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March 4th, 2014 |

The District Council’s Explanations…. And Countryside Properties Masterplan For “West of Rayleigh”


The District Council have displays in the Mill Hall for a few days and in our district’s libraries for at least the next two weeks. You can find the exhibition material here.


And the developers Countryside Properties are now showing what their ideas are
They say they will be holding 2 public exhibitions later this month and sending a newsletter to local residents.
They are also giving people a chance to register their comments with them online here.
Any thoughts?

102 Responses to “The District Council’s Explanations…. And Countryside Properties Masterplan For “West of Rayleigh””

  1. 1
    Jim Cripps:

    Didn’t see that Countryside plan at the Mill Hall – why not ????.
    It shows RTSSC staying put and the site not going further West as per the Inspector,
    Thought they had adopted the Inspectors recommendations …..
    Puzzled of Rayleigh.

  2. 2
    The Mighty Oz:

    Can you clarify for me, will there be a road through the new estate linking London Rd and Rawreth Lane. It’s not too clear on the map. Txs

  3. 3

    When is the timeframe to put in the gypsey site? time to sell up and ship out me thinks. Why does Rayleigh/Rawreth get the gypsey sites? Are RDC evenly distributing them in their towns?

  4. 4

    We asked that the developers actually recognise the existence of Rawreth and to their credit they holding an exhibition in the parish – good. Though they should also have one in the London Road area.

    Kris – Don’t think there’s a timescale yet on the gypsy site. In terms of the impact, it’s worth looking at how the one in Colchester has worked out, which I think is reasonably well, But if RDC still intends to go ahead with this (and they do) they should take the advice of people up there – for example in terms of size and management.
    Apart t from one or two caravans elsewhere, RDC is planning just one site, which is in Wheatley Ward, Rayleigh.

    Jim – I think the Mill Hall is simply RDC explains what they have already decided. Icountryside here are consulting purely on their application.

    Oz – not had time to read through all this new presentation material yet, so could be wrong. but the original intention was to have a bus only link between London Road and Rawreth Lane. But there is the possibility of a through route for cars now – I think this genuinely up for consultation, And what people say would probably affect the outcome on this.

  5. 5

    Just to add that we are cautious on what we say About the traveller site and Countrysides application – so we do not fetter our discretion on planning applications.

  6. 6

    So 2 in Rayleigh. How did we end up being so lucky?

  7. 7
    The Mighty Oz:

    Let’s face it, this consultation will achieve nothing major, just a few tweaks around the edges. The only saving grace is that Countryside are, in my humble opinion, one of the better builders who seem to put together reasonable estates.

  8. 8
    Jim Cripps:

    Oz , I believe the immediate purpose of attending the Roadshows is to get across the point that both Rawreth Lane and London Rd need upgrading before the years of Construction traffic starts . If enough people ask the same question ( what and when )
    It will get that issue out in the open , otherwise they will design the entrance and exit to suit the domestic traffic of a finished estate – and that is’nt the worse case, the heavy construction traffic is. Even the Core Plan and Allocations Plan Inspectors did
    acknowledge the need to upgrade before Construction starts.
    Other points for discussion where has the promised Primary School gone , what about the Youth & Community Facility – not shown by Countryside but in the Allocations document adopted by the Council.
    Do not underestimate the power of the people look what happened to the Deanes School fiasco / turnaround , if your not in the fight you can’t win it.

  9. 9
    Christine Paine:

    Oz, I have to be a little careful on what I say here, so I will confine it to – I used to work for their Insurance Company and I saw the claims!

  10. 10
    Jim Cripps:

    Chris – # 4 , sorry Chris but NO – it is a shambles , they can ‘t even orchestrate a coordinated launch with Countryside , see previous post…… JIM.

  11. 11
    The Mighty Oz:

    Jim / Christine,
    Fair points, maybe I have too quick to throw in the towel.

  12. 12
    Jim Cripps:

    Just realized that the Countryside Plan ( red border area ) does’nt cover the London Rd end as such – so Lower Barn Farm / RTS&SC / Private Land might yet be swallowed up by SER 1 .
    Cannot see a proposed relocation site for RTS&SC though ?, so is it staying or not?.

  13. 13
    Christine Paine:

    The blurb on the Countryside presentation does say it only covers land currently under their direct control and the sports club land doesn’t come under that heading. In that way the presentation is a bit misleading as it doesn’t show the whole final development, just development on land they currently own.

  14. 14
    Jim Cripps:

    Yep, misleading – we ought to be used to it by now , whilst the RTS&SC was discussed in Allocations Report ( ie: moving it ) the Lower Barn Farm was not
    Mentioned, nor the ground behind pope John Hall – but a compulsory purchase
    order could change all that.
    As I said ‘smoke and mirrors ‘ as usual…….JIM.

  15. 15
    Dave Webster:

    In response to Jim Cripps’s question about Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club, the Countryside website relating to this project gives the following information under its Frequently Asked Questions Tag :”Rochford District Council’s Site Allocations Plan identifies the need to relocate the Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club and sports pitches. Any future plans for this will be taken forward by the Council, and are therefore not covered by our masterplan.” The final agreed plan withdrew the original statement that the club would be moved 340 metres westwards within the green buffer zone so the club no longer has any certainty as to where it will go.

  16. 16
    Jim Cripps:

    Thanks I was aware, and yes moving to the West does seem to wander into the even bigger expanse of blue ( flood zone ) on the EA maps !!!!! – now the original plans for South of the London Rd are canned , it might be there ( just guessing ).

  17. 17
    Christine Paine:

    Does anyone know how the change to planning laws due to be announced that will ban developers from building on flood plains will affect these plans?

