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December 3rd, 2013 |

How To Respond To The Council’s New Planning Consultation

About 10 days ago we reported on the last District Council meeting:

“The government inspector has asked for a number of changes to the council’s allocations document. The most notable change concerns what happens if development sites are not developed as quickly as expected…
The council has to allocate land so that there is always a 5 year supply of building land available. In case there is a shortfall somewhere , the council’s document allows extra housing at the other sites. However this only happens if
A) there is a shortfall elsewhere
B) if there is still space available for any proposed amenities or infrastructure
C) any extra housing would be capped at 5% of the original proposal. So for example, at the “North of London Road” site, where the proposed figure would be 550, there could only be an extra 5% of 550, which would be 28 extra homes.

However the inspector wants to do away with the 5% cap, which means that some sites could end up with a lot more housing.

The Conservatives pushed this through last night, despite an amendment to keep the 5 percent cap, proposed by Chris Black, seconded by John Mason, and supported by Ron Oatham, Christine Mason plus Michael and Diane Hoy.

At least one Conservative councillor abstained.

This now goes to another round of public consultation…”

Well, that public consultation has now started, and you might like to respond, especially if you are concerned about the removal of this 5% cap. The inspector probably won’t take any notice, but it’s worth a try. One argument against removing the cap is that it makes unsound the previous public consultations and the evidence base for sustainability : if people were consulted on, say, 550 houses and it suddenly turns into a lot more. Or you can argue that increasing the number of homes about the 5% level is poor in terms of sustainability and quality of life for residents (both existing residents and new ones).

The best way to respond to the consultation is online – with some effort you can find it on the council website here. You need to register and then log in to make comments.


If you want to object in terms of “North of London Road”, that is dealt with section MM20 of the document (click to enlarge)

consultation 550

and you would need to say that you oppose the deletion of the words in red: “plus a flexibility allowance of 5% if required”.

In the same way, Hullbridge is dealt with in section MM44.

21 Responses to “How To Respond To The Council’s New Planning Consultation”

  1. 1
    christine paine:

    Not as easy as it could be! but I have objected.

  2. 2
    Brian Guyett:

    Admin, the Online system simply isn’t the easiest way to comment. I’m used to it but know that people moan about it everytime. I believe its designed to turn people off objecting.
    The alternative is to complete (in manuscript) a form. Much easier.

  3. 3

    Brian, you are right, it’s not easy.

    Do you want to explain in more detail how you comment?

  4. 4
    JIM Cripps:

    Just been handed a copy of the latest Rochford District Matters, sure enough RDC are on there pre-judging ( again) the Inspectors final report. They mention residential use,employment use, education use and open spaces but funny enough not one reference to a Travellers Site – does that mean it has been withdrawn or is it selective memory in action?. I’ll leave you to judge…………….

  5. 5
    christine paine:

    Not seen one of those round here yet. Hope we don’t have another “delivery failure” situation.

  6. 6
    Brian Guyett:

    Good question Admin, made me think!
    RDC have to provide a paper alternative but its availability location will vary as its linked to the relevant consultation. In this case, I suggest the easiest way is to email for a copy.

    Its in PDF format, so you can’t overtype but simply complete in manuscript. The form basically needs your name & address etc plus comments.
    PS No sign of RDM in Hockley either.

  7. 7

    Thank you Brian

  8. 8
    The Mighty Oz:

    Can I be the only one that feels resistance is futile…..

  9. 9
    Jim Cripps:

    Oz, can understand why you feel that way but, they will say we gave the public the opportunity to object and only ?? bothered – they count on the public apathy to push stuff through ( only 37% voted at the last general election) – same situation.
    So much so that Cllr Hudson was able to say ( quote in the Echo) “Done Deal”
    Weeks before the hearing , unfortunately I don’t think the Inspector has listened at all so far but we need to register protest for future reference.

  10. 10
    Chris Black:

    Oz, I think it is unlikely that the inspector can be persuaded on this. But it doesn’t cost anything to try.

    Regarding the consultation with the developer next year, judging by past experience e.g. with Downhall Park Way, resident/ councillor involvement at the planning application stage won’t stop it, but may get some improvements.

