3 Retail Applications in Downhall And Rawreth

Things have been a bit busy manic the last few days, so we’re a bit behind in writing about some planning applications:

  • As some of our onlineFOCUS readers have already commented, there is an application in from Asda for an extension to their delivery hours.
  • There’s also an application from Makro for extended opening hours.
  • There’s also an application at Pattens Pools for a Certificate Of Lawfulness for “Proposed Use of Site For Retail Purposes Within Class A1 Not Limited to Sale And Display of Swimming Pools and Associated Goods” (We had an enquiry about this earlier in the week)
  • Asda: This is an application to alter the planning conditions for the Asda store , so that the retail foodstore can accept deliveries of sales goods between the hours of of 0600 to 2300 Hours on any day.
    The application reference is 08/00280/FUL and you can find the application (and leave comments) here.
    You can see various documents, included Asda’s consultants’ supporting documents and the Appeal Inspectors Decision on the approved application, here. Asda’s consultants say that the current restrictions on deliveries of stores severely hampers the restocking of the store.

    Makro: Makro are asking for permission to open their store 0600-2200 Monday to Friday, 0600-2100 Saturday and 0930-1900 Sundays and Bank Holidays. the reference number is 08/00217/FUL and you can view the application (and leave comments) here.

    Pattens Pools: The applicants are asking for a Certificate of Lawfulness from the council that they can use their premises for selling other things than swimming pools.

    To put it simply, if you have been doing something for a number of years without explicit planning permission , you can apply to your District Council for a “Certificate of Lawfulness”. If you have been doing the activity for long enough, the Council may have to issue you with a certificate to say that the activity is now legal, even though planning permission wasn’t granted in the first place. The applicants here are asking for a certificate for “Class A1” uses.

    Class A1 uses are: “Retail uses, including shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, travel agents, undertakers, dry cleaners, sandwich bars, pet shops, showrooms, hire shops and post offices among others.”

    They do not include include restaurants (class A3) , pubs (class A4) or hot food takeaways (class A5).

    The application reference number is 08/00282/LDC and you can find it on the District Council website here and leave comments if you wish.

    About the author, admin

  • Interesting that the ASDA consultant quotes the government guidance for town centre planning and retail. Obviously he has no idea that this store is nowhere near the town centre and therefore is a somewhat mute point to make. What is also interesting to note is that they say the current delivery restrictions impose problems with the restocking of shelves. If this is such a problem for the store, why is it that their night shelf stackers are doing during the night? Shelves with dry goods are almost empty first thing in the morning – my Sister in Law informs me that this is the same for ASDA in South Woodham Ferrers.

  • It seems to me to be very poor planning on the part of Asda if they could not foresee issues with re-stocking before they opened. Afterall, they must have known about the delivery restrictions, and it’s not like this is the first store that they have opened.

    With regards to Macro, can they open for that long on a Sunday?

  • I can’t help thinking that some better planning (the logistics type!) and better communications between HGV vehicles could also achieve the same result for Asda. Perhaps time that they began to think outside the box?! After all it is a residential area and perhaps even more so in the future.

  • On going back to look at paperwork re the ASDA planning application it states in the report to the Planning Services Committee: ‘Concern has been expressed about the impact of HGVs, but the applicant states that the store will only require four large ASDA delivery vehicles per day (8 trips). A further 8 deliveries from other providers (16 trips) would also be required, but it is anticipated that these will be undertaken by smaller vans to include bread and milk deliveries. Given the concern expressed by residents at potential nuisance from deliveries the applicants suggest a condition that deliveries would not be before 7.00 hrs and not after 23.00 hrs on any day. ‘

    So the applicant suggested the condition!!! The whole thing leaves me speechless!!!

  • That’s rubbish, the ‘Other Provider’ delivery lorry I saw at 6.05am (as previously stated) was an artic the same size as the Asda lorries. It was painted white with no company logo’s.
    Asda has no control over the providers lorries and should not be advocating this. More spin by this untrustworthy company. Don’t believe them!

  • The problem here is the word anticipated (a little like making assumptions). You can’t anticipate otherwise this type of scenario will go on and on. You have to have firm regulations, otherwise……..

  • Corey. Have you tried to get a meeting with the Manager at ASDA Rayleigh? Surely he/she will meet with neighbours (and customers) to discuss how these issues can be solved for the good of the local community. As a business it’s very much in their interest too. They spent 2 weeks recording the postcodes of every customer at the checkouts recently, so they will know where they are not “winning” business and will want to act to resolve this.

