onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003


Archive for Barling & Sutton

Beautiful Barling

barling 1

barling 2

Have you ever looked at the parish website for Barling and Sutton? Someone’s done a very classy job…. Also, Barling Wildlife Reserve looks like a nice place to go to…

In April 1998 a 999 year lease was granted to Barling Magna Parish Council via Rochford District Council from Southend Borough Council and the land was Registered in October 1998.

The 12 acre site had been part of the Southend Borough’s old defunct sewerage farm and had become a general dumping ground and derelict rubbish site…

…. It was necessary to remove a hundred Dutch Elms which had succumbed to the disease and this made way for generous new plantings. Now over 130 specimen trees, mostly native, have been planted and over 400 grant funded hedgerow plants. We are continuously adding to these. On both sides of the reserve there are inaccessible margins between ditches and fences that are left undisturbed.

The two main meadows are linked by footbridges and there are no plans to change them. They will be cut once a year to ensure that early coloniser plants do not take over. Our ambition is to construct a footbridge over the Borrow Dyke and link the reserve to the seawall of the River Roach.

There is another newly created wood to the west side which was planted by schoolchildren in June 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Lost Walks Of Rochford

Paglesham -lookingouttoWallaseaIsland


From the District Council website


Help us rediscover lost walks and hidden heritage in rural and coastal Rochford District.

Join us on foot or online and help reveal the stories of Rochford’s changing landscape through a series of public walks.

Walk 1: Barling – Wakering
Wednesday 9 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet at All Saints Church, Church Road, Barling
Ends at St Nicholas Church, 2 New Road, Great Wakering

Walk 2: Hullbridge – Hockley – Hullbridge
Wednesday 9 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Walk starts and ends at the Anchor Riverside Pub, Ferry Road, Hullbridge
Free Public Car Park next to the Anchor Inn

Walk 3: Ashingdon – South Fambridge – Canewdon
Thursday 10 July 2014
10am to 2pm
Meet by Ashingdon Primary Academy, Fambridge Road, Ashingdon
Ends at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon

Walk 4: Canewdon – Wallasea Island – Paglesham East End
Thursday 10 July 2014
4pm to 8pm
Starts at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Canewdon
Ends at The Plough and Sail Public House, East End, Paglesham

Please further information please phone 01702 318171or email

Share your stories and photos of rural and coastal Rochford on the Facebook page in related links

Follow the walks on Twitter @RochfordWalks

Lost Walks of Rochford is led by artists Ali Pretty and Richard White, working with Rochford District Council Arts Development. Ali and Richard regularly collaborate on creative walking projects described as ‘feet on the ground and digitally connected’. Their walks through Rochford District will be documented and archived using social media, mapping and tracking technology.


“All Nature Lovers Welcome”

barling reserve

A Website About Wakering

If you are interested in local history, or the Wakering area, be sure to look at   . The website is full of stuff on Wakering, Barling and Foulness, from executing robbers in Anglo-Saxon times (men were hung, women were drowned) , to a list of people living there in 1874, to the Luftwaffe dropping in during WW2.

My aim is to reveal the history of Great Wakering and its surrounding villages over the past one hundred years. This period covers two World Wars and goes far enough back to the days when, cars, telephones, mobile Phones and computers did not exist. Life was much slower and aspirations lower but most communities co-existed in harmony.



Other Highways Items….

Other highways stuff discussed yesterday included:

Watery Lane – this is almost beyond parody now. We had one business-owner  who explained how Watery Lane has been officially closed for flooding for the last 34 working days. Currently the water is 18 inches deep. Sometimes lorries will come through the water when it isn’t too deep, other time they have to drive a van out to collect the stuff from the lorry somewhere down the road. Apparently the collapsed culvert which is causing the immediate problem can’t be repaired by County Highways until the summer

Tescos at London Road Rayleigh – we agreed to spend £7000 on bollards on the grass verge to prevent vehicles parking.

Spa Road , Hockley  – County Councillor Bonnie Hart said there was ‘utter chaos’ near Sainsbury’s, and we agree to spend £20,000 on railings

The three entrance points to Barling – we agreed to spend £30,000 on ‘village gateways’, to make it extra clear to drives they were entering a 30 mph zone through the village.

