Vic Leach

We have heard the very sad news that Vic Leach, a former District Councillor and Chairman of Hawkwell Parish Council, has died.

Vic was a key player in the Lib Dem administration that ran the district council in the 1990s. He was a fine councillor and campaigner, but above all he was a great guy- clever, caring, funny and brave. He was liked, admired and respected across the political spectrum.

He will be missed by many, and our thoughts are with Vic’s family.

Consultation On Hockley Woods Playarea – Open Until March 19th

From the District Council website:

“Local families are set to benefit from £45,000 of funding for Hockley Woods playground– and we want your views on how it should be spent!

Rochford District Council is celebrating the news that we will be receiving the funds from Cory Environmental Trust to improve and maintain the popular site. 

A public consultation for this exciting project will run from Monday 6th March to Sunday 19th March 2017.  The results of this consultation will be used as part of the decision making process as to which design will be implemented.  The aim is to have these new facilities available by the school summer holidays. The playground area remains open in the mean-time. 

The majority of the equipment that is currently in the playarea will be retained and repaired.  The hexagonal swings (which are currently out of action) will be removed, as well as the springers, making way for the new equipment.  When we started this project we used information from previous ROSPA inspection reports, previous consultation data and catalogues to come up with a specification for the play area companies to work to.  

In addition to the new play equipment, we will be installing a sun canopy which will have picnic benches underneath. This will provide shelter from both the sun and rain and enable families to enjoy a picnic in a dog-free environment.  The  benches will be made from timber coppiced at Hockley Woods.”

 

You can take part in the consulation , on which particular equipment designs to buy, by clicking here.

Development Committee Meets On Thursday

The Development Committee meets on Thursday to decide 3 applications:

  • In Stambridge : 3 flats between 7 and 13 Cagefield Road (not green belt)
  • In Rayleigh : 2 cycle shelters at the Approach Car Park. Only coming to the committee because it is council land.
  • In Hawkwell: A yard in Ironwell Lane, for change of use from agricultural to part storage , part business and light industrial,. The area involved exceeds 1100 square metres and is in the green belt. The application  has been called in by Cllr  John Mason

Support A Positive Idea !

It’s nice to have a positive idea to support –  and you can add your support to James Newport’s Ice Rink idea here.

“I want to get the Town Council to consider the idea of an Ice Rink in Rayleigh over the Christmas period, but need the support of our residents. I’ve create an e-petition here to collect all those names of residents who will support the idea. Once I reach 1000 signatures I will commit to carrying out a feasibility study to present to the council. Come on residents – let’s all get our skates on!”

 

Frances Cottee Petition Reaches 1500

One of the District Council rules is that if someone submits a petition with 1500 names and addresses concerning a council issue, that issue will be debated at Full Council. It’s never happened before , but it will now, because we understand there are now 1500 names (1474 online, plus more on paper). The wording of the petition is pretty straightforward:

Petition Overview:

The Council should refuse to place homeless persons in Frances Cottee Lodge and the Clarence Road flats in Rayleigh.

This concerns the plan to use Frances Cottee Lodge to provide temporary accommodation for the homeless, and the plan to lift the restriction which currently limits the residency to those aged over 55 in the accompanying Clarence Road flats.

Local residents feel that such a hostel would be inappropriately placed in this location. Sanctuary Housing’s plans to push these changes through are being carried out with no regard for the community or the current residents of Frances Cottee Lodge and Clarence Road Flats.

The Council should refuse to use this accommodation for emergency housing and should find alternative accommodation either from property in its portfolio, or buy new property on the open market. 

Let’s see what happens next…

Crofters Site Set For Refusal

WE wrote recently about the closure of Crofters , and a planning application on the site:

Parish : Rawreth Parish Council
Ward : Downhall And Rawreth
Location : Crofters Beke Hall Chase South Rayleigh
Proposal : Outline Application To Demolish Cattery And Kennel Buildings And Enclosures And Redevelop Site To Provide Two Dwellings

Officers are now recommending it for refusal on the following grounds:

REFUSE
1
The Allocations Plan 2014 retains the site within the Metropolitan
Green Belt. The purposes of Green Belt allocation include the
prevention of unrestricted urban sprawl of large built up areas and to
assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment. It is
considered that the proposal would be in conflict with these two
purposes of Green Belt land, due to the proposed positioning further
south of the two, three bedroomed bungalow dwellings than the
existing development, further encroaching into the Green Belt.
Therefore the proposal is considered to be inappropriate development
upon Green Belt land, negatively impacting upon its open character,
contrary to Policies DM10 of the Development Man
agement Plan, GB1 of the Core Strategy as well as the Green Belt guidance provided within
the NPPF. The proposal would be contrary to Policies DM10 of the
Development Management Plan, GB1 of the Core Strategy as well as
the Green Belt guidance provided within the NPPF.
2
No heritage assessment has been undertaken as to the potential harm
to the setting of the nearby listed building
3
Notwithstanding the submission of an arboricultural assessment, it was
not possible to evaluate the potential harm to the trees on site as there
was no information submitted in respect of layout. Details of layout is a
reserved matter, and the submission of an illustrative plan is insufficient
to enable a proper assessment to be made
4
The proposed development would amount to inappropriate in the
Green Belt contrary to paragraph 89 of the NPPF. It is considered that
the proposed development would not meet the exception criteria, as it
would result in greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and
the purpose of including land within it.
5
The Rochford District Council Development Management Plan states
that redevelopment of previously developed land in the Green Belt to
residential, retail or other uses which are more appropriately located in
town centres (e.g. office, commercial, leisure and community uses) are
not supported. Residential development should primarily be directed
towards the District’s defined residential settlements; sporadic
development that is poorly related to existing development, services
and facilities can negatively impact upon sustainability. The proposal
would not therefore represent sustainable development.

38 Degrees And The NHS

.The campaigning organisation 38 Degrees have got a website tracking the NHS in each local area – you can find it here.

They state for South and Mid Essex:

16% of patients in your area wait more than four hours to be seen in A&E. The official government target is a maximum of 5%.
£407m is the funding gap for the NHS in your area.

The Future Of Fairglen

As the Echo reports here,  the County Council has plans to improve the important Fairglen junction , where the A127 meets the A130. However they haven’t announced exactly what plans they have – they will be making an announcement to coincide with some consultation sessions.

The County Council website explains this a little further:

Options for short and long term schemes to safeguard and provide capacity to this junction until 2045 will be presented at two public information events in February.
These events are set to happen on:
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 between 1pm to 8pm at the Holiday Inn Basildon (Lakeside Suite – Waterfront Walk, Festival Leisure Park, Basildon, Essex, SS14 3DG)
Thursday, 16 February 2017 between 1pm-8pm at The King John School (Main Theatre – Shipwrights Drive, Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 1RQ)
Funding has been secured for the majority of the short-term scheme, which is programmed to be open by 2022.
Funding for the development of the long-term scheme will be sought through bids to Central Government as well as financial support from Essex County Council and development sites along the A127 corridor.

This could be very important for all the people who drive through this junction every day.