  • Hi Trevor, I met with Matt Featherstone (General Manager) just before the store opened, concerning 24hour opening. Since then, I have been in every couple of weeks with a complaint over one thing or another – too be honest, it falls on deaf ears. They have absolutely no interest in being good neighbours – Last Thursday I was told I would get a call from him on Monday after I complained about service yard noise late at night – I am still waiting for that call.

  • Hi. That’s a great shame as he should be looking at the bigger picture, particularly if we all get elected and strengthen our team further. Even from a commerical point of view, it makes more sense to keep one’s neighbours and customers happy! As they are breaking the law with their noise, is our new community police officer worth a try? At this stage, this could be resolved over a civilised, round table discussion. It’s so frustrating when these large organisations fail to use common sense!

  • Asda Application 08/00280/FUL Variation of Condition 14.
    Are we being deceived by the notification from the Planning department?
    The notification displayed on RDC’s ‘Public Access site, the same information displayed on this onlinefocus site (above) and the written notification I received dated 15th April all differ from the YELLOW NOTICE posted at the front of Asda in Rawreth Lane.
    The yellow notice includes these extra words “THIS PROPOSAL INVOLVES MAJOR DEVELOPMENT”
    I do not understand what is going on but I will be seeking an answer.

  • Following my last posting re. the Asda application 08/00280/FUL, all is not as bad as it seemed.
    Below is the explanation of the situation from Mike Stranks at the Planning Department.

    “The requirements for publicity of planning applications require that developments of a certain size threshold are subject that in addition to neighbour letters , be also subject to site notices and a press advert. It is required that the press advert and the site notice specify the application type , such as departure, EIA and in this case major development. This is because development of this nature is considered to have wider appeal beyond the interest of immediate neighbours. It is required that the notice and press advert state the application type. It is not neccessary for neighbour consultation letters to do this because they have been written to in any case.
    Caught by this requirement are ammendments to applications. Whilst the proposal does not increase the size of the building the proposal is to vary an application that was for a major development. There is no hidden agenda.”

  • There have been rumours about this for several months – but according to the district council, Asda have made no planning application for a petrol station, have discussed no planning application and have denied any intention to have a planning application for a petrol station!

  • I wouldn’t be surprised. No one at ASDA can seem to explain the “petrol station sized” piece of un-prepared land at the front of their car park.

    Their staff are using it right now but ASDA don’t know what’s planned. A piece of land at the front of their plot, hmm. Let’s see, what could it be for?

  • Is it not possible for someone at RDC to push ASDA for news on this development, and impose a time scale for works to be completed on this plot of land?

    Was it part of the planning conditions that this land be used for mixed use retail/apartments? If not why not? We have all witnessed how Walmart bully their way into getting exactly what they want.

  • In response to Richard Levy:

    It is not only the staff at Asdas who are using the gravel parking at the moment. Many of the residents from the Keyworker flats opposite are using this too as the car park provided only has enough space for one car per flat – many of the flats have multiple residents each with individual cars (shift workers all require their own cars!) and since whichever contractor it is that owns the road laid down double yellow lines this is where we have been told we can park. If this does become a petrol station/parade of shops or whatever the latest rumour is, there will be a lot of annoyed people without parking spaces!

  • Sarah, many thanks for leaving a comment and welcome to onlinefocus.

    Councillors should be trying now to make the Priory Chase / Temple Way area as good a place to live as possible. But looking back , I think there’s been so many planning mistakes.

    Perhaps the most obvious one is when the district council agreed on the design and width of the road before knowing what was going to be built opposite the houses and flats ( see https://www.onlinefocus.org/?p=83 ) That’s why the road is so narrow that Asda have put down unofficial yellow lines.

    Asda already have planning permission to build the neighbourhood centre building – in fact that’s what they were supposed to do, although there’s no signs of them doing it.

    All I can say for now Sarah is that we will keep a close eye on what’s going on. If Asda apply for a different building on the line, or there’s an official consultation on having real yellow lines, we’ll make sure residents have a chance to comment either for or against.

  • I am concerned that this will become another of those “if anyone takes up the option to build” scenarios that often seem to occur on new developments. A piece of land is designated for “community use” – doctors, cafe etc etc and if the local Doctor or whoever does not wish to take up the option the land simply lies empty for a period of time.

    Then, a developer steps in and buys the land and builds houses, flats etc on the land.

    Having seen the original plans for this land – shops, surgery, offices and flats above – I hope that the original development does go ahead. However, perhaps I was under the wrong impression, but I did not think it was Asda that were to do the actual building.

