More Than 160 Residents At Central Area Meeting




Hawkwell Village Hall was packed tonight. There were about 30 residents standing at the back.. latecomers had to stand outside the hall and listen.

Here’s a flavour of the first hour and a half of the meeting:

  • Whilst residents packed the place out, there were quite a few missing district councillors. In fact 12 district councillors are on the Central Area Committee – only 6 turned up.
  • Whether you agree with him or not, Councillor Keith Hudson fielded all the hostile questions courteously and confidently. Also Councillor Carole Weston chaired the meeting well.
  • In the first 90 minutes Councillor John Mason was the only other district councillor who actually spoke – though Parish Councillor Myra Weir did speak and got a round of applause.
  • The overall mood of the meeting was strongly against 300 + homes in Hawkwell. When Keith Hudson asked where else they should go, a chorus came back of ‘nowhere!’ People were mostly concerned about traffic, loss of the semi-rural environment, and schooling.
  • However, not everyone was against the housing. One couple mentioned on the way out that they supported the new housing because it was needed.
  • Hawkwell dominated the meeting completely. Although Hullbridge comes under the central area, the word “Hullbridge” wasn’t mentioned once in the first hour and a half.
  • Best quote of the night from a resident? Possibly : “We need to know our council is behind us, not fighting us”
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  • Good summary Chris.

    Three interesting points:
    – one resident highlighted that the extra housing in Hawkwell would create a continuous conurbation from Hockley, with no green barriers
    – Hockley is likely to get extra housing, as a result of the awaited Town Centre Enhancement Plan, increasing the overall district total of 3,500
    – Cllr Hudson said a “billion pounds” is needed to put right our poor infrastructure. There is no way the policy of scattering houses across the District can begin to address this issue.

    Lack of infrastructure was the core message all night and it remains unclear exactly what is proposed and how it will be afforded.

  • Hi Chris

    I think that you missed the end of the meeting when I was asked by a resident if I was against the proposal in Hawkwell. I confirmed that I was steadfastly against and explained why with reference to infrastructure. I said that I had undertaken my own technical study against PPS12 and that I would be sending this to the Council and publishing this on the web. It is at if anyone is interested in your area as to how I tackled the issue.

  • Yeah, John I’m afraid I had to leave before the end because I hadn’t got a car last night … I noticed a lot of people were leaving anyway because it was so hot and tiring for us standing for so long.

    What did Cllr Michael Starke say?

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