onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for January, 2013

Half-Way To A Pedestrian Crossing !

 

The Local Highways Panel today allocated £150,000 today for a light-controlled crossing in Hullbridge Road, by Lubards Farm !

Only five councillors turned up today (there should have been nine) but all of those present supported this. So let’s give a thank-you to Councillors Gill Lucas-Gill,  Keith Hudson, Mike Steptoe and Bonnie Hart. The petition certainly helped a bit.

On the positive side, visibility won’t be a problem – there will be enough of a sight splay.

But we are ONLY HALF-WAY there – this decision has to be signed off by the County Portfolio Holder, Cllr Derrick Louis. And this may not happen because the figures on the number of vehicles on the road, and especially the number of pedestrians crossing here, may not be high enough. This is where the evidence from the petition is going to be very useful – because people will avoid crossing the road until there is a crossing.

The other policy issue is that there is no footway yet on one side of the road.  Anyway, we won’t be sitting back- we will do what we can to get the crossing…

We”ll write about the other highways discussions today in a separate post….

 

Michelin: 8 Months Suspended Sentence + £15,000 Fine + £20,000 Costs

The Environment Agency have issued the following press release:

Prison sentence for ‘cantankerous’ land owner

Fines, unpaid work and land clearance also ordered

Land owner Roger Frederick Phipps has been sentenced 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 two planning enforcement notices.

The prison sentence was suspended for two years and Phipps has been ordered to remove the waste from the farm in four stages by 30 Jan 2014. He was also told to pay a contribution of £20,000 towards prosecution costs.

Michelins Farm, Rayleigh did not have a waste permit nor planning permission to operate the site, Chelmsford Crown Court heard today (Tues).

The site was run without an environmental permit from April 2008-11.

Mr Mark Watson, prosecuting for the Environment Agency and Rochford District Council, said two enforcement notices had been served by the council on Phipps in 2002 for breaches of planning control at Michelins Farm.

He was told to stop storing tyres, vehicles, waste and caravans and to remove them. A separate notice required the removal of a lorry back and three mobile buildings. Since then only the mobile buildings have been removed.

The farm is on green belt land and was within a Landscape Improvement Area, the court was told.

+++++++

Mr Watson said that between December 2009 and June 2010 Essex County Fire Service attended 35 fires at Michelins Farm, mostly at night when thick black smoke was seen coming from the land.
Plastics, tyres, building materials and cylinders were seen in the fires. The fire service was concerned about the risk to adjoining highways, railways and power supplies.

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.

Officers also went to the farm with police in June following a large fire with a plume of black smoke that could be seen from the A127.

“There was evidence that scrap metal had been removed from the fires and that other waste had been burned in breach of both environmental and planning rules,” he said.

Long windrows of burned material were found at the site as well as electrical, construction and plastic waste.

Phipps was arrested and questioned on 3 June 2010 and further interviewed on 19 July 2010 but offered no comment to questions, Mr Watson told the court.

Waste was still being stored and burned at the farm six months later despite several letters from the council about complying with the enforcement notices.

In mitigation, Mr Leon Kazakos accepted that his client Phipps had developed an entrenched view towards the authorities.

Judge David Turner QC said that although Phipps was an old age pensioner with a limited income, the site had a reasonably significant value and by selling it he would be able to raise the money needed to pay the fines and costs.

In sentencing Phipps, the judge said he had flouted environmental and planning law to a significant degree and for a considerable time and said that the pre-sentence report showed a lack of real acceptance of the situation. “He took an entrenched position and was a cantankerous individual.”

After the hearing Environment Agency officer Kelly Short said: “From photographs it is apparent that significant amounts of waste were taken onto site, stored, sorted and burned. The smoke caused a nuisance and in some cases could have harmed people’s health.

“Phipps knew he needed a permit to run the site but ignored our advice for years.”

“We continue to work closely with Rochford District Council to stop this site operating illegally.”

+++++++

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, Councillor Keith Hudson said: “Whilst the Council sees legal action as a last resort it will not stand for any breaches of planning regulations. Mr Phipps continued to ignore the planning enforcement notices issued which led to the joint prosecution between Rochford District Council and the Environment Agency.
We have demonstrated by the action that we have taken that Rochford District Council will defend the rights of all our Residents to be able to enjoy their homes and the District in which they live. I believe that the result of this prosecution sends a clear and concise message that this Council will do all that is necessary to ensure the continuing peace and happiness of our Residents by putting a stop to the inappropriate actions of a small minority of people who ignore the laws of the land”.

