onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003


August 24th, 2013 |

Floody Saturday

Down Hall Road, Rayleigh

Debris in Deepdene Avenue, Rayleigh

Deepdene Avenue

Railway Bridge at Hockley (photo from Cllr Keith Hudson)

You won’t be surprised to know that Watery Lane is flooded – more bad times for the people who live there. But it’s been a dreadful day across our district. Homes flooded, roads flooded, roofs letting in water, fish escaping from garden ponds, road surfaces damaged and debris been carried downstream….

Where can we attribute blame?
Freak weather?
Over-development in some areas?
Are drains and ditches being maintained properly?
Too many gardens being hard-surfaced?

120 Responses to “Floody Saturday”

  1. 1
    bruce smart:

    Took 2 hours to travel from Tesco Mayflower site to Hambro Parade. Roads where jammed due to heavy rain. Can the infrastructure cope with more housing? Yet more ammunition for the Action Groups?

  2. 2
    Christine Paine:

    Not really freak weather. The rain was hard, but we’ve had worse. The ground is hard after the recent very dry spell though, which contributed to the run off, but think how much worse it will be once 550 houses are built. The fields would have taken at least some of the rain before run off, but once they are there the rain will fall on concrete and all it can do is run down towards Carpenters Arms, Rawreth Lane,Laburnum Way, London Road, all of which have been chaos today. I’d like to know how Cllr Seagers and his colleagues can still justify building on this scale when we’ve seen today what an afternoon of rain after a dry spell can do.

  3. 3
    Christine Paine:

    I have seen an entry on another website where a resident, with flood water coming into her home, phoned Floodline who directed her to ring RDC emergency number to get sandbags. RDC told her they don’t provide sandbags, go to B & Q. Just the sort of helpful service you want when you’re fighting to stop raw sewage and flood water coming into your home.

    I wonder if any member of the council would care to comment on that.

  4. 4
    Colin Seagers:

    Christine Paine re post #2 & Bruce Smart re post #1
    Not freak weather eh?! Strange then how south east Essex, and Shoeburyness in particular, was picked out on the national TV weather report and forecast as suffering over two inches of rain inside six hours.

    However, why do you STILL not understand why we must permit some houses as per the RDC Adopted Core Strategy?
    Fail to provide for those relative few it requires and you would be receiving many times the number via many new and uncontrolled development sites. If we had irresponsibly followed the populist but totally confused and ill-informed line advocated by RAG and their opportunist fellow travellers, sadly including opposition Members, then regardless of who the RDC elected Members were or their party, even if they initially refused planning applications on green belt sites across the District those applications would be certain to be granted on appeal. Then it would not be less than 1% of RDC green belt concreted over in the future, but far more and much sooner. No doubt then you really would have been justified in chastising current Conservative Members for failing to provide a future generation of RDC Members and residents with no defence against predatory developers.

  5. 5
    Chris Black:

    Christine , where I do I begin ? A dreadful day, people have been made homeless.

    I do think it was freakishly heavy rain (10 cm on Rayleigh I believe). But we will get that amount of rain again some time and we have to prepare better.

    The District Council normally don’t supply sandbags, though we have done so in a few cases in the past. To provide sandbags for , say, 1000 homes in a few hours would need good organisation and some funding from somewhere – the district council is short of money but maybe there is some central government money we could get for this? And in terms of organisation, I think the district council email system is still down and there’s nothing on the front pages of the RDC or ECC websites.

    Even so, it would be wise for people to buy some sandbags and have some ready.

    When I joined the council in 1984 drainage was given a bit more priority. On my first visit to the council offices I was introduced to the now-legendary engineer Mr Roger Cornwell, who showed me one map showing all the foul-water sewers in Rayleigh and another showing all the surface water sewers and ditches. When asked questions in committee without warning he could answer everything about those systems.

    We have had flooding in the past – I believe the opening of the brand new Sweyne school in 1958 was postponed because of flooding. And we made the front page of the Daily Mail in 1967 or 1968.

    Probably the best thing the authorities can do after this is check on the drains in places like Deepdene Avenue and check on all the ditches. Some residents who have them at the end of their gardens seem to regard them as an undesirable garden feature rather than an essential safety measure. I was shown two yesterday were residents had piped them instead of leaving as an open ditch.

    And we should discourage people from hard-surfacing their front gardens. I walked past 13 houses in a row yesterday that were nearly all hard-surfaced.

  6. 6
    Christine Paine:

    Cllr Seagers – yes I and RAG accept that some houses must be built. Why however are you so dead set on putting them on greenbelt, concreting over fields that provide food, when brownfield sites are available? Why is everything concentrated around Rayleigh, including the travellers site. Is it that greenbelt is more attractive to developers, easier to bulldoze, less work for more money? Why are you building so many more houses than we need to sustain our own population growth?

    Why, in the current flooding emergency, are the Council not doing anything? Where are you all? certainly not out helping residents (with the honorable exception of Chris Black). Come to that where is our MP – his silence in all of this and lack of appearance anywhere during the floods is very noticeable.

    Chris, yes agree about hard surfacing, but often this is due to lack of on street parking or garages, something that developers need to address. As for sandbags, Rawreth Parish Council managed to supply some during the wet winter, and they aren’t exactly flush with cash.

  7. 7
    Colin Seagers:

    Cllr Chris Black
    I believe it has been a requirement for a few years now that all new hard surfacing (even for replacement/maintenance of existing impermeable surfaces) be made of permeable materials/construction. I have rather little sympathy for those that ignore this and inflict flooding upon themselves, but the trouble is that it is frequently not those that suffer. New developments would not get away with it.

  8. 8
    Jim Cripps:

    Re: Cllr Seagers post#4 above –
    This thread relates to the unusually hard and (more to the point) protracted amount of rain
    that clearly begs some questions about why it
    caused so many problems and how did we cope –
    because it will happen again.
    I cannot believe the Councillors RANT response above,nothing to do with the subject in question
    other than telling us it would be worse but for the Core Plan…………. ?.
    What we need is a measured study of the problem areas

  9. 9
    bruce smart:

    Cllr Seagers I do understand the issue of housing but also the need to ensure that sensible provision is made for the increased traffic in this area of Rawreth Lane, routes to Hullbridge., London Road. While campaigns may run to oppose any development let us also make sure that if it goes ahead then adequate transport links are provided. Also note that Rayleigh Town Council has asked for one of the community facilities on any new development to be a doctors surgery. The same Council has supported suggestions for improvements at the Rawreth Lane Hullbridge Road junction. I know as I proposed both and was supported by ALL Town Councillors present on both occasions.

  10. 10
    Colin Seagers:

    Jim Cripps re your post #8 RANT
    Pity you did not bother to notice that the thread was already turned by Bruce Smart’s post #1 and Christine Paine’s post #2 in their vain attempts to use even bad weather as ammunition against the Adopted Core Strategy (‘ACS’) housing proposals.
    My first comment in my post #4 queried the description of yesterday’s rainfall by Christine Paine as not ‘freak’ and only secondly what future housing proposals had to do with it, given flood surveys for all new developments must cover the potential for them to cause run-off flooding elsewhere and implement satisfactory mitigation measures if so.
    Your name calling is a very poor substitute for rational arguments, so it will strike many as very odd that you are never able to justify criticism of the ACS.
    The simple question you and others of a similar mind-set never answer is whether you want more new houses in Rochford District than the ACS will provide for? If you do want MORE then carry on seeking to scrap the ACS, if you don’t want more than that then thank heaven it has been put in place. Which is it to be?

  11. 11
    Colin Seagers:

    Christine Paine re post #6
    Cllr Oatham could perhaps confirm to you that he and I are jointly the most vociferous RDC Members regarding parking standards, but the great majority of current RDC Members (right across the parties) view the minimum requirements for new developments as too low. Unfortunately it is not in the power of individual Councils and their Councillors to alter those requirements the better to cope with modern day needs.
    Parish Councils uniquely are not constrained by the need to hold and win a costly referendum if they decide to raise their annual precept by more than 2%, so perhaps they are rather better off than District and County Councils. FYI such a referendum for RDC would cost around 1.5% of its annual precept, and if not then won would only worsen the financial situation.

  12. 12
    bruce smart:

    The answer to Cllr Seagers is that all residents, even those who appreciate the need for extra housing, want to ensure that the problems with the road system and the frequent congestion is fully highlighted at every possible moment. Any development must take into account this issue, the need for proper medical provision and the educational needs of future residents. If we do not agitate for these and highlight issues as they occur can we really expect Councillors from other parts of the District to appreciate the particular problems of local residents.

  13. 13
    Graham Osborn:

    A family had to be rescued from their sinking car after it became trapped in flood water as it was being driven under a railway bridge in Essex.

    The Mitsubishi Pajero, driven by Scott Swinford, 30, of Southend, who had three children on board, was hit by the rising waters on Spa Road, Hockley.

  14. 14
    Jim Cripps:

    Post #10 – What name calling are you on about, re-read my post and can’t see any such thing?. And calling for a measured study into the problem areas is quite a rational argument I would think.
    To recap -I did’nt name call and did put forward a rational suggestion , your pre-occupation with the Core Plan is blurring your interpretation.

  15. 15
    Colin Seagers:

    Jim Cripps
    And you accuse me of RANT? You are still avoiding an answer to my simple question.

  16. 16
    bruce smart:

    Cllr Seagers is correct about the referendum information but it is very likely that similar constraints will be placed on town and parish councils at some point. At present the District Council could stop providing a service, this be taken on by a parish or Town Council which could raise its precept to cover the extra costs. So we would be paying more for the same service ran by a different council.

