John Mason Speaks Out Too …




From the Echo:

A COUNCILLOR is urging Hawkwell residents to have their say on two major plans affecting their community. Residents in Rochford district are currently being consulted about the Hockley Area Action Plan, which lays out options for the regeneration of Hockley town centre, and the joint area action plan, which affects the expansion of Southend Airport…..

…..?There are two issues. The Eldon Way Industrial Estate could take up to 200 homes which would relieve the number earmarked for Hawkwell.
?Secondly, the expansion of the airport and the planned 7,500 new jobs there will generate more traffic from people going there to work. There is also the potential of freight movements to and from the airport.?

To make your views known on both plans or for more information, go to: Call the council on 01702 318191 to comment on the Hockley plan, or call 01702 318165 on the airport plan.

Full report here.

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  • The Echo did not print everthing that I wanted to say, so thanks for the “mention” and here’s an addendum.

    [quote] Greenbelt said here on March 18th, 2009 at 06:03 – “The Rawreth proposal is mainly on existing brown sites and would be great for the village. Unfortunately, locals have been told by a reliable source, that the recent visit by the LDF committee virtually dismissed it out of hand.”[/quote]

    Hawkwell has heard on the grapevine that some of the LDF committee were, allegedly, equally dismissive of the desire by residents in Hawkwell to retain their green belt.

    If Option 2.1 of the Hockley Town Centre Plan were adopted then 200 dwellings could be built on a brown field site and the quota of 330 houses in my Ward could be reduced to 130. And it could be that those 130 could be built on an industrial site in Hawkwell West.

    Like Rawreth there ARE options that could locate all developments in Hawkwell and Hockley on brown field sites and protect green belt.

    [quote]lyn hopkins here said on March 19th, 2009 at 09:03 “Why is it that we can all see the real problems but RDC have chosen to ignore all our comments and ideas. My belief now is that no matter what anyone says RDC have already firmly made their decision and nothing is going to change it.”[/quote]

    Whilst Chris Black writes in response that no decision have been made and that is, of course, factually true but I do not agree that Rochford District Council have demonstrated in any way from comments allegedly made at the LDF committee visits that the Council intends to amend the proposals that they have already put forward in Rawreth or Hawkwell.

    Technically the situation is that the Council is not obliged to withdraw a proposal in response to public consultation, but the Council is required to show how representations have been taken into account.

    On the face of things those with faith might expect that detailed reasoned explanations will be published by the Council. But I do not have any faith that open and detailed reasons for not following even material planning objections will be published. Expect the usual avoidance and a fudge.

    The biggest issue in all these plans is Highway infrastructure and yet so far we have heard nothing at all from Essex County Council which is the Highway Authority? Will the road network overall cope? No. The only infrastructure improvements likely to be offered are those on individual development sites whilst overall traffic volumes and other bottlenecks will continue to be ignored.

    If anyone has a mind to ask these questions please do. I have.

    Regards to Online Focus


  • Over and over again we all come back to the question of infrastructure . It just does not exist and will not after the 3500 house are built .How can that number of houses donate enough secton 106 cash ? It cannot!! Who is to pay? Essex as have been said are deafening in their silence ! Central government have stated they will not provide funds . The only conclusion any sane planner can come to ,is that the whole strategy is unsustainable .We as a small parish council are looking forward to the public enquiry where we hope to get our views over to illustrate the hoplessness of the housing obligations forced on us by an unrepresentative quango .

  • Dear Alistir

    Thanks for your comments. RDC have consulted with ECC Highways on Locations and, by direct association, some specific sites. But this information was not presented in the Preferred Options Consultation. As the existence of the information has been confirmed and is identifiable, I have served ECC with a request under the Freedom of Information Act. There could be a cost, which ECC has to advise me of and get my agreement to pay, but if there is a cost my experience of discussions at RDC when the FOI was introduced would suggest several hundreds if not into much more. I could not pay that from my own resources but would Rawreth Parish Council do so? On the other hand it might be deemed non discloseable. Why? Well they, “the powers that be”, don’t want us to know because if they did it would have been presented in the RDC consultation on Preferred Options in Locations to demonstrate that it was sustainable.

    I know that all this will do is get site specific imformation on highway infrastructure and so I have asked ECC if there is a strategic review of the highway infrastructure in respect of the cumulative effects and if not, when and how ECC will conduct a strategic assessment and present it to the public.

    In the absence of this I agree that the RDC Submission Core Strategy would be flawed and UNSOUND.

    I will let you know what the result of my questions are and at least then you at Rawreth PC will either know the strategy or be able to state that the question was asked and it still has not been fulfilled when you get to speak at the Public Inquiry.

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