There were only three items up for discussion:
1) Demolish an existing ‘half-bungalow’ and replace it with a 4-befroom house – Clifton Road, Ashingdon. The next-door neighbour spoke against the application- he was concerned about the bulk of the new house and how it would affect his light. He was supported by Tory ward councillor Lucy Cox, who came along to the meeting presumably to speak on this item – she was walking with crutches as she had broken her toe.
However, Lucy’s speech was in vain, as the scheme was passed – by 11 votes to 10.
2) Allow an old grain store next to Rochford Hall to be used for commercial car restoration. This was refused almost unanimously, against officers advice to pass it.
3) New sports pitches off Priory Chase ,Rayleigh.
Chris Black pointed out the restrictions that had been put on other sports pitch applications in this district and then asked for the details of the planting, screening and mounding around the site to be agreed with the four ward members who have residents living near the site-m this was accepted without a vote.
Chris then asked for the formal use of the sports pitch to be restricted to Sundays only. This would hopefully avoid traffic problems , and would be in line with planning permission for sports pitches elsewhere.
However , it became clear that most councillors weren’t bothered about the traffic impact, and wanted to maximise the use of the pitches. This was summed up by Hullbridge Tory councillor Lesley Butcher, who said she would be unhappy with any restriction.
So now the letting times for the sports pitches will be at the discretion of Connaught, the council’s contractor.
I am insensed by the attitude of those councillors who were not bothered by the traffic impact for the football pitches. Of course Lesley Butcher (whoever she is) and the rest of her colleagues want to maximise the use of the pitches, that would then maximise the council profits. But at what cost? This entire attitude of the council surrounding these pitches has been one of ignorance and arrogance.
Rayleigh Boys have clearly demonstrated what their committment would have been to these pitches AND the local residents that are to be directly affected by this application. The council can learn a lot from the management of Rayleigh Boys.
My proposal to my neighbours is this, once these pitches are completed and our quality of life is compromised; start bombarding the council with complaints – hopefully in time they may reconsider their actions, and Rayleigh Boys get to manage the site.
Corey , I don’t think the counciillors were out to maximise profit – they were out to maximise the use of the pitches to help local sport.
But if that was their goal to help local sport, I think they have shot wide of the goal twice. First they have have refused to offer the site to a local club, who would have used it as a home base and had some sensitivity towards local residents. Second they have simply ignored local residents concerns.
It’s very frustrating to see some of the old faces who voted to pass the poorly deisgned road four years ago when rawreth parish council and local councillors told them it wasn’t adequate. It’s equally frustrating to see one or two fresh new councillors who hadn’t really grasped the situation.
Lesley Butcher , by the way is the cabinet member for young people , amongst other things. She’s one of the councillors I most enjoy talking to and it’s not often we disagree. I feel bad that I couldn’t persuade to my point of view this time, but the voting folllowed party lines (there wassn’t any kind of whip, that’s how the votes fell)
So Lesley Butcher is cabinet member for young people? What is it exactly that she is doing for the young people in Rochford District? In the 3 years now it has been since i put a deposit on my house, this has been the first time I have heard her name, yet have lost count of the amount of times I have commented on lack of provision for the youth of our town.
Corey, One prominent Councillor wrote, in one of her flyers, just before the local elections that the youth of this town should join the Scouts or Cadets or something like that. That just goes to show how outdated some of our Councillors are when dealing with youngsters!
Perhaps that councillor needs to step down and make room for someone with vision!