  17. 17
    Christine Paine:

    Whilst I have to give Cllr Seagers full credit for being willing to put his head over the parapet to be shot at on a regular basis I do wish that sometimes he would answer a direct question. I’ll try one again

    Why is so much of the proposed development concentrated around Rayleigh and it’s environs?

  18. 18
    Colin Seagers:

    Bruce Smart re post #12
    Medical and educational needs are indeed key necessities but can only follow when the local residents arrive, which is obviously after new houses are actually built for them. Only developments of a sufficient size can finance modest local infrastructure facilities by legal agreements included in planning permissions on the sites, but for larger & costlier medical, educational and transport etc. infrastructure those are NHS and County responsibilities which District Councils cannot dictate. That does not alter it being the responsibility meanwhile of RDC to ensure supply of development land through the Adopted Core Strategy if it wishes to protect residents from far greater predatory development.

  19. 19
    Adam Priest:

    Does the Rochford District need extra housing? Yes. Every district does as the population is growing.
    Should the vast majority of these new houses be concentrated in West Rayleigh where we have already seen the effects of over-urbanisation via horrendous flooding? Absolutely not.
    How arrogant of RDC to simply dismiss the life-changing devastation that several of their constituents have suffered this weekend but insisting that adding to the problem is for the greater good of the district.
    I look forward to when the inspector dismisses these ridiculous proposals and it brings the RDC crashing back to reality with a bump! Maybe then they will listen to the people that voting them rather than arrogantly thinking that they are in charge of a dictorship.

  20. 20
    bruce smart:

    Does this mean that residents arrive without the medical facilities i.e a doctors surgery being in place? Surely this cannot be right. Medical resources in Rayleigh are already stretched and with an increasingly elderly population this will only grow more serious. Facilities should be built alongside housing not afterwards.

  21. 21
    Christine Paine:

    I read the comment to mean that they arrive without medical facilities and if, once they are all here, the NHS and County Council think that medical and educational establishments over and above those already in the town are needed then they deal with it. I can see that could easily take a couple of years, and in the meantime we’ll all have to wait a bit longer to see a doctor, dentist, parents will have to fight for every school place, hospital waiting lista at both Southend and Basildon will grow. Actually, has anyone looked at if Southend Hospital can deal with this population increase?

  22. 22
    Jim Cripps:

    Post #15 above –
    I accept your unspoken apology -now your question:-
    Yes we need more housing but not all in one place/on
    Greenbelt land and on or near known flooding issues;
    which is clearly going to overwhelm the Infrastructure
    (Roads-Schools-Doctors-Transport-Sewage etc;etc;).
    Numerous Brownfield options have been dismissed out of hand (yes smaller less profitable but still viable).Private planning applications have been refused (Green Belt/Flood Plain reasons)and were on the same
    proposed Core Plan land.The Councils own consultant has said the Rawreth Ind Estate proposal is not cost viable – so do we still need alternate sites.
    And of course it comes as no surprise that the Traveller Site quota is as far West as physically possible from the centre of local government ie: RDC.
    Apparently 7 years and £2.1million -needs investigating.

  23. 23
    Corey Vost:

    Saturdays weather was NOT freak weather, but is something that is becoming a part of the extreme weather that this country as a whole is becoming familiar with – as the floods in 2011 and 2012 or the tornado that coursed through Birmingham suburb in June 2012, winters over the past 3 years have been worse year on year or is this too all just freak weather? Governments all over the planet are shouting from the rafters about global warming and changes to the weather patterns across the planet.

    Go ahead and build the homes you want RDC, but do not be surprised when they are slow to sell – after all, who really wants to move to a town that has precious little to offer residents in the form of entertainment (we don’t all want to hang out in coffee bars or restaurants), who wants to live in a town where the roads are gridlocked due to over population and poor infrastructure. RDC also needs to expect a mob of angry residents when, because the town is nothing more than a mass of concrete, homes are flooded and the RDC response is “go and get sandbags from B&Q”. Not the support we taxpayers expect from our local authority.

    And before anyone asks, no I do support RAG – how can they seriously be against a new recycling centre, when the current one is already inadequate for the needs of a town this size?

  24. 24
    Chris Black:

    Corey , I would still describe it as extreme. But I agree with you, extreme weather events are becoming more common. One of the points I’ve sent into the District council is just how this event should be classified – is it a 1 in 10 year event, or a 1 in 100 years…? But maybe these classifications don’t mean anything any more…

  25. 25
    Christine Paine:

    Corey, I’m not against the new recycling centre, indeed I think most people agree one is needed. However, have you actually looked at the current access to the proposed site. It is on a dual carriageway, very close to a slip road from the A127, and you are blind to it coming from the A127 until you are round a corner, at which time you will be slap bang into the back of any queue to enter. It is hard to see how this can be improved – move it further down the dual carriageway and not only will traffic have built up speed, but you will somehow also have to loop back to it. Put it on the slip road – traffic coming off at speed from the A127 will make that dangerous, put an extra, earlier slip road on the A127, there are existing properties there already. So, not a question of anti a new centre, more anti a new centre there. Same comments apply to access if travellers go on part of that site. So far I havn’t seen a single proposal about improving access, making it safer etc. so until I do I remain against it.

    Chris – I don’t think you can call it freak weather as such. When it comes down to it it didn’t actually rain for that long. OK, some of it was very hard rain, but we’ve had that before. I think the main problem was caused by the ground, both gardens and fields, being rock hard from the heat wave and lack of rain so run off from the hard rain was almost immediate. I know that even after that my garden is still rock hard, can’t get a fork into it deeper than about half an inch without it trying to bounce back at me. That, coupled with a lot of blocked drains, ditches, culverts etc. created the problem very quickly. If the rain had been gentler and had a chance to soak in it might not have been as bad. However, I think RDC need to look at their policy of keeping drains, ditches etc. clear. We will get more of this type of weather, there is also the question of snow melt in a bad winter. I don’t think the one in a 100, one in ten etc. classications apply any more. Everything is different now to when these were first thought of. RDC also need to consider their attitude to council tax payers. Don’t know if you saw Cllr. Cutmore on TV but to say he came across as unsympathetic would be an understatement. Didn’t do himself or RDC at lot of favours.

  26. 26
    Dee Dolphin:

    I live in Ferry Road Hullbridge. My home is with sanctuary housing association. Formerly rdc. We live next to an unmade road. 4 homes including mine were flooded on Friday and has wrecked my whole ground floor including my daughter’s bedroom. We had only just arrived at our holiday destination in York shire and had to drive straight home again . It took until 6pm today before they even dropped off dehumidifiers they still haven’t visited or assessed the damage! Neighbours have been brilliant they rang us in Yorkshire so we could guide them as to what to save first. They’ve brought food, Taken flooring and furniture to the tip etc so we can continue clearing. I thought we’d lost our children’s photos but again someone took them and laid them out in their home to dry. I am so grateful to everyone who helped when I wasn’t there and still are. Tbsnkyiy Hullbridge residents and friends.

  27. 27
    The Mighty Oz:

    Dee, just to clarify your post, who are “they” and what is Tbsnkyiy ?

  28. 28

    Would iit be a good idea to collate comprehensive data where exactly the flooding of the houses took place ,and also track the flow of the flood waters ,as they did not all follow existing water ways .This information should be used to see whether there was a problem with the drainage system or whether upgrading and creating new systems would help .It is no good expecting it not to happen again ,in the past if there was a problem it would have been sorted .Today we all hide behind computer models and 100 year occurrences ,cost benefits and jobs worth .With all our so called technological advances it is surely not beyond the wit of man (environment agency ,Anglian water ) to get things done . I cycled in the Roach Valley yesterday and the stench of raw sewage along the path and in the grass was overpowering .

  29. 29
    Colin Seagers:

    Jim Cripps #22 and Christine Paine #21 and Bruce Smart #20 and Adam Priest 19

    It is very plain that few if any of you read the Adopted Core Strategy (‘ACS’) to understand its most basic principles, given that you are so totally wrong about proposed housing being ‘all in one place’. It is spread around the District to accommodate the growth needs of most communities within Rochford District.

    The costs of the ACS process were simply what they were, a process proscriptively set out under a Labour government, with time delays and costs very definitely not of the majority of RDC Members making or choice whilst they sought to comply with the rigorous process requirements for the eventual benefit of ALL RDC residents. We would have completely failed in that duty had we fallen over in the face of every local NIMBYist tendency so obviously displayed on this site recently.

    The prime RDC responsibility was and is to address the future development needs of the District. Other authorities have responsibility for Healthcare, Education, Transportation and Utilities etc., and will plan for those on the back of the RDC ACS accordingly to meet the needs as they arise.

    Wherever there is new development there will be a requirement for the Developer to provide all necessary improvements to the existing local drainage system to the satisfaction of Anglian Water, Essex County Council and Rochford District Council (as the local planning Authority) in order for them to build the new homes and this will include addressing the type of weather event that we have just experienced.

    Thus if you have a new development proposed to be built near where you live rest assured that not only will it not adversely affect your property’s resilience to localised flooding but conversely may well actually improve your protection.

  30. 30
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine -your #25 in answer to #23 in respect of the relocated Recycling Centre was spot on,the usual
    Sunday Q in Castle Rd would cause havoc if relocated
    to the proposed Core Plan site.
    Plus I’m glad someone else noticed Councillor Cutmore on the TV – basically ‘get on with it and sort it out yourselves’, is this the quality of people we have put in positions of power ? (roll on the elections)…JIM.