  18. 18
    Jim Cripps:

    Apparently it was all over Sky News yesterday but what/when/how I don’t know –
    They will of course argue that are not ” building” on the flood plain bit ( 7.5 acres ),
    but last August was’nt about that – it was water run-off trying to get to the flood plain (via Brook ) that went through the houses to get to the Culverts when the drains could’nt cope.

  19. 19
    Jim Cripps:

    Chris – I know you Ward Councillors have to limit what you say , so as not to be perceived as predisposed for or against the Planning Applications that you eventually have to vote on.
    So how does that work in respect of Council Leaders, they are the architects of these schemes, so you would think they are predisposed to support them – or are they precluded from voting for that reason?……….thanks – JIM.

  20. 20
    Chris Black:

    Well, you can support a scheme in principle , say you supported having a new leisure facility or clinic in a town centre. But if you said something like that you would have to say in the next breath something like ‘providing it is acceptable in planning terms.’ So its best to be cautious in what you say, even more so in the reverse situation where you end up voting against an application. The applicant could challenge whether you have actually kept an open mind.

    We had a planning application in the last 12 months to convert the council’s own planning offices into flats. It was refused by the Development Committee because the members didn’t like the parking arrangements and the design of the amenity space. Got passed second time round was an improved plan.

  21. 21
    Jim Cripps:

    But the architect of this scheme is the Head of Planning & Transportation, his department will be charged with reviewing and approving the Planning Applications-
    how is that not a conflict of interest?.

  22. 22
    bruce smart:

    Surely a through road is needed to provide 2 entrances to any estate/ development. Refuge collection on a Tuesday, one way in one difficult and your relative has a heart attack, time is of vital importance or one way in blocked and there is a fire.

    There has to be, in my view, a new doctors surgery on the site, even better a Health Centre and even better with a N.H.S. Dental Surgery.

  23. 23
    Christine Paine:

    I’m sure there will be a suitable bureaucratic explanation as to why it is not a conflict of interest, but to any outside onlooker there is a clear conflict. If the architect of the whole scheme recommends refusal of what are basically his own plans he will look a right idiot. There may be amendments called for but he will recommend them for approval, there is nothing else he can do. It should be reviewed and approved by someone from outside, from another Council perhaps, definitely a completely neutral party, but I’m sure there is no mechanism for that.

  24. 24

    Christine, I can certainly see your point of view on this , but this is the way it works!

  25. 25
    Christine Paine:

    I thought that would be the answer admin, however, there isn’t a competitive business or company in the world where this would happen. Every review would be carried out by someone who was not involved in the conception of whatever plan/deal/restructuring etc. was up for discussion. I honestly see no reason why Councils, who are taxpayer funded should not be subject to the same rules, if nothing else to make sure the taxpayer is getting value for money and a good service.

  26. 26
    Jim Cripps:

    Simple, the portfolio holder & sponsor don’t get a vote, that still leaves 36 others to vote – or ( back to my first point ) Ward Councillors are allowed to be pre- disposed one way or the other , one rule for all.

  27. 27
    Christine Paine:

    In the middle of our own worries about development lets not overlook what is happening in and around Wickford. Four sites put forward by the council with a developer disagreeing with this and running their own consultation regarding 220 houses on a separate site. I honestly feel it is only a matter of time, and not a very long time either, before Basildon runs into Wickford, and Wickford into Rawreth and Rawreth into Rayleigh with no discernible gap or green belt space left inbetween. This whole area is in danger of turning into a vast urban sprawl and our Councillors are, in the main, more than happy to sit back and let it happen provided it isn’t next to their back garden.

  28. 28

    Spot on Christine .One of the preferred sites builds right up to the A130.Why is there no inter Council negotiation when drawing up planning strategy?When plans were prepared for the A130 we said at the time that lends itself to fill up with housing,Shotgate residents did not want the road near them instead Shotgate moves next to the road .Next thing will be they will complain about traffic noise and pollution .The gap narrows!Fill it up with football pitches! We do not need feeding anymore .

  29. 29
    Jim Cripps:

    Don’t forget the 600 in Hall Rd , 500 in Hullbridge, 1500 Blinking Owl and 1000’s in
    Basildon/ Billericay etc;etc; and no discernible infrastructure upgrades or additions in roads / emergency services / support services or a seat on a train / bus………….
    To quote a modern phrase ” sleepwalking into oblivion “.

  30. 30
    Christine Paine:

    The problem seems to be that not only is there no joined up thinking between RDC and ECC when it comes to infrastructure, health, schools etc. there is no joined up thinking between individual councils and ECC.I suppose this is what comes of each council being forced to draw up their own individual allocations documents by central government. They can’t consider their neighbours or they will be penalised. There is something very wrong with the whole planning system in this country.

    A. Matthews. There are also plans in for a 9 hole golf course in the fields on London Road round my property (again, this has been going on on and off for best part of 20 years now). If that is approved it will mean another swathe of agricultural land gone. Do RDC even consider the overall picture, such as further loss of agricultural land, when looking at these applications? OK, given the choice I’d rather have golf than houses, provided they give me secure fences to keep out balls/trespassers, but given that we import over 40% of our food already we should be protecting our agriculture to the hilt. You can’t blame landowners for taking the money when it is available, the farmers are often only tenants, but all of this will come back to bite us eventually.

  31. 31
    Jim Cripps:

    Just like career Politicians in Westminster we have career Councillors in Council, their motives are not those of the residents – the reason they get away with it lies with the
    part time Ward Councillors who are like sheep and do as they are told.
    If voting in the chamber was a free for all some of the ” cultivated “decisions would be defeated – it is a novel concept called DEMOCRACY, sadly fading away in this country.

