civic suite

“Grange Villa” Application Deferred By 10-0 Vote

The planning application for 47 dwellings off London Road , next to the BP/ Marks and Spencers filling station was deferred last night.

The officers presentation outlined the scheme, making the point that this land is already allocated for housing in principle as part of the council’s core strategy.

Parish Chairman Alistir Matthews then spoke against it, stressing how important the drainage/ flooding situation was for the parish.

One of the ward Councillors, Chris Black, then kicked off the debate , expressing his concern that we didn’t have full information on the drainage scheme yet. While he welcomed the provision of a new pedestrian crossing on London Road, he askd where it would be (the answer was to the west of the junction with Little Wheatley Chase). He also suggested that £45000 for park maintenance might be better spent on a school crossing patrol. He said he wouldn’t support the scheme tonight and would vote against approval.

Toby Mountain spoke next, supporting what Chris had said and also querying the road layout. Christine Mason then followed, questioning the flat dormer roofs (which are against council policy)  and asking that if the scheme went ahead, the maintenance logs for the drainage system should be sent to the council every year without having to be requested. Mike Steptoe also asked some questions and implied that the scheme wasn’t quite ready yet.

Simon Smith then moved approval – but didn’t get a seconder . So Chris Black jumped in and moved deferral , to allow time to get more information on the drainage schemes and to look at other matters, This was immediately seconded by Toby Mountain.

Chris Stanley then spoke, ramming home the point about drainage and that the County Council wasn’t working with up to date information. Simon Smith came back, asking why the proposed road into the scheme wasn’t up to adoptable standard.

Eventually the committee voted 10-0 to defer a decision, allowing time to get more information and some improvements before a second vote is taken at some stage.


harberts way

Some Faded Road Markings Reported To County Highways

Junction of Grosvenor Road and Cheapside West – reference number 2473439
Junction of Belgrave Close and Cheapside West – ref. 2473440
Junctions of Sweyne Close, Regent Close and Maine Crescent with Victoria Avenue- ref. 2473442.

Junction of Western Road with Great Wheatley Road – ref. 2473446

We have suggested that ECC get a contractor to do all of these, plus the junction of Harberts Way and Downhall Park Way (2386113, shown above)


Belgrave Close grosvenor road maine close regent close sweyne close western road

civic suite

A Busy Planning Night This Thursday…

The Development Committee  meets this Thursday at 7:30 in the Civic Suite , Rayleigh.  There are 4 items on the agenda:

  1. ) A proposal to change one of the conditions regarding the approved roundabout at the Rawreth Lane /Hullbridge Road junction. Instead of having a condition in the Section 106 that stipulates:
“Details for the provision of an area clear of the highway for the parking of operatives vehicles and the storage materials of plant and construction vehicles to be used for the duration of the construction period.”
There would be an extra  planning condition that states:
“Prior to the commencement of the development the applicant shall submit to the Local Planning Authority a construction management plan to demonstrate the provision of areas within the applicant’s control for the provision of the storage of materials, plant, equipment and operatives’ parking. The development shall be implemented in accordance with such details as may be agreed.”
2.)  For the building 34 Rocheway, Rochford:

3.) More housing proposed along London Road, Rayleigh :

4. Scout Hut at the end of Priory Chase, Rayleigh:
They are all recommended for approval, you can find the agenda here.


“Owing to the issues and difficulties the business owner is having with regard to people vomiting and urinating in the doorway to the premises”

There’s an application for a white roller shutter for the front of the shop at no. 31 Rayleigh High Street.  This was normally be refused as not being suitable for the Conservation Area. but officers are recommending approval if it is painted a less intrusive  black rather than white. This is despite objections from Rayleigh Town Council . The reason ?  The mess on Saturday mornings:

Application No :16/00323/FUL
Zoning :Town Centre
Parish :Rayleigh Town Council
Ward :Wheatley
Location : 31 High Street Rayleigh Essex
Proposal :Installation of Roller Grille to Enclose Entrance to Shop
The proposal is for a white powder coated, fully electric, roller grille to enclose
the entrance to the shop….
…The site is situated within the primary shopping frontage area, Conservation
Area and town centre of Rayleigh, as well as being located within the Rayleigh
Centre Area Action Plan.
The applicant has stated within the application that they have to clean up
mess on Saturday mornings due to the use of the recess after the pubs and
clubs have closed. This area is the doorway into the premises and the use of
the area on Friday evenings results in an uninviting access into the shop
which deters customers, and has to be cleaned before it can be used.
Comments from the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Officer collaborate with
the owner that all of the premises with indented doorways suffer
from people urinating in them. Number 31 is on the main route from the Pink Tooth Brush
to the Taxi rank and given the queue for the rank can extend beyond Ernie
Lane back to the Pink Tooth Brush, many of the shops along that stretch
suffer as they are slightly out of sight. The shops have not made complaints
directly but raise the issues in the various forums and have asked if the clubs
would provide street urinals to reduce the abuse of their frontages. It has now
become a common practice to have to wash doorways and frontage down at
weekends before opening….


