Officers Report on the Sports Pitches Application- No Conditions On Times

The planning application for the sports pitches near the Rayleigh Lesiure Centre will come to the District Council Committee next Thursday September 25th. You can download the full planning schedule here (490 kb)

There are three items, all recommended for approval.

  • Application for one house in Clifton Road,Ashingdon
  • Application for a change of use of a grain Store to the storage and restoration of vintage cars, land west Of Rochford Hall, Hall Road, Rochford by Tabor Farms.
  • Application for 5 youth sports pitches and extra car parking – next to Rayleigh Leisure Centre
  • We guess that onlinefocus readers will be mostly interested in the sports pitches application. The officers report runs to 11 or 12 pages, but here are some lengthy extracts.

    It should be noted that the officers have NOT proposed any conditions upon the times and days of use. This contrasts with the planning permission given the sports pitches near the “Chichester” in Rawreth, which are limited to one day per week. However it is possible for councillors at the meeting next week to propose extra conditions, or indeed to move refusal. As always though, district councillors must stay impartial in advance of the meeting.

    3.5 The application proposes the change of use of the land to provide 5 no. youth football pitches and extend the car park to the Rayleigh Leisure Centre. The south western corner of the site is separated from the pitches by the new bridle way link to Sweyne Park and is also proposed to be planted with indigenous tree species.
    Page 16
    -25 September 2008
    3.6Three of the proposed pitches will be small pitches for ?mini soccer? (under 10 years of age) and two pitches will be for 11-a-side junior football (up to 18 years of age).
    3.770 new additional car parking spaces would be provided to the north east of the site and will form an extension to the parking area available for the Leisure Centre.
    3.8 Provision is also made within the layout for cycle stands and a possible future site for a changing facility.

    3.9 Rayleigh Town Council: No objections to the application.

    3.10 Essex County Council Specialist Archaeological Advice: The proposed development lies within an area of known archaeological potential. A significant early Saxon cremation cemetery (EHER 14773, 7788) has been excavated in the immediate vicinity and further archaeological features and deposits may survive within the development area.

    Such deposits are both fragile and irreplaceable and any permitted development on site should therefore be preceded by a programme of archaeological investigation which should be secured by an appropriate condition attached to any forthcoming planning consent. The planning condition based on guidance given in PPG 16 (Planning and Archaeology) now recommended by the Essex County Council

    Highways Authority: No objections to the proposal as submitted, subject to the following recommended conditions being attached at any grant of consent:-
    1. Prior to the beneficial use of development commencing the car parking area indicated on the submitted plans, including any parking spaces for the mobility impaired, has been hard surfaced, sealed and marked out in parking bays. The car park shall be retained in this form at all times. The car park shall not be used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles that are related to the use of the development.

    3.28 Six letters have been received in response to the neighbour consultation which in the main make the following comments and objections:-
    o What are the plans for the management of the pitches?
    o Who is responsible for maintenance?
    o During what months of the year will the pitches be in use and what time periods and have these been measured in terms of noise?
    o Where the pitches are not in use, ie, out of hours or season, what provisions will be made to ensure the pitches are not used, ie, gates/barriers, or mis-used or in a manner that sees damage, vandalism, noise in the area, breach of security and/or devaluation of residential properties?
    o What provisions will be made to avoid anti-social behaviour and/or gathering of youths in the newly created area. Earlier this year, large groups of youths consistently gathered in Priory Chase outside the leisure centre and skate park areas before and after using the current 5-a-side pitch behind the leisure centre? Community police, Council representatives and the leisure centre agreed to prevent bookings by such youths who were acting in an anti-social way.
    o What provisions will be made to prevent use of pitches by excessive youths utilising the skate park in the area, thus increasing number of youths congregating in the area?
    o What provisions will be made to manage litter in the area? Currently litter is consistently left by youths utilising the skate park and leisure centre. Rochford District Council has currently taken the stance that it is not responsible for litter in Priory Chase as it is still apparently under the responsibility of George Wimpey.
    o What provisions will be made to ensure users of the pitches do use the associated car park, and not Priory Chase outside residential housing? Will any fencing be created around the pitches?
    o Are any flood lights planned in the area?
    o Are there other Council run pitches of this sort, based as close to residential housing as proposed here? Pitches in the plans appear very close to residential area.
    o Additional noise and disturbance
    o Vandalism and youths
    o Pitch four too close to neighbouring homes
    o Increase in traffic
    o Pitch five should be removed
    o Car parking should be replaced by bicycle parking and pedestrian footways
    o Bus service made more frequent and reliable
    o Another ecology survey should be implemented in a year?s time
    o The spraying of glyphosate on the site must be investigated.
    o What measure will be put in place to stop parking in Priory Chase?
    o Increase in litter
    o Planning application is ill-conceived and pays no respect to the residents of Priory Chase or Temple Way.
    o Priory Chase and Temple Way are still private roads and have yet to be adopted by the Council, therefore any road markings and parking restrictions are not enforceable; this needs to happen before this and any further developments are considered.
    o Gross over-development of this small neighbourhood.

