Beauty Studio Application to go to Main Committee

A planning application for a beauty studio is causing some controversy. It’s a rather small application – to convert some derelict toilets at Lubbards Farm , Hullbridge Road ,Rayleigh into a beauticians studio with up to two staff. The link to the council’s website with details of the application is here.

Hoewever Lubbards Farm is in the Green Belt, and there are complicated rules regarding the re-use of redundant farm buildings in the Green Belt.

Despite it’s small size, planning officers are concerned that

“Although there is a mix of uses on the site, including recreational, farm and pet food shops, office and light industrial units, the use proposed is considered to generate an additional amount of traffic and activity due to its service nature and this would adversely affect the character of the Green Belt….

….It is considered that this application could encourage commercial activity away from town centre shopping area, affecting the vitality of these areas, which in turn harms the character of the Green Belt…

….The applicant has provided insufficient information to demonstrate why a more accessible or central location has not been considered….”

The application was down for refusal without being discussed by councillors. However Chris Black, together with Hullbridge Tory Councillor Peter Robinson, has ‘referred it up’ to the next Development Control Committee Meeting at 7.30 on August 24th.

As always, councillors have to keep an open mind on applications until the actual meeting. However, we would welcome any comments from residents.

  • I think this would be an ideal site for a small beauty salon, hassle free parking, a relaxing area away from the hustle and bustle of a noisy town centre.

    One of the points for refusal is,

    ‘ It is considered that this proposal could encourage commercial activity away from town centre’

    I find this quite amusing as a few people on the planning committee are in favour of the ASDA supermarket proposal in Rawreth Lane and this SUPERSTORE of course, would NOT encourage commercial activity away from the town centre!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It would kill it completely.

  • Chris. once again I am amazed by the employees of RDC. The Beauty Salon will not generate as much traffic as Lubbards Farm Shop on a Sunday morning. There will be no massive need for parking and certainly far less cars than the farm shop generates. Lets look at the cars with the mums who take their children swimming at the pool, or the fitness centre. Here there are masses of people in an oout of the “green belt area” that has to be a joke after all the building sites that RDC have generated in our little town. Taking into account that Jo Embrey will be working alone lets take in some mathematics the shop serves anynumber of people in any hour i.e. twenty people, twenty cars. Jo however has one client an hour, some treatments two hours. Lets look at the clients who don’t turn up one or two hours waiting around for work. to me at the most I am seeing six cars or perhaps on a good day eight, as one leaves the other turns up. Added to which most of her clients actually live in the area so will walk. I’m sorry but I think this is the most ridiculous reason for not granting the permission needed, also her client list is already in existence. She is no more likely to take customers away from the High Street than Having an ASDA store in Rawreth lane would help the High Street. I sincerely hope that someone has seen sense this evening.

  • When I was informed by Joanne, my beauty therapist of 10yrs, that she was hoping to relocate to Lubbards farm, I thought that she could not have chosen a more ideal location. I already visit the site approx every fortnight and could incorporate my appointments into these visits. I have never been to a beauty salon in the High St, nor would I wish to due to:
    1)paying for parking I would be worried that my alloted time would expire thus spoiling my treatment
    2)noise generated from shoppers and traffic
    3)high cost of leases for shops/units is reflected in prices
    4)lack of privacy – I would not want other shoppers to know I was visiting a beauty salon.
    I note that one of the reasons Head of Planning refused this application was because it was considered as “retail” . However Joanne has never sold or tried to sell myself any beauty products. Therefore I think she should be categorised as a “service” rather than “retail”.
    Secondly, I do not understand how it can be one person’s responsibility to decide what the people of Rayleigh do or do not have available in the High St. I can think of numerous shops that are needed in our High St, and a beauty salon is not one of them.
    I understand that this application was approved by Rayleigh Town Council at one of their recent meetings. What then is the point of RTC, who surely are acting as the voice of our community, when their opinions and decisions can be overturned by RDC.
    I hope that after reading this I have given some people food for thought. To lose such a good therapist as Joanne would be a great shame. She has worked extremely hard for the past 10yrs building up her clientele; many of whom see her as more than a therapist, but also as a confidante, and would be very disappointed to see this great opportunity taken away from her

