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?


  1. 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 ?????

  2. 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.

  3. 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………

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!!!!!.

  10. 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…….

  11. 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 ?

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ?

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?.

  19. [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.

  20. 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]

  21. 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?,

  22. 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 ?

  23. 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.

  24. 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).

  25. 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’.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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?.

  31. 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?.

  32. 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

  33. 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 lets 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 its 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.

  34. 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?.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!!!!!!.

  37. 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

  38. 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!!!

  39. 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.

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