  32. 32
    Jim Cripps:

    I have a response to my online comments on the Countryside website – apparently they will answer all questions after April 11th ( post Roadshows )………………so get
    your questions in as that probably does’nt leave much time before they submit a Planning Application ( and then you only have 21 days to object ).
    First impact will be heavy Construction traffic in both Rawreth Lane & London Rd for
    the 5 >10 years duration – we need a 3rd Lane from Carpenters Arms roundabout to
    Lower Barn Farm as a site filter Lane and likewise ( East to West ) in Rawreth Lane-
    So a one way in/ out flow of Construction traffic control – ask for it!!!!!.

  33. 33
    Christine Paine:

    Where are you going to put this third lane though Jim without taking pavement or frontage. Rawreth Lane isn’t wide enough to put in even a temporary (albeit fairly long term temporary) third lane and you’re pushing it to get one in from Carpenters Arms to Lower Barn Farm. You’ll loose all the verge, and possibly some of the field as well. How is anyone going to be able to walk from Carpenters Arms to say the petrol station if they need to with heavy construction traffic to content with. I don’t disagree that the issue of construction traffic needs looking at but I honestly don’t see how a third lane could be squeezed in.

  34. 34
    Jim Cripps:

    LAST BUT ONE CHANCE to influence what we are stuck with –
    Countryside Roadshows this Wednesday 19th , Rawreth Village Hall 4:30>8:30pm,
    and Saturday 22nd , St Nicholas School ( Priory Close ) 10:00 am > 5:00 pm.
    Because after that it is just a 21 day window to object at the ( Summer ) Planning Application stage – when you are all away on holiday !!!!!.
    I’m sure you all have loads of questions but we all need to ask this one :-
    In keeping with the Inspectors observations, the RDC pledge and Countryside’s own
    promise – what upgrades , prior to years of Site Construction traffic start, are going to be put in place for Rawreth Lane and London Road ?.
    THIS will impact all of us , don’t forget the 500 be ing built in Hullbridge too………..

  35. 35
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine – from Carpenters Arms to the space between Pylon & Lower Barn Farm ( the site road entrance ) there are no buildings, it is verge / field , so yes the Bus Stop and path would move North by say 3 metres to accommodate a filter Lane . If not then lorries will be sharing the existing single Lane with all the other traffic – take your pick.
    Similar verge/ field on the left heading towards Bedloes Corner in Rawreth Lane, and
    yes, before you get there there is a property ( and at the corner itself – although there is an application to build flats there !!!! ). But the first property is at least a couple of hundred metres from what would be the site exit , so at least they could merge under momentum rather than a standing start ( slow / heavy ) into the traffic flow.
    Nothing in this life is ideal but if you don’t ask you will get what your given – NOTHING.

  36. 36
    Richard Lambourne:


    If the development is going ahead, shouldnt we also be argueing for a new road directly off the Carpenters roundabout into the new estate initially restricted to site traffic and then left as an alternative access for the residents

    That obviate the need for traffic to use Rawreth Lane or London Road.

    Should be part of a Section 106 to the planning permission

  37. 37
    Jim Cripps:

    Absolutely – my suggestion was purely to motivate a debate , I assume you mean a two way (in>out ) junction at the roundabout , these are the constructive inputs to the coming Developer Roadshows – any suggestions as long as they get the message that 6 orange cones and a men at work sign is not good enough…..more people please consider.

  38. 38
    Christine Paine:

    That’s all very well Jim, but have you any idea how much 6 orange cones and a men at work sign will eat into their profits. They aren’t made of money you know!

  39. 39
    Linda Kendall:

    I was told a list of planning application notices was in the Standard Recorder this week. Page 76. Did anyone get a copy? Lady said they concerned the developments. Re. RTSSC comment . The club need to get asking some serious questions about who suggested the move etc. Why? I have been told by the solicitor looking at the case for Judicial Review of the LDF Allocations Document that SPORTS FIELDS have special legal protection under fairly new legislation. Worth the Committee checking before the bulldozers arrive to tear up the pitches prepared for many years.

  40. 40
    Richard Lambourne:


    Yes, a fully functional two way road that will remain after the development is there

    It might need a complusory purchase of more land but the value to the the town is immense as it will allow the estate residents to exit without going onto the London road or Rawreth Lane

  41. 41
    Richard Lambourne:

    BTW I nave put this in my submission to Countryside via their portal

  42. 42
    Wayne Mitchell:

    Has anything been mentioned about some of the homes being put aside for social housing ? Or have the developer done a deal with the council to fund something else instead. If this is the case will Rayleigh benifit or will it be going to Rochford !
    There is also noise restriction document called a section 60 -61 that deals with construction and the disruption caused to surrounding property’s

  43. 43
    Jim Cripps:

    Good man, we need to hit them with every conceivable idea other than them putting in a simple T junction at both existing roads – which is what is shown on their Masterplan document , I kid you not.
    They of course will point to RDC, who in turn will point to ECC ( Highways ) who will then plead poverty ( major project funding elsewhere etc;) – we will need to do what the French farmers do to get this taken seriously , mark my words.

  44. 44
    Chris Black:

    Wayne – I have asked Countryside about this and there would be affordable housing on the site, no details yet and exactly what form of affordable housing it would be.

  45. 45
    Jim Cripps:

    TODAYS THE DAY – 4:30>8:30 Rawreth Village Hall , Countryside roadshow :-

    The site was rated for 550 , the Inspector removed the 5% cap , so on top of the 475 muted by Countryside there are at least another 100 + ( fronting London Rd ?) and
    of course the 230 on the Rawreth Ind Estate – so eventually circa 800 impacting Rawreth Lane & London Rd. What road upgrading ( before site construction starts) is
    proposed – the two plain T junctions shown on the Masterplan will not cut it.

    Despite being the largest developer , I can see no sign of the RDC pledged School &
    Youth/ Community Facility on the Countryside plan – WHY NOT ? the 475 will impact the Infrastructure first.

    Top RH corner , triangular plot shown as other usage – what other usage ? A Doctors Surgery perhaps !!!! – the one that was promised and not built on the Salisbury Close/ Kelso Crescent development about 7>8 years ago?.

