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hockley woods cinema

cinema

Having a few open air cinema evenings in our district sounds quite an exciting idea – at least in principle. Under its “Commercialisation” heading the District Council is allowing Essex Outdoor Cinema to hold events in Sweyne Park and Hockley Woods this year:

June 6th – Hockley Woods – Shakespeare in Love
June 7th Hockley Woods – Film TBC
August 15th – Sweyne Park, Rayleigh – Grease

The Sweyne Park event wasn’t discussed with the ward councillors nor with the Friends of Sweyne Park. We have asked for information about numbers of tickets (these are ticket-only events) and other issues like car parking, toilets, noise levels and specific location in the park. When we have the answers we’ll do an update. (We have also asked RDC to contact the Friends Group over this.)

UPDATE 6 PM FRIDAY:
We’ve received the following information today from RDC:

Essex Outdoor Cinema (EOC) is the organisation producing the event. They will supply all infrastructure including stewards, security, fencing, First Aid, litter picking, toilets, and temporary exit lighting. The event is produced at no cost to the Council except some Officer time to assist with joint promotion and providing advice around health and safety and event management. Risk Assessments and Event Management plans have been received from EOC and will be presented at a Safety Advisory Group.

Working with Essex Outdoor Cinema on the promotion of the event is important as the arrangement is that Box Office income is shared equally between the organisation and the Council.
This event has come about through an initiative at the Council for employees to come up with ideas that might generate income and further corporate priorities – in this case increasing use of open spaces through public events….

…. A Temporary Event Notice (TEN) for Sweyne Park would allow a maximum of 499 audience members. The same numbers would be permitted under a TEN at Hockley Woods, but in conjunction with EOC, RDC officers have agreed that 300 should be the maximum given that the event ‘arena’ (the clearing) and parking is reduced in size compared to Sweyne Park.

—————–

Sweyne Park Location: Area near the lake. The mobile cinema screen will back on to the lake with audience on the hill. The screen will be roped or fenced off.

Parking: Rayleigh Leisure Centre

Weather: The events will go ahead in all conditions except where high winds might be a safety risk (e.g. cinema screen falling)

Gates open 7pm

Showing 8.45pm to 10.45pm

Site completely clear by 11.30pm

Noise : “Average outdoor screenings produce around 75dbs of sound. We have designed the sound equipment so that a) it doesn’t need to run at excessive volumes – the quality is such that we can achieve great sound without turning it up to levels that would disturb local Residents and b) it is angled to minimize the sound dispersion – the way the speakers
are set up contains the sound without much spread. Sound levels can be monitored throughout the event and we are able adjust the mix as the film plays to ensure we get the balance right.”

Any Thoughts?

Two Extra Sites For Housing In Rayleigh?

you-cannot-be-serious

Back in 2010 we said that the District Council shouldn’t have continued so far in to the future with their Core Strategy:


Of course , once land is taken out of the Green Belt, it’s very hard to protect it again. Wouldn’t it better to let future councillors – in 2025 – make decisions on what housing is needed then rather than have councillors and council officers try to guess things now 15 or 20 years in advance?

Why is our council so keen to press ahead with all this?

So with the council having already allocated some unsuitable sites for development, we have two new planning applications to look forward to. One is at the old prison site at Bullwood Hall, mostly in Rayleigh but partly in Hockley. Harrow Estates are holding a public consultation session tomorrow at the Parish Hall (Upper Room) 58 Southend Road Hockley from 2 pm to 8 pm. There should be more info available after the event at Harrow Estates Website.

The other is for 100 new homes around the Timber Grove site off London Road Rayleigh.
This application shouldn’t be a surprise to coucnillors – there was an application in 2012 that was refused, but only on the chairman’s casting vote.

The Ghost Of the Arterial Road

The Rochford District Community Archive has a short account of a 1950s ghost here.

How The Council Sees It….

The plume of smoke at 7 am Tuesday.

The plume of smoke at 7 am Tuesday.

The District Council have a new page on their website about the fire at Michelin’s Farm. Residents can decide for themselves if they are satisfied with what the council say:

1. What stage are we at in the planning enforcement process with Michelins Farm?

While we have a confirmed enforcement notice, action has already been taken against the previous landowner by Rochford District Council and the Environment Agency, resulting in a conviction, fine and imprisonment. The previous landowner was also ordered to pay the court costs of the Environment Agency and Rochford District Council, which have now been received.

