rawreth Lane has increased the flow along Rawreth Brook.

“Ditches have been badly maintained despite promises from developers and Anglian Water.

“Our residents below the site have very real concerns about flooding.”

7:52pm

Planning officers suggest the site would be acceptable regarding flood risk.

A sustainable urban drainage system would be put in place, as well as open ditches and storage ponds.

The developer has agreed a contribution of £200,000 to the district council for flood alleviation work in the Rawreth parish.

7:51pm

An extended bus service would be put in place, with two free bus passes given to each residence to encourage use of public transport and to ease congestion.

7:50pm

Submitted transport assessment showed the development would impact on the roundabout with Hullbridge Road, but only a small impact – cue laughter from the public.

7:49pm

Cycle ways, footpaths and woodland would be provided in the allocated green space.

There are three access points to the site, with one each from London Road and Rawreth Lane, and another into the Rawreth industrial estate.

7:48pm

The pitches would be two mini-football pitches, set out to Sport England guidelines, and would be put over to the district council for control.

7:47pm

The decision to build a school on the site would ultimately be taken by Essex County Council, but the developers, Countryside, would have to pay a proportion of the costs.

Alternatively, a financial contribution to educational provision would be needed if the school is not built.

7:46pm

A planning recommenration has been put forward to limit the homes to 500, with an average density of 35 dwelling per hectare.

A neighbouring estate already has a density of 45 per hectare.

7:44pm

The principle of residential dwellings at the site has already been accepted by the council thanks to their Allocations Document, which was voted through last year.

7:43pm

The site is mainly allocated for residential use (up to 500 homes) but there is non-residential use as well.

A day centre/care home/shops or restaurant could be possible.

There is also land allocated for a new school and sports pitches.

7:39pm

The site, north of London Road and south of Rawreth Lane, is currently green belt land and is adjacent to the Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club.

7:38pm

Here we go, the reason we’re all here tonight is being explained by planning officers.

7:37pm

High profile campaigners against the Rayleigh homes on green belt land are out in force tonight.

Linda Kendall, leader of the Rayleigh Action Group, and Brian Carleton, chairman of the Hullbridge Residents Association, is also here, as is Peter Plummer, chairman of the Rawreth Flood Action Group.

7:35pm

We’re just going through declarations of interests at the minute, I expect this to get a bit lively.

Chairman Phil Capon has already read the rule book to the public, no heckling or jeering or the meeting will be closed to the public.

7:33pm

Good evening and welcome to the Echo’s live blog of the Rochford District Council development committee.

Well Done Essex Water

One of our onlineFOCUS readers informed us about a hole in the pavement in Down Hall Road (thank you, you know who you are!). It was caused by a badly broken Essex Water Company cover, leaving a hole nasty enough for someone to trip over , or maybe sprain an ankle, especially in the dark.

We reported it to Essex and Suffolk Water, who fixed it in about 2 days. That’s not all, their customer service people even phoned back to check everything was OK now.

Perhaps County Highways could learn from them.

 

 

Tesco Car Park Application

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Tesco have applied to extend their car park in London Road by 5 spaces and widen the access.The application number is 14/00903/FUL – you can find it online by going to the council website here.

Neighbourhood consultations were sent out today – people should respond by Feb 2nd.

Priory Chase Parking

We have just been advised that the following public notice will be in the Castle Point, Rayleigh and Rochford Standard on 15 January 2015 (click on the image to enlarge):

priory chase order

Back To Blogging…

rayleigh view

Councillor Toby Mountain has been ill, but is back in action now and updating his blog…

Rayleigh’s Regal Past

regal cinema

Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass looks at the sadly-demolished Regal Cinema this month.

Cross Country Race In Sweyne Park

sweyne park sunset small3

A quote from the Friends of Sweyne Park Facebook page:

Hi all park users. Below is a message received yesterday for your info:

“Hi. East Essex Tri Club will be hosting a cross country race at Sweyne Park on 11th January. This will be one adult race starting and finishing by Sweyne School. We will be using the perimeter of the park but staying away from the bridle path. The race will start at 10.00am and the last runners should be about an hour.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused to regular walkers, but hope that you will join in cheering , applauding and encouraging the runners. There will be many local clubs taking part including Rockford Runners, Benfleet Runners, Castlepoint Joggers and East Essex Tri.