  • It would be a perfect location for a small established beauty therapist. It would allow the many residents of all the newly developed housing estates off of Rawreth Lane to walk too and enjoy an additional health benifit at Lubbards Farm along with the gym, swimming pool, stables & Wing Chun Kung Fu. They can also get locally grown produce from the farm shop, but maybe not for much longer if ASDA gets their way. How more accessible and central can you get? Everyone who currently use the facilities on Lubbards Farm have no problem with getting to and from there either by car, bus route or on two legs. Jo would be central not only for Rayleigh but residences of Rawreth, Church, Hullbridge and & parts of Hockley! Unless you live a stone throw from the Town centre most people drive into Rayleigh, therefore, Jo would not be adding to this major problem within our town. Jo would be CONVERTING and REFUBISHING an unused EXISTING building within an ESTABLISHED commerical area, I am sure you would agree that the above mentioned are viable commercial enterprises, not redeveloping on ‘green belt’ land which RDC seem to turn a ‘blind eye’ to for the larger more profitable companies!!! What is RDC’s problem??????

  • I think that this would be an ideal location for Jo’s salon. I have been a customer for over 10 years and cannot speak highly enough of her professionalism and friendship.

    As I do not own a car, I rely on public transport and I was delighted that Jo was relocating to a quiet, peaceful area, in keeping with her relaxing treatments, and yet still within walking distance and also served by public transport.

    In all the years I have know Jo, she has never tried to “sell” me anything and the reasons given for her application being refused make no sense at all.

    I cannot afford High Street prices and I prefer the holistic treatments, calm ambiance, high standards and quality of service which Jo has always excelled in.

    Some of my appointments have been for 3 hours or more during which time I have never been disturbed by other customers or their cars, so the number of people travelling to and from the salon is minimal. It is very rare that I have ever see another customer waiting, so on no account should this be compared with a shop or hairdressing salon.

    Jo is passionate about her work and has a fantastic reputation with many friends and customers alike in the local community who would be very sad to see her application turned down on what must surely be a gross misunderstanding of her business.

  • I have been using the salon for ten years and think that Lubbards Farm is ideally situated for a beauty salon. I wouldn’t be tempted to visit a salon in the High Street – after spending time and money on some relaxation, the last place I want to walk into is a bustling High Street.
    I was under the impression that the Council were there for the good of the people and to support them and local businesses. My understanding is that Rayleigh Council have approved the application, but it is Rochford Council who have turned it down. Rayleigh Council obviously understand the needs of the people of Rayleigh and it is a shame that Rochford Council cannot do the same thing.
    Joanne is a responsible adult who has thought this move through very carefully and has tried other options, however this is the best option for both her business and her clients. Her clientele have been built up over the last ten years and working on her own, she will only be able to treat one at a time. The suggestion of excessive traffic isn’t really an issue, particularly when it is compared to the other businesses on the farm site.

    As one car arrives, another will be leaving.
    I hope the Council see sense – a lot of people would be disappointed for Joanne but also very disappointed in the management of Rochford Council. It appears that they can line the pockets of companies like Asda, who have more than enough business in the area but can’t encourage small, local businesses – in fact, they would rather run the risk of shutting a business down altogether. I’m sure a lot of people will remember this decision at voting time next year when the papers fall through our doors, telling us all how caring the Council is. Now is their chance to prove it!

  • I think Lubbards Farm would be an ideal location for Joanne’s beauty salon to be relocated. I believe rochford district council turned down the application on the grounds that,
    “It is considered that this proposal could encourage commercial activity away from the town centre.” In my opinion moving the salon would infact generate less activity as it would not be in direct competition with the many high street salons.
    I would not for one moment even consider visiting a high street salon.
    My reasons for this are:
    1)paying for parking,I would be worried that my alloted time would expire meaning i would not be able to relax during the treatment
    2)noise generated from shoppers and traffic is very off putting
    3)the high cost of leases for shops would massively increase prices
    4)lack of privacy – I would not want other shoppers to know I was visiting a beauty salon
    5)after paying for such great treatment, the last place i would want to walk through would be the busy, crowded high street.

