Application For Sports Pitches Kicks Off

The District Council is now dealing with it’s own planning application for 5 youth football pitches and an extended car park off Priory Chase in Rayleigh. The car park extension will provide an extra 70 spaces.

The application number is 07/00881/DP3 and you can find it on the council website here.

That “07” is interesting because it shows that the application was ‘received’ by the council in 2007 – in fact last September. But it was only ‘validated’ on July 18th.

As always , District Councillors such as Ron, Jackie and Chris have to stay impartial in advance of the planning meeting.

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  • Hey Admin! Is there not a conflict here? The Council dealing with their own application is surely a conflict. If there was a an equivalent body in local government, as the FSA is to finance, they would step in. And on the same subject, I would have thought acting as a Town/District councillor AND a County Councillor at the same time gives rise to accusations of a conflict of interest issue too!

  • Mike, I’m so inclined to agree with you that I can’t even be bothered to waste my time in putting in an objection. Let’s face it, the tories have a history of not listening to the people, so they certainly won’t listen to us on this one. As it’s the council that want it, they’ll pass it!

    I think I am going to let my Photinia Red Robin hedge grow another foot or three next year so I don’t have to look out at all the cars that will have nowhere to park, other than outside of my house!! Well it’s either grow my hedge of keep my driveway clear while I park our two cars on the road outside of our house!

  • I feel the statement made on the application about junior pitches up to the age of Under 18 is ill concieved.

    The pitch size of both Junior pitches are only suitable for U11 to U12 football ,the minimum for under 18 pitch size is 90m x 45.5 (see FA website for confirmation) This means the junior pitches are only any use for the first two years in junior football.

    The council could not wait to go alone on this project where they could have worked with any of 3 football clubs.
    At least we can all sleep in our beds at night in the knowledge it has been left to the experts who know what is reqired.

  • At last there is some movement on this. It is very important that these pitches are usable asap. Rayleigh is sadly lacking in football pitches and this will only get worse when King George field has the drainage work completed putting it out of use for 12 months. This area should have been placed in the hands of a local club under supervision. The clubs know the rules and regulations and would have a clear interest in its development and up keep. The lack of pitches could drive clubs out of Rayleigh or even into non existence.
    Written as Chairman Rochford District Sports Council

  • As the pitches are not going to be under the control of any club, they should be under the control of the leisure centre, and bookable through the leisure centre. That way, the area can be suitably fenced off, and only in operation during the leisure centre opening times. If this area is going to be accessible 24/7, I wonder how long it will be before goal post are vandalised, or it becomes a meeting point for the yob culture that regularly meets on Priory Chase, causing further disturbance! The residents quality of life on this development is already questionable, this additional burden on residents will, if not managed properly, will have a further negative consequences for those facing that area.

  • Corey – I agree the pitches should be the responsibility of and be controlled by Rayleigh Leisure Centre

    This site should be fenced off to prevent unsupervised access etc… to prevent vandalism and youths congregating and causing nuisance etc…

    It should also be screened from the road preferably with trees etc…
    a) to help with noise reduction
    b) to prevent lazy parents parking up on Priory Chase to watch their children play – from the warmth and comfort of their gas guzzler.
    c) To make the view better for those residents unfortunate enough to overlook the pitches

    I am particularly concerned with the proximity of pitch no 4 to the road and homes.

  • As a resident of Temple Way what are the options here? Can we start a petition on the estate to put local homeowners views to the planning committee? Its quite clear from this site that some residents would prefer if a club had control. Whether we like it or not pitches are going to be there as this was a condition of the development of the former Park School site, so much better if the area is controlled by ‘local people’ as opposed to a host of people who may reside anywhere accross the district. Chris your guidance please.

  • Kris, to put it bluntly most of the councillors haven’t been listening to the public re the clubs issue – or thinking about the effect on residents. The cabinet decided to keep the pitches under direct council , and the review committee went along with that. It was very frustrating that neither committee would actually let anyone from the clubs speak to them.

    Now we have a planning application, and I have to stay impartial in advance of the meeting.

    Who controls the pitches is NOT a planning issue. You can include it in any letters you send, I suppose, but it isn’t a planning issue. Restrictions on hours and days of use, and whether or not the pitches are used for other sports as well ARE planning issues.

    At the planning meeting one member of the public is allowed to speak in favour of the application, one member of the public is allowed to speak against. I don’t see why both speakers couldn’t both be local residents if they held the appropriate views.

