The candidates for the Rochford District Council and town and parish council elections have now been announced – you can find them on the District Council website here and here.
Tonight we’ll look at the north-western end of the district – Sweyne Park and Grange, Downhall and Rawreth, and Hullbridge. There are 3 district council seats up for grabs in each of them.
SWEYNE PARK AND GRANGE
3 Tories, 1 Lib Dem (James Newport), 1 Rochford Resident and 1 Labour are standing. Interestingly, there is no UKIP here. Obviously , we hope that James can win one of the three seats for us. It’s possible that James, Toby Mountain and the Labour chap Mr Archer could all win, and the Conservatives win none.
For the Town Council, the Tories have won 4 seats- unopposed by any other candidates.
DOWNHALL AND RAWRETH
3 Lib Dems (Chris Black, Ron Oatham and Chris Stanley) , 3 Tories, 1 Labour and 1 Rochford Resident (who lives in Hullbridge). Once again, no UKIP. Obviously we are hoping to win all three seats here and strengthen our team.
For the Town Council, the seats are contested between Lib Dems and Tories (we will write more about this later)
There’s a big ballot paper for Hullbridge – 3 Greens, 3 Tories, 3 Labour and 1 UKIP. The biggest surprise is to see Angelina Marriot switch from Labour to Tory. Also interesting to see former Labour councillor David Flack standing here again. With the Greens already holding 2 of the 3 seats, we’re going to stick our necks out here and say the Greens are the best option to keep the Tories out.
There are also elections for Hullbridge Parish Council, with a total of 13 candidates.
It was an uninspiring night in the council chamber.
The Hullbridge/Rawreth application for 500 was passed by 9 votes to 2. Chris Black (Lib Dem) moved refusal and was seconded by John Hayter (UKIP) but they were outvoted by 9 Conservatives. The Hullbridge District Councillors Michael and Diane Hoy (Green) and Angela Hale (Tory), plus Hullbridge Parish Councillors Angelina Marriott (Labour) all made good speeches, as did our Tory MP Mark Francois , but none of them had a vote.
The roundabout application was also passed, despite a speech against by Rawreth Parish Councillor Chris Stanley and some concerns about the details expressed by Chris Black (Lib Dem). the only concession Chris got was that the ward councillors would be consulted on the screening and landscaping, to minimise the impact on neighbouring residents. This was supported by the Tory leader Terry Cutmore.
The Echo has a good report here.
Hopefully, the hacking attack on onlineFOCUS has been dealt with now (fingers crossed).
We are trying to get back to normal.
The main event this week is tomorrow night’s meeting of the Development Committee, where a decision will be made on the big housing application on the SW Hullbridge /Rawreth borders and the roundabout application at the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction…
If you want to study the two applications due to come up on March 22nd, they both have their own pages on the council website, full of links to lots of documents, plans etc.:
Click here for the Hullbridge/Rawreth application page.
Click here for the Roundabout application page.
It makes them a lot easier to look at.
The planning application for the new roundabout at the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction has just been submitted. It is application 16/00162/FUL and you can see it here
The first thing we’ve noticed is good news. Unlike a previous plan that we’ saw, Mortimer Road still has access onto Hullbridge Road.
The other news is that there is no longer a extra road access going ominously into Lubbards Farm. That’s been removed. But there’s still room to add an extra exit at a later date. Also the accompanying Transport Assessment states:
“a requirement of the landowner is to consider future development access”
That looks like a hint for a future planning application on part of Lubbards Farm. We will say no more, to avoid ‘fettering our discretion’
This is the current plan (click to enlarge)
This is the previous plan we saw:
We have just heard the following from Hullbridge Green Party Councillors Michael and Diane Hoy about the application for 500 homes on the Hullbridge / Rawreth borders
HULLBRIDGE PLANNING APPLICATION
We have just been advised that the Outline Planning Application for Hullbridge is going to the Development Control meeting on 22 March.
Both myself and Diane will be there to speak for residents.
It seems that there is a delay in faulty streetlights being inspected, due to long-term illness, for which we can only sympathise with the person(s) concerned. However the County Council do need to raise their game on this!
By special request, here are a couple more maps to show the situation in most of Rawreth, Hullbridge and the Wakerings. Green circles are OK, brown circles are known to have a fault – and as you can see, there are a lot of brown circles in Rawreth:
The big application for housing on the Hullbridge / Rawreth borders now has another aspect to consider. The applicants are quite rightly being expected to help fund improvements to the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction – and have submitted the below road design. This isn’t definite yet – a planning application cannot determine what happens outside the boundaries of the land concerned. However this what the applicants are proposing.
We are sure that a good roundabout is needed however there are two notable issues with this design:
The first is that it permanently blocks off the junction of Mortimer Road with Hullbridge Road. This means that vehicles could only leave Mortimer Road via Kings Farm or Eastview Drive. The onlineFOCUS team will be talking to residents in Mortimer Road next week to see what they think about this. It would also force a few residents in Hullbridge Road to exit the long way around Mortimer Road
The second point is that there is an extra exit included on the roundabout – straight into the fields of Lubards Farm. Presumably this is intended to provide access for future developments…!
Your views on this would be welcome, especially if you live in Mortimer Road, Ferndale Road, King Farm, Saxon Close, Norman Crescent, Eastview Drive, Fairland Close or Hullbridge Road.
News from the District Council about the big ” SW Hullbridge” application:
The Council has received notification from the applicant to confirm that, following a conversation with the Environment Agency, further fluvial modelling is required of the nearby watercourse. That being the case, the application will not be reported to a meeting of the Development Committee in September. When the modelling work is completed and assessed by the Environment Agency a date for the application to be determined by the Committee will be announced.
For anyone wondering exactly where the “Hullbridge” application is (it also includes a bit of Rawreth parish), here’s the official location plan:
It’s worth mentioning here a recent comment by Councillor John Mason:
I understand that ECC Highways as Statutory Consultee has Recommended as follows. Prior to first occupation, Highway works along the Lower road, Hullbridge Road and Rawreth Lane Corridor shall have been provided entirely at the Developer’s expense. This includes the: i) Provision of a ghost right hand turn at the junction of Watery lane / Lower Road with associated infrastructure . ii) Provision of a roundabout at the junction of Rawreth Lane and Hullbridge Road with associated infrastructure.
As Linda Kendall has mentioned in a comment today, the big housing application on the Hullbridge / Rawreth borders is NOT going to be dealt with on July 23rd. It is being delayed until a later date. This is apparently because the Gibraltar-based applicants want to work on some matters. Though some might think it would be better for it to go to committee as soon as possible , not to make a decision, but for the committee to look at what elements (if any) need improving, and then defer it for a full debate and decision on another night.
As to the “North of London Road” applications, we’re not sure of what’s happening with those either…
The big housing application on the Hullbridge/ Rawreth borders will come to the Development Committee on July 23rd. This will be the only item on the agenda – other planning applications will be dealt with on a different night.