  31. 31
    The MIghty Oz:

    All, for info:

  32. 32
    Corey Vost:

    There is no issue with the roads if the recycling centre is moved to its proposed location. The road layout is changed slightly. Cars coming off the A127 onto the A1245 toward Carpenters Arms simply use the outside lane, the inside lane being used as a filter lane into the recycling centre. Coming out of the recycling centre, the filter lane back onto the A1245 would be on the inside lane, and 100 yds or so after the exit cars are free to select the appropriate lane to be in for the Carpenters Arm roundabout. This is not a difficult solution, it just seems that a lot of people are making a mountain out of a molehill. No one has offered an alternative location and Rayleigh is in desperate need of an appropriately sized recycling centre.

  33. 33
    Christine Paine:

    There is still a fairly large pool of water by Richlee Motors this morning, across to the middle of the road almost. There is clearly something very wrong with the drain in that area, either very very blocked or possibly even collapsed for the water to still be lying like that 48 hours after the event when everywhere else seems to have cleared.

    I see once again Cllr. Seagers has resorted to the NIMBY name calling – coupled with Cllr. Cutmore’s comments it makes it very clear just how the Tory majority in RDC view Council Tax Payers – cash cow, don’t have an opinion, don’t argue we know best. Sorry guys, you don’t, and last time I looked this Country was still almost a Democracy

  34. 34
    Christine Paine:

    Corey, nice thought, but you’re going to have to tinker with the traffic flow from other side of the A127/A130 coming under the road. If you make the current inside lane there recycling centre only you have all the through traffic backing up into two lanes. Slip road from the A127 to A1245 will have to be changed, otherwise inside lane through traffic will hang up in any backing up queue from the recycling centre and go back up onto the A127. Equally if you cut the through traffic down to one lane there from the existing two you get backed up queues, and not necessariy just in busy times. It isn’t as simple as redesignate the inside lane. The current access point is just too close to the slip roads

  35. 35
    The Mighty Oz:

    I’m afraid your idea is a bit flawed, your proposal would mean that traffic ( especially in the rush hour ) trying to turn right off of the A127 would compete with traffic turning left onto the A1245. I don’t know if you drive in the rush hour but believe me the Fairglen roundabout can get completely clogged up at night.

    However at least you have come up with an idea rather than the usual moaning.

  36. 36
    Jim Cripps:

    Cllr Seagers #29 above –
    1st Para:
    ‘Spread around the District’ – so which other Town has large scale housing plus a Heavy Ind Estate plus
    a Light Ind Estate oh and a Mixed Gypsy/Traveller Site , all located on one side of one Town?.
    Last Para: Better off with new development drainage systems – look at the flooding photos in Rayleigh plenty of modern developments involved. Developers come in, make a profit, and move on – they have no long term concerns, get realistic.

  37. 37
    Christine Paine:

    Agreed Jim. You only have to look at the lake that appeared at the old Eon site to realise just how much developers care about drainage!

    Once again I’m afraid Cllr. Seagers is trumpeting the party line – nowhere has else large scale housing plus industrial (light and heavy) and travellers concentrated on one side of it. Rayleigh has been picked on for reasons best known to RDC – couldn’t possibly be because it’s not part of the Tory majority polit bureau could it!

  38. 38
    Jim Cripps:

    #37 above – Yep , Eon site is actually a current site and both Canterbury Close (Downhall Park)&
    Laburnham Way Estate are recent past modern spec
    developments -all flooded. Makes a nonsense of what Councillor Hudson said in the Echo report
    on flooding earlier this week ie: the party line quoted by Cllr Seagers (as you say the Whip).

  39. 39
    Jim Cripps:

    Question for Chris Black –
    I know it is a big ask, and no doubt complex, but is it feasible that Rawreth&Rayleigh could break away from RDC. I say that because it is obvious that local decisions are actually dictated by the majority of Councillors who don’t represent Rawreth & Rayleigh.
    We are big enough to stand alone and I would prefer to see a mixed bag (of elected Councillors) voting on ‘local’ issues -and directly accountable to the voters.

  40. 40
    Brian Guyett:

    Christine, I doubt it will make you feel better but its not just Rayleigh that RDC are upsetting.
    In Hockley they propose to demolish around 2/3rds of the village centre and have compounded this by doing a U-turn and refusing to undertake traffic studies. This all goes exactly against the advice of their own experts and will completely change the character of the area.
    Every consultation on the issue has met with a rejection rate of about 98% plus and no one supports the proposals, which are focused on a new supermarket (Hockley already has three).
    This scheme, which appears to be the view of a single councillor, will take more than a decade to implement and this will be an ongoing reminder of who imposed this unwelcome change. It was noteable that Cllr Hudson was beaten by Cllr Hoy in the recent election for ECC and this may well be the first of many.

  41. 41
    Chris Black:

    Jim, I’m afraid that Rayleigh and Rawreth are too much small to go it alone, in terms of current government thinking. The trend in fact is to have bigger and bigger councils, and some folk in Southend would like to absorb us, we’d provide a lot of green belt, and they’d provide us a with a lot of council officers and a nice pier, but also lots of social problems and a lot of debt that we currently don’t have.

  42. 42
    Christine Paine:

    Chris, how about Rayleigh, Rawreth, Hullbridge, Hockley and perhaps even Wickford banded together, would that be big enough?

  43. 43
    Chris Black:

    Christine, sorry, not nowadays,

  44. 44
    Jim Cripps:

    #41 above –
    the key words Chris used are “Government thinking” – of course they want bigger it
    serves their purposes (election bounderies etc;). What about a government representing what the ‘people are thinking’- if you look
    at #40 above, we now have Rayleigh,Hullbridge & Hockley all being run against their will.
    An existing example you might relate to with the bigger & bigger philosophy is Europe -they
    too dictate “local” policy from afar……….
    I rest my case your honour!!!.

  45. 45
    Colin Seagers:

    Chris Black
    Are you quite certain that RDC could not voluntarily hive off Downhall & Rawreth to Basildon and Wickford so that new authority would enjoy the benefit of Jim and Christine’s planning wisdom and their innovative thinking regarding the democratic process? After all, Lib-Dems are part of government nowadays are they not?
    Passport to Pimlico anyone?

  46. 46
    The Mighty Oz:

    Colin, I have posted on this site that I admire you for contributing knowing that, for the most part, you will get a good ” kicking” but really, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

  47. 47
    Jim Cripps:

    Lord forbid “innovative thinking” , outrageous – whatever next, you will be telling me next that the people should have a say in their affairs.
    And as, for the first time, Cllr Seagers has’nt responding with the party line on Core Strategy I will respond to his ‘you don’t understand’ innuendos.
    I appreciate that Housing (and Traveller ) quotas are handed down by the central government and that local government has to come up with a plan – I’m not arguing
    that concept. I’m challenging the response RDC have come up with ,clearly –
    The consultation has been inneffective.
    The allocation to (West) Rayleigh is disproportionate.
    The Rawreth Ind Estate proposal is not viable.
    The obvious negative impact on Green Belt & Infrastructure has been overlooked.
    The policy on Gypsy-Traveller sites is flawed ( large/mixed sites don’t work).
    Innovative indeed…….

  48. 48

    I must take up Councillor Seagers’ point @ 29 where he states:-
    “Wherever there is new development there will be a requirement for the Developer to provide all necessary improvements to the existing local drainage system to the satisfaction of Anglian Water, Essex County Council and Rochford District Council (as the local planning Authority) in order for them to build the new homes and this will include addressing the type of weather event that we have just experienced.
    Thus if you have a new development proposed to be built near where you live rest assured that not only will it not adversely affect your property’s resilience to localised flooding but conversely may well actually improve your protection”.
    No doubt, such action was taken at the old Park School site prior to it being built on by George Wimpey and others, but Anglian Water and Rochford District Council were obviously of the opinion that the ditch, which had previously coped with the run off water from the school playing fields, would satisfy the needs of a housing development and Sports Centre and gave their approval. Later in the development of the site came Asda along with the large car park, which presumably was assessed again for water run off, as this was also approved by the two authorities responsible.
    In 2008 after the site now referred to as the Priory Chase estate was completed, the ditch I am referring to began to suffer flooding in the vicinity of Laburnum Way due to the fact that it was now unable to cope with the excessive amounts of water discharging from the site.
    After constant written battles with Rochford District Council over this matter I managed to achieve a site meeting that was attended by representatives from RDC, George Wimpey, Rawreth Parish Council, local residents and contractors Eden Way who had made substantial alterations to the ditch on behalf of George Wimpey. I can provide names here if necessary.
    During the meeting RDC and Wimpey explained that, and I quote “When the area was open fields the water would have flowed naturally into the ditch through the land, now because the road has been developed and roads and drains installed the same volume of water would still be flowing into the ditch only quicker, this is why it is restricted by being held in tanks under the ground and each tank is fitted with a Hydro-Brake Flow which controls the water flow”.
    Subsequent to this meeting, when the ditch water on occasions continued to rise and overflow, more discussions took place involving me, the Parish Council, RDC and Wimpey. At first we were told that the Hydro-Brake Flow could be adjusted to reduce flow to the ditch, but fresh calculations revealed a glaring omission that revealed by reducing the flow to the ditch the outcome could mean that the water would then flow eastward, possibly flooding Imperial Park Industrial Estate thusdue to the risk, this would not be attempted. As a result, nothing was done and since 2008 the ditch has actually overflowed at least ten times when heavy rainfall occurs.
    We have here a situation that, as Cllr. Seagers rightly states, was inspected and approved by the local planning Authority, probably in two phases as the site proposals altered during development. It is now obvious that incorrect assessments were approved by the Planning Department, hence the problems we are now facing.
    Currently, RDC seem to have shed all responsibility for the flooding problems we now face living close to the location and I fear history will repeat itself not only here but when the vast amount of Green Belt is concreted over south of Rawreth Lane.
    DO NOT believe RDC councillors statements such as “where a new development is proposed to be built near where you live rest assured that not only will it not adversely affect your property’s resilience to localised flooding but conversely may well actually improve your protection”.
    How can we have confidence in our presumably ‘highly qualified’ planners if they cannot get things right on a small estate like Priory Chase, Furthermore how can we trust or believe they will achieve a satisfactory and safe situation on an estate of 770 dwellings? I only hope that RDC have a comprehensive contingency plan with adequate insurances in place as I foresee huge problems ahead.
    To conclude, Councillor Black has involved himself many times on this Laburnum ditch problem and only three week ago took photo’s of the ditch totally blocked by debris. This blockage obviously contributed to the flooding problems we experienced last Saturday so may I suggest Cllr. Seagers that you liase with Cllr. Black in the council chamber and get this problem sorted once and for all.

