Michelins Farm Likely To Become Industrial / Traveller / Recycling Site.

As the Echo have reported the District Council look set to create a Traveller Site at Michelins Farm, near the junction of the A127 and A1245.

It’s not been offically decided yet, but we can’t see the council picking another site now.

Although it is called a farm , it’s really just a piece of poorly -maintained land at the moment. One corner of the site would provide 15 pitches for travellers (=30 caravans), and the rest would become an industrial site. Also, the recycling centre in Castle Road, Rayleigh, would be moved here.

On the whole this looks to be the most suitable location for a traveller site in the District. It would also make it much easier to take enforcement action against unofficial traveller sites. However, some care will need to be taken to provide separation from the industrial uses.

The other possible sites that the council has looked at were the A1245 (where travellers are now) , Madrid Avenue off Rawreth Lane, and to the south of London Road. Michelins Farm does seem a better choice than these alternatives.

Though it will strike some people as odd that the council could find 5 potential sites in Rawreth and West Rayleigh, but not one possibility from Hockley, Hawkwell, Rochford, Ashingdon, Canewdon, Stambridge, Paglesham, Great Wakering, Barling, Shopland and Sutton put together. Perhaps a more suitable location has been overlooked.

  • Completely against having travellers on this site, and am amazed that the only suitable sites to be found are in Rawreth area. What have the Council got against us? They want to build on any open space left round here. On a practical note though, where will the entrance to the site be? If in the current position this is going to be dangerous.Any queue to get into the recycling centre could well interfere with traffic coming from the A127 slip road which could come into the back of an unexpected queue of traffic, often at some speed. You come onto the existing entrance fairly blind now, and any more use of it than at present will be a serious accident waiting to happen.

  • Christine, agree that this area seems to be the “dumping” ground for the rest of the district but if you look at the other proposed sites for our traveller friends then this is, in my opinion, the less of all evils. One question – will the travellers currently living illegally at the Bedlows Corner / A1245 site be forced to move there ?

  • Let’s put it like this – enforcement action against unauthorised traveller sites is less likely to be effective unless you have an approved site somewhere else in the district.

  • Bounce these proposals back and ask why all the options are in Rawreth? This is outrageous. The illegal site on the A1245 needs to be cleared BEFORE we accept any legally planned site. This district is not a dumping ground for undesirable developments and lawful enforcement strengths needs to be demonstrated to deter any further illegal pitches.

    Wouldn’t this site be more suitable – with proper road access – as a replacement for Rawreth Industrial Estate and the recycling centre only? This area is not suitable for any sort of residential units.

  • I live directly opposite the Mitchelin Farm proposed area for Travellers. We live in a 500 year old listed building and am completely opposed to this potential development. The build up of traffic on that road at rush hours and overspill of Rayleigh traffic is awful at the best of times let alone more residents using it regularly especially if the recylcing centre is also there. This alone causes untold traffic!!! Rayleigh itself has so little grren areas and yet all the other local areas have so much of it – why do we have to sacrifice ours?? Appalling idea and can’t beleive these things go under the radar without any thought to what the tax paying majority want.

  • I’m completely disgusted yet again that these plans are even being considered. I live in Beke Hall Chase North and my property will adjoin the new proposed development but have never been informed of such proposals.
    I moved to this area to be surrounded by green belt but bit by bit it is being destroyed and myself and other residents will be effected by the dirty/ noisy and unneighbourly development. At what point were we considered if ever? Will we be compensated by such unwanted industrial usage?
    Can I have my land changed to brown belt so that I can sell it for development? As I didn’t move here to be stuck in the middle of a industrial site. It always humours how green belt is classified as green belt when it suits the council but everybody else has to suffer when the boot is on the other foot!

  • Julia,

    Sadly you are completely wasting your time, the majority of people could not care less if you are affected by these proposals. As long as it does not affect them then nobody will support you. Sorry but it’s a fact.