    The proposal intends to create five youth football pitches on land currently overgrown and unused. The pitches will be managed under a grounds maintenance contract with Connaught, as will all other Rochford District Council owned pitches. Connaught will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance including the collection of litter. The pitches therefore will be run independently of the Leisure Centre.
    The football season runs from late August to mid May so it is intended that the pitches will be in use at this time. It is predicted that the pitches will predominantly be used on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The times of matches are determined by the football league. It is possible the times of matches will vary each week.

    When the pitches are not in use the nets will be removed by the grounds maintenance contractor, however it is intended that the land will be available for local residents to use when matches are not scheduled. The area can therefore be used as open space at the convenience of local residents and the wider community,

    70 new car parking spaces are proposed to accompany the introduction of five new pitches. This will add to the 96 spaces already available within the leisure centre. The FA (Football Association) suggests that for this amount of pitches proposed 80 car parking spaces should be sufficient. The 70 spaces proposed, together with that available at the leisure centre, are considered to satisfy the demand required. No objection is raised to the proposal by the County Highway Authority. The amount of spaces should alleviate the need for people to park along Priory Chase and mitigate against a highway hazard. The grounds maintenance contractor will be responsible for informing those hiring the site areas to direct cars for parking.
    All access to the pitches is via the leisure centre entrance. A new footpath has been introduced leading alongside the new parking spaces to the pitches. Mounds/banks are to be created around the boundaries, as a way of securing the site and keeping access restricted to a designated point.
    Provision is made for the storage of bicycles at the edge of the playing field, where they will be secure and in view from the field for security reasons.
    A new bridle way link has recently been created by the adjacent private developer as part of the legal agreement, running from Priory Chase to the footbridge crossing into Sweyne Park. The south west area of the site separated by this route cannot be used for playing pitches.

    Residential Amenity
    It is considered that sufficient measures have been taken to ensure that there is no adverse impact upon residential amenity.
    With regards to increased traffic movements and parking, the use of the leisure centre?s existing entrance and the provision of substantial parking spaces should reduce the impact upon immediate neighbours and should mean no on-street parking will occur in Priory Chase. The playing fields are only proposed to be used during the day and as such no traffic noise should occur from this site in the evenings.
    No flood lights are proposed on the site, restricting use to daylight hours. Any provision of flood lights in the future would require a further planning application.
    With regard to noise and disturbance it is not considered that the use would result in a material increase in noise which would result in a loss of amenity to surrounding residents. It is noted that during days scheduled for matches/training the area would be busier than usual and an increase in noise is expected. However, this is not considered to be so significant or during unsociable hours as to result in a detriment to the amenity of surrounding neighbours.
    The proposal is considered to satisfy part (v) of Policy LT2 of the Local Plan.
    Anti-Social Behaviour
    3.50 Due to the fairly secluded location of the pitches and the skate park adjacent to the site, it is likely the area will be popular with younger members of the community. The applicant advises that once the pitches are in use, they will be monitored, liaising continually with Essex County Council. Youth workers have already been associated with the skate park. The Council offers a programme of diversionary activities that will also continue. It is therefore considered that measures to suppress anti-social behaviour are already in place and will continue.