  49. 49

    I have great sympathy with Greenbelt as he has over the years battled on with the real problem of drainage ,caused by inadequate planning when building what are small developements .These are also responsible for the regular problems in Watery Lane as that is where the water ends up .What fun we shall have when Hullbridge is developed . Luckily for RDC water from North of London Road will not go that way .Hang on though,it will end up in the Church Road area to join up with extra water from Chalveden Hall developement in North Benfleet . Sounds like Parish Council will need some more sand bags ! Our residents are sick and fed up with this increasing risk of flooding .I wonder whether RDC spoke to Basildon about this ?

  50. 50
    Jim Cripps:

    #48 above – Excellent posting, please write to the Evening Echo who, last Tuesday, published those exact same words of assurance uttered that time by Cllr Hudson (Head of Planning).
    It is obviously the party line they have all been given to fob off the current problems.
    And yes tracts of the proposed Core Plan land are already formally classified as Class 2 flood plain (as well as being Green Belt).
    A private planning application (behind Pope John Paul Hall) was recently refused on those very grounds.Talk about two sets of rules…

  51. 51
    Christine Paine:

    A brilliant post Greenbelt, and really one that says it all.It is plain that RDC will mouth whatever platitudes they deem necessary to get their beloved Core Strategy Plans through. I sincerly hope that their complete failure on drainage so far on much smaller developments is brought to the attention of the Inspector reviewing the plans at the forthcoming hearing.

  52. 52
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine #51 – The formal objection had to meet the deadline (16/08/13)which was before the recent flood, but rest assured it did draw attention to the flood plain concerns in some detail.We understand that the Inspetor is aware of the recent events too.

  53. 53
    Colin Seagers:

    Greenbelt and others (posts 48-51) overlook the information below in their comments regarding future new developments. By the way thanks SO much Greenbelt for effectively calling RDC Councillors untrustworthy liars whilst you remain safely hidden behind an anonymous pseudonym. That is totally Gutless. The Officers and Members of any Planning Authority can only operate in accord with the planning rules existing at the particular time a development issue is put before them, and to suggest Members have some strange malevolent wish to disadvantage residents or that the highly qualified officers advising them are not competent is plainly idiotic.

    New Development and flooding.
    Let us make it perfectly clear that all new development will need to conform to the “National
    Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems, December 2011”
    Any pump or pipe has a finite capacity even when properly maintained which, unfortunately, some
    have not been. The new SUDS directive requires the provision of “Swales” and “Balancing ponds” to
    handle the deluge that a cloud burst can bring; the holding system will then discharge, in a
    controlled way, to a significantly enlarged system of surface water drainage.
    For those wanting to know more
    Development before December 2011 will not have been required to conform to this new
    Government Directive, all new development will.
    Keith Hudson
    (Portfolio Holder for Planning, Transportation & Heritage RDC)

  54. 54
    Emma Pearce:

    I really think the lack of support, planning, helpful advise and empathy the council in general have shown the people of Rayleigh over this whole flood situation is another valid reason these developments should not go ahead! If funding support and planning are not possible currently, surly the proposed extra housing/ population are going to be a bigger strain? Maybe the emphasis needs to be on providing decent affective Servises to current residents and catering correctly to there needs before placing a bigger strain on the services that are currently fully stretched and un affective any way? The way local people have been let down and dismissed by our ‘service providers’ is awful! Do your jobs correctly serve the public u have before you stretch services further!!!

  55. 55
    Emma Pearce:

    Cllr Seagers I truly hope this example of your revolting attitude sarcasm and dismissal of the view of your constituents are publicized enough that you are beaten by land slide! Public servant…… Laughable!

  56. 56
    Mike Bolton:

    Greenbelt I applaud you (and not for the first time). I think you’ve highlighted the “bunkum” being used by RDC council members. Bunkum is a word previously used by Cllr Seagers in another post within this site to describe the way RAG are communicating, hence I’ve used it.

  57. 57
    Sue Catling:

    It’s a shame that the cllr has lowered his standards to try to win a debate and in my opinion sounds unprofessional. The simple fact is the people of Rayleigh do not want more housing and they do not want a traveller site, the town is trying to upgrade and introducing travellers is seen as asking for trouble. The core strategy nonsense is due to too much immigration, I went to prezzo in rayleigh at the weekend and all staff were foreign. I thought the council had a responsibilty when allowing new developments/new businesses to recruit from the local community, these staff have just moved here to work in prezzo’s they are not rayleigh residents as I asked the waitress.

  58. 58
    mark thomas:

    Dear Mr Seagars

    Was there a public consultation to your ACS?

  59. 59
    Mike Bolton:

    Sorry everyone, maybe I’m reading it incorrectly, but in post 29 the line “Wherever there is new development there will be a requirement for the Developer to provide all necessary improvements to the existing local drainage system to the satisfaction of Anglian Water, Essex County Council and Rochford District Council (as the local planning Authority) in order for them to build the new homes and this will include addressing the type of weather event that we have just experienced.
    Thus if you have a new development proposed to be built near where you live rest assured that not only will it not adversely affect your property’s resilience to localised flooding but conversely may well actually improve your protection” is used by Cllr Seagers. “there will be a requirement” is used rather than “there is a requirement”, so am I to understand that this requirement is not yet in place but will be going forward, hence we can all ‘rest assured’? Sorry if this seems pedantic, but incorrect wording can lead to confusion and misunderstanding.

  60. 60

    How strange it is that the local population are told what they should have in there area by people that don’t live there. Elected officials promote building on green belt in an area that can’t sustain what already exists and seem to suffer extreme deafness and an arrogance that dismays the very people that they are supposed to be representing.

    The very same people think that painting dog poo orange is not only a worthy but fantastic way of spending residents money!! What planet this kind of thinking comes from I really don’t know.

    We have pavements and roads falling to bits the roads are clogged at rush hour the storm drains can’t cope and are poorly looked after by the Environment agency and to cap it all the RDC want to build on greenbelt!!

    Wake up RDC this area cannot cope and the resulting chaos will no doubt be ignored while you’re all patting each other on the back and telling each other what fantastic local councillors you are!! YOU’RE NOT!

  61. 61
    Christine Paine:

    Sue (Post 57) if you read through various parts of this site it isn’t the first time Cllr. Seagers has descended to this level. Anyone who opposes the plans, is, in his eyes, a NIMBY and a troublemaker. Shame the people pushing these plans through live outside Rayleigh otherwise they would definitely not get re-elected. Mind you, far easier to push through something outside your own area than to have to defend your actions to your own constituents.

  62. 62
    Mike Bolton:

    Post 53 answers my previous post #59, thank you.

  63. 63
    The Mighty Oz:

    This is turning into a Colin v the Rest, I’m not supportive of his views but, just like our MP, the silence from the rest of the local councillors is deafening. Where is their input ? where is their support for the local people ? Where the hell are they ?

  64. 64
    claire arney:

    I would like to know why none of this came up in our searches 2 yesrs ago if this has been planned for 7 years? Also i have had no communication since i have lived here of this proposed develooment. How dors rdc plan on compensating residents when home values decrease as the result of the floods and travellers site they are proposing. Also the part of london rd we live in is 15 metres above sea level and the fields are 25, it dosent take much working out where the water will run again. Rdc need to put money into better drainage in the area. Also emergancy services could not cope with the present population in an emergancy what chance do we stand with 750 more houses if rdc get their way?

  65. 65

    Mighty Oz @61, yes you are right Colin is at least willing to come out of hiding and put forward his point of view. I know some other councillors are aware of what’s written here, but they prefer to stay in the shadows – end result is that Colin gets all the flak…

  66. 66

    Claire @64:
    I think the answer is that no actual planning applications have been submitted yet in connection with the proposed developments in your location.

  67. 67
    The Mighty Oz:

    Chris, in that case they should resign as of now, what a complete shower. Lets hope people remember this come the time of the next council elections.

  68. 68
    The Mighty Oz:

    ps. To all the people that care about what’s going on, check the RDC web site, find out who your local councillor is, and email or write, to ask why they are not supporting the views of the people that elected them.

  69. 69
    Jim Cripps:

    Claire #64 above –
    The Core Plan Proposals are “allocations” that is conceptual agreement (if approved by the Planning Inspector) of land usage -Housing/Factory/Traveller site etc;.
    If approved then developers have to come forward with detailed planning applications for the building of Housing and so on.The RDC rules require that these developers consult the public as part of the process.
    And that is our opportunity to stand together and oppose the proposals – trick is to spot the not widely publicized ‘consultations’-keep watching the RAG website, it will flag up every move they make over the coming months & years.