Old London Road , Rawreth. We decided NOT to sopend money on signage stating there might be pedestrians in the road. However Chris Black did get the officers to look once again at lowering the speed limit here.

Popes Walk , Rayleigh We refused a request to remove cobble stones because of anti-social behaviour.

Cycleways and Bus Shelters . We decided not to spend any money on new cycleways or replacement bus shelters.



The First Flyers Of Fambridge

Early hot air balloon flight, 1784

The bookstall inside Rayleigh Lanes recently had a couple of copies of “Essex And Its Race For The Skies 1900-1939″ by Graham Smith.

As you’d expect from the title, it deals with flying in Essex before WW2. But it also covers flights in Essex before 1900. A really long time before.

Let’s go back to 1783. The Montgolfier Brothers in France invent a hot-air balloon and Etienne Montgolfier makes the first manned ascent. News of this travels fast.

By the next spring there are already flights taken in place in England. On June 3rd 1784 one arrived at Fambridge! According to the diary of John Crosier, A Maldon miller:

“3rd June, a large balloon descended in a field near Fambridge … with Major Money and another gentlemen, both heavy men. They came down about three o’clock in the afternoon, pack’d it up and convy’d it to Maldon in a cart. The car, in the form of a boat, was superb’

It’s not altogether clear that this was South Fambridge rather than North Fambridge. But even so , it must have been a startling site for anyone who saw it. Men descending out of the sky!

Some Of The Recent Planning Applications: Community Support, 3 Houses And A Car Wash

The latest lists of new planning applications can be found on the District Council website here. They are the lists dated March 30th and April 6th. Most of the applications are for extensions etc but there are some bigger ones:

C.F.P. Community Services ( Who provide “Community support for individuals with learning disabilities, mental health illnesses and other conditions, including personal care and transportation to community activities”) have an application in Great Wakering:

12/00072/FUL Parish: Great Wakering Parish Council
Ward: Foulness And Great Wakering
Proposal: Construct Four Bedrooms Within Existing Unit to Accommodate Patients Overnight
Location: Unit 1 Crouchmans Business Yard Poynters Lane
Applicant: C.F.P. Community Services

A retrospective application in Barling Magna:

12/00131/LDC Parish: Barling Magna Parish Council
Ward: Barling And Sutton
Proposal: Retrospective Application For A Certificate Of Lawfulness To Retain Two Detached Building Each For Use As A Dwellinghouse.
To Retain One Building For Use As Stables And One Building For Use As Stable And Tack Room
Location: Land North Of Ropers Farm Mucking Hall Road

Car Wash By Rayleigh Station:

12/00158/FUL Parish: Rayleigh Town Council
Ward: Wheatley
Proposal: Use of Area of Car Park as Car Wash Facility Including Erection of Canopy and Office Building
Location: Car Park Station Approach Station Road

Extra house in Trinity Road, Rayleigh:

Parish: Rayleigh Town Council Ward: Rayleigh Central
Proposal: Subdivide Plot and Construct One Four Bedroomed House with Rooms in Roofspace
Location: Land Adjacent 57 Trinity Road Rayleigh

Extra house in Church Road, Hockley:

12/00147/FUL Parish: Hockley Parish Council Ward: Hockley West
Proposal: Subdivide Site and Construct Two Storey Four Bedroomed Detached House and Detached Garage
Location: Westview, Church Road Hockley

Some Of the New Planning Applications…. Takeaway, Childrens Play, Bigger Bomb Shelter And Bungalows

The latest list of new planning applications can be found on the District Council website here. It’s the list dated March 16th

As usual, most of the applications this week are for house extensions etc. But there are some bigger ones:

Office in Great Wakering to become takeaway:

Parish: Great Wakering Parish Council Ward: Foulness And Great Wakering
Proposal: Change of use From Office (B1) to Takeaway (A3)
Location: Units 13 To 15 Star Lane Industrial Estate Star Lane

Purdeys Industrial Estate – from retail to childrens play:

Parish: Rochford Parish Council Ward: Rochford
Proposal: Change of Use from A1 Retail to Class Use D2 And Use As Childrens Soft Play and Famly Entertainment Centre
Location: 6 Purdeys Way Rochford Essex

Extending a bomb shelter in Barling Magna… for a nursery

12/00151/FUL Parish: Barling Magna Parish Council
Ward: Barling And Sutton
Proposal: Single Storey Extension/Re-Roofing and Refurbishment of Existing Air Raid Shelter to Form Ancillary Room to Main Day Nursery
Location: The Old School 400 Little Wakering Road Barling Magna

Demolish one bungalow in Hockley, and build two:

Parish: Hockley Parish Council Ward: Hockley Central
Proposal: Demolish Existing Bungalow And Construct Pair Of Semi-Detached Bungalows With Parking And Garages, Provide New Vehicular Crossover To Buckingham Road
Location: 58 Main Road Hockley Essex

A Big Sporting Item

Two of the main items at the Development Committee on August 25th deal with Southend United’s proposed new stadium.

Although these applications are just inside Southend Borough, Southend Council are consulting Rochford as the neighbouring authority. The applications are for:


The above consultation was received from the Head of Environmental Planning and Transportation, Southend Borough Council. It was not possible to provide a written report on the schedule for Members’ information, however, further details will be provided in advance of the Committee.
Southend Borough Council is expected to consider the application at Committee in September 2011. District officers will, therefore, provide a full report to the meeting to allow Members to form a view and this will be forwarded to the Borough Council.
For Members’ information; officers have already relayed to Southend Borough Council the comments raised at the Development Committee in June 2011 with regard to the stadium development. Namely, the need for Section 106 agreement monies to be made available for the maintenance of the ditches of the flood attenuation pond and for the travel plan to include provision for away supporters to be directed to the stadium via the A127 rather than via Sutton Road.

You can download the agenda here if you wish (1.16 Mb), though there’s not much more about the stadium.

Southend United Get Extra Time [corrected]

You may remember that Southend United Football Club were given planning permission in 2008 for their proposed new stadium complex at Fossetts Farm. In fact they were given planning permission by two councils – Southend and Rochford, because although most of the site is in Southend Borough, 3 training pitches, 1 allweather floodlit training pitch , a flood attenuation pond and a 454 space car park were ‘over the border’ in Rochford.

Nearly 3 years has passed and the complex hasn’t been started yet, so Southend United had to apply again to extend the time limit for building.

Ron Martin, who came to speak in favour of his application, said hye could confidently predict they could start work in the autumn.

Councillors views were on this mixed.

The ward councillor , Cllr Michael Steptoe, wasn’t a district councillor when the original application was passed. Although in the end he voted for the application, he had some concerns, notably on flooding and the impact of surface water run-off on ditches downstream. Hopefully this will be looked at by Southend Council.

Councillor Colin Seagers said he had supported the original application but would vote against this time. opposed the original application and would still vote against this time.

Councillor Chris Lumley made the point that refusing to extend the time limit would only lead to an appeal, and probably heavy costs awarded against the council. He was immediately backe up on this by the committee chairma, Phil Capon.

In the end, the application was passed

The Non-Contests

In three wards of the district the Conservatives were not opposed by any other candidates, so three Conservatives are automatically re-elected:

Ashingdon & Canewdon Con unopposed – Tracy Capon
Barling and Sutton Con unopposed (Mike Steptoe)
Foulness & Great Wakering Con unopposed – Colin Seagers (so hopefully we will still get some detailed comments

This seems to happen nationally in some hundreds of seats every year. There’s some national coverage of this (mentioning Rochford as an example) on the political betting website here.

“No doubt there many many more instances like these and several hundred candidates, mostly Tories, have been elected unopposed.

My guess is that the Lib Dems have, in many cases, pulled back from fielding candidates with the aim of putting available resources into defending the seats where they are incumbents.

On top of that I wonder whether being a councillor is simply not an attractive a proposition as it was – after all, for the foreseeable future their main role will be over-seeing cut-backs. “

Incidentally, the Lib Dems are still fighting the same number of seats in Rochford District as four years ago. And in 2007 four Conservatives were elected unopposed.