Thank you for your patience……”

Great to see the park being used for something like this. Fingers crossed for the weather, and come along to the park to give the runners a cheer if you can.

How To Join the Rayleigh Town Museum Friends Group.

High St circa 1880

High St circa 1880

Lets start 2015 by looking at one of the big projects in Rayleigh this year – a town museum – and how you can join the Friends Group.

What is the purpose of the Rayleigh Town Museum Friends Group?

To give support for the continuing development of the Museum and at the same time to make new friends with similar interests

What advantages and privileges do members of the Friends receive?
⦁ Regular newsletters
⦁ 10% discount on items in the Museum shop
⦁ Reduced ticket prices for talks and events
⦁ Reduced fees for the private hire of the Museum.
⦁ Invitations to pre opening of events
⦁ The sooner you join, the longer your initial membership will last (see below).

Early Membership Incentive
Those joining now will be entitled to extended initial membership as a tangible sign of their support in the formation of the Museum. (N.B. No payments will be actioned until 1stMay 2015.) In addition, those joining before the Museum opens will be known as ‘Founding Members’.

Membership is from 1st May each year.
Annual single membership £10 *
Family membership (at same address) £15 *

If you want to join, we suggest you email rayleightownmuseum@tesco.net

The latest on the museum is as follows:


As many of you will be aware we have plans to open a Rayleigh Town Museum on the 1st floor of 91 High Street, Rayleigh. The clothing shop ‘Yours’ will probably be vacating early in 2015 and the whole building will then be refurbished and a fully disabled access passenger lift and toilet will be installed to the 1st floor. Pizza Express will be opening a restaurant on the ground floor. The Planning Application has been agreed by Rochford District Council, Listed Building consent has been agreed with Essex County Council and we have submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to cover our set up costs…. Unfortunately the application has been declined. However we will be having a debriefing meeting with the HLF and resubmitting our application in January.
——
Further information and updates are available on the Rayleigh Town Museum website (www.rayleightownmuseum.co.uk), our Facebook page (link on our Home page), the Rayleigh Town Museum Facebook page (Facebook.com/rayleightownmuseum) and the notice board in the High Street on the wall by the Millennium Clock.

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.
—————-
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.
—————-
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.
—————-
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….

“I Wonder If Such A Place Exists”

A guest post from our regular commenter the Mighty Oz .. this is a specially positive piece for the Christmas season, so if there any comments , please let them be positive also …

 

sweyne park sunset smaller

 

 

Sometimes, in those quiet moments, we all wonder what it would be like if we moved away to somewhere new. For those among us that like to make lists then a set of requirements is a must. So, what would I like in my new town?

First and foremost a town that is safe for my family and friends, somewhere that is reasonably affluent populated by enterprising, hard working people. A place that has some history, maybe an old market town that has managed to retain that feel. A weekly market would be great, perhaps some places to meet for a coffee afterwards.A vibrant high street, not a run down place full of For Sale boards, a good selection of places to eat and drink.

Who knows, maybe a place that has a beautiful church in the High Street, a windmill, a tree lined high street with flower beds and hanging baskets in the summer, that’s a tall order !

Now, Location, Location, Location, not too far from London, say, 1hr max but also far enough away so that I can explore the local countryside, how about marshes and salt flats that stretch for miles? Maybe even near to a seaside resort for some fun in the summer.

Must have thriving library, an Arts Centre and maybe a town museum…not to mention sufficient car parking when I visit.

Well, that’s quite a list of requirements, I wonder if such a place exists ?