Phipps pleaded guilty to:

COUNT 1 Guilty

ROGER FREDERICK PHIPPS between 20 June 2005 and 13 April 2011, being the owner and occupier of land at Michelins Farm, Arterial Road, Rayleigh, Essex (“the site”), caused or permitted the site to be used in contravention of an Enforcement Notice in relation to the site dated 20 March 2002 and as varied on 20 November 2002 (“Notice A”), in that (unconnected to the agricultural use of the site):
(a) tyres were stored on the site;
(b) vehicles (including cars, vans, stock cars, trailers, lorries and their backs/containers) were parked and stored on the site;
(c) waste materials including builders rubble, scrap metal, timber, disused fencing panels, vehicle parts including engines, disused plant, tanks and machinery, oil drums, wooden pallets, plastic containers/bottles, gas bottles, telegraph poles, plastic pipes and discarded window frames were stored on the site; and,
(d) caravans were parked in the open area of the site.

COUNT 2 Guilty

ROGER FREDERICK PHIPPS between 20 June 2005 and 13 April 2011, being the owner of land at Michelins Farm, Arterial Road, Rayleigh, Essex (“the site”) and having been served with an Enforcement Notice in relation to the site dated 20 March 2002 and as varied on 20 November 2002 (“Notice A”), failed to comply with the steps required in Notice A in that:
(a) tyres;
(b) vehicles (including cars, vans, stock cars, trailers, lorries and their backs/containers);
(c) waste materials including builders rubble, scrap metal, timber, disused fencing panels, vehicle parts including engines, disused plant, tanks and machinery, oil drums, wooden pallets, plastic containers/bottles, gas bottles, telegraph poles, plastic pipes and discarded window frames; and,
(d) caravans;
unconnected with the agricultural use were not removed from the site.

COUNT 3 Guilty

ROGER FREDERICK PHIPPS between 20 June 2005 and 13 April 2011, being the owner of land at Michelins Farm, Arterial Road, Rayleigh, Essex (“the site”) and having been served with an Enforcement Notice dated 21 March 2002 and as varied on 20 November 2002 (“Notice B1”), failed to comply with the steps required in Notice B1 in that the lorry back (blue in colour and marked ‘Transmec’ and ‘Europe Daily – Thurrock’) in the approximate position indicated ‘W’ on the plan attached to Notice B1 was not removed from the site.

COUNT 7 Guilty

ROGER FREDERICK PHIPPS between 6 April 2010 and 13 April 2011 at Michelins Farm, Arterial Road, Rayleigh, Essex, did knowingly permit the operation a regulated facility for the deposit, storage, treatment and disposal of waste, without an environmental permit.

ENDS

 

A Petition That’s Snowballed – Let’s Hope It Helps!

Hullbridge Road, next to Lubards Farm

Sometimes residents are so interested in a local issue that they see when you’ve started something and then do something extra themselves.
That’s what happened with the petition for a pedestrian crossing in Hullbridge Road, opposite Lubards Farm. Chris Black, as a member of the Local Highways Panel, has been gently pushing for this. After speaking to Happy Days nursery about this recently , they were very keen on the idea and asked for a petition. So Chris dropped off some blank petition forms at Happy Days and at the Beauty Centre (on the day of the big snow).

After that the public really took hold of the idea. Other residents began collecting names themselves and giving copies of the petition to other facilities at Lubards Farm. (and we are really grateful). Without any serious planning, in a short space of time, it has just snowballed.

With Chris laid low by ‘flu , Ron collected most of the petitions today.

As of tonight we have nearly 200 names, plus some letters, with more copies of the petition still to be collected. We need them before the meeting at 10 am on Thursday. To quote from one letter

My son currently attends Happy Days Nursery School , Lubards Farm, Hullbridge Road. As I do not drive we have to walk. The road outside the Nursery (Hullbridge Road) gets very busy and i often see parents with young children having to run across when there is a small break in traffic , myself included… there is an urgent need for a crossing on this part of the road…. ”

Meanwhile , we now have the agenda for the meeting. Council officers are pretty negative on the idea:

“There is no footway to the west of Hullbridge Road, so crossing is not appropriate, or else footway will be required. Against policy.

Perhaps the nest answer to this is to install the crossing now, and provide the footway later on when finances allow (to satisfy whatever County Council policy covers this)

If you want to add your support to the idea of a crossing, please leave your comments below….

No Post Today

No new stuff today, due to a touch of flu… :(

Graffiti and A Faulty Streetlight

On FixMyStreet this week:
Graffiti in Rayleigh:

Graffiti

Reported in the Graffiti category anonymously at 09:39, Wednesday
Sent to Rochford District Council 1 minute later

A large amount of graffiti has appeared on the wall at the entrance to the service road to the last few houses in Hullbridge Road. A lot of the lampposts on the footpath from there towards Hullbridge have also been ‘tagged’

 

and street lighting in Rayleigh:

Street Lighting

Reported in the Street lighting category anonymously at 11:40, Wednesday
Sent to Essex County Council 5 minutes later

The light is located in front of house numbers 14&16 Keats Walk Rayleigh Essex ss6 8yg. The number of the light is 1KW. It turns on at dusk and stays on until about 10.30pm to 11.00pm when it turns off, and then stays off for the rest of the night.