    On the other hand i would be delighted to visit the salon if it was relocated to Lubbards Farm. My reasons for this are:
    1) It would be situated in a central, beautiful, relaxing location which is perfect for a beauty salon.
    2)It would allow the many residents of all the newly developed housing estates off of Rawreth Lane to walk to and enjoy an additional health benifit at Lubbards Farm.
    3) It also has the advantage of free parking with no time limits so we won’t have to be constantly clock watching to make sure we don’t get a parking fine.
    4) The number of people travelling to and from the salon is minimal so an increase in traffic is not a problem, apart from that it is on a main bus route so many customers will choose that option anyway!

    I urge you people at the council to rethink the proposal and please , please say yes to Joanne embery’s salon to be relocated to Lubbards Farm. Remember, when voting time comes around your decision on the salon will be the one they remember, i thought the council was a caring council. You need to start showing it!!!

  • I write in support of Jo`s application to relocate to Lubbards Farm. I have been a client for many years and never in that time has anyone tried to sell me any products. They have always been extremely professional in all their dealings.
    I do not drive and live locally to her old salon and the new proposed site – and would like to continue to walk to my treatments.
    I have voted for you in the past because of your interest in local issues. I feel this will only enhance the area of Lubbards Farm and remove any possible small traffic problems from Rayleigh Town centre.
    The area is quiet and therefore ideal of the soothing treatments given by Joanne as well as possibly giving more purchasers to the other clients there.
    Please I urge you to rethink this application and say yes to the relocation that Joanne has planned for our welfare.
    Continue to be the caring council I thought you was. Thank you in anticipation .

  • Having used the Beauty Salon for many years now, I was delighted to find that Joanne was going to relocate to Lubards Farm, living in Rawrath Lane this would be ideal, already using the pool for a swim I would not be causing any further traffic to the ‘Green Belt’, infact I very often walk across to the pool. I would also like to point out that I have never ever been ask to purchase products. Joanne already has her customers so she would not be taking any away from other Beauty salons, this is a small business which the Government is enchouraging, why was she refused? No way would I go into Rayleigh for my treatment, plus to add the cost of parking and traffic into Rayleigh this would add extra time and stress, we go to the salon to ease the daily stress from our body.

    How can the Council consider Asda, when they want to reject a small business, we already have Makro?

    Please ask the Rochford Council to reconsider so that all of the Clients of Elizabeth Embery can keep the required treatments going, I always vote for you and know how dedicated you are, this is a very needy cause for many people.

  • After reading all the above responses i can only reiterate what they have all said. My mother is a frequent client of jo’s as is my daughter and her friends it would be a great loss to Rayleigh if jo did not continue her wonderful work. I feel that relocating to Rayleigh High street would not suit the sort of clients jo has. I would not like to be seen after having Electrolysis walking down the high street for all to see my red face. Please reconsider jo’s application again on the 24/8/06 Thankyou

  • The last place I would want to go to for a beauty treatment would be a High Street salon with Tom, Dick & Harry gawping in through the windows.
    I have been going to Jo Embery for treatments for years. She provides a relaxing, stress-free environment where I can recover from the pressures of work in a very discreet place. There is no queue of people waiting for treatments or more than 2 being seen at the same time. As Jo was planning to work on her own at Lubbards Farm this would be down to 1 at a time.
    I will miss her terribly if she cannot continue her business and I would say to the residents of Rayleigh that they should give her a try.
    She has never tried to sell me any products and there is nothing on display in her current salon. So I don’t know how the Council could say she was a retail business. I believe the lady who suggested the planning application be turned down never even visited the current salon so obviously doesn’t know how the business is run. It’s not like a hairdressers’ salon.
    So, come on Councillors, give the girl a chance and let her clients continue to relax in peace.
    Thank you in anticipation.

  • I am extremely disappointed to hear that planning permission has been refused so far.