    3.54 It is proposed that this Committee RESOLVES to APPROVE the application subject to the following conditions:-
    1 SC4B Time Limits Full – Standard
    2 No development or preliminary groundworks of any kind shall take place until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved by the Planning Authority.
    3 Prior to the commencement of the development details for the tree planting, planting specifications, management and aftercare shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be implemented in accordance with such details as may be agreed.
    4 The development shall be implemented in accordance with the methodology for mitigation of effects upon the reptile population on the site and as set out in section 7 of the Reptile Survey and Translocation by Fiona Wells Land Management Advisory Service dated July 2008 submitted in support of the application.
    5 Prior to the beneficial use of development commencing the car parking area indicated on the submitted plans, including any parking spaces for the mobility impaired, shall be hard surfaced, sealed and marked out in parking bays. The car park shall be retained in this form at all times. The car park shall not be used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles that are related to the use of the development.

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  • Oh what bliss! and what a surprise, as usual RDC do exactly what they like without thought or consideration for the people that have to live in such proximity to yet another “amenity” that Coppice Gate residents are being saddled with.

    3.48 was rather interesting:
    “With regard to noise and disturbance it is not considered that the use would result in a material increase in noise which would result in a loss of amenity to surrounding residents. It is noted that during days scheduled for matches/training the area would be busier than usual and an increase in noise is expected. However, this is not considered to be so significant or during unsociable hours as to result in a detriment to the amenity of surrounding neighbours.”

    I am sure my neighbours value their legal right to quiet enjoyment of their properties, each evening after a hard days toil, as well as every weekend. This facility will have a detremental effect to our “quiet” enjoyment – has anyone ever heard a quiet football match? I havn’t! My weekends are precious and times when I can relax, therefore any noise during a Saturday or Sunday is, as far as my family and I are concerned going to be unsociable.

    The council obviously have no idea how many cars are already parking on the road as there is no space in the car park. Those additional parking spaces will be filled with the current overflow, now throw additional cars for these pitches into the pot and the parking problem we already have on this development is exaserbated.

    Perhaps it’s time the Planning department at RDC were slapped with an ASBO.

  • Reptiles and dead Saxons are clearly more worthy than the current local human residents…

    Youth workers are going to have their work cutout tackling anti-social behaviour – they already FAIL miserably in this respect… The nets will be removed…how long before the posts are smashed by our local yobs? Neighbours of the pitches should have our local Constable on speed dial!

    Lazy parents WILL park on Priory Chase to “watch” their little Darlings play Footie from their warm dry gas guzzlers…Strict parking restrictions need to be enforced – residents only parking permits if necessary.

    I’m totally insensed by the arrogance and ignorance of the RDC and the Highways Authority…

  • I notice no mention of the suggested raised embankment surrounding the pitches and tree lined perimeter that I detailed in a letter to RDC planning dept and raised on this site in August.

    This would seriously be beneficial to the houses at the end of Priory Chase and assist with preventing noise coming from the pitches; would deter parking up overlooking the pitches in Priory Chase in order to watch matches; and would be far more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than football pitches.

    I am a big football fan but do not want pitches overlooking my property and all the issues that comes with this. All I ask is my quality of life taken into account and an embankment put in place.

    Why hasn’t this suggestion been taken seriously enough? Would it be something to do with costing money?

  • As I remarked on here before the pitches designated for under 16 use are actually only under 12 size a bit of an error on the councils part.
    I personally think you do not have anything to worry about as residents from matches, as I do not see who will use these pitches.

  • Hi David, you might have missed this bit….
    “3.39 …………………… Mounds/banks are to be created around the boundaries, as a way of securing the site and keeping access restricted to a designated point.”

    Hopefully that will also stop the 4×4 crew sitting in their cars watching their little darlings!

  • Chris
    Our proposal at Rayleigh Boys YFC was to use the pitches between 09.30 and 14.30 on a Sunday. We would have carried on training in the parks we already use.
    We were looking at Disabled football and a couple of fun days a year for the community but these would have been after consultation with the committee members from the local community.