2. Has there been joined-up working in this case?

Essex County Council, Rochford District Council and the Environment Agency have been working closely on this matter, hence the successful prosecution, and continue to work together.

3. Does the Council still believe the site to be in breach of planning?

Yes, and given the lack of compliance with the enforcement notice, the Council has been exploring various options. We are continuing to work with Essex County Council and the Environment Agency on this matter.

4. Why did the Council not take direct action to prevent something like this from occurring?

Direct action would require professional expertise in this case due to the contaminated nature of the land. Any such action would have been at a significant cost to the tax payer, and it is unlikely that this could have been recovered. Therefore other options have been considered.

5. Why has Rochford District Council not issued a Compulsory Purchase Order on the site?

After the Court hearing on 11 July 2014, various options were discussed, including Compulsory Purchase. However, as the defendant was imprisoned thereafter, the site ownership had changed and the Council’s Allocations Document was subject to a legal challenge at that time, no firm decisions could be taken at that point. Moreover, the removal of the vast amount of unauthorised items and materials works at this site could involve highly significant costs. Accordingly, the value of the site is not yet known and the Council would need to be cautious in any action concerning a Compulsory Purchase Order with tax payers’ money. This option has not been ruled out though. In the mean-time the Environment Agency and the Council have pursued a successful prosecution of the former site owner for not complying with the enforcement notice.

We will be looking at various options going forward, which will involve working with our partners and seeking to liaise with the new owners of the site.

6. Is the Council aware that the ownership of the site has changed?

Yes, but the enforcement action relates to the land and that being the case, the five directors of the company will be actively pursued as the landowners responsible for complying with the requirements of the enforcement notice.

7. Is the land not potentially too contaminated to be a traveller site?

Only a small portion (1 hectare) of the site is allocated for a 15 pitch travellers’ site, and this will need to be subject to remediation as is the case with any potentially contaminated site before development. In order to establish the levels of contamination there would need to be a survey and assessment by specialist contractors.

8. Has the Council considered taking direct action and then putting a charge against the land to cover the cost?

The concern is that the remediation costs would not have been recoverable resulting in a significant cost to the tax payer. While it is accepted that, in theory, expenses of direct action can be secured by way of a charge on the land, this site remains heavily contaminated and full of waste. The Council would need to establish whether this would exceed the value of the land. There is also the fact that the initial costs outlay would fall directly to the Council with uncertainty as to how much, if any, monies could be recovered.

How The Fire Service Saw It…

The Fire Service’s blow-by-blow account of the Michelins Farm fire can be found on their website here. There are some good photos as well.

Here’s a few extracts:

Firefighters are tackling a large tyre fire near the Fairglen Interchange on the A130. The incident commander reports that a pile of tyres covering an area of 50 metres by 20 metres and stacked two metres high is alight. Crews are using three ground monitors and one main jet to control the blaze.


Update 15:00hrs Wednesday: Three crews continue to work breaking up the pile and tackling the fire. Incident Commander Dave Barritt said: “Work to break the tyres up and extinguish the fire is going well and we hope to scale the operation back considerably this evening.
“The decision to use diggers on the pile early has proven to be a very good one and that early intervention has reduced the amount of time we will have to be here in total. Crews have been working extremely hard at this protracted incident.”


Update 20:44hrs Wednesday: Crews are preparing to leave the scene planning to revisit at midnight as firefighting operations come to a halt. Firefighters have used three stinger monitors (high volume foam monitors) three ground monitors, four main jets, two light portable pumps and two diggers during the 48 hours they have been tackling this major blaze.

We’d like to thank them for all their efforts and hard work…..

Flashback To Last July.. 35 Fires That The Fire Service Had To Attend In 2010-2011

michelins

Last July we informed residents that the owner of Michelins Farm had been jailed for not removing waste from the site. We quoted this report from the District Council Website, its worth quoting again now:


Date:Friday, 11 July 2014

Land owner Roger Frederick Phipps, aged 72, has today (Fri 11 Jul) been sent to prison for six months.

Chelmsford Crown Court activated part of a suspended sentence given in January last year for a waste offence after he was convicted of breaching advertisement regulations; alongside his continued breaches of planning and environmental laws.
+++++
Phipps was sentenced in 2013 to eight months imprisonment and ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work for allowing an illegal waste site to be run on his farm for years. He was also fined £15,000 for breaching three planning enforcement notices and the Environment Agency and Council were jointly awarded £20,000 in costs.

The prison sentence was suspended for two years.