  70. 70
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine #61 –
    That is the root issue, the way that the RDC is structured sees local Rayleigh Councillors
    consistantly outvoted by those from other towns in the District. So when the elections come along you cannot vote out those in other towns who are dumping these decisions on you.
    Hence my previous question to Chris Black about
    breaking away from RDC -obviously not easy.
    What we can do though is recognise that Chris Black/Ron Oatham and the Lumleys voted against
    (on our behalf) – what we can do is turn the election spotlight on the other Rayleigh Ward Councillors who towed the party line and voted for it……………watch this space!!!.

  71. 71
    Christine Paine:

    I would like to ask an open question to any and all Councillors viewing this website. I would also like to emphasise that this is a serious question, not sarcasm or a go at anyone or any political party.

    Presumably none of you became local Councillors for the money, as you don’t get a salary, which leads me to think you did so because you wanted to somehow serve the community you live in. Therefore does it not bother you that so many people feel disengaged from RDC and their Policies at the moment. Not just in relation to the Core Strategy but when it comes to local elections and local matters generally? What, as Councillors, do you feel you should be doing to address this issue?

  72. 72
    Mike Bolton:

    Christine @71, that is the thing I’m struggling to understand. How can elected officials completely ignore those they are there to serve. I appreciate they cannot do in depth consultation with every decision that has to be made. But I would expect that when a large contigent of the constituents voice concern or disapproval of a decision that has been made on their behalf that notice would be taken. We don’t appear to have got that at all. A large majority of the councillors have disappeared, and some of those that have engaged in discussion do so with more than a hint of contempt in their responses. If we look at central government recently we can see that when our PM wanted to go to war he was voted against by his peers and he responded by saying he understood the will of the people and will act accordingly. So why doesn’t that filter down to local government I wonder?
    I know we need to build new houses to cater for the every growing population and I know we need to provide sites for travellers. What I don’t understand, and what I can’t find being explained in any depth and without hiding behind government policy or script, is why one location has been suggested for such a large concentration of development and why no upgrade to that locations infrastructure appears to have been scheduled.

  73. 73
    Chris Black:

    Christine , actually most councillors do receive an allowance:

    Rawreth Parish Councillors receive nothing;
    Rayleigh Town Councillors receive I think, £1000 per year,
    Ordinary “Backbench” District Councillors receive £4250.04 per year. You can find more info at:

    I get about £6375. cabinet members get around £11000 – £13000, Terry Cutmore the leader of the council, gets about £27,000.
    Ordinary county Councillors get £10,000 per year, with correspondingly higher amnounts for being in the County Cabinet.

    Even so you are right, I think people of whatever party almost always stand because they want to do something worthwhile to help their communities and not for the allowances. Though I personally think that the allowances may encourage them to remain as councillors a bit longer than they would otherwise have done so.

    Speaking personally,the council has isolated itself behind a cabinet system and by ending the area committees. WE need to reverse that.

    To answer your point Mike, probably most councillors who have voted for this do think they have shared out development more fairly across the district than originally intended and they hope that more infrastructure will follow in due course. Also nearly of all of us understand that if we don;t have a core strategy approved developers can apply willy-nilly across the district.

  74. 74
    Jim Cripps:

    Chris #73 – “HOPE” for more infrastructure is not enough (witness recent flooding and currently full schools etc;). At 7 years and £2.1 million spent I would expect a very clear committment to it (ie:infrastructure criteria).
    Thats what I and others will be challenging at each and every detail planning application.

  75. 75
    Christine Paine:

    Thank you Chris, I knew there was an allowance but not how much. It’ll be interesting to see if any other Councillor also responds.

  76. 76
    Mike Bolton:

    Hi Chris, thanks for that. I’m a little disheartened and worried by the line “and they hope that more infrastructure will follow in due course”. Surely that should be a prerequisite before any developer is granted permission to start work, and should be solely funded by the developer. Development and infrastructure changes should go hand in hand, not be separate pieces of the same puzzle.
    I’m not having a go at you there Chris because I have a lot of respect for you and how you have interacted during this whole saga. It’s just a question that keeps rattling around in my head.
    The other thing I’m unsure about is how we got to the point of a developer being able to build willy nilly just because a core strategy isn’t in place? When did the will of the people and the council become second place to the will of a developer? I would have thought the developer should only be able to do what the local government allows it to, irrespective of core strategy or not. So is the issue with a central government policy?

  77. 77
    Colin Seagers:

    Cllr Chris Black re post #73
    Thank you for at last confirming in your final paragraph much that I have had to hammer on about regarding the Core Strategy and its important role in protecting the WHOLE of this District. It will be most interesting to see whether you now receive the same vilification, distrust and disbelief that I have encountered from so many on this website.
    However, I trust you will now go one step further and also confirm that RDC does not have the responsibility and power (nor finances) to put in place any additional infrastructure that may eventually be required by future developments included in the Core Strategy. As I have previously stated on this site, on the back of the plans set out in the RDC Core Strategy, other authorities that do have that power and responsibility are now in turn making their own necessary plans for additional infrastructure e.g. Essex County for Education and Highways, NHS for Health, Environment Agency for Flood Protection etc.

    Mark Thomas re post #58
    Yes, there was a huge amount of publicity and consultation throughout the Core Strategy process since 2006 leading to the Adopted Core Strategy, as listed in my post #3 under 26th July.

  78. 78
    Christine Paine:

    Surely though Cllr. Seagers the Core Strategy does not actually stop developers from applying to build on land not within it, neither would the lack of it mean they would get permission for anything and everything they applied for. Developers will alway try their luck and push the rules/limits to see what they can get away with, we all know that.

    As for infrastructure, I am amazed at your comments (not through disbelief), it seems ridiculous that infrastructure is not a pre-requisite of any plan/strategy the council decide on. To allow this to be spread out over all these Agencies shows such a complete lack of joined up thinking in Local Government. No way would a private company be able to act this way. When the strategy plan was produced it would be timed, costed, infrastructure needs would be identified, and those tendering would have to tender for the whole kit and caboodle.

    I would also be interested to see your answer to my question about public disengagement from RDC and your ideas for a solution to thi.

  79. 79
    Chris Black:

    Mike, the District Council as a planning authority is required by central government to have allocated sites in the district for a five year supply of housing land (the actual figures vary from district to district.
    If the District Council doesn’t do that , a developer can buy a field in the green belt and then apply for planning permission, As I understand it, the District Council couldn’t then refuse it on Green Belt grounds, although it still could be refused for highways, design, drainage issues etc. Its the will of the elected central government to have a supply of housing for people to live.

    Thats why councils aim to have core strategies.

    Of course I would have preferred a rather different core strategy. If the district had chosen a shorter time frame we would have still had to allocate land for housing, but not so much. That might seem to be a cowardly way forward, but its probably a cleverer way forward, because it would have allowed the council to use sites that come up unexpectedly in the years to come. (did I hear someone say Bullwood Hall?). As it stands, these sites will just be treated as windfalls and won’t affect the housing figures unless a currently scheduled site is unusable.

    I supported the idea , supported by Rawreth Parish Council, of using the brownfield sites in the centre of the parish rather than the greenfield site proposed now. RDC rejected that.

    Regarding infrastructure, it looks like most of it will only be sorted out at the planning application stage. I would have preferred the LDF subcommittee to be meeting regularly now to look at this stuff. We should be inviting in the County Council, NHS etc to meet us at the committee to discuss this stuff. Actually we should have been doing that a long time ago.

  80. 80
    The Mighty Oz:

    I drove down Rawreth Lane today and saw the diggers making the trenches for the archeological surveys. I must admit it came as a shock when I realised just how much of the farmland will be developed. I know we have seen the sketches but nothing like seeing it for real.

  81. 81
    mike bolton:

    Firstly I’d like to thank both Cllr Seagers & Cllr Black for responding to some of the questions I’ve asked. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, whether I agree with what you are saying or not.

    on that note, one more question: Why aren’t windfall sites considered as part of the housing figures? Does that mean that, for example, the Bullwood Hall land becomes available and 3000 dwellings are built on there that those dwellings won’t be deducted from the number of dwellings required to be built by the district unless a previous allocated site in unsuitable?

    I really hope I’ve totally misunderstood that, because if that is the case then I’m lost for words (which would be a first!)

  82. 82
    Chris Black:

    Mike, you have understood pretty well , I think.(though you are not going to get 3000 homes at Bullwood Hall!)

    If you get a windfall site of, say 100 extra homes, that figure isn’t deducted automatically from a previously allocated site. Though if a previously allocated site drops out for some raeson – say the Rawreth Industrial Esatte idea is dropped, then windfall sites can be used to make up the difference.

    If there AREN’T any windfall sites, and a previously allocated site drops out, then all the other sites have to have a bit more – up to 5 per cent more.

  83. 83

    Re #79 and 82 – if I’ve understood that correctly, if the Rawreth Industrial Estate idea is dropped then the land North of London Road may get more houses allocated???

    Could you also clarify more about when education and health become involved in the process (to ensure a decent number of schools/health centres come with the residents rather than years later ). I realise funding for these is beyond the remit of RDC but I understood that certain constraints could be put in place (by RDC?) to ensure some land is kept for medical/educational use. It seems very late in the day to be doing this at the planning application stage.

  84. 84
    Jim Cripps:

    Chris #82 – If the Rawreth Lane Ind Estate re-deployment is dropped (not financially viable)then we don’t need the proposed replacement
    Ind Estates at Michelin Farm & Swallow Aquatics area (ie: no need).Which means the 272 homes (on a Brownfield site) need to go to a different Brownfield site(s)- not bolted onto the 550 proposed for the Green Belt/Flood Plain. Which is what they will try.