    I have been a client at Embury Beauty Salon for six years and have built up a relationship with Joanne Embury that is based on trust and mutual respect. I looked forward to continuing that relationship.

    Like many of Jo’s clients I have a very stressful job and lead a busy life.
    My visits to the salon were not for cosmetic purposes, ie facials and manicures but form an integral part of my healthcare regime.
    I regularly require back and neck massage due to injury and to relieve stress.

    I feel that Lubbards Farm is an ideal location for beauty therapy:

    1)The parking is free, and as only one client is treated at a time, always available.
    2)It’s away from busy traffic and shoppers and therefore offers a tranquil place to relax.
    3) It has the added advantage of the Farm shop and other facilities.

    I do not want to attend high street salons who offer false nails and so called weight loss programmes.
    I do not want to have to walk through a busy shopping area back to the car park (that’s if I can get parked!)having just had a massage with my hair sticking up all over the place.
    I will be unable to relax when worrying about whether my car is safe or the parking ticket is about to run out.

    I want to be able to receive treatment in a peaceful, tranquil, clean and professional environment from someone I can trust.

    Surely it would benefit the area by having a tastefully refurbished building at Lubbards Farm.
    It would complement the other services available there, ie the gym and swimming pool.

    Joanne Embury provides an excellent and necessary service and she should be allowed to practise her therapies at Lubbards Farm. I urge you to reconsider her application and keep a lot of local people very happy and more importantly – healthy.

  • I just want to say that having a ‘local’ beauty salon at Lubbards Farm would be great instead of having to go up to Rayleigh where there are other beauty salon’s, where parking isn’t always easy and getting stuck in traffic is an ever increasing problem. I used to use one of the beauty salon’s in Rayleigh but as the traffic and parking got worse I found it a lot less stressful going to Joanne where I am within walking distance. I am within walking distance of Lubbards Farm which is also on a bus route, as the government is trying to encourage people to leave their cars at home and either walk or use public transport I would have thought having a beauty salon at Lubbards Farm would be a plus.

  • Christine,

    As you’ve mentioned traffic perhaps it’s worth mentioning the actual reason the officers are providing and the wording of the five council policies that are involved:

    REASON FOR REFUSAL: The proposal is considered to be an embodiment of retail and service uses and as such is considered inappropraite in the Green Belt. If allowed the proposal would encourage the use away from central and accessible locations in conflict with the principles of sustainability contrary to the aims of PPG2 and PPS6 of national guidance and aims of CS! and CS3 of the Replacement Local Plan (2006) and in conflict with policies SAT1 and R1 of the Replacment LOcal Plan (2006). If allowed the proposal would introduce activity and additional traffic movements into the Green Belt adversely affecting the character of the Green belt contrary to Policy R9 of the Councils Adopted Replacement Local Plan (2006)

    CS1: MOVING TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
    It is the council’s aim to improve and enhance the environmental wealth of the district by only permitting development that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable

    CS3: REDUCING THE NEED TO TRAVEL
    It is the Council’s aim to ensure that development reduces the length, number and duration of motorised journeys, particularly at peak hours and that it encourages the use of alternatibe modes of transport to help protect the quality of the built environment.

    SAT1 : NEW RETAIL , COMMERCIAL AND LEISURE DEVELOPMENT
    The local planning authority shall adopt a sequential approach to consider the suitability of proposals for retail, commercial, public offices , entertainment , leisure and other such proposals.The preferred location for such proposals shall be within the Town Centre boundaries of Rayleigh, Rochford and Hockley, indicated on the Proposal maps, followed by edge-of-centre sites , district and local centres , and out of centre sites. Having demonstrated a need for any retail development proposals, applications for retail and other such development as covered by this policy outside a town centre, will be determined having regard to the folowing factors:

    i The Availability of any alternative site or sites (whether allocated for the proposed use, or otherwise) within a Town Centre. Applicants must be flexible in terms of format, design and scale of their development;

    ii The quantitative and qualitative need for the amount of floorspace proposed;

    iii The likely impact of the development on the vitality and viability of existing town centres, including the evening economy, and the rural economy;

    iv The accessibility of the application site by a choice of means of transport;

    v The likely effect of the proposal on overall traffc patterns and car use; and

    vi The likely harm of the proposal to the foregoing strategy

    R1- DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE GREEN BELT
    Within the Metropolitan Green Belt there is a general presumption against inappropriate development. Except in very special circumstances, planning permission will not be granted unless for:

    [quotes 9 different reasons including:]

    v The re-use or adaptation of existing buildings in accordance with the criteria defined in policy H9

    R9 – THE RE-USE AND ADAPTATION OF EXISTING RURAL BUILDINGS AND FARM DIVERSIFICATION
    Withinthe Metropolitan Green Belt , the re-use of farm and other existing buildings in rural diversification schemes will be permitted, provided that the proposed use would complement the operations on the site. The re-use and adaptation of farm and other existing rural buildings will be permitted, provided that:

    i The proposal relates to a building with a form , bulk and general design in keeping with its surroundings

    ii the proposal relates to a building of permanent and substantial construction, that is capable of conversion to the proposed use without major or complete reconstruction.

    iii the proposal involves no major extensions which would materially affect the openness of the Green Belt

    iv the proposal involves no extension to the building, nor would any such extension be necessary in order to carry out the proposed use.;

    v the proposed use of the building and associated land would not have a materially greater impact than the permitted /lawful use on the openness of the Green Belt or the fulfillment of it’s purposes;

    vi the proposed use would not introduce additional activity or traffic movements liekly to materially and adversely affect the character of the Green Belt or place unacceptable pressures on the surrounding rural road network ;

    vii In the case of a change to residential use, the appicant has first made every reasonable attempt to secure a suitable business re-use during the two years prior to the application and

    viii there is no detriment to nature conservation interests

  • I would like to say that I feel a beauty salon at Lubards would be of benefit to everyon. My daughter stables her horse at Lubards and so I see at first hand the amount of traffic that enters the farm. Ms Embery’s small salon would not generate anywhere near as much traffic as the Indian takeaway that has received planning permission to open at Lubards!!! Also where her mother’s salon is presently situated is not in the high street – it is opposite Rayleigh Station. Women who have just had certain treatments do not want to have to walk down a high street in full show of everyone.

    I would recommend that the council approve this application otherwise you will put a very small salon out of business.

    PS How can an Indian takeaway be enviromentally friendly etc on green belt land where there are rats, mice and pigeons!!!

  • I cannot believe that Rochford Council can be so blind to refuse the planning application for Jo’s Salon. After using the salon for the last couple of years, I would certainly not go to one of the High Street ones. How can they say about the traffic it would generate? One car an hour! They give permission for yet another Indian take-away, I would have thought we had more than enough of those. The traffic from that alone will be more than from the salon.

    Please reconsider and let us keep using Jo for many years to come. Otherwise Rayleigh might lose a excellant beauty therapist.

  • I am currently stabled at Lubards Farm and have experienced the problems with volume of traffic. I can say with the support of many of my fellow riders at th yard that the introduction of a beauty salon will have no great impact on the amount of traffic. She will be open during day time hours when most people are at work so not interfering with any yard people.

    The introduction of a salon will only boost the businesses of the on site gym and swimming pool. It will also likely to increase revenue for the farm shop – surely the council want small local businesses to flourish?

    If beauty salons are supposed to stay in the High Street then how did the tanning/nail salon at Hambro Hill get planning permission? Perhaps if the council reduced the rental rates and made parking easier, companies would want to move into the High Street.

    I have also spoked to Mr A Pinkerton who owns and lives on Lubards and he has stated himself that he sees no problem with the introduction of a salon and would in fact welcome it.

  • When Jo told me that she was trying to relocate to Lubbard’s Farm my first reaction was great I can walk there. I have been going to Jo for a number of years and would be very sad to see her business close. I can not beleive the reasons given for turning down her planning application. She is certainly not a retail salon and at the moment she is situated out of the town centre, so how can relocating to Lubbards Farm take shoppers away from the town?
    I understand that permission has been granted for an Indian take-away when there is already one at Hambro Parade how can this be justified? Surely a take away will create more traffic than a small beauty salon!

