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February 14th, 2014 |

A Valentine’s Day Message From The Planning Inspector

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The final report from the planning inspector Mr Smith has been published today. You can download it here,

A lot of people are going to feel crushed – he hasn’t changed much in the council’s Rochford Allocations Submission  Document (RASD) , and the changes he has made aren’t very helpful from a ward councillors point of view. If you were expecting major changes in the housing allocation, you’ll be disappointed. If you were hoping for some really significant improvements in infrastructure, you’ll be equally disappointed.  Here’s a brief summary of his views on the RASD:

(you can click on any of the extracts to enlarge them)

PUBLIC CONSULTATION: The inspector accepts that very many people in Rayleigh hadn’t been aware of the specific proposals, but he still thinks that overall the consultations regulations have been complied with:

inspector 2THE ALLOCATIONS DOCUMENT IS  A FOLLOW-UP TO THE CORE STRATEGY: The frustrating thing about the past year’s campaigning is that the most  important document – the Core Strategy - was already passed back in 2011. If you look back at onlinefocus you can see we were battling on this as far back as 2006 – and highlighting the flooding in Rawreth issue back at the start.  So once the council had passed a core strategy that included , for example, 550 houses North of London Road, it was going to be very hard to change that. The inspector emphasises  again and again that  Core Strategy is the central document:

 

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When residents said it was ‘a done deal’ , they were right – at least in the sense that the most important decisions had already been taken in the Core Strategy.

NO NEW INSIGHTS ON INFRASTRUCTURE: The inspector himself points out that there isn’t much in the council’s RASD about road conditions – but hey- the County Council aren’t worried, and we’ve already had the core strategy , so things can go ahead:

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INFRASTRUCTURE NORTH OF LONDON ROAD:  The inspector says:

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WATERY LANE:  The inspector wants some improvements – we’d be interested to know the views of Hullbridge , Rawreth and Battlesbridge residents on whether they think this is enough:

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THE TRAVELLER SITE – He seems OK with the location. And there is no suggestion of having it near Swallow’s Nursery instead:

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CANEWDON — Canewdon gets a reduction in new housing from 60 to 49,  because of the effect on the appearance of the village:

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4 Responses to “A Valentine’s Day Message From The Planning Inspector”

  1. 1
    Chris Black:

    I just feel a huge sense of frustration over the whole 7 year process. The strategy could have been better, should have been better.

  2. 2
    Jim Cripps:

    No surprises then , and Chris – the DONE PHRASE come from Cllr Hudson himself
    Via the Evening Echo , not the public at large, so why bother with wasting out money
    on a Hearing/ Report?.
    So as predicted –
    The overloaded ( and pot- holed ) London Rd & Raweth Lane are apparently adequate for 5 years of heavy construction traffic followed by 800 extra residential.
    Does he not watch the TV ? , apparently the flood plain classified Rayleigh Brook
    that bisects the site is fine , we’ll just make that a recreation area they can’t use.
    And apparently the existing infrastructure ( emergency and support services can cope) – they can’ t cope already so how he comes to that conclusion I don’t know.
    He writes off the fact that 98% of Hullbridge and 93% of West Rayleigh did’nt know
    it – how many of you have been advised about the Council/ Developers plans to
    ” consult” in the Mill Hall on 3rd March – where is their advertising of that………..

    IF PEOPLE are not now motivated to attend and demonstrate against this then I will
    Hang up my campaign boots – and remember Mr Smith the next time Rayleigh floods.

  3. 3
    Jim Cripps:

    Para 47 was particularly galling – “no objections from the Environment Agency” , they are the ones the Government ( Eric Pickles)thought were experts down in Somerset .. &
    What sort of logic sets aside space for recreation which is unusable when flooded. Oh yes of course it leaves more room for Developer building profits !!!. Criminal.

  4. 4
    The Mighty Oz:

    Jim,
    Whilst I admire your efforts I fear you should start making some room under the stairs for the boots.

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