Football Pitches Passed


The application in Old London Road , Rawreth for 8 football pitches for Academy Soccer was passed last night.

The public gallery was almost full with supporters and young players from Academy Soccer – who were all impeccably behaved. The item was first presented by the case officer Mr Michael Stranks, we then had public speaking with Parish Councillor Alistir Matthews (against) , Mr Bird for Academy Soccer (for) and local resident Mr Collins (against).

Ward Councillors Chris Black and Ron Oatham then moved refusal, because of the impact on traffic and on residents, bearing in mind the poor condition of the road, the closeness of the chippings bay and the 11 pitches already there next door, and that Rayleigh Boys and Academy would both most likely want to expand in the future.

When he summed up , Chris Black quoted from the officers report:

The organisers of Rayleigh Boys Soccer have expressed their concern
that a further 100% increase could cause a very serious and potentially
dangerous situation. They have stated that they had seriously underestimated
the amount of traffic they would generate. Academy Soccer is
asking for 130+ parking spaces, therefore generating a huge increase in

However, the refusal motion didn’t get much support from other councillors and so the application was passed. Chris did get two extra conditions added – the permission was specifically tied to Academy Soccer, and the car parking spaces were for football use only.


  1. Very disappointing. Yet again Planning Officers and RDC have completely ignored the comments and concerns of the Parish Council, local residents and even the established football club who feel the extra traffic will create danger. The contempt with which they treat the people of this District is beyond belief.

    Chris, in view of the extra traffic that will be generated is there any chance of getting the issue of warning signs in Old London Road looked at again. Pedestrians and riders use that road and they are going to be in literally mortal danger now. Already I won’t walk round there on a Sunday when the football pitches are in use, having been almost forced into the ditch on one side and the brook on the other a couple of times by reckless speed from cars going to them. Looks like I’ll have to give up Saturdays at some time in the future as well.

  2. Christine, there’s a pretty good chance of getting signage, and maybe some other improvements now. Mr Collins and myself asked about signage, and Shaun Scrutton suggested taking it to the Local Highways Panel.

    Most of the councillors who are on the local highways panel were at the meeting and I got an immediate positive response from some of them. After spending one hour studying this site in the council chamber, they now understand the problems.

  3. They’d understand it even more if they came out and actually physically looked at the road and tried to walk in it. Still, that’s probably asking too much. If you want some photos at all let me know, I can easily walk round there with the camera and take some.

  4. Christine
    They really have no idea what ever improvements are made it will never make any deference, the traffic will remain the same an absolute nightmare. As one councillor quoted to me the football season is getting longer as we have experienced over the past couple of years so goodby to our weekends and the charity functions we and our neighbours put on,family gatherings What about our human seems football comes before anything. 18 football in such a small area cannot be right.

  5. Couldn’t agree more. I know that if planning is turned down there is a right of appeal. Is there any right of appeal for those who have planning approved over their objections does anyone know?

  6. Collins, you should know by now that we live in a country whereby Kids rule, anything they want must be granted. Forget your rights to peace and quiet, as long as little Johnny has his football then that’s ok. And before the parent police get up a posse to drive the three of us out of town, I bet you would not be so keen on football pitches in YOUR road….as long as it’s someone else then who cares…..

  7. It was admitted that Council pitches were in a very poor state at the meeting .It is one of the reasons that clubs are looking to help themselves,as well as status and inter club rivalry .I would submit that pitches are underused, when the extra fields were bought at Raweth many moons ago ,it was to provide many more pitches .The drainage was so poor that the bottom field was left to naturalise and the second field has not supported as many pitches as was hoped . When Rayleigh Wyverns rugby club Little Wheatleys, drainage was so appalling that for half a season there were no matches .They are now made very welcome at Runwell and have changed their name accordingly. My conclusion is that RDC have no real wish to provide pitches of a good standard and would rather leave it to the private sector to help themselves,still I suppose that is the way of the political world .

  8. Oz, the parent posse are already after me, there is no other point of view than theirs!

    A. Matthews – I’m not sure Academy are going to fare much better on that field. We know it has poor drainage and floods and with the road on one side and chipping bays on the other there is little they can do by way of land drains etc. They may find that the generous gift of a field is not actually that generous at all when they can’t use it several months of the year because of flooding. Their hard standing for car park, buildings etc. will also increase the run off onto the pitches making it even worse when it floods, which we all know it will because it always does.

  9. I think the Tory plan everyone is missing here is loads more houses on the un used playing fields, Grove is un-used now ,Fairview is not even half used ,the leisure centre will not be used at all as academy have a new home and the other club is leaving and king Georges will next year have no teams playing on the pitches the latter 2 having £120,000 worth of drainage done to them in the last 3 years. That is why no account for public opinion was taken into consideration by the Councillors hundreds of traffic movements and 48 ton lorries unloading within 30 feet on a bend just proves the highways, planning and the elected elite do not give two hoots about the residents or they are incompetent or something more sinister. Well done to the councillors who did vote against and did not tow the Whip line.

  10. That is so devious ,it must be true! Rawreth playing fields plus the site put forward by rawreth Parish Council would negate any need for Rawreth Hall land !

  11. I still think there should be someway to appeal this decision, especially in view of martin’s comments. Academy could easily have gone to these un-used/under used pitches, no need at all for new ones.

  12. Hands off Rawreth Playing Fields. The park behind them is Susie’s absolute favourite place for a walk, it’s where she meets all her friends and they have a good old time chasing and jumping all over each other.

  13. Sorry Christine did not mean to upset anyone especially Susie! My tongue was a little in my cheek !But hey not a bad idea ! Perhaps Cllr Hudson was missing tonight measuring up the playing fields already !

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