  85. 85
    Mike Bolton:

    Hi Chris, I had got the wrong end of the stick. I meant that if a windfall site can accomodate say 250 dwellings and becomes available then that isn’t taken from the overall total number of dwellings required by the district under government guidelines. I think you are saying it isn’t deducted from the number of dwellings for an already allocated site, i.e. reducing Rawreth Ind. estate from 770 to 520 if a windfall site becomes available during the development of Rawreth Ind. Estate, only if the already allocated site becomes unsuitable for any reason.

  86. 86
    Christine Paine:

    So if I understand you correctly Chris, if all the allocated sites take their full allocation and a windfall site then comes up, such as Bullwood Hall, or if Macro pulled out and the site was vacant, something like that, the windfall site could then be developed for housing. Which would mean that if you had 550 homes on the farmland, plus however many on the Industrial estate, you could easily end up with another 200 or 300 on windfall sites as well. Or would the windfall site be held in reserve for future needs?

    Surely even Cllr. Seagers would have to agree that there has to be a limit to the amount of development an area can take before it becomes unsustainable and the area becomes over developed and so traffic and people choked that people no longer want to live there.

  87. 87
    Chris Black:

    Mike @ 85 As I understand it,, the council has an overall figure for the district, made up of individual sites with their own figures.
    If a windfall site comes and is developed, that doesn’t affect the other sites, they are still scheduled to be developed with their original figures.

    If one of these sites drops out for some reason , or can’t take the full quota allocated to it, the plan allows for the shortfall to be covered by extra building at any or all of the other sites, up to 5% extra at each site. So with Land North of London Road , that 5% extra would be 27 or 28 dwellings.

    However if a windfall site , like Bullowood Hall or Macro has become available, that can make up the shortfall and prevent the need for the extra 5 percents.

    Christine @ 86, it would be nice if the windfalls were kept in reserve for future needs but I doubt if that will happen, the current plan covesr up to 2030, I doubt if a developer would accept that. I remember when the Reeds Nursery site came up it was held back for a few years for being ‘premature'( It’s Kelso Close and Salisbury Close now)

    Deanne @ 83
    The documents do make some mention of infrastructure requirements but for health, they don’t even make a diagnosis let alone a course of treatment:

    A Health Impact Assessment must be undertaken and accompany any planning applications to develop the site.
    Actions required to address any negative impacts identified through the Health Impact Assessment must accompany the development of
    the site.

    And that seems to be it, as far as health issues on Land North of London Road are concerned!

  88. 88
    Jim Cripps:

    Take heart people, RDC’s own documents require planning applications to address ‘consultation’- ‘Health Impact Assessment'(above)- ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’- ‘Traffic Impact Assessment’ and
    so on. Weasel words maybe, but the difference this time round is that thousands of people are now aware of it and will oppose it effectively.
    The Inspector is sitting now (3rd>10th)so a
    ruling will follow -each and every word will be analysed by experts in the field.

  89. 89

    Admin, all of your suggestions are contributory factors. I agee @1 with Bruce, the flooding was perfect timing for the Rayleigh Action Group in particular – and good form them too.

  90. 90
    Mike Bolton:

    Hi Chris, one more question I’m afraid. If a proposed site is a greenbelt site, but development hasn’t started and is only at the planing stage, and a windfall site becomes available, and that windfall site is a brownfield site, is there any provision or process in which the greenfield site came be saved from development and the windfall brownfield site used instead for the allocation?

    Thanks once again for the time you are taking to answer my endless flood of question.

  91. 91
    The Mighty Oz:


    There has been many many posts on this subject, can you please clarify for me ( anybody else lost as well ? )

    What is the role of the inspector when he / she arrives ? Can they veto the whole thing, enforce changes etc.

    Confused of the Emerald City…..

  92. 92
    Colin Seagers:

    I’m certain the link below to the Maldon District Council (‘MDC’) Local Development Plan, part of their Core Strategy which is running way behind RDC, will prove rather uncomfortable reading for many critics of RDC and its Adopted Core Strategy, including several RDC Opposition Members, especially Councillors Mr and Mrs Mason and Mr and Mrs Hoy of the Rochford Residents and Green parties respectively.
    You will appreciate that the District of Rochford (‘RDC’) is part of the Thames Gateway Housing Market which comprises Rochford, Castle Point, Southend, Basildon and Thurrock. This is a “Strategic Housing Market” and we are part of that “SHMA” (Strategic Housing Market Assessment) as opposed to having an assessment specific to Rochford. RDC is now required to facilitate the building of 250 new homes per year for the 15 year plan period covered by its Adopted Core Strategy.
    A little while ago Cllr Keith Hudson and Sam Hollingworth (one of the RDC Planning Officers) went to MDC to discuss cross border co-operation amongst other things, it being a nearby and very similar largely rural District. They made the point to MDC that by having a specific Housing Market needs assessment solely for MDC there would be no “wriggle” room at all and MDC would be committed to the resultant independent study; MDC Officers agreed but some MDC Members were sceptical and ignored that sound advice.
    MDC has just published their Draft Local Plan for consultation purposes. I understand that their independently assessed Housing Needs Study advises that they need to build, per year for the plan period, 687 general market homes and 242 affordable homes i.e. 927 in total each year to 2029.
    MDC’s Local Development Plan now offers to build just 294 per year in total. That is far more than Rochford (250), but woefully short of the numbers indicated by their Housing Needs Study, with which MDC are now stuck. In my personal opinion that shortfall is somewhat unlikely to pass muster when subjected to scrutiny by the Secretary of State/Planning Inspectorate prior to it being approved and allowed for MDC to use subsequently within its Adopted Core Strategy.
    Maldon District has a population of about 59,500 which is somewhat smaller than Rochford, at about 83,300 now according to the latest 2011 census figures, but for simplicity I will only use an (understated) 3:4 ratio to adjust for the MDC:RDC population difference, other key factors being broadly similar.
    Thus if RDC had gone the MDC route we would probably now be facing the provision of either 392 homes per year offered by MDC currently (versus just 250 under the RDC ADOPTED Core Strategy) or, if saddled with the equivalent of the MDC Housing Needs Study requirement of 927, RDC could be facing the provision of 1236 homes EACH and EVERY year.
    Be extremely grateful that RDC has received such wise counsel from Cllr Keith Hudson, Officers Shaun Scrutton and Sam Hollingworth and their colleagues in the RDC Planning team throughout the Core Strategy process, and that those RDC Members who demanded a costly (in more ways than one!) stand-alone Housing Needs Study for solely RDC were over-ruled by Conservative Members.

  93. 93
    Christine Paine:

    I note their consultation process states “a questionnaire will be delivered to every household in the district”. Shame RDC didn’t do the same.

  94. 94
    Chris Black:

    Mike @90,

    Thanks for the question, ask as many as you like!

    If a site is allocated for housing in the core strategy allocations document, once a inspector has okayed it and RDC has voted finally to approve the allocations document, then that site is zoned for housing , definitely. Irrespective of any that happens elsewhere.

  95. 95
    John Mason:

    The only housing needs study that is germane to our District is the new TGSE SHMA which I understood from an answer given by the Council to the Planning Inspector is that will be published in 2013.

    RDC has not revealed a draft to Members since very early 2013 and that draft was labelled Confidential.

    But what I can share with you is what Paul Warren, Chief Executive, advised me today about the effect that this will have on the Revision of the Core Strategy which will commence in January 2014 again as advised to the Inspector yesterday.

    “My understanding based on the National Planning Policy Guidance is that a SHMA is seen as a key element to underpin any assessment of housing need. There is also now the ‘’duty to co-operate’’ which is enshrined in law. To my mind , taking those two elements together means that documents such as the SHMA are extremely important and if we don’t have due regard to what is contained within it and take account of that, we will have considerable difficulty in getting any plan through the system and proving that we have co-operated, so to speak.

    If we didn’t work with partner authorities in TGSE on a document like the SHMA, then we would have to re-invent the wheel and do something very similar.”

    So once again, as with the Labour legacy of the Regional Spatial Strategies, it would appear that the number of new houses required to be delivered in Rochford District will not be decided solely by Rochford District but by consultants partly paid for by the Council and possibly by adjoining Councils under the “duty to co-operate” who would like us to take part of their quotas.

    Will the new SHMA increase the yearly requirement from 250 per year in RDC to something like that required of Maldon or more proportionately based on population?

    If the methodology that the consultants reporting on Maldon is similar to that used in the TGSE SHMA that includes Rochford District then I am fearing a huge increase in requirement as in Maldon.

    If that happens then as Paul Warren recognises,like Maldon, Rochford District would find it difficult to propose lower figures.

    Perhaps this concern from the Maldon situation is misplaced and the Conservative Administration at RDC can reveal some very good news?

  96. 96
    Mike Bolton:

    All of those figures are very interesting. However I can’t help thinking that the central government new housing policy, implemented under the last labour government and continued under the current conservative/liberal democrat coalition government, needs serious review and re-assesment. RDC may have done a better job than MDC but that doesn’t mean in any way, shape or form that the entire policy is any good or sensible. That’s just my view.

  97. 97
    Christine Paine:

    I find it very worrying and very wrong that decisions that affect the lives of people living anywhere can be dictated to and decided by parties with no connection to the area. I have to wonder when exactly when it was we sleepwalked into a dictatorship where local democracy seems to no longer have a place or indeed a function. It seems that all forms of local Government are rapidly becoming no more than a mouthpiece for Westminster.

  98. 98
    Mike Bolton:

    @97 I couldn’t agree more.