    But I’m sure you all have loads of other questions of your own – please attend as the results of ” Consultation” have to go into the Planning Application , and it needs to be negative!!!!.

  46. 46
    Jim Cripps:

    Just back – looks like a good attendance ( mostly hostile ) ,on my points above –

    Construction traffic , no plan at this stage – will be part of planning application…….?
    Schools and stuff is Council business not Countryside……?
    Top RH corner triangular plot is for undefined Commercial use……?

    Other – although their plan shows houses near Brook -” the final design won’t be like that” it’s just a concept drawing ………MMMMM .

    So , not too much ” Consultation ” there then!!!!.

  47. 47
    Gord Callahan:

    I echo Jim’s comments entirely @46. Infrastructure plans (lack of) should be part of this ‘Masterplan’. It really isn’t rocket science.
    Is it me, or are the boundary’s around the North of London Road site changing by the week?

    Jim, ref our conversation at Rawreth Village Hall about certain companies acting as agents selling off our green belt & financial backing from the Arab states.. Below is the link to one of them.. its worth reading ALL of the links on that site, its quite an eye opener. I know some here on online focus have already seen this on the RAG facebook page, so i’m posting it here for those who are not on Facebook.

    Was good to talk with some of you who attended the ‘Roadshow’ tonight.

  48. 48
    Christine Paine:

    Good to see a good turn out with a lot of hostility towards Countryside. Far too much talk of “broad brush strokes” etc. for my liking. Have e.mailed their comments address plus MP and various councillors with a whole long list of queries re roads, health, schools etc.

  49. 49
    Jim Cripps:

    Just remembered – Watery Lane Sewage Works not being able to cope ( 800 Rayleigh & 500 Hullbridge ) ………”that is Anglian Water’s problem ” , and do you know what they are right , a quote from a letter from the CEO of AW :-

    ” by law, if any developer has planning permission , we (AW) are required to provide
    Connection to the public sewer – regardless of available capacity “……….

  50. 50
    Samantha Moore:

    I also attended the ‘consultation’ at Rawreth Village Hall yesterday evening.

    I agree with Jim that the concerns raised regarding infrastructure – roads, schools, doctors etc. – to support the additional housing were not answered or even acknowledged. The simply reply was ‘it’s not down to us, that’s down to the council and they’ve had two years to think about this’!

    I also had a reply stating that ‘there is little the council can do as this will be in the hands of the Highways agency etc’.

    Equally, I was very concerned that the ‘Masterplan’ on display was very misleading. When my partner challenged Countryside about the number of houses that will actually be built (in addition to the Phase 1 development) it took some time for Countryside to admit (very reluctantly) that additional housing (meaning this will run into around 1500 will all be built in a 1/2 mile radius of the initial site for Phase 1.

    My house in Maine Crescent was one of the lucky ones not to flood last year but every other house in the immediate vicinity to mine did. I’m concerned that there doesn’t appear to be a real respect for the potential flooding aspect this could cause. With the heightened news coverage on recent floods around the country and subsequent pressure the government are feeling to respond to this (and the associated cost) should this not be evaluated and considered in more detail?

  51. 51
    Richard Lambourne:

    I spoke to one consultant abour transport as well, I used Jim’s one third lane proposal as an opener, and then raised some other points

    A road directly from the heart of the site to the A129/A1245 roundabout for construction and left as a legacy access road

    Improvements to Rawreth Lane Junctions both ends

    the actual design of the London Road and Rawreth lane junctions to the development

    General infrastructure change to roads in the wider contect and consultation with ECC highways

    They state that they have and will continue to talk to ECC highways

    But I have had correspondence with CClr Rodney Bass at ECC and have read the Local transport Plan adopted by CC in February and there are NO plans for any improvements in this area except the improvements at Fairglen on the A127

    So what consultation ?????

  52. 52
    Wayne Mitchell:

    Unfortunately I could not attend the meeting last night but had a full update from my better half, I fail to see how they ( Countryside ) can come to a meeting so un prepared.
    Before any major development work that takes place in London a full feasibility study must take place, this includes sustainability, impact on the environment, the surrounding wildlife, and the impact on schools, hospitals. And emergency services.
    There should also be in place an up to date study of the area due to it being in a flood plain. Countryside also have to show how they will be controlling the construction traffic in and out of the site and how they will be keeping the roads clear of mud and the like. This should have all been on show last night and freely available for the public to view and comment on ! I understand the person from Countryside clearly was not knowledgeable enough to answer a majority of the questions asked.
    Which leads me to the access using existing roads, how do the emergency services gain access when the area will quite clearly be grid locked.
    Reading between the lines I get the feeling that Countryside have friends in high places.

  53. 53
    Jim Cripps:

    SOUND FAMILIAR ? – Yellow Advertiser ( re: 800 houses for Benfleet ) ,quote:-
    “Jotmans Farm is virgin green belt, the type of land developers prefer.The massive house building the Council is giving the green light to will bring endless traffic – it is
    also an area categorised ‘at risk of flooding'”.
    Never mind a Rayleigh Spring we need an Essex Spring folks………

  54. 54
    Christine Paine:

    RDC and EEC cannot just wash their hands off these issues by saying they will see what is needed once the housing is built. In a way Countryside are right, both bodies have had time to consider all the issues here, but in their haste to impose development on an area that is unsuitable and that doesn’t want or need it they have chosen to ignore all reasonable questions put to them. If this goes ahead without infrastructure upgrades then photos, hundreds of photos of chaos, flooding, gridlocked roads, all sent to our MP and to whoever in Government is in charge of Local Communities. Formal complaints about the officials at RDC and EEC who allowed it to happen, maybe even a stop injunction if things are bad enough. We should not have to have this going on around us.