Since then, the court heard, he has carried out the unpaid work but has yet to pay the court costs and fines. He has failed to remove the majority of the waste from the farm by 30 June 2014, and has continued to display advertisements without consent on his land.

Michelins Farm, Rayleigh, did not have a waste permit nor planning permission to operate the site for waste purposes and it was run without an environmental permit from April 2008-11. The farm is on green belt land and is within a Landscape Improvement Area.
+++++
Site visits undertaken by the Council and the Environment Agency had observed plastics, tyres, building materials, cylinders, and plastic piping and these were seen in 35 fires that the fire service had to attend in 2010-2011.

Environment Agency officers carried out covert surveillance in May 2010 and saw lorries taking waste into the site and at the same time saw smoke regularly coming from the farm. Aerial photos taken by Council officers also demonstrated to the Court the full scale of the damage being caused by Mr Phipps.

Judge David Turner said Phipps had been given by the Court, the Environment Agency and the Council every opportunity to comply with the law and had not done so.
+++++
The Leader of Rochford District Council, Councillor Terry Cutmore said: “It is clear that Mr Phipps’ breach of the advertisement regulations was yet another example of his fragrant and deliberate disregard for the law. Mr Phipps has continued to breach planning regulations despite previously receiving a suspended sentence for similar offences, and it is right that the Court has taken this into account in giving Mr Phipps a 6 month prison sentence. Whilst the council sees legal action as a last resort it will not stand for any inappropriate actions from people who choose to ignore planning laws”.

“It is clear that Mr Phipps’ breach of the advertisement regulations was yet another example of his fragrant and deliberate disregard for the law. Mr Phipps has continued to breach planning regulations despite previously receiving a suspended sentence for similar offences, and it is right that the Court has taken this into account in giving Mr Phipps a 6 month prison sentence. Whilst the council sees legal action as a last resort it will not stand for any inappropriate actions from people who choose to ignore planning laws”.

After all the strong words from the council last summer, and the previous history of fires, perhaps residents could have expected a bit more action since then…

The Black Cloud

The Echo reports tonight:

Firefighters are at the scene of a large tyre fire near the Fairglen Interchange on the A130.

A pile of tyres covering an area of 50 metres by 20 metres and stacked two metres high is alight, the incident commander reports.

Two crews from Rayleigh Weir and one crew from Leigh are using three ground monitors and one main jet to control the blaze.

The fire brigade was called to the site at 8.55pm.

Greater Anglia train services between London and Southend Victoria are being cancelled or delayed as a result of the fire.

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “Due to a fire on property near the railway between Rayleigh and Wickford all lines are blocked.

“Train services between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria may be cancelled, delayed by up to 60 mins or revised.

“Owing to thick smoke blowing across the railway from a large fire off the railway between Rayleigh and Wickford the line is currently blocked for safety reasons.”

Passengers can use their tickets on c2c services and replacement buses are being arranged to operate between Wickford and Southend Victoria.

At 10:15 tonight there was a massive black cloud drifting northwards , passing above the A128 near the Carpenters Arms roundabout. Police had closed off the A1245 southwards.

The plume of smoke at 7 am Tuesday.

The plume of smoke at 7 am Tuesday.

UPDATE 7AM TUESDAY from BBC Travel:

fire 3

fire 2

An Uneasy Committee Meeting!

Last week’s Development Committee wasn’t as dramatic as the meeting last month, where the “North of London Road” application was refused. In fact at one stage it was very dull. But there were a lot of twists and turns, and a bit of bad feeling. Cllr Toby Mountain writes a report on it here.

In brief:
Tesco Car Parking application – approved
Tiny cafe in Hockley Woods – refused (even though it was an application by the council!)
Conversion of an outbuilding in Rayleigh Town Centre into a house – approved
Retrospective application to remove mechanical wheel cleansing equipment from the big site in Hawkwell – refused.

4 Planning Applications

The agenda is out for next Thursday’s Development Control meeting.

You can find it here.

There are four applications shown, all 4 are recommended for approval.

1. For five extra parking spaces outside Tesco in London Road, Rayleigh
2. An application from the District Council itself for a very small cafe facility at Hockley Woods.
3. Conversion of an outbuilding at 4 Rayleigh High Street into a one-bedroomed dwelling.
4. Amending the planning condition regarding mechanical wheel-cleaning of lorries at the large David Wilson Homes housing development in Hawkwell.

