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“Grange Villa” Application Deferred By 10-0 Vote

The planning application for 47 dwellings off London Road , next to the BP/ Marks and Spencers filling station was deferred last night.

The officers presentation outlined the scheme, making the point that this land is already allocated for housing in principle as part of the council’s core strategy.

Parish Chairman Alistir Matthews then spoke against it, stressing how important the drainage/ flooding situation was for the parish.

One of the ward Councillors, Chris Black, then kicked off the debate , expressing his concern that we didn’t have full information on the drainage scheme yet. While he welcomed the provision of a new pedestrian crossing on London Road, he askd where it would be (the answer was to the west of the junction with Little Wheatley Chase). He also suggested that £45000 for park maintenance might be better spent on a school crossing patrol. He said he wouldn’t support the scheme tonight and would vote against approval.

Toby Mountain spoke next, supporting what Chris had said and also querying the road layout. Christine Mason then followed, questioning the flat dormer roofs (which are against council policy)  and asking that if the scheme went ahead, the maintenance logs for the drainage system should be sent to the council every year without having to be requested. Mike Steptoe also asked some questions and implied that the scheme wasn’t quite ready yet.

Simon Smith then moved approval – but didn’t get a seconder . So Chris Black jumped in and moved deferral , to allow time to get more information on the drainage schemes and to look at other matters, This was immediately seconded by Toby Mountain.

Chris Stanley then spoke, ramming home the point about drainage and that the County Council wasn’t working with up to date information. Simon Smith came back, asking why the proposed road into the scheme wasn’t up to adoptable standard.

Eventually the committee voted 10-0 to defer a decision, allowing time to get more information and some improvements before a second vote is taken at some stage.


civic suite

A Busy Planning Night This Thursday…

The Development Committee  meets this Thursday at 7:30 in the Civic Suite , Rayleigh.  There are 4 items on the agenda:

  1. ) A proposal to change one of the conditions regarding the approved roundabout at the Rawreth Lane /Hullbridge Road junction. Instead of having a condition in the Section 106 that stipulates:
“Details for the provision of an area clear of the highway for the parking of operatives vehicles and the storage materials of plant and construction vehicles to be used for the duration of the construction period.”
There would be an extra  planning condition that states:
“Prior to the commencement of the development the applicant shall submit to the Local Planning Authority a construction management plan to demonstrate the provision of areas within the applicant’s control for the provision of the storage of materials, plant, equipment and operatives’ parking. The development shall be implemented in accordance with such details as may be agreed.”
2.)  For the building 34 Rocheway, Rochford:

3.) More housing proposed along London Road, Rayleigh :

4. Scout Hut at the end of Priory Chase, Rayleigh:
They are all recommended for approval, you can find the agenda here.


“For Rochford District this equates to between 312 and 392 dwellings per annum”

We are now roughly at the starting point in the next cycle of development proposals, so be aware!

In one of our yellow paper Focus newsletters in Downhall and Rawreth , we wrote a section called “Beware the Boring Stuff , warning residents that sometimes the boring stuff is very important. An example of this was  was a council report  last week.

It has the unexciting title SOUTH ESSEX STRATEGIC HOUSING MARKET ASSESSMENT (SHMA) but is very important.

Basically some consultants have looked at the “South Essex” area (Southend, Rochford, Castle Point, Basildon and Thurrock) and has concluded that the “objectively assessed needs” for South Essex are for between 3,275 and 3,750 dwellings per annum. For Rochford District this equates to between 312 and 392 dwellings per annum between 2014 (the base date for the study) and 2037.

Cllr Ian Ward, the portfolio holder (or cabinet member) for planning has agreed to accept this document into the council’s ‘evidence base’.

This DOESN’T mean that Rochford will have to allow this amount of housing, it’s not as simple as that – infrastructure limitations could have an impact here, but it should alert people to the kind of arguments that lie ahead!

The problem with our current Tory administration isn’t that they don’t have the answers about  infrastructure they don’t even seem to know the questions...




Bullwood Hall

The new drastically-reduced-in-size Development Committee meets tomorrow evening at 7:30 . You can find the details here.

The main application is in Bullwood Hall Lane, Hockley. It is an outline application for the demolition of the prison complex building, conversion of Bullwood Hall to residential use and residential development , to provide up to 60 dwellings. 35% are to be affordable housing.

There is a long officers report with plenty of objections from local residents. The scheme is recommended for approval – one of the conditions is that there is 35% affordable housing.


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Hullbridge Application Delayed

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.

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This Is Where It Is….

For anyone wondering exactly where the “Hullbridge” application is (it also includes a bit of Rawreth parish), here’s the official location plan:

hullbridge appIt’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.


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What Is Going On?

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…


Here We Go Again….

Keep your eyes peeled on this one. There could be more planning battles to fight…

From the District Council website:

Call for Sites (current stage)

The Council is looking to gather information from landowners and developers about land – particularly brownfield/previously developed land – that might be considered suitable for development (including residential, employment, retail and other uses) in the future through the Call for Sites. The Call for Sites is open from 22 June 2015 until 5pm on 28 September 2015.

The information attained through the Call for Sites will be assessed within the SHELAA and other evidence base documents and used to inform the preparation of the new Local Plan, should a need for additional land to be allocated be identified. It is not, however, guaranteed that any additional land will be required within the new Local Plan.

Even if a site has previously been put forward to the Council to be considered for allocation, the intention of the landowner or developer to continue to promote the site during the preparation of the new Local Plan should still be confirmed to the Council by responding to the Call for Sites.

If you would like to promote a site please complete and return the Site Information Form below along with an OS map of the site.

Additional supporting information / detailed site plans are not necessary at this stage. Only information submitted using the Site Information Form provided will be accepted.

Completed site information forms should be returned to the Council no later than 5pm on 28 September 2015:

by post: Planning Policy Team, Rochford District Council, South Street, Rochford, Essex. SS4 1BW
by email:
by fax: 01702 318181

Two Extra Sites For Housing In Rayleigh?


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.

A View From Hullbridge

The submission from the Hullbridge Residents Association to the planning application on the Hullbridge/ Rawreth borders can now be found on the council website here.

It’s not a brief letter either, not even a long letter, its 46 pages long….

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.

“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.