September 9th, 2013 |
An Inspector Calls – and Mark Francois Sets Out His Position
The planning inspector has some important hearings this week in the Civic Suite in Rayleigh The public can come along and watch if they wish….
At 10 AM – Housing and employment land West Of Rayleigh.
At 2PM – the Traveller Site
Wednesday 10 AM – Stambridge Mills and West Rochford – and the alternative site of Eastwood Nurseries.
You can find more information on the Council Website here. In fact there’s some other new stuff here, including a “SYNOPSIS OF EVIDENCE FOR THE INSPECTOR FROM MARK FRANCOIS MP”.l You can download Mark Francois’ document here.
Here’s his comments on the proposed Traveller Site:
The Travellers Site at Dale Farm, which achieved national prominence when it was cleared by Basildon Borough Council last year, is only a few miles fromRayleigh, in the neighbouring constituency of Basildon and Billericay.Travellers issues therefore resonate strongly in South Essex and most of the 100 or so representations which I have received directly from constituentsin the past few weeks have referred to theTravellers site as a particular source of concern.My understanding is that Rochford District Council (RDC) intends to create one municipally run Travellers site at Michelin’s Farm , which would have pitches for some 15 families and which would likely not commence operation much before 2018.I still have concerns about this but, if it is to go ahead, then it is important that the site is very tightly regulated, ideally with some form of warden control, to reassure local residents and to ensure that those people occupying the site do not cause disruption to the settled community.With regards to location, if we are to have such a site in the District, then Michelin’s Farm, out by the Fairglen Interchange and adjacent to the junction of the A127 and A1245 is close to major transport routes and is near enough to health, educational and shopping facilities, in accordance with planning directives, but is also strategically located to avoid conflict between the settled and Travelling communities.I understand that one alternative site which has previously been put forward is on the land close to Swallow Aquatics, on the London Road. I would be strongly opposed to thiscounter-proposal. The site in question is much closer to the settled community in Rayleigh. In addition, this site is overhung by high voltage power lines, which I understand would normally debar it from consideration from any kind of new residential use.
Re the housing, Mr Francois discusses the various infrastructure issues and concludes:
I can appreciate that some new housing has to be built somewhere, in order to allow the next generation somewhere to live locally but I would like tohighlight to you the important points about local infrastructure, particularly regarding highways andflood protection/drainage but also relating to educational and medical provision as well, which I believemust be successfully addressed if these proposed sites are to be released for housing in the future.