  • I’m absolutely amazed that these plans are going ahead. Did we learn nothing from the Dale Farm fiasco?

    Quite simply, we will end up with the illegal sites AND this poorly thought through proposal.

    I strongly oppose this proposal.

  • I very much appreciate your concern, Michael.
    One of my main concerns throughout each year as a ward councillor for Downhall and Rawreth is to avoid getting a Dale Farm situation here.
    But the plan is for this to be a district council owned and district council run site . This means that the council should control what happens on the site, and because it has provided a legal site, will be able to take more effective action elsewhere.

    I’m as aware as anyone as to how councils can screw things up. And I’m not saying this is going to be trouble-free. But I DO think it reduces the risk of a Dale Farm situation.

  • Chris, I appreciate your response. However, I respectfully disagree with the council’s take on the situation. A couple of thoughts:

    Firstly, regardless of the fact that the site will be council owned and run, if, say, double the amount of permitted residents appear on the site (which lets face it, if past performance is a guide to the future, will happen), it take years and valuable council resources to evict unauthorised residents (no matter who owns the land).

    Secondly, the effect on house prices here cannot be ignored. People work extremely hard to own their own homes and if a council decision directly affects the value of people’s homes there will be a valid case for a class action legal process against the council for compensation. Put simply, if a council decision affects the house prices significantly south of the national / regional average and can be linked to the establishment of such a site,residents will be able to group together for a single legal process for compensation. Some Dale Farm residents suffered a 50% reduction in house value as a result of that particular site, and, were trapped, unable to move house or realise a life changing financial loss. Given this site will be council owned and run, the council are directly responsible for the effect on the surrounding environment and residents.

  • Regarding the subject of Michelins Farm I agree with previous comments that there are plenty of other suitable sites in the Rochford area that could be used. My property abuts Michelins Farm on the A127 and although industrial uses would be acceptable the travellers site would detract the area and having had a lot of equipment, diesel and batteries stolen from vehicles would be very cautious about an increase in theft.
    As there are no pavements along the A1245 and no crossing on the A127 would the fatality rate begin to match the A132/A127 junction.
    I will do whats necessary to hopefully prevent this proposal from fruition.

  • Mick, I’m not sure that I’m one of your councillors but perhaps I should arrange to meet you to discuss this? For what its worth , the council came up some alternative sites for Travellers – the only ones big enough were the existing illegal site on the A1245 or one on London Road near Swallows.


  • Chris, given the swallows option (GT3, if im not mistaken) was probably put forward as an option to drive favour towards the site in question (best of a bad bunch strategy) i would be very interested to hear if the swallows / london road site is still under consideration given this site has an even larger direct homeowner impact.

    I’d be very grateful if you could let me know.


  • Good question. All the GT options are still in the paperwork. If people made a huge effort to get the inspector to move the traveller site away from from Fairglen, it would very probably go to one of those options. I just don’t know if the inspector would pick GT3. But I guess it could happen, from an inspectors point of view, road safety etc , schooling, it has its advantages.

  • I remember the council telling us there will no tesco on the London road because
    of the damage it would do to our local shops and look at what we got a tesco on london road they say this site is for thirty or so travellers but we all know from dale farm this will not be case not to mention the A1245 with its two parking lanes
    Will become rubbish tips costing the council thousands of pounds to clean up
    Which we will pay for in the end though our council tax.
    I am whole heartedly apposed to this going ahead.

  • Will this site still host a Recycling Site? No one has mentioned this. I heard the castle road establishents have been give notice. Not sure if this is true or just false gossip.

  • Peter , things have been changing on this but the advice I had this week is that there would probably be one there. The Castle Road site would be very valuable for the County Council to sell for housing, wouldn’t it?

  • I knew there was a clauses that the land had to be considered for housing in january 2010. And I guess the first part was to move and establish the fire station.

