Alarm Bells For Rawreth

From the Echo:

RESIDENTS are fighting to save their “idyllic” village from plans to build 365 new homes there.
Hawkwell is one of the places Rochford District Council says must cope with extra housing to help the district fill its Government housing quota.
Whitehalll has told the council it must find room for 2,200 more homes by 2021.
But villagers say so much extra development would destroy village life as they know it. And they insist local roads and schools would be unable to cope with so many newcomers.
Hawkwell Action Group has organised a petition to fight the development and recently staged a meeting attended by 350 residents.
Roy and Christine Roostan were at the meeting. Mr Roostan, 68, said: “I’ve lived in Rectory Road for 19 years and my wife for 33 years. It used to be idyllic.
“We fully realise these houses have to be built somewhere, but why 365 in one place, in Hawkwell?
“It will turn our village into a town and destroy the way of life for the 4,000 residents.
“The strength of feeling is very high. Hawkwell just doesn’t have the infrastructure to cope.
“We are worried it is a done deal and we have not had a chance to have our say on it.”
The action group says three sites have already been earmarked for the homes – a field off Mount Bovers Lane, land behind factories in Main Road, near Thorpe Road and fields behind Rectory Road at Windsor Gardens.

Rather than adding to the villages, Hawkwell Parish Council believes the district should fill its quota by building a brand new community to the west of Rayleigh.

Rather than adding to the villages, Hawkwell Parish Council believes the district should fill its quota by building a brand new community to the west of Rayleigh.

Vice-chairman Vic Leach, has written to the district council expressing his concerns about the “inevitable” loss of green belt land and urging the burden be shared equally across the district.

Keith Hudson, district councillor responsible for planning and transport, said a decision on the issue would be made in the autumn.

He said: “The procedure so far has been for a call for sites’.

“Any landowner is entitled to put forward their land for consideration as a suitable site for housing, industry or commerce.”

“To the west of Rayleigh” can only mean Rawreth. Perhaps some residents of the small , equally idyllic village of Rawreth should be going over to any meetings in Hawkwell to remind them that the most recent suggestion from the Conservatives was that the western end of the district was likely to get twice Hawkwell’s alocation anyway.

And something doesn’t make sense:

You can’t say “the district should fill its quota by building a brand new community to the west of Rayleigh.” and at the same time say “the burden be shared equally across the district.”

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  • We have already been told, for example, that there will be no major infrastructure improvements undertaken by Essex County Council as Highway Authority. The same is true for other services. We should not be surprised that as the UK economy deteriorates and stagnates for 10 years that even the small promised improvements will disappear.The economics of the developer are also under pressure now and this will not improve for a similar period. My view is that residents across the district fear that the proposed larger developments of 300 housing units upwards cannot be sustained without major infrastructure improvements which in turn the developers will see as uneconomic. But the district could take a series of small developments, say 100/150 in places where the infrastructure could be specifically and locally improved by the developer and where, of course, the LDF clearly states to developers what the Council wants to happen to achieve that. I would urge that Councillor Chris Black and all the Members of the Planning Policy Sub Committee recommend a development strategy for areas and specific sites where this can be achieved.

    What views are there on this from residents please?

    By the way I understand from Councillor Keith Hudson that “we have had a day when we travelled together around the district looking at various proffered sites.” Lets hope that they had this thinking in mind when they did !! Still as Keith says in the Echo article above “a decision on the issue would be made in the autumn.”

  • In an economy where house prices are tumbling, where builders are putting back release dates on development for the simply reason cost to build houses has increased, price to sell has decreased, therefore lower profit margin for developers. It amazes me that this is still on the agenda? There are developments still in Rayleigh (Quest End for example) where over a year has now passed since the development was completed and there are still properties to sell. Properties on the Coppice Gate development have taken a huge hit in price deterioration and still they do not sell. As is the same all over the country. We do not currently have a stable economy in which consumers feel it viable to sell and buy – so why is it the powers that be (the monster raving labour party) still insist on this over the top development figure, and still insist on it happening. Ultimately what will happen, the properties will be built, the infrastructure can’t cope, people move out. Property prices tumble further!

  • I agree with you Corey and another problem for the large, listed developers is that their share prices have dived in the last few months, not just fallen but nosedived. This means it will be more difficult for them to borrow the funds to finance any major developments and if they are able to borrow, the interest rates will have a premium on them which will enevitably be put on the price of each unit. It’s a never ending circle of the Government not backing down on this figure and the units being built at a more expensive price and more houses going unsold.

    Shouldn’t the Government just say, look we will not impose this figure in the interim, at least until the country gets through this recession and back on it’s feet and then look again? The people these houses are being built for cannot afford them anyway. Inflation is on it’s way up and people are losing their jobs, it just is not the right time to push this stupid command through.

    I think it is about time Gordon Brown woke up and ‘started smelling the coffee’ (as they say)!

  • Shouldn’t RDC be putting pressure on the East of England Regional Assembly? They’re the people who plucked these numbers out of the air in the first place (or did they find them on the back of a fag packet?).

  • Sid, It is more convenient for the Council to blame the Government and carry on planning development than to challenge what has been decided. If our councillors had the same amount of ‘get up and go’ as the residents of Rochford District we might now be in a position where we actually admired and appreciated our leaders rather than not respecting them. If the leaders of Rochford Council became more vocal and challenging instead of weakly accepting orders there would be a groundswell of support and this would be taken up by other councils. We have read tonight about poetic license when developers promise things but in reality these promises turn out to be pipedreams. I said yesterday that Gordon Brown should Wake up and smell the coffee, well I think that should also apply to Rochford District Council leasders. What we need is ‘Leaders not Puppets’

  • A good example of how our infrastructure is at breaking point is the A13/A127 this morning. The A13 shuts and everything diverts onto the A127, everything grinds to a halt. We do not have the excess capacity anymore to cope with incidents like this.

  • Even the new A130M was at a standstill, but then it hasn’t got anywhere else for the traffic to go until they build the Canvey Thames Crossing…..

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