No Change of Heart On Figures For Rawreth

Last Wednesday’s meeting of the Local Development Framework Sub-Committee was well-mannered but ultimately frustrating.

Much of the meeting consisted of Chris Black and Ron Oatham querying the Council’s proposals. Here are some of the details:

Hawkwell – we said that the reduction in the figures for Hawkwell was welcome – but ‘the devil would be in the detail’ here.

We opposed the proposals for 550 houses on Rawreth Lane farmland (which would be on top of 220 on Rawreth Industrial Estate). But the other Conservatives wouldn’t budge on this. We said that :

  • Rawreth Lane was already overdeveloped
  • The farmland was an important part of the Green Belt
  • It would harm community cohesion
  • Together with other sites it would double the population in the parish of Rawreth
  • Swimming Pool : We said that , bearing in mind what was obtained from the Priory Chase site with less than 150 houses, if the 550 houses are built we should be able to get a swimming pool as a community benefit.

    However this was fiercely opposed by the Conservatives, led by Mavis Webster, who said she was ‘sick to death’ of hearing about a swimming pool.

    New Parkland: One aspect of the proposals was that there should be new parkland next to the housing. Whilst we supported this, we wanted a stronger policy to ensure that all of the remaining farmland was protected from any future wave of development. This got some support from the Conservatives, and there will hopefully be some further discussions on this.

    Public Art ? How About Public Conveniences? Buried deep in the document was a policy about encouraging public art in open spaces. We asked that public conveniences should be encouraged as well – if the location was appropriate. (e.g. something like superloo maybe)

    This document now goes to Full Council on September 9th (not in July).

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  • Good to see old Mavis is true to form and opposing anything that the young people of the district may use and could improve there fitness like a swimming pool. I personally am “sick to death” of her supporting anything that involves old people,How can she be sick to death of hearing about an amenity the town has not got and that could benefit residents of all ages.
    Exactly who is Mavis representing.?

  • Do we know what public feeling is about a swimming pool, and more to the point, does Mavis Webster? Her comment (as reported) seems a bit stroppy to me, and not the kind of response I expect to hear from a representative of the public.

    On this basis, could I please make it known that I am sick to death of hearing about over development of my town? Is this enough to kick it into the long grass?

    Personally I wasn’t particularly bothered about a swimming pool, I sometimes use Swimming Tales at the weekend, and my kids take lessons there. However, I am now considering somewhere new for my eldest to try and take her swimming to the next level, but I’ve heard some real horror stories about overcrowding and poor facilities at Clements Hall and Runnymede, and don’t want to pay Virgin Active prices. Perhaps the time has come to push for a swimming pool in Rayleigh again. I don’t want to accept it as part of a “bribe” to push through the additional housing though.

    While we’re waiting for a swimming pool, how about one of those “splash parks” like the one at Maldon being installed in King Georges playing fields. They don’t take up a lot of space, and would be a huge draw for the town.

  • Regarding the swimming pool, I wrote down what Cllr Mrs Webster said at the time, which was ‘sick to death of a swimming pool cropping up’. She was supported by other Conservatives.

    Their argument is that the credit crunch is likely to be still going on between 2015-2021, when these houses would be scheduled to be built. (They don’t seem to think that a change of government would improve things). So they don’t think a developer could afford to provide a swimming pool, or that the council could afford to run one.

    Our argument is that these houses aren’t going to get built until the economy improves anyway, and when that happens the developer will be in a position to pay for this. Also the district council is currently expecting the developer to provide a new primary school, and we have doubts as to whether this is needed. So there could be some savings there…

    As to whether the council could afford to run the pool once built, that’s a reasonable question. But we want the idea to be looked at seriously without simply being dismissed out of hand.

  • Can the Rayleigh Leisure Centre, in it’s current size, cope with the additional patronage that further development in Rayleigh would bring? I would say the centre is already too small? Considering this complex is owned by the council, but managed by Virgin Active, can the same principle not be inplemented in an additional sports complex within the Rayleigh area? This could include the swimming pool as well as additional facilities.

    As for Mavis Websters comments – I take it she has no idea that over 27% of children in the UK are overweight or obese (as per the BBC news website). I would suggest Mavis Webster takes a look at the website and have a read at what her own party says about the need for exercise for youngsters and perhaps follow her parties recommendations rather than cite her own agenda.

  • Martin, absolutely with you …. Last year at the local elections one of the Tory leaflets highlighted how they felt about the youngsters of this town. They opined about the Scouts, Cadets and the sort of associations that were popular about 30/40 years ago, this is how out of touch with the young. We do have a problem with some youngsters in Rayleigh but the majority do not give us any cause for concern, if treated appropriately, it is some parents who need help. If we had a swimming pool and a bowling alley in Rayleigh, we would soon notice the difference on our streets. If we had more sports clubs, for the young, that would also be an enormous help. These young people are the life blood of our town in the future and we should nurture them to be responsible. I am unable to see them having that sort of commitment to the young. As for the development on GREENBELT land, all the Conservatives that voted to allow this should be ashamed of themselves. I hope the leader of the Conservative party in the House of Commons gets to see what they have burdoned us with. I assume it has nothing to do with who wants to sell the land?

    Let us hope our next District Council is a council who works for the residents and our youngsters!


  • I think you’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head there Mike…

    Who will benefit from the sale of greenbelt land off Rawreth Lane to the property developers?

    This needs to be fully investigated [edited] ….

    Is there a revised map of the proposed land? If so will this be available to view at the Rawreth Meeting?

  • [edited] last time there was a groundswell of people against what they wanted to do. …

    As for the comment from one of our Councillors that we could not get funds from a developer for a swimming pool for the town, this beggers belief, developers may have been going through a rough time recently but to say they could not afford a swimming pool is absurd! Developers are in business to make lots of money. We HAVE to demand what we want from the developer before contracts are signed. There is maybe another reason why the council have decided to not request a swimming pool, but for fear of being edited, I will keep this to myself!

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