    The plot with the recycle centre and the other building you could easy build 15 house at £325k+ each or two story flats.

    The recycling centre has to move as its far to busy and causing congestion which I agree but alway concerned about traveller site impact on Rayleigh.

  • Julia Beke hall chase it a mile away at the A127, not next to you at all, wrong end of the a1245, i live next to Michelin farm, so get a life a maybe you should live next door to the site!

  • All, there is a meeting tomorrow at 7pm at Pope John Paul II hall on the London road to discuss these proposals.

    Apparently all welcome.

  • Further to what I said above about GT3, the inspector cannot just pick GT3. If he comes out against the proposed site, the council would have to pick a new location which would have to be voted through by Full Council and after further public consultation. I just can’t imagine in any circumstances Councillors voting in favour of a traveller site near Swallows or on London Road.

  • Rayleigh Residents…

    The proposed travellers site in Rayleigh (wherever that may be) will have dramatic influences on the town. Schools, shops, etc. I believe this will have serious impacts in the future if this is allowed.

    A simple solution, and one that should be enforced…why don’t all Rayleigh Residents stop paying their council tax? If we all stop what can the council do? Absolutely nothing? But…to make this work…every home needs to act.

    The council haven’t consulted us….so lets cut off their money!

  • Chris asks a very pertinent questiont, 30 caravans will not / cannot have a massive influence on the town but it will have a massive influence if it’s near your house. Just like all the other proposals over the years, it’s a great idea as long as its not near my house. NIMBY’s rule……..

  • It’s not so much a question of NIMBY, more like NIABY (not in anyone’s back yard).
    Why on earth does anyone believe we “have to” provide these sites? It’s utterly absurd, and incredibly cruel to inflict them on those poor souls that end up living near these sites.
    If I and friends want to travel around in a caravan, we do so without demanding or needing sites supplied by the council, and without destroying green belt land or infringing planning laws. We simply book into any of the many commercial sites around the country that are open to anyone that is willing to treat others on the site with respect, and obey the rules. Ah, there’s the rub, I suspect.
    There is no reason that anyone forming their own social grouping should either expect to be pandered to and have special rights, or to simply flout the laws and do as they please.
    Oh, and saying that your Dad did it, your grandad, great-grandad and so on did this is no reason to make such claims either!

  • How can we be sure that a travelers site at Michelins Farm will be limited to 30 caravans. Travelers seem to be notorious for expanding their sites beyond the planed size e.g. Dale Farm, so how effectively can a site like this be controlled.

  • I think Mark Francois and John Halliday are both right. 15 pitches = 15 families. Each with probably a static caravan and a travelling caravan, which makes 30 caravans. Plus maybe something else as well.
    John, the council plan to keep things under control by having the site under their ownership, so they control and monitor it properly. If its designed properly there won’t be any way of expanding around the edges.

  • Chris – your ” No 35″ – the formal definition of pitch does indeed cater for one static,
    One mobile, vehicle parking and storage shed and if teenage children a further small mobile caravan.
    On the other point do you really trust the Council to ‘manage’ the site effectively –
    And at what ongoing yearly cost to tax payers on top of the initial circa £2.5million,
    As the other post above we should not even be contemplating a special treatment,

  • Bawler – the Planning Inspector’s interim report made no mention of Michelin Farm , and the consensus is that it means he is happy with that RDC proposal.
    We will not see his detailed reasoning until Feb 2014,
    and there are some big issues to be resolved- not least of which are heavy traffic ingress & egress
    practicalities at the (often flooded)Fairglen interchange. Not to mention meeting EU criteria on human rights -placing people (Travellers)on the same
    site as Heavy Industry (bad neighbours)and a Waste Recycling Plant.So not the done deal they think it is.
    And most importantly RDC will not be ‘accountable’ as the site will be owned and operated by Essex County Council. The latest Traveller Site in Colchester cost £2.4million plus undisclosed ongoing Management costs.