 

 

Three Applications : A Dance School, Later Hours For Marco’s And A Rawreth Golf Course

There are three particularly interesting planning applications on today’s “Weekly List”. All of them are recommended for approval, unless any district councillor calls them in by 1 pm next Wednesday. You can download the full list (with detailed officers’ reports) here. (261kb) The start of each of the officer’s reports are shown below (click on them to enlarge)

DANCE SCHOOL

MARCOS

GOLF COURSE

Cake Night In Rawreth

chocolate cake

Tonight’s Rawreth Parish Council meeting dealt with some serious issues but was a good-natured affair. This was helped by the excellent home-made cheese scones and chocolate cake provided for the public as a seasonal treat (other councils please copy!).

Here’s a few key points:

  • The parish council are giving grants to a number of good causes, including 500 pounds to the new Rawreth Flood Action Group. The Action Group will be setting up their own website.
  • Another grant was 800 pounds for the parish newsletter.
  • It was pointed out that our last onlinefocus item on flooding in Rawreth wasn’t accurate – Church Road and Old London Road DID flood that evening.
  • There was some discussion about the uprated pumps for the Fairglen Interchange causing flooding problems for some residents. The water is pumped into balancing ponds which couldn’t cope with the 1000 tonnes of water from the last lot of rain.
  • There was concern about the unauthorised excavations on the highway next to the traveller site on the A1245 . The district and the county councils have seen this but apparently taken no action.
  • 5 residents said they didn’t get Rochford District Matters and Chris Black got their postcodes to pass on to RDC.
  • It was queried as to why Watery Lane / Beeches Road had to be closed for litter picking and how much it cost.
  • On the financial side, the parish council are not increasing their level of council tax.
  • Finally, it was queried as to why Rawreth had been overlooked for a proposed Crouch arts festival – after all, it is on the Crouch!
  • Choose the layout you want to see

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    Latest Comments

    • Jim Cripps: Nope – I did’nt follow that logic either , even the Chairman ask her to stick to the matter...
    • bruce smart: It is clear from the numbers that some Rayleigh Conservative members voted against the application....
    • James w: Chris @ 12 – yes you’re right Chris, it was nice and refreshing to see that councillors across...
    • Chris black: Bruce at 10- Understand what you are saying. The problem is that for these meetings a member of the...
    • Jim Cripps: For Mr A. Matthews ( Rawreth Parish ) – can we meet sometime soon , I listened very carefully to...
    • bruce smart: I knew who did speak as a member of the general public but my point is that neither Mark or Linda, due...
    • James w: I was lucky enough to get inside the ‘chamber& #8217; last night. Thought Chris Black did very well in...
    • admin: Actually Linda Kendall would have been an obvious choice to speak. but Mark Francois made a couple of very...
    • Linda Kendall: Well said Jim. In fact I think we should all, including our MP, be calling for a full Public Enquiry...
    • admin: Mark Francois spoke..
    • bruce smart: There must be comment on the fact that at least 100 people were not able to enter the meeting. I was...
    • Christine Paine: Good result, well done everyone who spoke against. They will be back though, we know that, but at...
    • admin: We will publish the list as soon as the minutes are on the council website…
    • Jim Cripps: Given the Council spent years and £2.1million on not realising the roads and flooding are the big issue...
    • The Mighty Oz: Countryside will make small changes and the application will go ahead on appeal come what may. However...
    • Jim Cripps: Chris and the other 22 who voted against – thank you , but…̷ 0;…. Beware the...
    • Angelina: Well done Chris and Ron. Looks like Alistir did a great job for Rawreth Parish too.
    • bruce smart: What a farce, the member of the public called to speak is our M.P. Up to a 100 people unable to get in...
    • Jim Cripps: GET IN THERE , REFUSAL OF THE APPLICATION 23 – 10 , some things are worth fighting for , the fight...
    • Jim Cripps: Admin – that says it all , the ‘Develope rs’ are in control and in a position to...
    • admin: I think the problem is that the developers may consider that council rules weren’t being followed...
    • The Mighty Oz: In the face of it not good, but….the two people who are alleged to have made the decision to...
    • Linda Kendall: RDC have even tried to remove the emails sent telling me they had changed their original decision to...
    • Jim Cripps: Here we go , the vultures are gathering over the pickings already – more traffic treated in...

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    There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

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