So, we had the first proper meeting of the “Local Development Framework Sub-Committee” tonight.
The meeting was held in committee room 4 – and nearly 30 members of the public came along (mostly from Rawreth). The room was packed – if any more people had come the meeting would have had to move downstairs to the council chamber.
County Councillor Stephen Castle came along to observe – the only County Councillor to do so. Most of the Rawreth Parish councillors came too. There was no sign of the press….
The gist of the meeting was this :
– the government is insisting that the district council allows 4600 new homes to be built in our district up to the year 2025.
– 1100 of these will be on sites where there has been some kind of previous development – ‘brownfield sites’
-2500 must be built on the Green Belt up to the year 2021
– another 1000 must be built on Green Belt between 2021-2025.
The proposed figures for builiding in the Green Belt up to 2025 are:
“Rayleigh – North of London Road” – 650
Rayleigh – South West – 100
West Rochford – 550
West Hockley – 50
South Hawkwell – 330
North East Ashingdon – 120
South East Ashingdon – 500
South West Hullbridge – 540
South West Great Wakering -360
North West Great Wakering – 150
South Canewdon – 150
You might think it strange that a lot of Rawreth residents came along when their own parish wasn’t mentioned in the report. However the proposals have Rawreth receiving more housing than any other parish – because “Rayleigh – North of London Road” is indeed in Rawreth. Moreover, there’s an extra 200 intended for Rawreth by building on the Rawreth Industrial Estate – so the total figure for Rawreth is 850.
The Chairman of the committee , Hockley Conservative Keith Hudson, is trying hard to get all-party agreement on these figures – in the same that there was all-party agreement on the new recycling scheme.
However Chris Black voted against these figures tonight – saying that it wasn’t possible to come to a decision without seeing what infrastructure would be provided. The only way he would consider voting for these figures would be if a list of new infrastructure was welded onto the housing figures. The only justification for building some houses on the farmland north of London Road and south of Rawreth Lane would be if the remaining green belt there was protected forever by becoming a country park or something similar..
When it came to a vote the figures were accepted by 5 votes to 1. The next step is the next committee meeting , probably on October 14th, where we may see a list of infrastructure improvements.
We would be grateful for comments and suggestions, especially from those who came along tonight.