    I don’t think that relocating a beauty salon to Lubbards Farm will have an adverse effect on the town centre and stop people going into the town. What stops me going into town is the parking charges and the fact that the car parks are not pay on exit. An Asda at this end of town and a bigger Sainsbury at the Weir might just have an impact on the town.

    I hope that RDC will see sense and reconsider the planning application. Otherwise a hard working excellent beauty therapist will loose her business and her livlihood.

  • I am utterly amazed that this application has been refused by RDC – Jo has been my beauty therapist for several years now and I wouldn’t use anyone else especially not on a high street, she provides the best treatment in as relaxing surroundings as possible and the facility she wishes to run at Lubbards farm is clearly an ideal location for a relaxed atmosphere and it is so insignificant in size to the other businesses based there that I just don’t understand the thinking/decision of RDC. Jo is NOT a retailer she is a lone therapist with a solid client base to whom she is totally dedicated, she loves her work with a passion and I think it is absolutely ludicrous for RDC to force her out of work by insisting she goes into a high street environment where she would potentially loose her customer base, face much higher costs and would be very unhappy. As far as I can conclude having been a regular customer to her existing premises there is no issue to answer with regard to increased traffic flow as Jo is not a retailer she is a therapist who has between 2-8 customers on a daily basis and they do not all arrive together they have booked times that do not overlap – Jo works purely on a one to one basis which should be very clear from her application in that she will only have one therapy room in which to treat her clients. I do hope that the committee meeting on the 24th August are able to find a way forward to approving this application and let us keep on receiving the excellent treatment that Jo provides us with.

  • After visiting Jo at the beauty Salon today I was astounded to hear that her planning application had been turned down. I was even more astounded on the reasons for this refusal.
    The traffic consideration is ridiculous. Jo only ever sees one client at a time which would continue as she would be trading as a sole trader of which the committee have been advised. All clients are seen on an appointment basis only and do not overlap.How can this be compared with other businesses on the same site, i.e The swimming pool, farm shop, childrens day nursery and a take away business with deliveries going to and from the premises until late in the evening.
    The site of the premises will be small- the redevelopment of a toilet block -not a barn of which there appears to have been some misunderstanding over.
    The matter of taking trade away from the high street can not be a valid reason as Jo is at the moment trading from premises away from the high street and although she would be attracting some new business I am sure her existing clients will remain with her .
    The position would be ideal for this type of business which is Jo’s life not just her business.
    I hope the committee on the 24th August have the common sense to re-assess this situation and realise what a benefit this business would be to this site, and allow Jo to continue to provide an excellent service .

  • I have only just heard that jo’s application for relocating to Lubbards Farm has been refused, Why? for the good of Rayleigh, thats what I thought we had a council for! As a busy mum of four young children, one with special needs, the thought of not having Elizabeth Emery around for countinuing to keep me sane, feels me with dread. Jo’s professionalism, attentiveness and kindness sets her in a league of her own . Surely the council should realise that the salons clients are normal hardworking people, who go to jo for a service, never ina all the years I have been using the salon has she tried to sell me anything. I cant understand any of the reasons for the refusal, lubbards farms is already a working enviroment, where people come and go all day, but still never appears busy!

    Why is a young woman being turned down to continue doing what quite obviously she is very good at giving the people of Rayleigh, what they clearly want.
    It just doesn’t make any sense, so wake up and listen!

  • I am utterly disappointed with the council’s decision of turning down jo’s redovelopment plans. I have always had excellent service and the highest level of care with Jo and feel that many more people will benefit from her plan. Jo has truly given me a new lease of life, she has a gift and i have never met anyone with so much passion for her work. In all the years i have been visiting Jo I have always known her to be very professional, hardworking and attentive to my needs. This is very hard to come by these days, and is something the council should take note of. I thought we had a council to benefit our community, if we did i would even have to write this!!!!!