    Also, in accordance with what Sarah says, the vast majority of people using this land appear to be tenants of the flats opposite. However, surely they cannot expect to have free parking spaces for good on this land. If you purchase a property without a parking space then, of course, it is your job to find somewhere to leave your car – but whether the present lines are enforceable or not, I am sure lines will exist outside the apartments – and it is illegal to park withing 9 metres of a junction anyway. So at this time the tenants will have to find somewhere else to park presumably. Perhaps they could strike a deal with Asda.

  • It is clearly obvious to me why ASDA put the unofficial yellow lines down – they needed somewhere to park their lorries before 7am and during the day when the service yard is occupied, without the road being blocked because of parking along the houses.

    In response to your post Chris about Councillors doing what they can to make this as good a place to live as possible… other than yourself, Jackie and Ron, who else on the council has shown an interest in this development?

    I had posted on this site before the need for litter bins to be erected. It is sadly noted that these are still not insitu, and as a consequence the litter along the planting, around the store front and indeed in the staff car park is at a totally unacceptable level. It is clearly apparent that ASDA don’t give a monkeys about keeping their landscape attractive, nor do they seem to consider that litter attracts vermin – do we really want to be buying food from a store that has a problem with rats? Do we really want to live on the doorstep of what will eventually house a rather large nest of them?

    The council at large (yourselves excepted) have paid little interest to date in what ASDA are doing, and as a result the rate payers of Rayleigh are the ones that’ll be suffering, nay, ARE suffering!

  • With regards to the planned community centre/shops/offices near Asda, what kind of shops could we expect to see there? The Asda would be in competition with most types of shop, as are the existing shops at Hambro Parade.

    Would these new buildings get the use of Asda’s carpark? I can see this stretch of road becoming a real parking nightmare due to planners not having real-world concepts of vehicle ownership and useage.

    Also, an observation from cycling past Asda and into Sweyne Park last night, there is no drop-kerb/crossover to allow cyclists to get from the road onto the bridal path that takes you into the park. The kerb is huge in the area of the turning circle outside the school (although the final road surface hasn’t been laid yet). Is there a plan to fix this, or are cyclists supposed to ride along the pavement along this stretch? I’m too old to learn to bunny-hop my bike up the kerb as it currently is.

  • ST1 – I was under the impression that cyclists should not use bridle paths! Please correct me someone if I am wrong in my understanding. Cyclists are, to a pedestrian, more of a hyndrance than horses because at least you can hear the hooves of a horse approaching you, but on several occasions walking around the bridle path with my grandchildren we have been surprised, to say the least, by a cyclist, adults not children, speeding around without any thought of whom may be approaching in the opposite direction.
    Please confirm, someone, if I am right, or wrong, in my assumption of the uses of bridle paths.

  • Cyclists are allowed to use bridle paths, they are not allowed to use footpaths. Obviously any road user should take care to look out for other users of a path or road, but I am not suprised that this is not always the case.

    With the tall hedges and tight corners along this particular bridle path I always take care that I can stop in time should I come across another user. That’s just common sense.

  • STI/Rita.
    I think you will find that the route on the left hand side of Priory Chase leading to Sweyne Park is wider to allow for cylists. When the rest of the road and path from ASDA is eventually surfaced I expect the markings to go on as they have in Rawreth Lane this was if memory serves correct part of the 106 Agreement in 2001 which is why there is no drop kerb at the entrance to the BRIDLEWAY. Cyclists can use bridleways and they should be aware of other users but unfortunately due to the speed they go round the bends and the fact that parents let very small children rush off in front on bikes without brakes, there have been a number of very near misses and at least one rider has fallen off. Please take care on this route so that all users can enjoy it.

  • From talking to workmen who didn’t resurface the 10 feet outside my house is that Temple Way is the responsibility of Wimpey, Priory Chase is down to ASDA!!

  • Essex Bridleways Association – I have no objection to any of the horses who use the bridleways as they have consideration for anyone else who may be using the paths, but I still maintain that cyclists who are indiscriminate in their use are not as considerate as perhaps ST1 appears to be. On the occasions that my grandchildren and I have been walking – not letting young children loose on brake-free bikes – we have been startled by the speed and inconsideration of the cyclists involved. Perhaps it would be a good idea for cyclists to have some form of recognition – a form of registration number – so that their actions could be reported to the police, that might work.