  55. 55
    Jim Cripps:

    LAST CHANCE – Saturday 10:00>17:00 @ St Nicholas School, Priory Close……….
    It is important to attend in numbers so they get the message of discontent but even if you have been or are going , you must record online your views , as that is the only
    written record – chats at the roadshow will not show in the Planning Application.

  56. 56
    Jason Richer:

    I cant get there but have passed on my view via their contact button. My rant was mainly Infrastructure related / Schools roads / public transport / community facilities / floods etc. What we must bear in mind is that it is not only here in Rayleigh. There are mass development projects all over Essex. All these extra people have to get work, go to school, doctors, dentists, social trips etc somehow.

    Perhaps NCP can paint white boxes on all the roads in Essex they will make a mint.

    I am probably now on the NSA and GCHQ hit list. But I will continue my personal Rayleigh spring as long as I can

  57. 57
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine @ # 54 – and definitely send the pic’s to the RDC expert ( Mr Scrutton ) and
    Mr Oldham ( Director of Countryside Projects ) who in 2010 , issued a statement of Common Ground , which among other broad brush statements , said :-
    ” ease of access to Rayleigh Station ( particularly by Bus & Cycle )”.
    ” the Council confirm that ECC as Highway Authority have raised no objections to the Core Strategy on the grounds of highways impact”.
    “The Council and Countryside Properties agree. That there are no material infrastructure constraints that would affect either the principal or the timing of
    Development at North of London Road, Rayleigh”.
    And so on – and on…….and on , nice cosy arrangements made 4 years ago this May.

  58. 58
    Christine Paine:

    Which is why the council will do nothing to make Countryside spend some of their profit on roads or services – all far too cosy and comfortable for my liking.

  59. 59
    Jim Cripps:

    Bruce Smart – how do we , the electorate, get a public meeting with the Rayleigh Town Council ? , do they have a website we can lobby – or do I doorstep Cllr Ward in the High Street!!!!!.

  60. 60
    Jim Cripps:

    Apparently the Conservative “in-touch”leaflet is out and makes interesting reading, seems RTSS&C is not going to get a new home, and only 550 houses planned. Well for a start the 5% cap was removed by the Inspector and they have overlooked the 230 planned for Rawreth Ind Estate redevelopment. But most damning of all is the PLEDGE made by Cllr’s Hudson & Cutmore in an open letter last 21/09/13- Quote verbatim:-
    Housing North of London Rd –
    “The site boundary is approximately in line with the power transmission pylons visible from London Rd.To facilitate this it will be necessary to relocate the Rayleigh Town Sports & Social Club (a valued facility for our residents), they will receive new and enhanced facilities IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO RAYLEIGH LIFE at no cost to themselves – THIS IS MY PLEDGE.”

    The same letter makes other pledges -we’ll see…….

  61. 61

    It’s interesting that there are rumours that James Cottis family are planning to sell their land to property developers and he is deliberately not commenting on the matter. Maybe something that needs further investigation to ensure there isn’t a conflict of interest here?

  62. 62
    Wayne Mitchell:

    Attended the Road show Saturday, I asked who owned the land and was informed by the Countrysides Drainage man Tracy Neal that the land is owned by the Cottis family ? Is this the same Cottis family that has Cllr J P Cottis as a member ?
    Also has the owner of the land been paid a retainer by RDC for a portion of this land to be used at a later date for building work?
    If so how long and how much, and were records freely available to the residents of Rayleigh ?
    I was also informed that RSSC will now not be developed on, can someone please inform me who from RDC put this land up for development in the first place and then reversed the decision ? I may be getting my facts wrong here but I have only just started to get involved in these matters as I have only just found out about the proposed developments in the first place!
    I believe a better solution for the whole of our area would be to develop the Fosset Farm area as it has good road links a train station and airport what more could anyone ask for, plus it would help out the desperately needed homes in the Southend area in fact there is plenty of open land that could be used in the Thorpe Bay area perhaps a nice travellers site and new civic recycling centre and why not for good measure throw in a nice shiny industrial development ? But then again we would have to find out who owns the land first ?

  63. 63

    Wayne, I believe it is owned by someone in the Cottis family, of whom Cllr Cottis is one of the younger members. I don’t know anything about a retainer paid by RDC, it would surely be paid by Countryside….
    The proposal to develop RSSC came from the Conservative administration, I do not who had the initial idea, though I could guess.

  64. 64

    Sean, Cllr Cottis has declared an interest on various occasions and withdrawn from meetings…

  65. 65
    Jim Cripps:

    Admin – there was also a RDC imposed secrecy clause on land ownership in the Core Plan / Allocations Document , interesting point .

  66. 66
    Wayne Mitchell:

    Thank you for clarifying things but where do I look to see if the land has a retainer on it and why ? Also where do I look to find the answers to who wanted to off load the RSSC and then renegade on it? Is this is the one with the power ! I will call him the General, I get the feeling that this is the person with most to gain ! Also lets remember the old sayings : met on the square parted on the level, out of the dark into the light ! old orders are dead they serve us not the other way round !
    I understand there is knees up on the 28th peaceful protest anyone ?

  67. 67
    Wayne Mitchell:

    Secrecy clause is Stalin now in Downing Street what a lot of twaddle wheres Jeramy Paxman when we need him.

  68. 68
    Richard Lambourne:

    Surely if the land is registered a search of the Land registry would reveal the owner and also if any other “interest” are registered against the land

  69. 69
    Linda Kendall:

    Can we ask if the decision to not to remove the Lease of Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club is FULL AND FINAL? WHY HAVE RDC CHANGED THEIR MINDS AFTER FIVE YEARS? WHO MADE THE INITIAL SUGGESTION? NAME PLEASE? Have they belatedly discovered the ‘Constructive Trust’ on the land Rayleigh Action Group thought might be present on the site? DOES THIS MAJOR CHANGE IN THE DEVELOPMENT SITE SER1 MAKE THE ALLOCATION DOCUMENT RATIFIED BY RDC ON THE 25TH FEBRUARY 2014 VOID? Answers please from RDC.