You can find the full report here – it’s the second item.



We Can’t Tell You Much ….

At the District Council meeting earlier this month , there were a number of decisions taken in private and confidential. The public minutes are here but there is an appendix to the minutes for councillors only .

One of the items was about a “transfer of engagements” from Rochford Housing Association to Sanctuary. We aren’t allowed to add much more than that, except that a number of councillors voted against teh decision, in particular Chris Black and Chris Stanley.

grasssweyne park

Sweyne Park

We have sent an email to RDC asking them to:

  • Cut the grass again in the area near the rebound wall
  • Cut the grass again inside the play area
  • Mow some paths
  • Create a bigger area of cut grass so there’s more room for people during the school holidays



Beware Of Giant Hogweed!

Elena Black writes:

Please beware of the plant Giant Hogweed – it can cause very nasty blisters, like the dome-like one on my leg in the picture. There’s a 2p coin next to it for comparison . I’m not sure where it was, as  I do a lot of walking for exercise.  Fortunately it does not hurt but looks very nasty. Wikipedia describes it like this:

“The sap of the giant hogweed plant is phototoxic; when the contacted skin is exposed to sunlight or to ultraviolet rays, it can cause phytophotodermatitis (severe skin inflammations). Initially, the skin colours red and starts itching. Blisters form as it burns within 48 hours. They form black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalisation may be necessary.[9] The presence of minute amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.[15][better source needed]

These reactions are caused by the presence of linear derivatives of furanocoumarin in its leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds. These chemicals can get into the nucleus of the epithelial cells, forming a bond with the DNA, causing the cells to die. The brown colour is caused by the production of melanin by furocoumarins.

Authorities advise that children should be kept away from giant hogweed, that protective clothing, including eye protection, should be worn when handling or digging it, and that if skin is exposed, the affected area should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and the exposed skin protected from the sun for several days.”

By Fritz Geller-Grimm - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By Fritz Geller-Grimm – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

civic suite

No New Chief Executive To Replace Amar Dave

Amar Dave, the District Council’s chief executive, is leaving for another job, and the council has decided against a like-for-like replacement:

Plans have been made for the succession of current Chief Executive, Amar Dave, who is leaving the Council to take up a new position at the London Borough of Brent.
The Council has a legal duty to appoint to a number of statutory roles including Head of Paid Service, Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer. These three roles were included in Mr Dave’s role as Chief Executive, and he will retain these responsibilities until Sunday 26 June.
It was resolved at a meeting of Full Council held on June 8 that Rochford District Council’s two directors, Shaun Scrutton and Nick Khan, will take on these roles for an interim period of 12 months. Mr Scrutton will be appointed to the post of Managing Director (Head of Paid Service) and Mr Khan will be appointed to the position of Executive Director (including Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer). 
 It would be good if some of the money saved by not having a chief executive could be used to fund a few new front-line staff in overworked departments.


hullbridge planning application

Flats For Hullbridge…

New planning application just in…. demolish a house in Ferry Road Hullbridge and build 14 flats.



London Road Development Update

For those who are interested:

  • No more news yet on the big “North of London Road” Countryside scheme that already has outline permission.
  • The application at Timber Grove was withdrawn and RDC have not received another application yet.
  • The “Grange Villa” application (for 47 dwelling adjoining the filling station / Marks and Spencers) is likely to come to the commmittee on the 30th June.
  • indeerose

    The Indee Rose Trust – A Good Cause

    At tonight’s District Council meeting (about which we will write more later) , the new Chair of Council Carole Weston announced that one of her charities this year will be the Indee Rose Trust, based in Canvey , which describes itself as follows:

    “The Indee Rose Trust is a charitable trust founded in July 2009. Our aim is to help children and their families who have been diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumour.

    We provide Treasure Boxes to children who have been hospitalised whilst receiving treatment for a brain or spinal tumour. A wonderful box of treats created especially for the child. We also provide a one off grant to help the family at this difficult time.”

    … Each year Great Ormond Street Hospital are contacted by approximately 500 children with brain and spinal tumours – more than one child each day! With the Help of CLIC Sargent our referall leaflets are offered to these famillies to make contact with us.

    We aim to help every child we can with the best presents we can, and to do this we need to raise approx £100,000 a year to give each child a treasure box and provide our grants and holiday accomodation.

    Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of our children in our country, yet for some reason it only receives approximately 1% of the funding available from the government.

    You can find out more about this charity here.



    Sorry for our absence for the past few days…. we’ll be back tomorrow.