Chris and June Get The Point Across….




Our colleagues Chris and June Lunley have been out leafletting in their own ward, Grange – and the Echo has picked up on what they have said about future housing:

LIBERAL Democrat councillors in Rayleigh have renewed attacks on plans to build at least 800 new homes on the border of the town.

Councillors Chris and June Lumley say the infrastructure of the area is already over-stretched and will not be able to cope with the new homes.

The couple, who represent Grange Ward, have joined with Lib Dem councillors in Downhall and Rawreth in fighting the scheme, which has been earmarked by the Tory administration for farmland between London Road and Rawreth Lane. Mr Lumley said: ?Although it is not in our ward, the impact of extra traffic will be keenly felt.

?It is difficult at certain times of the day to pull out of drives and side roads into London Road now, and the impact on doctors and schools has not been considered.

?What is annoying is there are other greenfield and brownfield sites in Rayleigh, such as off the Hockley Road and the end of Bull Lane.

?But every time it comes to extra houses they always pick our side of Rayleigh.

?Unlike the other major routes in the town, such as Hockley Road, Eastwood Road and the High Road, London Road does not have any connecting roads to dodge the traffic.

?All the side roads feed back into London Road and you cannot escape a traffic jam.

?We just do not have the road infrastructure to cope with such development.?

It’s nice to know that we can be on the same wavelength – without having a whip.

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  • Thank you june and chris, it is good to have someone else trying to explain why these plans are not good and, are totally flawed. The traffic problem in London Road and Rawreth Lane has become critical and, with all these extra houses will cause absolute gridlock.

  • The real issue here is that there is inadequate infrastructure across the entire district. The policy of scattering extra housing across the district means that there are no economies of scale to help remedy this.

    It is noticeable that all the RDC plans currently out for consultation (eg Core Strategy, JAAP, HAAP) all omit proposals to deal with roads. The one exception being proposals to upgrade Cherry Orchard Road as part of JAAP. All the plans will mean more local traffic but RDC seem to have given up trying to deal with the poor infrastructure.

    So wherever it is proposed to site these houses will face the same problem. Chris had the right approach when he proposed ‘dragging feet’ on implementing the Core Strategy. Would be good to see support for him on this.

  • Although the comments were supposed to help why not go the whole hog and say no more building on green field sites in Rayleigh /Rawreth. The comments about building at the other end by Bull lane are miss concieved as this is far more densely populated than the bottom end of Rayleigh/Rawreth already.A united line on Enough is Enough is required not moving the issue to another part of the town.

  • Martin has only read the comment that is quoted out of contect by the newspaper. I am not saying build in other parts of Rayleigh, what I am saying why has the London Road area been used as the housing sponge for Rayleigh over the last 40 years when basicaly the London Road is a single roadway. Chris L

  • Martin,
    Rawreth residents and the Parish Council, have put forward a plan to accept new dwellings in and around the village it’s self, which will incorporate more people into the village and give them an identity with a community, which they won’t get in the middle of a ‘green’ field site on the outskirts of Rayleigh.
    There is already a church, parish hall and community garden in the village and I very much wonder if such excellent facilities have even been considered for this other site being heavily considered.
    The Rawreth proposal is mainly on existing brown sites and would be great for the village.
    Unfortunately, locals have been told by a reliable source, that the recent visit by the LDF committee virtually dismissed it out of hand. Two comments I heard, were “that the committee did no like the location” although it is closer to a mainline station than the North of London Road site. The other was that “it did not have any local shops”. Well what’s the problem with building some shops? Again no vision by our elected representatives!

  • Absolutely right, why is it that we can all see the real problems but RDC have chosen to ignore all our comments and ideas. My belief now is that no matter what anyone says RDC have already firmly made their decision and nothing is going to change it.

    Once again, people who have local knowledge and understand the situation are being ignored. Even the NHS are saying a health centre in Rawreth is totally wrong.
    This new centre is needed to serve Rayleigh, Hockley and Rochford, who on earth wants to come all the way to Rawreth for health care services. They should be central to the district.

    Dragging feet and “enough is enough” is most definately the right course of action, certainly until after the next General election.

  • Lyn, don’t get too despondent, the decisions aren’t made yet and the coucnil is well aware now of what people in Rawreth / West Rayleigh (and Hawkwell) are saying.

  • Chris,

    My perception is that this is being driven by the PCT, not the council, who appear to have simply included what the PCT asked for. Your comments suggest you may disagree – can you please clarify?

    Either way, it is important that as many people as possible respond to the current PCT consultation on their new strategy ( by 10 April.

  • Is this health centre the same one that was proposed for the parade of shops near Asda? Or was that supposed to be a doctor’s surgery and the health centre is something additional?

  • Brian, I can’t say for certain, but my perception is that the PCT want to build a primary care centre and it is RDC who have suggested “North of London Road”. They probably didn’t tell the PCT that this meant Rawreth.