  • Having previously lived on another semi rural new build housing development where Youth football Pitches were introduced – just call me Lucky I guess! 🙁 – I feel that it is easy to predict what is likely to happen as a result of the Coppice Gate Pitches…

    In my previous experience in the Manchester suburbs (2004 to 2006):-

    There was an increase in noise during matches and training. Sunday mornings in particular, noise was particularly intrusive.

    There was a marked increase in traffic and dangerous driving (speeding and youngsters clowning around in cars and on bikes, mopeds) on what was previously a very quiet “middle class” residential estate.
    In fact traffic calming measures had to be hastily introduced i.e. road narrowing, traffic rights of way signage etc…But these didn’t affect the bikes or mopeds but did “lower the tone” in the area i.e. made it look more like a road entering a council estate.

    Despite the adequate provision of car parking adjacent to the pitches there was also a high incidence of inconsiderate/anti-social and illegal parking…parking on pavements, blocking driveways etc…
    In addition Parents seemed to prefer to sit in their cars parked on the road either alledgedly “watching” the football/training or waiting for their children to finish. Especially in the coldest/wettest winter months – with their engines running to keep warm. An additional disturbance for those unfortunate enough to live closest.

    Gangs of youths (on foot and skateboards) also congregated in the vicinity – this wasn’t previously the case!

    Vandalism also started in the vicinity not only to the football site and changing facilities but also some damage to cars and boundary fencing belonging to local residents.

    Don’t know if it was linked but house break in’s and car thefts also seemed to increase.

    Many Neighbours with houses overlooking the pitches put their homes on the market but seemed to have some difficulty selling. Don’t know how their house prices were affected?

    Although I lived on the street were the pitches were sited, fortunately my house didn’t overlook the pitches! However I was still affected by Noise, Traffic/Dangerous Driving, Parking issues and also youths skateboarding on my property – they seemed to approve of my block paving and decorative curbs.

    ***Mini tournaments were also played on these pitches and coaches bringing the youth teams started to use the narrow residential streets… HAS ANY CONSIDERATION BEEN GIVEN TO THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE? WHERE WILL COACHES PARK?***

    I’m unable to attend the meeting on Thursday but I wish everyone involved the best of luck – local residents tried to fight the football pitches at my last place but we were unsucessful!

    Sadly I think the pitches are a done deal. Hopefully the banked tree planted boundaries will be approved as a minimum concession.

    Additionally I also believe that the pitches should be reduced to four so they are not so close to houses.

    I believe that the pitches should be fenced in (the pitch side of the banks/trees obviously!!) so their use and access is strictly controlled. They should also only be used for a limited period per week.

    I also beleive that Priory Chase and Temple Way MUST be adopted BEFORE any further development (inc the pitches) is approved. This is to ensure that street cleaning and parking can be lawfully enforced.

  • TWR – you tell a pretty depressing story.

    In one sense the football pitches are a done deal, in that it’s been planned to have pitches here for a long time, In fact , Sport England only withdrew their objection to the whole Park School development – including the ‘mixed commercial/neighbourhood use’, the school relocation, the leisure centre and the housing on the condition that the sports pitches were created here.
    It would have been better to have created the pitches first before the houses were built, and one of my major concerns about the whole Park School Site is that Wimpey were allowed to use this land as a compound by officers without councillors agreement. It would have been fairer for people buying houses (and Wimpey weren’t asked to an archaological survey first!)

    Having said all this, it doesn’t mean that the pitches will necessarily be approved on Thursday. Just as the original housing scheme was refused, this one could be refused as well if the right condtions aren’t agreed to minimise nuisance to residents. As always, none of us district councillors are allowed to make our minds up until the night…

    One other thing – Rayleigh does need more sports pitches. Badly. There are a lot of Rayleigh boys and girls who need them, and their parents want them.

    Indeed to facilitate the development of the Park School site the District Council deliberately set a policy that the standard of sports pitch provision in Rayleigh be set lower than the national average – and lower than in most other parts of the district – in order to get permission to build on the old sports pitches.

