Our Response to the Inspector

The deadline has just passed for sending in comments to the planning inspector about the Asda application.

  • We expect there’s been a lot of letters from residents;
  • There’s been two petitions signed by members of the public;
  • There’s been one petition signed by local traders;
  • The District Council has also written in to object.
  • Meanwhile, we haven’t been idle ourselves. Five councillors have sent in a joint objection to the inspector. The five of us are Chris Black, Ron Oatham, Chris Lumley and June Lumley (all Rayleigh Lib Dem Councillors) plus Peter Robinson (one of the Hullbridge Conservative Councillors).

    Our “response” isn’t just a letter – it’s a 27-page report , covering just about every aspect of the application. We also include a couple of the comments that people have sent to onlinefocus.

    Front Cover of Report

    This is what we put in our conclusions:

    – It is clear to us that this application is not acceptable in planning terms. This is supposed to a local neighbourhood centre, not a district shopping centre.

    -It does not comply with the outline consent regarding traffic.

    -It does not comply with local and national retail policies and would have a damaging effect on Rayleigh Town Centre and shops in Hullbridge, Hambro Parade and London Road .

    – It would affect the residential amenity of those residents who have moved to Priory Chase expecting a neighbourhood centre rather than a supermarket.

    -The application marginally complies with the outline consent regarding a range of uses. However whether any of the ?range of uses? actually came into effect would depend on the commercial decision of Asda about what rent levels to charge.

    – If the applicants were to come back with a design for a shop one-quarter or one-third the size of this store, it would not be so damaging to existing shopping areas, would not produce detrimental levels of traffic and would leave room for more neighbourhood uses..

    Will the inspector allow Asda’s scheme? We’ll probably find out in January.

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