    ST1: You are right, they were planning something extremely similar at Park School – but Asda got in there. If a site IS allocated in Rawreth, there’s a good chance history could repeat itself with another supermarket.

  • Admin, Is the land that has been earmarked for this new huge housing development the fields that are currently owned by a prominent Councillor?

    If that is the case and the land is deemed greenbelt, is there absolutely no recourse to challenge the sanity of building on this rural oasis in a town that the Council seem hellbent on building into an urban nightmare.

    We have already witnessed the rise in anti-social behaviour and petty crime, this madness will just drive law abiding people out of the town.

    Why do some of our Councillors, together with our esteemed Planning Department, seem to ‘have it in’ for Rayleigh instead of making it the place of choice for people to live?

  • Mike

    I have just engaged in an email discussion with Councillor Keith Hudson, who is the Cabinet Member and Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at RDC. I can see no reason why I cannot quote from him given that the process of allocating the housing,which is required by the Government, is conducted by public consultation.

    Quote “It is my intention, and always has been, that each conurbation supports the needs of its own community, as far is practically possible given the not inconsiderable natural constraints of our district.” End Quote

    I had not realised that was the policy but may be it does fit somehow and in some ways with the “Fair Share for All” basis that has been aired here and there.

    Please excuse the references to Hawkwell and Hockley but you could substitute Rayleigh.

    Quote “Geographically Hockley and Hawkwell are the same conurbation. It is the responsibility of the planning sub committee to identify the most appropriate location/s for new homes within or adjacent to any given conurbation. It would not be my intention to trade between conurbations, that would undermine the basis of my assessment, unless of course a particular conurbation requested more than was deemed absolutely necessary.” End Quote

    I hope that explanation helps Mike and will add to your understanding of the process and all other readers of “Online Focus”.

    As a Member of RDC I find it necessary to keep asking questions myself so that I understand the process and I see part of my role to communicate what I find to residents of the District.


  • Mike : we believe the land is owned by the family of District Councillor, who has declared an interest and stays away from council meetings that deal with this.

    We will be writing a bit more about the Local Development Framework over the weekend.

  • John / Chris, Thanks for reply. John you talk about fair share for all which is all well and good but we go back to the point that was thrashed out 18 months ago, that Rayleigh has been vastly over developed over the past 10 to 15 years, there was no fair shares for all initiative then.

    It should be recognised by Rochford Council that Rayleigh has suffered greatly with the overdevelopment and the social consequences that has followed and should not suffer more than is really necessary, I do not believe this is really necessary!

    I assume that Hockley is still to get just 50 new houses, I do not accept that this is a fair shares for all allocation.

    The people of Rayleigh do not want or need another development of 800 houses on a greenfield site. This is completely at odds with public opinion and thoughtful dscision making.

    If the decision goes ahead and this development is completed it will be just another nail in the Tory coffin for the Conservatives of Rayleigh. We were narrowly defeated at the last local elections in Rayleigh, the next time will be different.

    I understand unpopular decisions sometimes have to be made but this is just madness, for Rayleigh, RDC and the Tories.

  • Yes, the Liberal Democrats were narrowly defeated at the 2008 District Council elections in the Rayleigh seats, by the English Democrats for second place. The total votes cast were

    Conservative 3979
    English Democrat 1184
    Liberal Democrat 1178

  • Hilton, my comments were aimed at the Town Council rather than the District and the Conservatives were concerned enough to bring into Rayleigh some of the heavyweights such as Mark Francois, for plenty of doorstep plodding.

    The Tory leaflets were also, lets say, ‘wide of the mark’ in some districts!

  • Hello Chris and Mike

    I shall respond to your various comments in turn.

    In a little over a year from now we shall have a Conservative Government and large Conservative majorities on Essex County Council, Rochford District Council and Rayleigh Town Council. The housing targets will be swept away so it will be a completely new ball game.

    I am surprised Mike that you say your comments relate to the Town Council elections because, as you know, it is the District Council which has responsibility for the housing plans. In fact the total votes cast last year in the Town Council elections were

    Conservative 7935
    Liberal Democrat 1612

    so I am not sure why you say it was close.

    I don’t know why you should be surprised that our MP was out helping local council candidates. Surely that should be expected of an MP and I am sure your candidate at the 2005 General Election and your candidate for the next one (if he/she has been selected} would also have been helping in the campaign.

    What about the Lib Dem Liberal Democrat leaflet in Wheatley ward which told an outright lie about the way John Pullen had voted?

  • Hilton, I’ve corrected your typing error (which was minor).

    As for Mike’s comment about a narrow result, he lost by 46, I think.

    As for ‘the housing figures swept away’ , it would be nice to think so, however I doubt whether land allocated for development and approved by a government inspector could be clawed back…..

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