  70. 70
    Jim Cripps:

    Wayne @ 66 – “knees up 28th”(what/where/when)?.

    And by the way the secrecy clause was for real – I didn’t make it up………JIM.

  71. 71
    Chris Black:

    Linda @69 you are asking good questions here:
    Can we ask if the decision to not to remove the Lease of Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club is FULL AND FINAL? – I think the council is sincere on deciding against it now. And once 550 houses have been given permission “North of London Road” there would be no case for building on the club’s land. But in theory the council could still relocate them and then build – that would count as a windfall. Or maybe it could be built on if other sites elsewhere fall short (remember the end of the 5% cap).
    WHY HAVE RDC CHANGED THEIR MINDS AFTER FIVE YEARS? I don’t remember offhand if RDC has been planning this for 5 years, and I certainly can’t explain the zig-zags on this!!! Maybe it was some kind of back-up plan.
    WHO MADE THE INITIAL SUGGESTION? NAME PLEASE? Not sure…. it would only be a guess…
    Have they belatedly discovered the ‘Constructive Trust’ on the land Rayleigh Action Group thought might be present on the site? I don’t know. But I have certainly be wondering about this.
    DOES THIS MAJOR CHANGE IN THE DEVELOPMENT SITE SER1 MAKE THE ALLOCATION DOCUMENT RATIFIED BY RDC ON THE 25TH FEBRUARY 2014 VOID? No (sadly) But the 550 have to be built somewhere within the marked lcoation, unless we end up with a shortfall here, with the difference being covered in somewhere like Wakering.

  72. 72
    Jim Cripps:

    Let us not forget that the Inspector got them off the hook by extending the site Westward – which now creates the access road, instead of the ransom strip status of RTSSC as it was originally. In fact the rat-run nature of the site road is very different to the original concept of a no through road.
    Lower Barn Farm next maybe – how many changes does it take to render the original scheme null and void I wonder?.

  73. 73
    Linda Kendall:

    [EDITED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COUNCIL’S SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY] Councillor Cottis was on the [Planning Policy Sub Committee until 2007.] He claimed, in his resignation letter from the Committee, that he had made an error and didn’t understand his involvement could be a ‘conflict of interest issue’. The family have along association with RDC. In his statement of interests he claims to have family interests in thousands of acres of land across Rochford. This process started in 2006/7. The ‘Call for sites’ was one of the original processes RDC engaged in. A farmland site in west Rayleigh was put forward at that time for 1800 houses and supported by the Conservative group on the council. The resulting document produced after that initial exercise runs to 997 pages of consideration of sites. Only a few were chosen. Many ‘brown field’ sites were rejected whilst Greenbelt viable farmland, that should be protected, was agreed. Some of the reasons for rejection of suitable brownfield sites does not stand up to close scrutiny. How can a rubbish strewn reclamation yard be refused on the grounds that development would ‘interfere with the openness of the greenbelt’ when open wheat fields just yards away prove suitable? The farmland in Hall Road has been lost to development while a disused bakery on Cherry Orchard Way remains derelict, again yards away from the chosen site. Was this just incompetence on the part of those assessing the sites? I think a full enquiry is required into the whole Core Strategy process.

  74. 74
    Wayne Mitchell:

    Sorry to be blunt but apples rotten and core spring to mind….

    [EDITED – Sorry Wayne, edited in line with the RDC social media policy/code of conduct]

  75. 75
    Jim Cripps:

    Received an e mail from Countryside , an initial response to FAQ’s , fairly predictable in that all the matters regarding impact on existing Infrastructure are deflected to RDC or ECC .
    However they do make it clear that “the authorities” are not going to provide a new
    JUNIOR OR SENIOR School ( despite what it says the allocations document & RDC’s
    recent display at the Mill Hall). So that is no “new and enhanced facilities for RTSSC”,
    no new Schools – so no doubt you can kiss goodbye to a Doctors Surgery too.

    BUT the immediate concern is the lack of any RDC/ ECC committment to road and junction upgrading before construction starts ( or ever ) this is how it works –
    Bellway ( Eon Site ) do a domestic traffic assessment for their 100 +development.
    Countryside do the same for their 475 development.
    AN other will do their own for the other 100 ( fronting London Rd ).
    AN other 2 will do their own for 230 on the Rayleigh Ind Estate site.
    Odd infill builders in the area will do their own for some more.
    They will all get individual approvals because no party will be looking at the cumulative domestic impact on Rawreth Lane / London Road , let alone looking
    at the worst case which is Years of Contruction traffic in building the Rayleigh 900+,
    coincident with the Hullbridge 500 ( using the same roads ).

    SO much for the Allocations Document – it is just weeks old and already ignored , was
    there a full RDC Meeting and vote to decide on these decisions ( no RTSSC and No School ) – or are Countryside mis-informed?,

  76. 76
    Wayne Mitchell:

    Countryside are not miss-informed they and all the rest of the developers could not care less about the road traffic and the impact on the people of the sorrounding area they are there to make money and they do that by putting up as many houses as possible (fact) The blame lies squarly on the shoulders of RDC who quite clearly dont care about the good people of Rayleigh or the sorounding area’s. Its time to stop harping on about the builders and direct all the energy towards getting answers from RDC. Lets face it if Countryside can get permission from RDC to build on or so close to a flood plain without of date enviromental studies, then something very fishy is going on. In a few short years this will come back to haunt RDC but by that time the current crop will be gone and enjoying the fruits of thier labour some where else!
    And for the record when leaving the Countryside road show I overherd a lady ask one of the presenters about providing a new school for the area, to which he replied : That RDC declind the offer wishing to improve excisting schools instead (fact) Perhaps they have the spot for a new school ear marked for even more houses! PS admin: Last time I looked out the window it was a free contry with free speach so I would appreciate if this post was left uncensured ?