Planes in Barling, Signs in Rawreth Lane

Here are two new planning applications that have been submitted.

One is in Barling:

Parish: Barling Magna Parish Council
Ward: Barling & Sutton

Existing Use of Aircraft Taking Off, Landing On, Manoeuvre On, For The Purpose Of The Transport Of Passengers and/or Flying Instruction, Aircraft To Be Fuelled and/or Stored At The Airfield, The Use Of Existing Three Grass Runway Strips, Hangers And Standing For Stored Aircraft
Location: Baldwins Farm Little Wakering Road Barling Magna

You can view it here.

the other is for some 4 metre high signs to the Rayleigh Leisure Centre:

Parish: Rayleigh Town Council
Ward: Downhall And Rawreth

3no Double Sided Non Illuminated Freestanding Signs 4000mm High x 1600mm Wide. 3no Double Sided Directional Lamp Post Signs 1200mm High x 500mm Wide Hung 3m From Pavement Level
Rayleigh Leisure Centre Priory Chase Rayleigh

You can view it here.

Choose the layout you want to see

March 2015
« Feb    

Who We Are

We are Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners in Rochford District.
We want to improve local decision-making and we see onlineFOCUS as a good way of keep residents informed and involved.
Please click here to email us .

Comments Policy

We welcome your comments, they are very important to us. However please note:
* We may not necessarily agree with the comments made by our readers
* We ask everyone to treat people with respect when making a comment. No personal abuse please.

Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
Ron Oatham Ron Oatham Bruce Smart Bruce Smart Chris Stanley Chris Stanley

Latest Comments

  • John Mason: Just to be helpful…& #8230;…&# 8230;… As stated above when it comes down to it the only...
  • admin: Jim @ 4 I’m not sure if its seen quite like that – it’s a professional challenge for an...
  • Jim Cripps: Thanks John @ 3, I did’nt mean vote at the Appeal – but the fact that we elect people to...
  • John Mason: I am still hoping that there will be people who will try to answer my questions @9
  • John Mason: Jim @ 1. There is no vote for Councillors in an Appeal. Only Ward Councillors will be permitted to speak...
  • Oz the Positive: Linda @ 10, like you I do not know the facts behind the tragic accident in the Hockley Rd but I do...
  • Linda Kendall: It seems we will have a way to be heard if the RDC decide not to challenge the appeal. Of course they...
  • Jim Cripps: Thanks for starting a thread on this – And the point you make about Councillors being actively...
  • Jim Cripps: And ,if I might say so ,an excellent body swerve by yourself Oz – and no I am not party to...
  • Linda Kendall: I reason the accident that cost the life of a young man on the Hockley Road might have been partly...
  • 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...

Recent Posts

Lib Dem logo
Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by by Bruce Smart at 12 Ferndale Road, Rayleigh, on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at 12 Ferndale Road, Rayleigh The technology and hosting used for this website is provided by 1&1 Internet Limited, The Nova Building, Herschel Street Slough SL1 1XS

Technical Help : Graham Osborn

Posts To Remember



Asda or Makro Council Budget Council Drama Crime & Policing District Core Strategy District Wide Elections Essex & East Future Housing Green Belt Highways & Parking History and Culture Hockley Hullbridge Leisure and Sport Liberal Democrats Local Democracy Local Facilities National Politics No Category Planning Applications Rawreth Rayleigh Rochford Web Stuff YouTube and Video


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.

Food Hygiene Ratings

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

Essex Political Blogs

Geography, History , Science

Lib Dem Websites

Local Council Websites

Local History

Local Info

Non-Political Stuff

Other Lib Dem Blogs

Planning Issues

Join Your Local Team

If you read onlineFOCUS for a while you can see the kind of things we are trying to achieve locally. Maybe you would like to help us?

If you fancy helping us deliver leaflets, or actively campaigning for us at election time, or simply just helping behind the scenes with paperwork, please contact the onlineFOCUS team here.

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

When the Olympic Torch came to Rayleigh, Chris Black wrote about the town in the Guardian - read it here

Join the National Team

If you would like email updates on what the Lib Dems are doing nationally, click here.
If you would like to join the Lib Dems click here.