  • Chris, parking on Priory chase is that a planning issue? a club in control would largely eliminate that. With no one directly responsible on a match or training day that particlar road will turn into a car park like it does for 15 minutes before and after school which is not a problem as it is only a short amount of time. But for hours as opposed to minutes every weekend is a different matter. I know there is additional parking planned but anyone who has been to Grove or Fairview on a football weekend will know parking soon spills out into the neighbouring roads because people choose not to park in the car park. For example Leisure Centre users park in Priory Chase as opposed to the car park provided as they want to be 10 metres closer to the front door!

    I would have thought the residents satisfaction that the site will be managed correctly is a planning issue and frankly should be a main concern.

    Who will that member of the public be and how will they be selected? The target determination date is 17th October is that when a meeting will be held?

  • Kris, the sport pitch application is likely to come to the September meeting .

    Could I come round and see you this weekend to discuss the application in more detail – please drop me an email if you are interested.

  • I own one of the houses that will overlook these proposed football pitches.
    The issues that these pitches will bring will affect my quality of life and affect the price of my house. With the credit crunch/recession and the Asda Supermarket bringing down the prices on this estate already, if and when I need to move house I am already in a predicament without these football pitches. George Wimpy had informed me that the land concerned would be left alone as fields. Furthermore my Solicitors did not bring to my attention these plans when searches were conducted.

    With regards to these pitches, what concerns me are:
    -Unsightly view

    The parking issue is difficult to sort out without imposing strict parking restrictions along the end of Priory Chase. It would be a shame to do this but as the pitches are so close to the road it is inevitable that some of the pitch uses will park up right alongside the pitches on the road, instead of the Leisure Centre car park. I would hate parking restrictions and would like some other way of guiding people to park in the allocated car park. If there were any parking restrictions would they be enforced on a Sunday morning when it is likely to be at its worst?

    The unsightly view and noise could be dealt with by the perimeter of the field, alongside Priory Chase that overlooks our houses, being lined with trees, and high mounds of earth be put in place to shield the houses from sound and the line of sight of football pitches. Is this a possibility?

  • Dave,

    What is possible is difficult to say. Getting local opinion accross to the council will be even more difficult as they are essentially in charge of approving their own application. I keep banging on about this but by far and away the best solution is for a club like my club Rayleigh Boys to have control. Part of our plan was to appoint 2 residents to the committee who were not members and had no other interest in the club other than ensuring the land was managed to the satisfaction of the residents. Dave it seems you would have fitted the bill nicely.

    All is sure is the pitches will happen as said before it was a condition of the re-development of the Park School site.

  • Dave,
    I echo your concerns even though I am fortunate enough that my property does not overlook the proposed football pitches.

    I too asked the Wimpey Sales Team what was planned for this piece of land and I was told that they did not know as there were no plans!! But as they lied about ASDA I don’t think that anybody will be shocked by this revelation!

    I can’t see a reason why an embankment surrounding the pitches can’t be created with the planting of trees etc… If these pitches are a “done deal” then I think that this is an excellent compromise!

    Fingers Crossed….!!!

  • Planning permission for an embankment around the pitches is a good idea but as Lords Golf Club was refused permission for a similar application would the Council be in a position to submit such an application to themselves.
    If they were to grant this, Lords would have every right to contest their refusal.

  • Dave, Kris and TWR – We’ve all been lied by Wimpey’s. They said whatever they thought we wanted to hear to ensure they sold these overpriced properties. I have to say that despite being desperate to sell, the price drop is such that we had made the decision to dig our heels in and put up with living here for at least the next 5 years when hopefully the economy will have sorted itself out and we’ll at least break even if we move.

    I have come to the conclusion that RDC have no interest in listening to the public and will do whatever they want. It was interesting to read that only one person can speak for the decision and one person can speak against this. I’d like to know how those two people are going to be selected, but I bet the council will select people that live the other side of Rayleigh and are not going to be affected as we are.

    Here’s a thought – let’s hope it’s a long time before highways adopt the road, that way it’ll remain a private road and RDC will not be able to do anything if we barracade the road. After all we’re not preventing access to the pitches because the car park for them is accessable via the Leisure Centre Carpark!!!!!

  • Greenbelt,
    I am not aware of the Lords Golf Club application.
    Was the proposed embankment overlooking houses? If so were the houses so close? And what was the size of this embankment?
    I’d hope the council would deal with this issue on its own merit.

    Indeed fingers crossed. I also think trees and an embankment would be a good compromise. Just a solution to the parking problem to solve.

    Yes quite posibly some form of regular ownership of the pitches would bring about responsibilities that would benefit the local residents.

    Lets see how the council will deal with this.