  • Essex Bridleways Association, I got the impression that the pavements along the road past Asda were going to be designated as shared foot/cycle paths, because as you say, they are very wide. I chose to cycle in the road because they were not marked as cyclepaths at the moment.

    Having said that, along this short stretch of road you have the Asda entrance, the Asda service entrance, and the entrance to the sports centre. As a cyclist, this means having to stop/slow at each junction, and involves bumping up and down drop kerbs. It’s actually nicer and more convenient to cycle in the road, where you would have right of way over vehicles going in and out of the side roads/entrances.

    I don’t want this to sound like an ungrateful rant, I think it’s good that someone has thought to put in some cycle paths. I’d certainly want my kids to use them. I just wonder if perhaps a slightly wider road with marked out cycle path may have been better, or even to put a drop kerb by the path to the park as an alternative for those prefer to ride in the road. Are these cycle paths actually designed with any input from someone who may use them?

  • I did think the cycle path marking at the junction of Rawreth Lane is a little odd?

    There is no drop kerb to get from the road to the cycle path, then you have to jump off your bike at the lights walk a couple of yards round the corner, back on your bike for 20-30m then the cycle path ends and again no drop kerb?

    I also came out of the park, cycling to ASDA last week and thought it a little odd you could not get into the road and ended up riding to the leisure centre entrance.

    As for number plates on bikes, why not add them to horses, baby buggies and scooters as well!!

  • Ian, I had exactly the same thoughts as you when I got to the Rawreth Lane Junction, the markings just end for a short while, no sign posts, no stop lines. I get the impression that the current provision of cycle paths is a bit of a “ticking the box” exercise? Maybe some residents near Asda will disagree, but this doesn’t appear to be a particularly busy stretch of road, other than Asda and the Sport Centre it is largely residential with no through route for traffic. I can’t see it having much use even for kids, as they would have to brave Rawreth Lane before they reached it. And as for the short cycle path in London Road that starts one side of the railway bridge and ends the other side, what is that all about?

    The places that really need cycle lanes are the busy through routes like Rawreth Lane, London Road, Downhall Road, Crown Hill etc., but these are much harder to do, particularly when roads and pavements are already narrow. The A1245 could also do with some provision for cyclists, as could the one way system in the High Street.

  • Canterbury Close resident:

    None of the residents of the Keyworker flats ever expected to have free parking spaces for good on gravel area within Asda’s car park. But as shift workers we cannot be expected to manage without our cars which means they need to be parked somewhere!

    What makes me laugh is that the entire Priory Chase has been plastered with double yellow lines when some of it could be used for parking and yet Rawreth Lane has no double yellows on it, does that mean if we lose the gravel space we can then park on Rawreth Lane? Because I’m sure that would be a lot more inconvenient to people driving down that road.

  • Canterbury Close resident:

    None of the residents of the Keyworker flats ever expected to have free parking spaces for good on gravel area within Asda’s car park. But as shift workers we cannot be expected to manage without our cars which means they need to be parked somewhere!

    What makes me laugh is that the entire Priory Chase has been plastered with double yellow lines when some of it could be used for parking and yet Rawreth Lane has no double yellows on it, does that mean if we lose the gravel space we can then park on Rawreth Lane? Because I’m sure that would be a lot more inconvenient to people driving down that road.

    PS Thanks for the welcome Chris. It’s good to know there is somewhere where I can actually find some information regarding Priory Chase for a change!

  • Welcome aboard Sarah, like you I have struggled (in the past) to find anything that affects those of us on the Coppice Gate development (I live on the Priory Chase/Temple Way junction). The only place I have ever found relevant, meaningful information that effects residents has been on this site. However, be warned, this site should carry a health warning in that it does have one rather annoying side effect….. and that is what has become the daily (or twice or thrice daily) compulsion to log on and check the posts!!

    Keep coming back Sarah, and keep posting.

  • Re the ASDA problem, what we have to remember is that they are a giant in retail outlets. They have their own inhouse lawyers who are probably one of the best paid legal team around and, more importantly they have fought and won against the most hard nosed American states. They know exactly what they want and how to achieve it. I am sorry to say our planning department are no match for them. We fall into the same category as SWF and other councils of the same size. The only way this can be taken forward is if the residents take control of challenging ASDA, just as we did with the 1800 houses the council wanted to build in Rayleigh. ASDA cannot control what we do, only what the planning department do. If the feeling is that strong then write to your councillor everyday, write to the planning department every day, the papers and the MP. Get Mark Francois involved and see if he helps or opts out!

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