Last Thursday’s Development Control Meeting

The plans for the Asda signage went through. However there is now an hours restriction to stop the illuminated sign being on all night, and another restriction to prevent the sign on the side of the store being lit. To quote one resident who emailed Chris this weekend , the illuminated sign seems to ‘add insult to injury’.

An application in Hullbridge at rear of The Drive , really wound up most councillors. It was for three detached chalets to be be built rightbehind three existing homes. The access would be so narrow that a fire engine couldn’t get down there (the chalets would have to have sprinkler systems). Also the garden sizes were significantly below our council’s standards for two of the chalets.

Every councillor present supported Cllrs Rosemary Brown and Peter Robinson, who proposed refusal. What really upset the committee was that this application was originally down for the ‘yellow list’ so that it would have been passed automatically if no councillor had ‘called it in’

Chris Lumley succesfully got an application for flats in the Approach, Rayleigh refused. The communal garden area was below standard and the Essex County Council architectural advisers were critical of the scheme – but as with every application on this night, officers had recommended approval.

Finally, an application for two houses in Hambro Avenue , Rayleigh was passed. Chris Black had queried that the plot was supposed to be narrower than the council standard for two homes, but after the council measured it with the applicant, it turned out that the plot was only 8 cm short of meeting the standard.

  • Another example of disregard to policy at Hambro Avenue then? there is obviously a reason for a standard being in place so if a plot is 8cm to narrow, it clearly does not meet the standard and therefore SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PASSED! The way councils in this area are acting at the moment, why not just scrap all policy and let people do what they want, that way we the tax payer could save a few quid in our taxes which could then be spent in ASDA!

  • Hi Corey. To get a ‘refusal’ that will stand a chance at appeal a technical breach of our planning rules is not enough – there has to be demonstrable harm.

    So let’s say you have a planning application for a new house in a very spacious avenue with no onstreet parking. The application causes no overlooking, no problems. You can’t just refuse it because its a few cms too narrow.

    In the cause of Hambro Avenue I argued that the extra house would cause extra onstreet parking problems, but didn’t get much support. However we did get a condition to remove ‘permitted development’ rights, to stop the properties being extended upwards without seeking further planning permission.

  • As someone attending the meeting I would like to point out that Chris Black did put up a very good fight on the Hambro Avenue application. I would recommend anyone interested in planning to attend one of these meetings to see what goes on and what Councillors are up against.

  • Yeah, well, I’m sure you would have done as well Angelina – and hope that one day you get the chance, even though you wear a different rosette.

    But I think when someone called out from the Conservative seats with the wisecrack about 8 cm being a lot for some people, the argument was lost….

  • Hi Chris,

    I still don’t understand (perhaps I am being educationally challenged) why having planning guidelines, if these can be overturned by other technicalities – it makes the guidelines pointless from the very start!

    As for the comment from the conservative seats – it just goes to show the mentality of the council elected to serve the Rochford District.