May 27th, 2008 |
Fair Shares For All
Hawkwell Councillor John Mason is unhappy about the Conservative’s suggested housing allocation for Hawkwell:
In the Summer of 2007, after the first public consultation, 32 Conservative Councillors met in private to allocate 2200 new housing units across Rochford District. They came up with 365 for Hawkwell West and just 740 for the whole of Rayleigh.
The Liberal Democrats seem to have gratefully accepted the reduced allocation for Rayleigh and have not raised any objection yet to the allocations across the remainder of the District. Not surprising because any objection to what is going on elsewhere might lead to the Rayleigh allocation increasing !!
But Lib Dem Councillor Chris Black, Leader of the Opposition at RDC, has written “We support a ‘fair shares for all’ policy for new housing in Rochford District.”
But how can 365 new houses in Hawkwell West be described as ‘Fair Shares for All’ ? It is not Fair Shares At All !!
A ‘Fair Shares for All’ policy would mean just 110 new houses in each of the 23 District Wards
Rayleigh should have 1000 new houses not 740
Hockley should have 330 not 36
So why is one Ward in Hawkwell allocated 365?
This would mean an increase in the number of houses in Hawkwell West by 25%
Lib Dem Councillor Chris Black is the only non Tory on the Local Development Framework Sub Committee which will decide on the allocations.
Tory Keith Hudson is the Chairman of that Sub Committee but Hockley is so far only down to get 36 houses.
If the Lib Dem Leader were to agree to 365 houses in Hawkwell West then his ‘Fair Shares for All’ policy will be in tatters because it is simply not fair and obviously so. Let’s hope that Chris Black will argue the unfair case for Hawkwell West as vigorously as he has done for Rayleigh !!
The so called ”Fair Shares for All’ Policy should NOT to be implemented because it patently will not deliver fair shares for all.
The only proper basis for housing allocations is one based on a spatial allocation that takes into account that the best places for major new developments are where where existing infrastructure exists and can be extended.
Hawkwell West is not one of these places.
When the time comes later this Summer the residents of Hawkwell West must tell the Council this in great numbers. Landowners and their lobbyists already seem to think that there will be 365 new houses in Hawkwell West. They think is is all over but all residents of Hawkwell need to prove them wrong by force of opinion in numbers for what they think is right for our community.
The Hawkwell Action Group, of which I am a Committee Member, will be holding a second public meeting shortly to muster a call to arms. Watch out for the posters in your street soon.
One obvious comment – fair shares for all refers to fair shares for all towns and villages, which are real features on the map. Not for shares on a ward-by-ward basis – that would lead to ridiculous situations in places like Grange Ward, which is already entirely built up. And some wards (such as Hullbridge) have bigger areas, and bigger populations than others (such as Hockley Central).
The serious business of allocating sites will start soon, and when that happens Chris Black will have to follow the Council’s rules of confidentiality and not write anything about it here. But he will do a conscientious job.