  77. 77
    Jim Cripps:

    The Allocations Document is now the subject of a Judicial Review launched by an individual against RDC via the High Court yesterday, on the basis of lack of effective consultation with the public & businesses.

  78. 78

    Very interesting Jim! But the “North of London Road” area was allocated 550 new homes 2 years ago, by the Core Strategy. Challenging the Allocations Document isn’t going to change that (sadly).

  79. 79
    Jim Cripps:

    Apparently it challenges the whole process ( my error to have said only Allocations Document) – the legal advice says there is a case, but who knows given the ‘system’.

  80. 80
    Christine Paine:

    A Judicial Review is all well and good Jim, but what happens if the court come down against RDC. Does it stop the development and make them go back to the drawing board, or do they just tweak things a bit to make it look slightly different, do a “proper” consultation, ignore the results like they have ignored public opinion so far, and go ahead anyway. Or does it in fact open the door for developers to claim there is no Core Strategy in place and start applying to build on any bit of greenbelt that takes their fancy. Whilst I am all in favour of challenging every aspect of this there is a point at which you have to think of the old Chinese proverb “be careful of what you wish for as your wish may come true”. Making things worse by declaring open season on the greenbelt is not the outcome anyone wants, not even RDC.

  81. 81
    Jim Cripps:

    Christine –
    1. I did’nt have any part in the legal challenge, it is a private action.
    2. I have no idea what the outcome would be, but if it did force ‘proper’
    Public consultation the profile would be so high that ignoring the results
    after High Court direction would, I suggest, be to risky – even for RDC.
    3. I do not buy the scare story of no Core Plan equals free for all, any
    Development would have to go through the process and planning permission
    with everyone ( this time ) being aware of it.
    And there is another old saying – ” you can fool some of the people all of
    the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you cannot
    fool all of the people all of the time”.
    The fact is that public apathy is what has emboldened them in the way they run
    the District.

  82. 82
    David. B:

    Will any of the travellers who will be living on the new proposed sight be paying Council tax? i.e. just the same as any other residents in Rayleigh.

  83. 83

    David – I would expect them to pay. I know some travellers elsewhere do.

  84. 84
    Jim Cripps:

    I think you will find that ECC will be running this site ( not RDC ) so who knows, this might be a Fee based system – after all they will be Travellers who move on in order to
    travel , are they not ?. Like most of the Core Plan a lack of details all round.

  85. 85
    Tom Smith:


    Is the Waste recycling centre still being moved from Castle Road to this area?

    There seem to be no mention since the council did a survey.

  86. 86
    Chris Black:

    Hi Tom – its a good question, things have gone quiet on that. I will try to find out.

  87. 87
    Tom Smith:


  88. 88
    Lee C:

    Feedback/ consultation outcomes…

  89. 89

    Thanks Lee

  90. 90
    Jim Cripps:

    Lip service as expected , ticking the ‘consultation’ box – it actually does’nt tell you anything
    because road improvements are ECC responsibilty ( who have no intention of contributing to this development)and their traffic monitoring was carried out over the Easter Break (wonder why lol).
    They are going to give you plain T junctions into London Rd and Rawreth Lane – which RDC will approve, think about it traffic turning in & out accross traffic flows at rush hour – don’t forget this is Cllr Hudson’s DONE DEAL and he is head of Planning & Transportation, am I the only one who thinks that the extra traffic is the biggest single impact out of all this?.

  91. 91

    Feedback on the doorstep is that, yes, traffic is the no.1 issue in connection with proposed developments

  92. 92
    Jim Cripps:

    Then let us begin to come up with alternates –
    Roundabout half way between Bedloes Corner & Rich Lee roundabout – two lane
    Road ( East – West ) into the 550 site , which should be linked to the 220 site ( RIE ).
    This takes all construction and subsequent site traffic off of London Rd & Rawreth Lane completely – which is essential as the Hullbridge 500 traffic will swamp Rawreth Lane anyway ( Hambro Corner ?????? No chance ).
    WHAT do you all think?.

  93. 93
    richard lambourne:

    Irrespective of the new developments this areas road infrastructure is broken

    I have been bombarding CCllr Rodney Bass, CCllr & Cllr Keith Hudson, CCllr & Cllr C Seagers RDC and ECC as well as Mr Francois about this

    rochfford aprt from “Airport” related improvements seems to have been totally ignored by the Traffic planners

    Where do the council expect ECC to magic up funds to undertake the urgent improvements needed

  94. 94

    Jim at post 90.
    No you are not the only one proposing alternative routes to deal with the Rawreth Lane congestion. I must be two years now since I sent the following suggestion to County Highways and RDC plus it has been repeated on onlineFocus at least three times. I think I got in on this long before you made any such suggestions.
    Anyway. just to repeat once again what I stated here it is for you and any councillors reading this post.