Want To Learn About Computers?

learnmyway

Someone suggested we should mention a course you can take at Rayleigh Library called “Learn My Way”. It’s run over 6 weeks, on a Monday and a Wednesday at Rayleigh Library ( We think it also runs at other libraries but don’t have any details )

Starts at 9.30am, runs until 11.00am and is ideal for complete beginners, no previous experience necessary.

Find out more at http://www.learnmyway.com/

The course can be done at home but of course, you will not have a tutor to guide you through. The course if free, you just need to be a member of the Library.

Three Highways Issues In Downhall Park Way

IMG_0940

Three issues in Downhall Park Way:

First of all, someone has suggested having yellow lines at the junction of Downhall Park Way with Rawreth Lane. These would be standard ‘junction protection’ lines simply to stop motorists parking too close to the junction. Any thoughts about that?

A second person has expressed their concern about the high speeds of a small number of cars in Downhall Park Way. We might be able to get temporary signs that flash when drivers exceed the limit. Again, do people have any thoughts about that?

Thirdly, we have asked County Highways to repaint the Give Way lines at the junctions of Downhall Park Way and Harberts Way.

A Shocking Day At Hambro Parade

Armed robbery today at the Hambro Post Office …. the Echo have a brief report here.

Our best wishes and thoughts to everyone there.

Choose the layout you want to see

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Latest Comments

  • John Mason: Does anyone know please (genuine questions). Why were the street lights previously on all night? What was...
  • Oz the Positive: Jim@7, you have neatly avoided the question… .I personally do not believe that there has been...
  • Jim Cripps: OK facts then Oz the Poz , how many accidents would warrant putting them back on?.
  • corey vost: John Mason @ 3, there is no law in the United Kingdom that forces any authority to provide any form off...
  • admin: Jim I will start a new post this morning on the subject of the appeal, people can leave further comments...
  • Oz the Positive: Has the predicted chaos / crime wave / mayhem caused by the turn off actually happened ? Facts...
  • Jim Cripps: Me @ 15 – can anyone explain how it works , do we ( those directly impacted ) have any opportunity...
  • Jim Cripps: Think this comes under the heading of progress , a long time ago there was none, then oil lamps, then...
  • John Mason: Jim, it could just be that both the professional planners and political planners decide not to defend the...
  • John Mason: Apparently, from an Officer Report, Essex County Council has NO OBLIGATION to provide Street Lighting....
  • Jim Cripps: Current theory is the people we elect to represent us are not driving the agenda but being driven by the...
  • Jim Cripps: Brian @15 – 55 is Bullwood Hall ( Millionaires Row ) , did’nt know about the 200😤
  • Linda Kendall: Martin. It isn’t money that is the issue with the lights. What most people don’t know is...
  • Oz the Positive: If anyone is interested here is a little video from Mark Gino Francois’ s Facebook page...
  • Jim Cripps: So who do they appeal to (Secretary of State ? ) who appoints an Government Inspector to rule on it...
  • Brian Guyett: The Echo is reporting that ECC are refusing to support plans for 6,000 homes at Dunton until more...
  • Brian Guyett: Jim @13: Just to clarify your figure of 55 for Hockley. That relates to land off Folly Lane only. For...
  • John Mason: In the Echo today. But it is is Land North of the London Road NOT Hullbridge !! “DEVELOPE RS have...
  • A.Matthews: Just going out Dear to Tesco,s be back next year !
  • Jim Cripps: The new A130 section between the A13 > A12 was presumably a strategic link ( for example ) between the...
  • Jo McPherson: It is unimaginable what these poor families are going through and our thoughts go out to all of them in...
  • Brian Guyett: Thanks Jim. So to be clear, we potentially have the following new houses in/around A127: – 1200...
  • Jim Cripps: Oz the Poz @ 4 – Too right mate , I would’nt trust them with my shopping list…&...
  • Jim Cripps: Another nugget that came up tonight – A formal forecast from the CBI says that we need 240,000...
  • Jim Cripps: Brian @ 3 above – Still very much alive but , like most things , low profile before the election...
  • Oz the Positive: Jim mate – your getting paranoid… .you need a dose of positivity̷ 0;..
  • linda Kendall: As a mother and grandmother who has waved her children off on similar adventures, over many years,...
  • admin: Jim, This is ECC checking on average speeds, to see if a 20 mph limit in appropriate here.
  • Jim Cripps: Traffic counting gear in place in Exmouth and Teignmouth at the Mo , presumably counting the rat run...
  • martin: Are Essex CC not looking at this the wrong way round ,they should be embarking on changing all lamps to low...

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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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“Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

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