  11. 11
    The Mighty Oz:

    Jim / Chris.

    Agreed, I think the best thing we can hope for will be to ensure that lessons learnt from past developments are incorporated into the new plans. ie, no long straight roads to discourage speeding, adequate parking spaces etc. As for the apathy – well I have no answer to that one.

  12. 12
    Brian Guyett:

    RDM sighted in Hockley (but still wondering what the important news is). I note that the regeneration of Hockley “Town” Centre has been relegated to “Housing Update”, which pretty much confirms what we thought all along.

  13. 13
    bruce smart:

    Tried to gain hard copy of response form today. None in the Rayleigh office and have ordered 3. If anyone needs a form let me know.

  14. 14
    The Mighty Oz:

    Given that all land in the UK is owned by somebody does anybody know who sold the land for the 550+ houses between Rawreth Lane and London Rd ? And how much did they get for it ?

  15. 15
    Michael Buzza:

    Oz, you raise a very good point. If it turns out that the greenbelt land has been sold at anything other than farm prices there is something seriously wrong with the transaction in this case.

  16. 16

    I very much doubt that ANY of the sites will be sold at farm prices…

  17. 17
    Jim Cripps:

    Oz – we did try and find out , but the Core Plan included a confidentiality clause,
    there was an Echo article ( September 9th I think ) that tried to shed light on some
    of it.Land Registry were not much help either – so much for the freedom of info act.

    Then there is of course the RTS&SC Club house and associated football/ cricket
    pitches – not sure if Lower Barn farm even know about it ? as they are currently building away at the rear . Certainly the firms on Rawreth Ind Estate did’nt know till
    I told them back in August – hope that helps in some way ( probably not !!!! ).

  18. 18

    It would be normal practice that land with planning potential would be sold or have an option at a substantial premium . Agricultural value is around £10,000 an acre for good arable land .Development land can be between £500,000 and £1,000,000 depending on potential . As a landowner myself I would have to ask whether I would sell land at that price ,as would anyone else in that position . There are obviously tax implications ,but human nature rules and anyone would be a fool not to accept an offer. Not that I am in agreement for the proposals in Rawreth as most who know me are aware . These are just hard facts of the matter .

  19. 19
    Jim Cripps:

    #18 -
    Yep we are ruled by human nature ( a flawed system I would suggest !!!! ) that is the
    reality , but the value of anything is dictated by condition, so ………..
    Given the EA flood maps show the site ( North of London Rd ) vulnerable to both the
    tide water and surface water ( rain ) is it not logical that area would be a lower value-
    the RDC plan document itself admits 3.1 Hectares of flood plain within the site.
    The answer is of course not , it is all about Developer profit which sets the price, some recent examples – Canterbury Close built between two Culverts = flooded! Laburnum Close fronting an ancient field drain = flooded!,Fairmead & Salem Close built across the route to a Culvert = flooded!, Eon site – see my question on the other Flooding thread.
    And here we go again , not just us , see all the core plans Rochford, Castle Point, Southend and Basildon are all being concreted over – flooding is here to stay.

  20. 20
    Kristian Ives:

    @18 so you’re against the development unless you stand to make money from it? Surely you didn’t intend to infer that.

  21. 21

    No you are right ,I did not mean to infer that. But human nature and natural greed all play a part in all of our selfish thoughts! I have consistently objected to proposals in east Rawreth both near Rayleigh and Hullbridge .There are better placed sites both within Rawreth and indeed in Rayleigh which would not require open fields or indeed increase risk of flooding but they were rejected several years ago . The planning situation is seemingly out of our hands ,localism is not even given lip service as this government in partnership with vested interests ignores the local need and panders towards encouraging more incomers to join us on this isolated (in infrastructure terms ) peninsula with no local employment ,many industrial premises being converted to leisure and indeed housing uses. The only bright spot at this time is the airport,but I fear that this may become a Trojan horse if the new air ceiling proposals are agreed,people will become tired of aircraft noise and pollution if the proposed numbers of flights are achieved.

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