A Letter From Coral




We’ve just received the following letter from Coral, who have asked us to publish this on onlinefocus. We are happy to do this…

Also please remember we will stay impartial on any future planning application in advance of whatever development control meeting it goes to..

Dear residents and local interested parties,

Thank you once again for inviting us to the public meeting at St Nicholas Church last month and allowing us the opportunity to participate. We thought it was very worthwhile for my colleagues and I to hear the concerns of residents and those who have an interest in our application. As promised we would like to respond to the comments that were raised at the meeting in addition to those made on this blog. By using this media we hope to reach everyone who has an interest in the proposals and we believe it also allows us the opportunity to explain our position further and our plans for the revisions to the proposals as stated at the public meeting.

First of all, after due consideration of the views of both residents and Officers, we withdrew the planning application which was due to be heard at Committee at the end of August. Whilst we would still maintain our view that the four reasons for refusal recommended by Officers were ultimately resolvable, we feel the appropriate action is to withdraw to allow us time to alter the scheme and resubmit shortly. At present I have our architects working on revised plans which we feel will deliver a scheme which meets our objectives whilst meeting the aspirations expressed residents at our meeting.

Taking each of the reasons for refusal in turn, I can confirm we are looking into providing additional private amenity space for the proposed flats. Whilst this was a matter only raised by Officers, we hope this demonstrates our attempts to resolve all matters arising from our first planning application.

We also plan to reduce the number of flats from 19 to 16 which will reduce the overall size of the development, will reduce the number of vehicles on site and will create suitable space to provide amenity space for the properties.

The overall footprint of the building will be reduced and the number of ground floor units will be reduced from 6 to 5 to accommodate the ground floor amenity space. This is a significant concession as the previously approved, however we feel on balance the scheme is still workable. We have gone away and thought very hard about the composition of these 5 units and the issues of ?vagueness? in what would be provided and the concerns that ?pubs and takeways? would eventually dominate this group of shops. As I stated at the public meeting it is not our intention for such uses to be dominant and as part of our resubmission we will be providing a suitably worded condition providing the security that both the public and Officers hope for, whilst not being overly prescriptive and restrictive when we take the units to the market. We have experience at agreeing similar conditions with other Councils. Once again we would like to say that it has always been Project Coral?s intention to provide a scheme which will result in a vibrant shopping facility with no vacancies. It would benefit neither the developer nor the local public should an overly restrictive planning consent lead to units being unoccupied. As set out by our planning consultant the existing planning permission has been approved for a mixed use building with 7 ground floor units with no restrictive conditions. In this context I sincerely hope that you will see our revisions as a significant gesture of our commitment to seeking a balanced solution.

It was also evident at the public meeting and from other comments we have read, that the retention of a community use is an important matter for residents. We continue to support the possibility of a D1 use such as a dentist occupying one of the five units.

The reduction in the number of residential units also overcomes the recommended reason for refusal relating to the insufficient level of residential parking. ?Whilst we believe their request for 1.5 spaces to be unreasonable considering current sustainable objectives and national guidance, through providing at least 24 spaces in support of 16 units we will meet the maximum parking standard. We also took on board the resident?s comments relating to parking pressures locally and the concern that our scheme will lead to residents parking on surrounding roads.

The remaining reason for refusal relates to the provision of affordable residential units. Whilst many residents questioned the need to provide more affordable units, Cllr Oatham did make the point that there is a continued local need for such accommodation expressed in planning policy. Since submitting the application we have continually stated we would provide affordable units to meet the Council?s requirements. This will be clarified within a revised submission.

I would hope the content of this letter demonstrates our continued commitment to this scheme and the balance we are trying to strike to deliver a locally acceptable development.

Through the application process and the consideration of a scheme at Committee by Members local stakeholders have more control than they would have through the appeal process. The Asda scheme was approved at appeal and the Inspector decided it was unnecessary to attach any conditions restricting the use of the units. This consent has been implemented and is valid in perpetuity forms the basis for the current application. Considering this history and the existence of this unfettered consent, we believe that if we had let our first application be taken to Committee, and the Officers recommendation was endorsed, we would have had a very strong case at gaining approval through appealing the decision. However, this is not a route we wish to take and through the changes proposed and our willingness to agree a restrictive condition we hope we are showing considerable flexibility in our approach and our desire to address local concerns.

As was stated at the public meeting we have been in constant dialogue with Officers since submitting our proposals in June 2008. We met with them in late August and will look to continue this relationship in the future. As stated above we withdrew the application to undertake the appropriate revisions. We plan to resubmit an application in the short term and will endeavour to keep residents and local interested parties up to date with our progress.

Once again I would like to thank those who attended the public meeting and who have expressed their views. Should anyone have any questions at all our consultants at Planning Potential can be contacted on 0207 357 8000.

Kind Regards?

Nic Morgan

Project Coral

About the author, admin

  • Nic makes some valid points, which I feel many have forgotten over time. In all probability had this gone to appeal, am confident Project Coral would have won the appeal based on previous officers recommendations when ASDA appealed. To cut the number of properties and retail unit, will ultimately cost Project Coral considerably in lost revenue.

    The proof really is in the pudding, and I see no reason to doubt what Nic has said, but I believe he has listened to what we all said at the meeting, in conjunction with his meeting at RDC, and is finding a compromise.

    It goes without saying that this site will be developed. I see little point in wasting energy in getting angry or frustrated over this fact. I for one would rather this development than an ASDA petrol station. Perhaps local residents could divert their frustration into tackling the anti-social behaviour that is taking a hold on our streets, that way the youth of Rayleigh will get used to knowing that this site is not a place to hang out and make a nuisance. I have to say this is something I have been tackling to try and ensure the quiet enjoyment of our homes for all of us!

  • I am glad to read about this positive and substantive process. It seems that talking and listening to one another – and attending to the detail and the complexity! – is the better road to travel!

    Should any further public consultation be felt to be useful, I shall be glad to host you all in St Nicholas’ building for another round of talks – coffee and biccies on me!

    Paul (parish priest)

  • Still no company registered address, companies house registration details, VAT number or website details for “Project Coral” so we can check their credentials – find out who they really are representing – instead they constantly hide behind ASDA’s consultants Planning Potential…

  • Here it is from Companies House


    NG12 2EQ
    Company No. 06505628

    Status: Active
    Date of Incorporation: 15/02/2008

    Country of Origin: United Kingdom

    Company Type: Private Limited Company
    Nature of Business (SIC(03)):
    None Supplied

    I have found this address on the below link at £433k (the Value has droped by £36k on last years value)or rental value of £1,732 to £2,065.
    It is an detached, Freehold, 5 beds, 4 baths, 2 receps.


    Also to note that there is also an
    ‘Project Coral Ltd’ (Incorp No. 06423437 Incorp Date 09/11/2007) at the same address.

    hope this helps.

  • Yes, Graham very interesting, thank you!

    Project Coral Ltd have only been established for 10 months. Project Coral (Rayleigh) Ltd for 7 months. Their registered address is a 5 bedroomed residential property…

    I’d be interested to know what other Companies they have been or still are Directors for…And what happened to those businesses… (I have found a listing in Dun and Bradstreet for Nic Morgan Ltd but this appears to be an accounts)

    Admin, Project Coral promised to provide generic details of all the “numerous” similar schemes that they had been responsible for in the last 19 YEARS i.e. generic business types occupying shopping parades built on land shared by an established Supermarket. Have these statistics been supplied yet please?

  • The Echo have an article on this here.

    Perhaps some residents would like to leave a comment there – it would be useful to give Echo readers a link to onlinefocus so they can read Coral’s full letter !

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