  • Dave,
    Lords is on a far greater scale than the football pitches application but the principle could be the same. However, looking back through correspondence it seems embankments of less than 2m high do not require planning consent.
    If you are interested in the Lords application, use the archives section on the menu bar and go to 24 June under the heading ‘All Applications Refused’. There is plenty more on this site, just follow the links.

    The full application can also be viewed on RDC’s web site at ‘Planning application 08/00214/FULL’ for Lords Golf & Country Club. It is worded in part “Reshaping and Landscaping Parts of the Existing Golf Courses” and the recent decision on this was REFUSE PLANNING PERMISSION.

  • Corey,
    I cannot dispute that but, as I have stated to Dave, it’s the principle the planners have set which may cause problems. I hope not for the sake of all in Priory Chase affected by this.

  • Corey, re your comment

    It was interesting to read that only one person can speak for the decision and one person can speak against this. I’d like to know how those two people are going to be selected

    Believe it or not the ‘one person for either side’ was a great step forward- until a few years ago there was no public speaking. It was a Lib Dem initiative that finally dragged a reluctant council kicking and screaming to accept even this.

    Selection of speakers is more or less at officer discretion – and they seem to get it right, as I’ve never heard a complaint about it.
    With something like the Coral scheme, I would anticipate that the speaker for would be Planning Potential – Coral’s consultants- and the speaker against would be a resident – perhaps someone will put themselves forward at Tuesdays meeting.

    With the sports pitches application, a speaker against would presumably be a neighboring resident. I don’t know who the speaker for would be – maybe someone representing sporting interests, or a neighbour who supports the creation of sports pitches.

    But I don’t see why someone who supports the application couldn’t still ask for certain conditions to be imposed if they wished.

  • As I cycled past the overgrown wasteland of the location of the proposed football pitches today, I can’t believe local residents would prefer to look at this and to drive to other parts of Rayleigh with their children to watch them play football.

    I’m not a football fan, but isn’t Rayleigh short of football pitches? However, if a local club is not in overall control, I can see a problem in lack of ownership.

  • Surely parking restrictions outside the School will be put in place shortly, now that the road is made up? I assume some sort of zig zag lines etc?

    Will that the prevent parking on the School roundabout at weekends too?

  • Why would they need parking restriction outside a school that is at the end of cul-de-sac? Especially considering the school is about to embark on its third year in September without incident since there is curretly no restriction. What also needs to be considered there is that the school is a Monday to Friday operation, Sunday footballers will therefore park outside the school. Another consideration is that currently there is no timeline for the road to be adopted by the Highways Agency. Therefore this is still a private road, restrictions outside the school would not be enforceable.

  • Corey

    All schools have zig zag lines outside to prevent parents blocking the entrance and causing an accident. In fact, there has been an incident recently too.

    I am aware the road is still “private” but has recently been made up outside the school and, as the Walking Bus Co-ordinator, cannot wait for the lines to go in. The School places two cones on the road each morning to keep a cars width of the road clear outside its entrance – and the Chelsea Tractors still try and squeeze between them.

  • CCR, as a former teacher, I am fully aware that schools have zigzags on public roads (Priory Chase is not a public road and therefore currently no requirement for lines to be put down). However, as previously mentioned, Highways have no timeline (as per my discussion with them several weeks back) to adopt the road. Therefore whilst it remains private, there is little hope for any zigzags going in. In actual fact the school has no basis in law to even put cones out and if inconsiderate parents choose to park between them, they have every right to do so.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone this behaviour, but lets face reality here. It was reported recently on this website that there were insufficient funds to put a crossing in at Downhall Park Way. The current condition of Priory Chase is poor, it puddles in several places when it rains. Highways will not accept the road in the current condition, and will be down to ASDA to make good Priory Chase, and Wimpeys to make good Temple Way prior to adoption.

    Considering how long it took for ASDA to organise the works previously, and time taken by Wimpeys to effect repairs, coupled with fact that Highways currently are low on funds. It will be a long time coming before Priory Chase becomes a public road

  • Thanks Corey

    The School were advised, by Essex County Council Road Safety Team, to place out the cones to allow the Walking Bus a clear pathway up to the school gates. As I said, we have already had one child go to hospital in an ambulance and are doing all we can to prevent more going the same way. As a qualified Lawyer, I am aware that this has “no basis in law”. But one would hope that common courtesy would prevail?

    Believe it or not, there are some parents who, despite us having permission from the Sports Centre to park there, still feel that that short walk from there to School is too much for them and their children to cope with!!

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