  99. 99
    Colin Seagers:

    Mike Bolton re post #96
    At last we can agree! I have raised this subject more than once with my local MP, and equally to no avail with others (including Ministers) who may be have been expected to have some influence in the Coalition policy orbit.
    The latest (so called ’50 page’ simplification’) of Planning guidance/law seemed to revolve around excuses by major housebuilders/developers that the low level of house building currently is because it takes too long to process applications due to delays caused by planning authorities. That is totally untrue in the vast majority of cases. Of course large developments throw up more issues than a small extension but, having obtained permission, most larger developers then sit back on sizeable land banks, often several years’ worth. Whilst I understand their wanting some forward visibility in organising their business schedules e.g. being able to offer continuity of employment to their permanent professional staff, what really needs revamp is the extraordinarily lengthy and convoluted planning law process around the second guessing of local policy via appeals, and tougher enforcement methods to avoid the ‘planning games’ they play. Much could be achieved simply by making it a criminal offence to undertake a development or change of use without obtaining prior planning permission.
    It is doubtless unpopular with residents in areas selected for new development, although I think you agreed we do need new housing somewhere, but I see no reason why the opinion of a single unelected judge or planning inspector should have so much more clout than the judgement call of a locally elected council at appeal, provided it has stayed within sensible laws and workable development requirements.
    The current ‘temporary’ easing of householder permitted development rights for extensions will often undo much good from policies that previously mitigated any adverse impact on occupants of neighbouring properties when planning authorities were able to apply their local knowledge and judgement of each application’s specific circumstances. It will result in time unlimited problems and sub-standard additions not in accord with building control regulations, simply because many will not now come to the attention of planning authorities until too late.

  100. 100
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine – #97:-
    I’ve mentioned it before (local>District>County>National>EU)
    have watered down the ability of Joe Public to have any effective
    say in pretty much anything. Two ingredients make it possible-
    public apathy (look at voting %)and political parties that are
    just shades of the same colour.We need a “British Spring” to shake
    up the establishments that serve themselves.
    It starts with little places like Rawreth & Rayleigh opposing the
    long range Councillors who are dictating our fate right now.

  101. 101
    Mike Bolton:

    Cllr Seagers @ 99. Yes I understand we need new housing. I also understand we need to provide a travellers site because of a central government policy, so yes we do agree on that. I’m not sure about the numbers involved or the sites choosen, but you given us your and RCD’s view on that, so we don’t need to go over that again.
    Thank you for taking the time to engage with me and give me your and RDC’s point of view.

  102. 102
    Christine Paine:

    Cllr. Seagers – in fact I agree with much of what you say, especially about extensions etc. Does this “easing” apply to greenbelt properties though as I have seen applications turned down recently due to not being in keeping with greenbelt. I am wondering if, if someone just went ahead and built a totally out of keeping extension without applying for planning permission they would be allowed to keep it, even though the property is in greenbelt, under this new rule. (It’s OK, I’m not about to built one!)

  103. 103
    Colin Seagers:

    Christine Paine re post #102
    My belief is that the easing does not apply to greenbelt limitations, which are generally set quite low in additional area and bulk when extensions are given permission. The recent easing appears to enable rear extensions of up to 8m depth v. 4m allowed previously (where Permitted Development Rights exist – often removed in more recent developments) without planning permission, when not in greenbelt. Even outside greenbelt there are still some exceptions I believe where notified immediate neighbours can demonstrate harm. It is still a new grey area to me so anyone contemplating such extensions should ALWAYS consult the RDC Planning Team first, as on any proposed development.

  104. 104
    Colin Seagers:

    Jim Cripps re post #100
    If your comment is aimed at me or any other District Councillor not from Downhall & Rawreth or Rayleigh etc. then think again. Council Wards are represented on the basis of approximately the same number of voters per Councillor throughout the District i.e. a Ward returning 3 Councillors has three times as many residents as one returning only one Councillor. Are you therefore suggesting that Wards in your part of the District should have more Councillors per resident than say mine in Foulness & Great Wakering?
    In any event, although each Councillor represents a particular Ward, there is an overriding duty upon each of them to consider the overall needs of the whole District foremost.
    Such an imbalance as you appear to suggest would hardly enhance local democracy, just remember what the imbalance of Parliamentary representation favouring small inner city and Scottish constituencies produced from 1997 to 2010, and that unchanged situation could easily recur again in 2015 thanks to a self-serving decision of Lib-Dem MPs to renege on their agreement to rebalance the numbers of voters per parliamentary constituency. (Yes, I know they did not get everything they wanted re the Lords re-vamp, but Conservatives kept their end of the bargain simply to put those matters before Parliament.)

  105. 105
    Jim Cripps:

    #104 – Quote:-
    “… there is an overriding duty on each of
    them to consider the overall needs of the whole district foremost.”
    Exactly – the whole district has a quota for Traveller Site accommodation , so lets put it all in West Rayleigh, fair & equitable (NOT).
    So if I’m not happy with that can I protest by voting you and other district councillors out – no I can’t because my vote is in a Rayleigh ward.So yes you are, by definition long range government (as I said in #100).

  106. 106
    A Notable Comment « onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003:

    […] case you miss it, it’s here. […]

  107. 107

    Cllr.Seagers. This is a small site and many contributors write posts anonymously. People get to know who’s who and all is fine. However, as I have submitted many documents under my actual name to the RDC relating the LDF, other more general local problems and indeed attended and spoken at many West Area Committees, which unfortunately have now been condemned to Room 101, I am quite prepared to announce that I am Mr. A. Stone, Grad.I.Fire.E.
    To start with Cllr. Seagers, I did not use the words “untrustworthy liars” my exact words were “how can we trust or believe they will achieve a satisfactory and safe situation”.
    The example I used in Post 48 was to highlight a real example of a meeting agreed to by RDC and attended by their Senior Technical Officer (RDC-STO).
    The meeting was formally recorded by the Clerk to the Rawreth Parish Council in agreement with all in attendance. Also in attendance were myself, the George Wimpey Repesentative (GWR), Rawreth Parish Councillors and Local Residents. The RDC-STO was also representing the Water Authorities who did not attend. Cllr. Black was aware of the meeting but sent his apologies . The need for this information will become apparent below.

    I personally raised concerns, Via Rawreth Parish Council, about the ditch, which takes the ‘run off’ water from the Priory Chase estate, when a decision was made by RDC planning officers in conjunction with GWR that the base level of the ditch adjacent to Laburnum Way could be solved by raising the level of the bottom of it in the form of a French Drain stating that this would have no detrimental effect in the flow of water and would overcome an odour from stagnant water during summer months. Laburnum Way residents were consulted on this but, for some reason, not residents opposite in Rawreth Lane whose property footings are much lower than the upper level of the ditch. I am included in this.

    Within a short period the ditch was levelled with at least 10 tons of pea shingle and the culvert under the bridge into Laburnum Way was reduced in clearance from two feet to just nine inches, an 87.5% reduction in the free space previously available.
    I researched what a French Drain is and apart from the principle of using pea shingle, no other factors provided by GWR & RDC came close to the true description of such.
    I again complained about this knowing full well that what they had provided would not act in the manner they were telling me and how right I was. In less than two weeks when heavy rain occurred, I had all the evidence I wanted, as water was lapping against the roof of the culvert and washing up the banks of the ditch. I passed this information on to RPC who then forwarded it to RDC.

    I wish to make a point here that during my career I studied and qualified in Hydraulics and I used this occurrence to calculate the amount of water I considered to be flowing in the ditch. My estimation for this level of rainfall was approximately 300 gallons (1350 litres) per minute of water and concluded that in torrential conditions this could easily increase to 500 Gallons (2250litres) per minute.

    Now I come to the point where I can prove that local officials in some cases cannot be trusted or believed. These are actual statements recorded on 31st July 2008 by CRPC.

    I alone raised all of the following questions.
    Q.1 “Can you confirm this is a French Drain”?
    A. from both RDC-STO and GWR. “The principal of the works was that of a French Drain”

    Q.2. Were technical data sheets or computer models for French Drains used in respect of this project?
    Answer from both RDC-STO and GWR. “No”.

    Q.3. Were calculations done to establish the flow rate of water under the most severe conditions (storm and flash flood) thus ensuring the reduced volume of the culvert would be able to cope with such a deluge?
    A. RDC-STO and GWR confirmed “that no new calculations were done prior to the installation. They also stated that “prior to both the developments {Wimpey & Asda} being given planning permission flood risk assessments would have been submitted to RDC.
    As part of the answer to this question, GWR and RDC-STO also confirmed that “under the new development at Priory Chase, holding tanks had been installed to ensure the rate of surface water flowing into the drains was restricted.
    It was then explained that when an area was open fields the water would have flowed naturally into the ditch through the land, now because the land has been developed and roads and drains installed the same amount of water would still be flowing into the ditch only quicker, this is why it is restricted by being held in tanks under the ground and each tank is fitted with a Hydro-Brake Flow which controls the water flow.

    Q.4. Who will be responsible if the flooding from the ditch causes damage to property?

    A. GWR and RDC-STO reiterated that nothing had been done to impede the flow of the water or the capacity of the ditch and that the works carried out were done to try to minimise the risk of flooding by ensuring the brook ran clear.

    Q.5. This question is not verbatim but it revolved around who was responsible for the maintenance of the ditch in the future.

    A. GWR stated that he was looking into the ownership of the land and the maintenance and he knew that there were concerns by from the residents about the level of maintenance and the build up of debris.

    Q.6. Statement rather than question to GWR . “In my opinion there is still a possibility of flooding and from you and a “duty of care” was owed to the residents.
    A. GWR accepted this. No comment was offered by RDC-STO.

    End of questions.

