New Application Just In – 91 Dwellings And A Replacement Care Home Off London Road

On the latest list, so plenty of time before this gets to committee:

15/00593/FUL
Parish Rayleigh Town Council
Ward Sweyne Park

Proposal:
Demolition Of Existing Care Home And All Other Buildings,
Erection Of 91 Dwellings Comprising 34no. Three Bed Houses,
24no. Four Bed Houses, 8no. Five Bed Houses, 7no. One Bed
Flats, and 18no.Two Bed Flats, Construction Of Replacement Part
Single and Part Two Storey 13 Bedroom Care Home, Associated
Parking and Landscaping, Stopping Up Of Existing Access, and
Improvement Of Existing Access Onto London Road.
Location: Timber Grove London Road Rayleigh

  • Here we go again, no guaranteed Infrastructure upgrading / Site Construction Traffic impact on London Rd magnified by the 500+ ” land North of London Rd ”
    Development………the West of Rayleigh being sacrificed again.

  • just looked up your old thread , a previous application for a third of this number was refused back in 2012 – on the Grounds of Green Belt and insufficient Flood Risk Assessment . Well the Green is still there and so is the Brook ( that flooded the Eon site during construction ) and the access would be immediately adjacent to the very busy new BP / M&S Garage unit access and egress……and I believe the RTSSC area is covered by a deed of gift to the people of Rayleigh Town.

  • This is obviously just going to compound many of the problems already reported with the other largescale planning applications in RDC’s preferred development area of Rayleigh. Hundreds more to come I suspect in this area.
    Who will/can do anything about RDC’s core strategy and allocations department? Councillors? Localism? I think not. RDC are a law to themselves, which we only expect to pay for. West of Rayleigh is now a lost cause now.
    RDC is also running another call for sites. Presumably to use the collected data in their evidence base to, again, misrepresent their core strategy and allocations documents as sound. What a joke.

  • I have received a copy of this letter in my capacity as a Councillor.

    Dear Mr Scrutton

    Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club
    Fitzroy Homes Development at Timber Grove

    Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club (RTSSC) has recently been contacted by Landmark Planning Group, which is acting as agent for a building company that intends to build houses on the current Fitzroy Homes site at Timber Grove. Landmark informed us that the building company intends to convert the access area to our club into a through road from London Road, Rayleigh to serve the new houses. They also advised us that the building company had the backing of Rochford Council to use our access area as a through Road.

    I am writing to inform you that RTSSC considers that this would be in breach of the lease under which it rents its site from Rochford Council. Also, the consequences of this plan would pose an immense problem for the club and possibly threaten its continued existence. Representatives of the club would like to meet council officials and members of the planning committee to try to resolve this before any further action is taken. At the moment I must inform you that if we cannot agree on this matter RTSSC will seek resolution by an independent arbitrator appointed in accordance with paragraph 5.4 of our lease. We have brought this to your attention at this point in time before any money is invested in the project so that the developer will not run the risk of wasting resources and the decision will not be influenced by money already invested. If the club could not continue to operate as it does now there would be a significantly negative social impact for Rayleigh so I have therefore copied this letter to the members of The Planning Committee as RTSSC feels that such an important social issue should be considered by elected representatives as well as council officials.

    I will now explain why RTSSC thinks that the proposed course of action breaches its lease. We believe that the construction of a through road would infringe page 3 of the lease under the heading “Demised Land,” page 4 of the lease under the heading “The Council’s covenant” and page 2 under the heading “Demise”.

    On page 3 of the lease the 4.43 hectares of the land that the club uses for sport and recreation, which was the original purpose for which the land was conveyed to the Council, was demised to the club’s trustees with certain rights. One of these rights, outlined in The First Schedule of the lease was to use the area, on which the builder wants to build a road, for such purposes as may be connected with the use of the 4.43 hectares by the club. The land on which the builder wishes to build the road has been used for access to the club and as a parking area by members, and this is very important to the club due to the heavy demand for parking when sports fixtures and club functions take place.

    This area contains a tarmac area for cars to drive on that was constructed by club members at the expense of the club. There is no room on the demised land for an alternative car park as every inch of it is used for sport and recreation to meet the demand in our part of Rayleigh for such facilities. At its peak up to 90 vehicles park there at weekends and on occasional week nights. In order to fit this number of vehicles, parking at right angles on both sides of the tarmac area is required. There is no chance that the proposed road could accommodate the club’s current and essential parking arrangements. The area is closed by locked gates when the club is not open so it has never been an access route open to the public and is therefore exclusive to the benefit of the 4.43 hectares of land that the club uses for sport and recreation. To take away this purpose for which the land is used would infringe the lease which quite clearly shows on page 2 under the heading of “Demise” that the rent which the club pays is both for the 4.43 hectares and for the rights set out in The First Schedule as mentioned above. To convert it to a road and take away the parking purpose for which it is used would threaten the continued existence of the club and pose severe security problems as we could no longer close the club area when it is not in use by members. This would therefore breach the Council’s covenant which states on page 4 of the lease that the club would quietly enjoy the demised land during the term of the lease without any interruption by the Council or any other person.

    Will you please let me know within the next two weeks whether you and members of the Planning Committee are willing to meet the RTSSC’s representatives to discuss this matter? If not, I must call upon you under paragraph 5 of the lease to arrange arbitration.

    I note that a planning application has been submitted, but it does not specify that it will convert our access and car park area into a full road. It would, therefore, be sensible before the consultation period ends to establish whether this course of action infringes our lease. I trust that you will discuss our contention with your legal department.

    Yours Sincerely

    David Medlock
    Chairman RTSSC

  • The reply from the Council when I asked for further information is as follows;

    “The matter below is a set of discussions taking place between the parties on contractual matters.