    “Any further manipulation of Rawreth Lane, such as the suggested enlargement of the roundabout, will encourage more traffic to use the route and make things worse than they are now.
    The time has come for real solutions to the transport infrastructure, and for something which at least bypasses some of Rawreth Lane. To achieve this, I make the following suggestion.
    Rawreth Lane and Watery Lane will undoubtedly fall victim to major traffic increases when the two new sites are developed on the green belt adjacent to the Rawreth Industrial Estate road and the proposed site adjacent to the east end of Watery Lane.
    It has been suggested that Watery Lane would be difficult to redevelop westward as the link to Beeches Road and Battlesbridge, makes connection to the A1245/A130 difficult.
    Firstly, I propose that the stretch of Rawreth Lane between, the junction now being discussed at Hambro Parade and the Rawreth Industrial Estate road, be left out of any new development altogether as there is no scope at all for extra capacity.
    Instead I suggest that a new north bound road is provided from a point in Rawreth Lane, somewhere near Madrid Avenue, which would then link with a section of the eastern end of Watery Lane at a point where it could be easily widened to meet the future needs of the Hullbridge development and further to the east of the district if necessary.
    Some sort of relief road like this will be essential by 2020 and beyond, so please let’s start thinking about the wider aspects of these new developments that are being forced upon us and NOT even try to ‘make do and adapt’ the inadequate transport infrastructure we already have to endure.
    I guess this will not be looked on favourably by the occupants of properties at the western end of Rawreth Lane, for which I am sorry, but those of us living at the more developed end are having to put up with greater congestion and pollution week by week and it’s now time for some positive action and discussion”.

    From what I recall, no authority was prepared to respond and I guess you will find the same Jim.

  95. 95
    Jim Cripps:

    Thank you Greenbelt , I don’t feel quite as isolated now – we need as many alternate suggestions ( as objections to the Countryside PA ) as possible , just how do we get the necessary people involved?.

  96. 96
    Brian Guyett:

    When considering highway improvement options,everyone needs to remember that ECC highways and RDC have an agreement not to do anything that would encourage traffic to move from A127 to local roads. A copy of this agreement can be found on the RDC Evidence Base. This effectively severely restricts options.

  97. 97
    Jim Cripps:

    I’ve no reason to doubt what your saying – but it is complete nonsense , are these people completely mad ? , how can continual additions not include a proportionate infrastructure.
    Seems to me these ” agreements” are designed to get both parties off the hook –
    the lunatics have taken over the asylum alright , hope they get booted out tomorrow.

    We need a bloody revolution!!!!!!.

  98. 98
    richard lambourne:

    As to the Countryside development, i suggested to various people that a new road off the Carpenters Arms Roundabout into the new development for Construction traffic and then left as the primary access………….at one of the presentations I was told that would be across greenbelt land DOOHHHHH I said youre not worried about that with the houses

  99. 99
    Lee C:

    Traffic survey appears to have been completed in West of Rayleigh, the automatic traffic counters appeared over Easter break/ Bank holiday/ half term. They couldn’t have picked a quieter period for a traffic survey to take place, typical!!!

  100. 100
    Christine Paine:

    Just one more thing to bear in mind when objecting to the planning application when it is submitted.

  101. 101
    The Mighty Oz:

    Does anybody know what’s going on opposite the entrance to the industrial estate on Rawreth Lane – I see that the “showroom” and the house have been demolished and the site cleared.

  102. 102
    Lee C:

    Outline plans have been submitted by Countryside properties. see links below

    Countryside site

    Rochford Council Site – Planning application

    case no: 14/00627/OUT

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April 2015
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Latest Comments

  • David Montgomery: The car that Clive is sitting in in the photo above has a Buckler DD2 chassis.
  • Janet Warner: AND AGAIN! On Saturday it took me the best part of half an hour to get from the Carpenters Arms...
  • Ruth Keetch: I love Rayleigh Mount…jus t taken my 7 yr old son there and told him that this “used to be...
  • Oz the Positive: A little bit of light relief, how about from the High Street down Crown Hill to Rayleigh...
  • admin: Hi Jim, yes I saw that and was going to link to it today. Will do so later on after Ron and I done our...
  • Jim Cripps: The Echo has been running a piece on the recent ( recurring ) local Highway problems for the last week or...
  • admin: Good point Geoff, as you know we reported it in February, I will make a phone call on Monday…
  • Geoff: If there is any paint left any chance of marking the junction at Harbets Way/ Downhall Park Way ?, I will send...
  • Oz the Positive: Folks, as we all just can’t get enough of the election this is a useful site ( from the BBC )...
  • Ron Oatham: The email detailing the changes went to Rawreth Parish council, not Rayleigh Town Council and to Stephen...
  • Ron Oatham: I note the bit about “maximisi ng the efficient use of brownfield opportunities&# 8221; Is that why...
  • Jim Cripps: This seems at odds with the Royal Town Planning Institute’ ;s rose coloured view in the item listed...
  • Chris Black: Oz, I’m grateful for your concern, but things are OK. Besides – and this shows that some...
  • Oz the Caring...: Chris, I can only echo James’s post @ 13. I have not met anybody that does not value the work...
  • Christine Paine: If they are among the best I hate to think what he worst are like
  • Jim Cripps: A truly stunning manipulation of the facts – you have to admire their ability to talk it up and get...
  • James Newport: Chris, you’re an excellent councillor and have my upmost respect, but seriously save your money...
  • James Newport: It’s not April fools is it?
  • admin: :)
  • Steve Tellis: I would certainly agree that Kingley Wood and adjacent parkland is a beautiful open leisure area. There...
  • Jim Cripps: Admin – I assure you it has’nt been forgotten , we have four teams of three people , each...
  • John Mason: RAG have a large team of residents working on the four main reasons for refusal just in case that The...
  • Chris Black: It’s important that we don’t forget about this appeal just because there’s an election...
  • Chris Black: Christine, I’m not sure how one defines ‘serious& #8217; here. Certainly Mike is capable of...
  • Oz the Positive: I think we can all safely say Pitt the Invisible will not be moving any time soon….
  • admin: Christine, yes if Mike overturned Mark Francois’ 22,338 majority at the last election and won he would...
  • Christine Paine: NHS should free at point of use for all British citizens. If others need medical...
  • Jim Cripps: Not living in the constituency is not that unusual for MP’s ( neither the Labour or Green...
  • Oz the Positive: Admin, depends if you have paid in or not…..alt hough what that’s got to do with Pitt...
  • admin: Meanwhile Oz do you agree that NHS services should be free at the point of use? (apart from prescription...

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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

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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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