    To continue Cllr Seagers, this is an example of why, through passed experience, I have little trust and belief in what some of our council officials spin to us.
    Take my questions above,
    Q.1. They did not agree it was a French Drain, only that the principal of the works was that of a French Drain. A misleading comment in my view.

    Q.2. A straight answer No. Why had they not done this?

    Q.3. Again they had not bothered. If, as they stated, “that planning permission flood risk assessments would have been submitted to RDC” why were no new calculations were done prior to the installation. I see this as a material change of conditions to the initial planning application and should have been dealt with as such.
    Is it also a coincidence that the statement here, 5 years ago, is also almost identical in content to what you and Cllr. Hudson are currently quoting regarding New {{Development and flooding.
    Let us make it perfectly clear that all new development will need to conform to the “National Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems, December 2011”
    Any pump or pipe has a finite capacity even when properly maintained which, unfortunately, some have not been. The new SUDS directive requires the provision of “Swales” and “Balancing ponds” to handle the deluge that a cloud burst can bring; the holding system will then discharge, in controlled way, to a significantly enlarged system of surface water drainage}}.
    Just a new version of the old to keep up with new technology. I hope all the flaws have been addressed!

    Q.4. They got that completely wrong didn’t they! This ditch has been within an inch of overspill level on about seven occasions since the works were carried out and has breached it’s banks on three occasions.

    Q.5. All maintenance has ceased on the ditch as no one knows who is responsible for it.

    Q.6. Who will now take this “Duty of Care” if nobody is responsible for it?
    I suggest it lies with RDC for allowing the work to be carried out without reconsidering the situation or requiring a further planning application before the work was carried out.

    To conclude, Cllr. Seagers, I will not back down from the fact that we cannot always trust or believe in what our council officers tell us, as above is the proof that they do fail and furthermore they do not listen to what residents have to say.

    I will also challenge you on derogatory comment about me being gutless as I consider it to be verbal abuse and not becoming of a councillor.
    I spent many years in a profession where to be gutless would have put my life, and the lives of those I was responsible for, at severe risk. Gutless I am not.
    I am not surprised that you are alienating others who use this site but I guess that does not bother you greatly.

    I will sign off now as Greenbelt and will continue to do so.

  108. 108
    Colin Seagers:

    Jim Cripps re post #105
    And by the same logic residents in other Wards cannot vote your chosen representative off from Rayleigh Wards, Downhall & Rawreth Ward or any other Ward, but you don’t see either them or me complaining despite not all other Councillors sharing our views.
    That is democracy, or else if only you and your neighbours wants were considered solely within RDC it would be ‘Passport to Rayleigh, Downhall & Rawreth’ rather than ‘Passport to Pimlico’!

  109. 109
    Colin Seagers:

    Greenbelt re post #106
    So what is this in your post #48? “DO NOT believe RDC councillors statements…..” if not intended to question and demean the honesty and trustworthiness of RDC Councillors of all political persuasions?
    If, as you now state, your argument is a technical one in which RDC Officers have advised Members, then a Member such as Cllr Black with almost 3 decades of experience should be fully able to get to the bottom of the problem without my aid, particularly following his apparent previous involvement with it and specific local Ward knowledge concerning it.
    I do not claim to be an expert on drainage ditches and drains but I do note that any partially blocked grids on culverts and drains may not necessarily have been so immediately prior to the unprecedentedly heavy rainfall recently, as such heavy flood waters may carry debris down from higher up on the banks of watercourses. Dependent upon their situation, I believe ditch and watercourse clearance/maintenance is primarily the responsibility of the landowner, or else Essex County Highways or the Environment Agency.

  110. 110
    Jim Cripps:

    #108 – Missing the point again, it’s no accountability to the ward you don’t represent ie:
    Great Wakering vote you back in because you made sure they did’nt get the Travellers Site-
    what a great bloke. Those who get the problem
    (in Rayleigh) can’t hold you too account for
    your (and others) decisions – that is not
    democracy. Just like MEP’s in Brussells…..

  111. 111
    Corey Vost:

    Perhaps it’s a case the the residents in Gt Wakering have no idea what is going on! After all the Rayleigh and Wickford Conversative webpage and the Rochford and Southend East websites have no local news items on them – Unlike our local LibDems who keep everyone in the loop, the local Tories seem to follow the national agenda of doing only what is good for themselves!

  112. 112

    Cllr. Seagers. I refer you to post 29 in which you :-
    “Wherever there is new development there will be a requirement for the Developer to provide all necessary improvements to the existing local drainage system to the satisfaction of Anglian Water, Essex County Council and Rochford District Council (as the local planning Authority) in order for them to build the new homes and this will include addressing the type of weather event that we have just experienced.
    Thus if you have a new development proposed to be built near where you live rest assured that not only will it not adversely affect your property’s resilience to localised flooding but conversely may well actually improve your protection”.
    Another Councillor, Keith Hudson, also made this exact comment in an article published in the Evening Echo.
    You were the first person to quote the above comment on this site and as such my response was to a councillor. The point made in the second paragraph starting at “rest assured that not only will it not adversely affect your property’s resilience to localised flooding but conversely may well actually improve your protection” can now actually be proved to be false and misleading due to the facts relating to the Priory Chase estate. I want the residents of Rochford District to be aware of this and it was my prime reason for highlighting the Priory Chase situation in such detail,
    Also you appear to bring into the debate that I am only making reference to unprecedented recent heavy rainfall. I did not mention that at all. If you had read my post properly you would have noticed that I have been campaigning for a solution to this particular problem for more than five years and, it was to demonstrate a point to you that you seem to be missing.
    My campaigning has addressed all the responsible agencies and authorities you refer to and I have directed questions to councillors, by name, in the past at West Area Committee meetings but, only on about 10% of occasions, did I get a straight answer. Most councillors had to defer my questions to the Chairman who then quoted the majority party line in response or sought help in answering from the Council officers present.
    Moving on, what makes you think me, and Cllr. Black want “your aid to get to the bottom of this problem”? Even, after all I have written, you still haven’t a clue. The real problem is that this ditch has, and I quote again, “been within an inch of overspill level on about seven occasions since the works were carried out {five years ago} and has breached it’s banks on three occasions”. This never happened in the preceding 25 years.
    I don’t know who will ever resolve this problem but I do think RDC should now take on the responsibility and rescue it before a number of nearby properties become flooded. Water was just two inches below my front door threshold on Saturday 31st September and I was on holiday at the time.
    Finally, no response to my “verbal abuse” comment in your reply. I suppose I was a fool to expect one! Who supplied the brush to sweep it under the carpet?

  113. 113
    Christine Paine:

    It’s raining again. People are reporting sewers lifting, flooding in back gardens again, and what are Anglian Water doing – zilch. One lady has been told they can’t come out until Monday. What exactly do we pay water rates and council tax for. Come on RDC, get your act together and get some help for people, get the ditches etc. cleared. Carpenters Arms area has been flooded outside Richlee Motors since last time and no-one has looked at the drain there. How much do you expect people to put up with.

  114. 114
    Christine Paine:

    Well, Richlee Motors area has finaly had something done, it’s clear of water at the moment. Whether it has been properly fixed or just pumped out and will fill and flood again we’ll probably find out over the next 24 hours if the forecast is correct.

  115. 115
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine #113 – Boston Avenue “run-off pond” is still covered in water weeks after the
    Floody Saturday, and the Culvert running under the Eon-Bellway building site is again running high – who would buy on that site?. Oh but of course according to the RDC party line if you live near a new Development you are less likely to flood and can rest-assured ………………….yeh right !!!!.

  116. 116
    Jim Cripps:

    I see this issue (specifically Fairmead) was on the BBC Look East TV news today , seems people are still displaced and might be for months yet.
    Does anyone know if any organization are doing anything to avoid this happening again – Anglian Water/Environmental Agency/Council/Bellway Homes (eon site)….?.

  117. 117
    Chris Black:

    Jim, I’ll email you separately about this.

  118. 118
    Jim Cripps:

    Hiya Chris , please be advised my e-mail is out of action at present ? – will let you know when fixed, cheers -JIM.

  119. 119
    Jim Cripps:

    Just seen the weather forecast for Sunday/Monday namely a
    storm & sustained torrential rain – if you live near a culvert suggest you take photo’s of it now (over-grown/blocked by rubbish /already running high).Just be
    aware of another rare “exceptional” rainfall…………

  120. 120
    Richard Lambourne:

    Seems that almost a year after the floods the great and the good at Rochford district Council are finally going to start talking about it, people may wish to attend, and also disagree with their listed priorities

    Rochford District Council – Flood Advisory Group – Public Attendance Welcome. 23rd July Civic Suite Rayleigh – Room 4
    – 19.00hrs

    Forum for Surface Water Flooding Issues
    23 July 2014, 7pm, Room 4 Rayleigh Civic Suite



    Cllr T G Cutmore Cllr B T Hazlewood
    Cllr K H Hudson Cllr Mrs J A Mockford
    Cllr C G Seagers Cllr D J Sperring
    Cllr I H Ward

    1. Budget

    2. Watery Lane

    3. Hedgehope Avenue – confirm satisfactory completion of works

    4. Sweyne Park

    5. Highways hotspots – progress (Spa Road Hockley, Hall Road Rochford, Rectory Road, Hawkwell, and Church Road, Hockley)

    6. Kingsmead Cottages, Barling Road

    7. Salem Walk & Fairmead Rayleigh

    8. Westminster Drive Hockley

    9. Riverside Industrial Estate and the Horse and Groom Pub

    10. Laburnham Way Rayleigh

    11. Rochford reservoir outfall – maintenance works

    12. Fairmead and Salem Walk, Rayleigh

    13. Any Other Business

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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

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“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

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