 

Latest Weather News From The District Council

Waste Collections:

Waste collections have now returned to normal with the exception of Monday (21 Jan) and Tuesdays (22 Jan) compostables collections which will be collected next week on your normal collection day.

Sports Pitches:


Council officers have been out this morning (Friday Jan 25) inspecting pitches that are used for sport by local clubs over the weekends.

Having inspected all Council sports pitches we are afraid to say that the none of our pitches except Rochford Recreation Ground and Great Wakering Recreation Ground will be available for use this weekend.

Giant Cranes On Their Way To Essex

The Port of London Website reports:

World’s Largest Quay Cranes Set Sail for London Gateway

Towering at a height of 138 metres, taller than the London Eye, London Gateway’s colossal quay cranes are on their way to the UK’s new deep-water container port.

The first three of the port’s giant quay cranes, manufactured by Shanghai’s Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC), have started their journey from China.

The enormous crane’s boom has a reach that will allow it to pick up containers 25 rows across deck, beyond the width of the world’s largest container ship.

=======

Tim Halhead, London Gateway Operations Director said: “The size of the cranes future proofs the port, allowing London Gateway to handle the next generation of ultra large container ships. These cranes are among the most advanced in the industry, assisting our operatives to deliver a reliable and consistently high level of productivity.”

The new London Gateway container terminal is on the Thames, near Stanford le Hope. The cranes  really are going to be new landmarks! ….. and the terminal should create more local employment (though more traffic on the A13 as well…)

 

Takeaway Application On Rawreth Industrial Estate Called In

Chris Black has ‘called in’ a planning application for a takeaway on the Rawreth Industrial Estate – it will now come to the Development Committee next week.

Application No :12/00722/COU
Zoning :Employment Land
Parish :Rawreth Parish Council
Ward : Downhall And Rawreth
Location :Unit 7 Westfield Close Rawreth Industrial Estate Rawreth Lane Rayleigh
Proposal : Subdivide Existing Unit and Change Use of Part to Use Class A5 (Takeaway) and Retain Part to Use Class B1 Business Us

You can download the officers report here. (it’s the second one on the list)

Officers have recommended approval, however one local business have complained on parking grounds.

Fancy Bidding On Some Football History ?

Sunderland win the FA Cup

There’s a report in the Echo about an auction at Stacey’s Auctions rooms in Rayleigh on Feb 11th. But it’s not the Southend Echo – it’s the Sunderland Echo.

The reason is that it’s an auction of football memorabilia, such as programmes, autographs and newspapers -and it includes some Sunderland  items:

Up for grabs will be a menu from the dinner held on night of the final at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, signed by 15 members of the victorious squad, as well as a limited edition first-day cover signed by the whole team and manager Bob Stokoe.

Other items include various regional and national newspapers covering SAFC’s win, souvenir photo albums and signed pictures and autograph sheets from the 1932 and 1933 seasons.
 

But there are plenty of other items as well – including World Cup programmes from 1958 and 1970, a book signed by all the 1966 England Squad, stuff for Ipswich, West Ham, Man Utd, Norwch…

If you are interested, have a look at the Stacey’s catalogue page

Look At The District Council Website For Any News On Bin Collections

 

The District Council advise on their website:

Monday – All waste and recycling collections have been suspended until further notice due to adverse weather conditions. If possible, leave your bins presented at the boundary of your property for collection and continue to check the website for further updates and advice

Hullbridge Road Crossing Petition

Hullbridge Road, next to Lubards Farm

We have been asked several times in the past about having a pedestrian crossing in Hullbridge Road , next to Lubards Farm. Lots of people visit the facilities there such as Happy Days Nursery , the swimming pool, or the Mushroom Theatre. It can be a busy location…

However we’ve never been able to get this done – partly because of money and partly because it doesn’t match the County Council criteria (eg there is no footway on one side of the road). The county also like to install crossings where many people are already crossing the road . That doesn’t happen here because people are too wary of the traffic! We aware of at least one adult being knocked down here.

However there is a chance of getting this crossing finally agreed this year and to show how much it is needed we are arranging a petition for people to sign – it should be available at some of the premises at the Farm. We will confirm soon…

The Severe Weather Blog

We’ve spotted that the County Council have their own severe weather blog. You can find it here….

Although its not been updated since Friday….

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