  • I wonder, if ASDA, the Leisure Centre, and the football pitches were built prior to the housing development being built, how many houses would Wimpeys still be trying to sell? I think a good percentage of them.

    I struggle with the comment made “There are a lot of Rayleigh boys and girls who need them, and their parents want them.” How many of these parents want 5 football pitches, the associated noise and additional traffic outside of their front door? How many of these people want the additional traffic whizzing past their doors? I for one am insensed that RDC is putting further strain on a tiny road that is already struggling to cope with the volume of traffic, this will cause more misery for the poor residents that face Priory Chase, and it will have a knock on effect on those that live in Temple Way.

    Still, at the end of the day why bother complaining? RDC will do exactly what they want, and as this is an RDC application it’s going to sail through without any hitch!

    I am probably being a little pessimistic, but as the Planning Dept have consistently proven that they couldn’t plan their way out of a paper bag, I hold little hope for our ability to enjoy our properties in the future!

  • My apologies if I’ve depressed anyone!! But sadly this is the reality of the situation!

    I agree Chris, it would have been preferable if the whole Park School site had been set aside for Sports and Community Use. I say this with hindsite of course as – being an outsider – I was unaware of any of the issues, ASDA, CORAL, Football Pitches etc… until it was too late. I’d already bought my home and moved in…

    Please note that two wrongs (or more in this case!) DO NOT make a right!!
    The further development of this now established residential area can’t be justified on any level!
    The original plans for the Coppice Gate housing development were woefully inadequate and that, I’m afraid, is Rochford District Councils fault. Wimpey may have been the architects but it is the Councils job to oppose plans and demand conditions…

    BTW, I’m a little bored of people banging on about football facilities! There are other sports! How many hockey pitches or netball courts are there in Rayleigh? What athletic facilities are there in Rayleigh? How many swimming pools are there in Rayleigh?

    Incidently the land in Manchester was originally earmarked as a so called “country park”! A point worth considering for the proposed “country park” for Rawreth Lane. That’s another story though…

  • Not in my back yard eh?

    What is required here is a level of understanding from all interested parties: understanding that propsective buyers were given vague and misleading information from developers and treated shabbily, understanding that there are more children who want to play football than want to play hockey and that the amount of green space in Rayleigh falls below par, understanding that keeping children fit and healthy is far preferable than not, understanding that a decent football club can work together with residents when it has sole use of a site rather than it being in the control of RDC, understanding that this is not Manchester- though if it were, people would know how to speak properly 😉

    Alison- proud to have been born and bred in the great city of Manchester where I watched my father and brother play football without incident or annoyance to others, proud to have a child who plays football for Rayleigh Boys, proud to have a son who swims but doesn’t play football, proud to live in Rayleigh and proud never to be bored with democratic discussion.

  • Unfortunately Alison, children (on the most part) are not raised today to have respect for other people or their surroundings. My years of experience as a teacher has taught me that as well as the numerous times I have had to go outside my front door in Temple Way and usher rude and rowdy kids on.

    These football pitches will only benefit a small percentage of the residents of rayleigh. A swimming pool will benefit a larger group of residents and is much needed in Rayleigh. A swimming pool would also bring in more money for RDC than 5 pitches!

    My the very nature of football, these pitches WILL generate noise and annoyance for residents. RDC had better prepare itself for an influx of letters of complaint from me – mind you they will probably treat those in the same manner previous letters of complaint have been treated – UNANSWERED!

    Roll on the next elections – perhaps next time we’ll get the council the residents of Rayleigh deserve!

  • Corey,
    I agree with you about lack of respect and rowdy behaviour and I am glad that you challenge it. If more of us stood up to it then I’m sure that it would go a long way to allieviating the problem. I also agree with you about the need for a local public pool in addition to Swimming Tales. Children more than ever need exercise. I still believe that there is a need for playing fields and that the current state of affairs has been caused by corporate capitalist greed and total disregard for people. What I personally don’t like to see is the discord caused between different community groups which stems from decisions forced upon them by others.
    ‘in reliquo laboramus’ – the Rayleigh motto- ‘we work for the future.’ Perhaps agreements can be reached by working together. I really hope so.