    The discussions will be under the guidance of Shaun Scrutton.

    There have not been discussions with RDC members.

    RTSCC are requesting a meeting with members and to date there is no agreement on a meeting.”

    Needless to say that this did not satisfy my need to understand what is going on here and so I have written with even more questions to the Assistant Director in charge of the RDC Legal Department.

  • John – given the consultation phase of this application will elapse rapidly , should our MP not be copied with any reply you may get ASAP , this is clearly a long-standing and valuable amenity to the Town ( I will dig out Cllr Hudson’s
    letter which promised RTSSC new and enhanced facilities as a reward for 40 years service to the community of Rayleigh – that was then withdrawn ).

  • It’s about time our next to useless MP got his finger out and started to properly represent the people that elected him. He’s about as much use as a chocolate teapot. How he has the brass neck to take his £102,000 salary is beyond me.

  • I have now received further information from the Council to which I have added my own information.

    Asset Management, which includes matters dealing with leases,is a function under the Cabinet Member, Portfolio for Enterprise, who is Councillor Mike Steptoe (Conservative) as Decision Maker.

    This has nothing to do directly with MP Mark Francois.

    Therefore, any material change to terms, rights or obligations to the lease will need to be agreed between the parties and the Portfolio for Enterprise.

    As some residents are aware Members of the Review Committee has the right to call in the Portfolio Report.

    The Chairman of the Review Committee is the sole Labour Councillor, Jerry Gibson, who was chosen by the Conservatives at Annual Council. Whilst the Chairman can call this in himself any 3 other Members of Review Committee can also do so. Chris Black is a Member as are myself and Michael Hoy without relying on the one UKIP Member.

    I will be interested to talk with them as to their views when the Portfolio Report is published.

    But will the Portfolio Report be published and decisioned before the Planning Application comes to Development Committee?

    The Council’s Legal Department says that “the legal issue of the lease is a separate matter to the planning application whilst I appreciate that the issues are linked. There is no pre-determination as long as Members decide on the application in its own merits when it comes before the Development Committee.”

    Interesting is my comment but I felt the same at the Exempt Council Meeting on 23 July where the same was said.

    • Just re-read this and it is a complete nonsense – ” decide on it’s own merits “-
      The loss of facility ( access & parking ) is a fundamental consideration in weighing the impact of a proposed development which has to consider de-merits as well as merits.
      This has all the hallmarks of another pre-determined application folks.

  • Based on the RTSSC original letter there is an independent arbitration clause ,
    they appear to have identified a 14 day timescale for it to be implemented –
    what as this got to do with waiting ( longer ) for a portfolio report ?.

    This has all the makings of another manipulation – I would encourage RTSSC
    to take their own formal legal advice now in order to force the issue to be addressed.

  • In 2012 RDC allowed the Charity involved with this Disabled home to go right through the planning process , expending precious funds on an application for 43 houses, before ‘informing’ them the site was in their Core Strategy. Another neighbouring property that was unaware it was progressing.
    RTSSC were asked to assist us in establishing the suggestion the club grounds were sold to the Council in 1964 for the purpose of sporting activity. That would have created a ‘Constructive Trust’ which would have protected the club from development. Although there is anecdotal evidence documents existed proving this RDC claim they have no records. The Club Committee failed to respond to our requests for help. I hope their reliance on the integrity of RDC isn’t misplaced! The vendor was a Thomas Gunn who made sure there was ‘no access’ to the farmland beyond which originally formed part of his large landholding in this area.

    WE HAVE REPEATEDLY WARNED ALL CONCERNED THAT THIS SITE IS STILL IN RDC CORE STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT WHATEVER ASSURANCES RTSSC HAVE BEEN GIVEN. I understand RTSSC still do not have a decent time framed new Lease. Removing the car parking facilities would destroy the club and make its’ removal inevitable.

    The land currently under discussion is a form of VERY VALUABLE ‘ransom strip’ that similar to the narrow parcel owned along the boundary of the Rawreth Industrial Estate owned by the Catholic Church. These small parcels of land prevent access to larger sites and thus command a great value.

  • John Mason, you state: This has nothing to do directly with MP Mark Francois.

    It seems to me that nothing has anything to do with our invisible MP, what does he do apart from pop up at election time telling us what a good job he does. He gets elected because he is a Conservative, not for what he actually does. And please admin don’t tell me that he spoke well at the planning meeting, if it was that good the new houses would not be going ahead would they….

  • The RTSSC can, of course, lobby their MP and ask him to halt this process of negotiation by addressing another Conservative, Councillor Steptoe, as indeed can any of his Constituents both to Councillor Steptoe and to MP, Mark Francois.

    If this is how people feel then get writing quickly I think !!

    John

  • So, any news on this one , time is running out – did they get their meeting in 14 days? , has it gone to arbitration etc; ?.
    Of course not , this lease will be allowed to expire / no renewal and this application passed by the new “planning team ” – watch this space !!!!

      • Thanks for that information. This means that at least residents are likely to get some further information via the Lib Dem Ward Members. Presumably you are in close touch with the RTSSC? (I wonder why they wrote to me?)

        Personally I expect a planning agreement to be reached between the Council and the Planning Applicant to defer the planning application decision until the lease issue is resolved. But this is not something that Members are ever involved in or are even notified about. Perhaps Ward Members could pursue this as well?

        Thanks again.

  • Admin – you were going to pursue this and find out where it has got too , it seems a very long “consultation” period for the application and the 14 day
    deadline on Arbitration in respect of the lease is long gone?.
    An up to date synopsis from RDC is not an unreasonable FOI request is it ?.