  • Unfortunately it’s not just children that need exercise – but adults also.

    Speaking as a somewhat overweight adult, I find it uncomfortable to go to the gym, yet enjoy swimming. Although there are some that would use the gym, on the more part, the older generation prefer a good swim.

    I would go so far as to say that RDC, by their application for junior football pitches, are discriminating against the majority of people. There is no provision here for anyone other than the under 12s.

  • I would be interested to know the cost to clear and seed the area of the football pitches, as this was the condition of the land before Park School was closed and the land has been left unused for so long?

  • Girls need exercise too.

    I’m sure there is a local girls football team(s)? That may make some use of the pitches? But this time will be disproportionate to the time spent exercising by boys.

    There is a recreational ground on Rawreth Lane, can this be used by junior/youth football teams?

  • As Chairman of Rayleigh Boys YFC a club that represents the town of Rayleigh and COMPLETLY run by unpaid volunteers I am dismayed by some of the comments made and lack of understanding from others.

    As a club we are responding to the growing population of Rayleigh fueled as well by the people who have moved onto this estate.We as a club appreciate the issues on this estate and tried to reflect this in our proposal to the council that the residents would have say in how we run the area.
    This was not accepted by the council so we as a club have absolutly no input as to what happens from now on.
    As councellor Black has stated the pitches were going to be there long before a brick was laid so please dont blame us ,for errors made by you and your solicitors.
    As A club we do not believe anybody will use this area for football as their is only 2 youth teams in Rayleigh ,Downhall have only a few teams and we are now moving out of Rayleigh because of the small minded views we have encountered from most of our elected leaders ,so we will not be blighting your landscape.

    I am stunned that we with our “liitle “jonnys” are regarded in this way by not only the Council but the residents. If it was not for the thousands of hours put in by the volunteers I assure you a lot more kids from your estate would be on the street corners
    What a kick in the teeth for all of our Volunteers.

  • From your comments Martin, it would seem that there are many solicitors practising in Essex that are not fit to do their jobs. I have yet to come across anyone living on this development where these pitches came up on searches.

    It may be that these were ear marked to go on this site, but unless applications have been submitted, there is nothing to search on.

    I appreciate that this town is seriously lacking in amenities for ALL residents, but the fact of the matter is that this is going to be a council run amenity that will not be managed properly to the detriment of those living in the shadow of these pitches.

    It is clearly obvious that the council we have are power crazed and want to control as much of the town as possible, relinquishing power of this development to one group of people would mean the council would not be able to wallow in what would be a well run amenity.

    With regard to your comment about the way residents are viewing “little jonnys”, and them hanging round street corners. My understanding is that your “little johnnys” are under 12. Why are parents allowing children of this age to be hanging on street corners? I don’t have any children (yet) and do not see it to be my job to deal with the antisocial behaviour of others children, yet this is something that I have to do on an almost daily basis. This amenty will see an increase in kids in this area, and therefore an increase in antisocial behaviour!

  • Martin, I agree with Rita. Unfortunately so many (all?) of these subjects are always filled with negative comments and I hope you don’t think everyone agrees with those comments. Keep up the good work.

  • Martin as a parent of a little boy who has been playing football now for 3years, and who played his first match for Rayleigh Boys Puma’s on Sunday, I have total respect and admiration for the way that you and all the other volunteers run your club,and without the likes of you and those volunteers including the coaches who my son trains with on Saturdays youth football just wouldn’t exist. I can appreciate the time that you put into the club, and the time that you have spent trying to secure pitches to play on, all I can say is keep up the fantastic work you do, because I can assure you, you are making a difference to how these children will grow up, they learn an awful lot through team sport, including respect for others, and this is something that they will have for life. Unfortunately there is always a minority in life who spoil things for others, but this shouldn’t reflect on children as a whole, we are not all bad parents, we don’t all let our children run riot, we don’t all bump up the kerb, and we are not all rowdy, a vast majority of parents ensure their children are brought up, not dragged up and so to tar us all with the same brush is unfair, it would have been nice for you to have had the chance to prove differently had you been given control of the pitches, but as you say, this is now not your concern, and wherever Rayleigh Boys play, I will be there supporting the great work you do, and as my daughter is now learning basic skills at the age of 2, I look forward to her playing for Rayleigh Boys in the future and learning valuable social and football skills that my son is.

  • I am with Martin, Rita, BigBry and DR on this one. My work is principally with volunteers and, I have to say, the positivity and ‘can do’ attitude of many who volunteer is in some contrast to the general negativity of some of the comments that appear on this website.

    Endless talk about anti-social kids can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Getting stuck in and working with them tends to dispel the myth, and is – with the odd exception! – very fulfilling to all concerned.

  • I feel I should point out that this post is about the planning application for 5 football pitches.

    Anti Social Behaviour is not a myth. It occurs in this vicinity as a direct result of Asda and the Skateboard Park situated where they are. The ASB is mainly regular noise and littering. A good example is when all the young newly planted trees at the entrance of the Leisure Centre where all snapped in half.

    If you are fortunate enough to be able to go home and not suffer any kind of annoyance like this when under your own roof, are just that, fortunate. A little empathy would not go amiss.

    I haven’t read any posts that I would consider are a ‘kick in the teeth’ to volunteers. Opposing these pitches in any way does not relate to the good work and time spent by volunteers in organisations such as Rayleigh Boys.

    There are good reasons that negative comments are posted on this site. Mainly to highlight issues so that they do not get ignored. If they are not issues to you well you may just see them as negative comments only. Again it comes down to empathy.

    These pitches are to be placed right opposite houses that were there before any mention of football pitches as far as the owners are concerned. Past posts have intimated that it is the fault of the owners that they were not aware of this. How can this be when questions were asked by the prospective buyers of the developers (George Wimpey) and Solicitors and nothing came up on the results? For these reasons the local residents’ points of view should be taken into account and not disregarded!

  • Well said David.

    I have to say I take offense at some comments here that endless talk about anti social kids is a self fullfilling prophecy. It is doing nothing about anti social kids that leads to problems. I have devoted years to working with children, as a teacher in a school that was in a “rough” neighbourhood. To give you some idea, the parish councillor was BNP! I have done my part working with children and it lead to me becoming seriously ill, which 18 months later I have yet to fully recover from. All I want is to enjoy my home without my house being vandalised (it has been twice), to be able to work in my garden without having to listen to 8 or 9 year olds using profanity. There is no police presence in Priory Chase, which I believe aggrevates the problem.

    I have nothing but praise and respect for those that devote their time to enhancing the lives of others, my gripe is that as usual RDC are not considering the needs of the many, just the few!

  • People shouldn’t be at each other’s throats over this.

    RDC should have got the pitches up and running before houses were built opposite. Its one of the ten or so bad decisions that have been made at the Park School site.This didn’t happen because RDC allowed Wimpey to use the site as a compound – and this was agreed by an officer (or officers) without councillors being informed. That is unfair to residents.

    RDC have led local sports clubs a song and dance by first inviting them to apply to lease the land, and then shutting the door in their faces without allowing any of the clubs to make a presentation to councillors. Rayleigh Boys would have allowed 2 local residents to be on their committee to liaise over any problems – I only found that out through a casual conversation , it wasn’t included in any reports to counillors. That is unfair to local clubs and residents.

    What really depresses me is that the District Council is embarking on another wave of housebuilding without seemingly learning from past mistakes. The sports pitches planning application comes up tomorrow night – Coral have been better at consulting the public than RDC have been.

    Fibnally – when matches aren’t being played, this will just be an area of open space. For what it’s worth I personally don’t think it will attract more youth nuisance than if it was just an ordinary area of open space.

  • Thank You for your comments David!

    I too speak from personal experience of living in close proximity to youth football pitches. For those of you that read the Echo you will have seen regular reports of vandalsim of youth football pitches…

    Still only time will tell…

    I am a little confused though…Who are the 5 pitches being built for, if local youth teams already play elsewhere and – by the sounds of it – will not be using the new pitches?

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