Rawreth Parish Council Hits Out

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Their website now has a special section on the Core Strategy and LDF .

It includes the following letter which they sent to all members of the District Council LDF sub-committee:

Local Development Framework Sub Committee
Councillors?
K H Hudson
C I Black
T E Goodwin
K J Gordon
J M Pullen
Mrs C A Weston 10th October 2008

Dear Committee Members

Re: Rochford Core Strategy

On behalf of Rawreth Parish Council I write with reference to the preparation and agreement of the Rochford Core Strategy and express extreme disappointment at the lack of integrity by the members of the Local Development Framework Sub Committee and Rochford District Council Officers regarding the allocation figures for housing in the District.

Throughout all the previous and present paperwork Rawreth has not appeared and, therefore, should be included in Tier 4 – All other settlements. We are not part of Rayleigh and should not be considered so. We are a separate Parish and intend to remain so.

At various stages of the consultation process, and at West Area Committee meetings the direct question has been asked on many occasions, what is meant by ?Rayleigh West?, was this a reference to Rawreth?

An answer to this question was often avoided, but on the 24th of June 2007 after releasing a list of sites that landowners and developers had suggested could be used for development the District Council stated that ?so far no housing is suggested for Rawreth? and at a meeting of the West Area Committee on the 4th of September 2007, when pressed, Mr Shaun Scrutton eventually stated that ?the Council?s original proposal was for extensions to be made to existing urban settlements and, there are NO actual urban settlements in Rawreth? therefore the area referred to was not Rawreth. He clearly stated that ?no substantial housing development was planned for Rawreth?.

Council would now like to know why months later the truth has been revealed and the reference to ?Rayleigh West?, does in fact mean Rawreth. This area is still being referred to as Rayleigh but now identified as North of London Road. This is NOT Rayleigh, but Rawreth.

Rawreth is the gateway to the District of Rochford and this allocation of 650 houses has been put forward for an area of the highest quality farmland, coupled with a further 200 houses on an area of land currently used as an industrial site, no confirmation or indeed indication has been made as to where the current industrial site will move to, but again it is highly probable that it will be within the Parish of Rawreth south of the London Road, therefore. in addition to the unjust housing proposals more land will be lost to a new industrial site, the location of which has never been discussed with residents, the Parish Council or the businesses who are directly affected and who rely on the units, location and facilities.

There is nothing beneficial to the Parish by building a development of this magnitude, nothing of any quality would be added to the Parish and nothing of any benefit would be added for the residents, however this development would take away the character of the Parish, and valuable farmland and greenbelt would be lost. The Parish currently has an electoral role of 793, with a total of 373 dwellings, how can an extra quota of houses, 228% higher than those already in the Parish be justifiable, how can building on the open greenbelt be justifiable? This is not considered to be development of Rawreth; it is a vast unwanted expansion.

The Parish of Rawreth simply does not have the infrastructure to cope with any more development. Rawreth and the western side of Rayleigh has already seen vast expansion in recent years which has placed a huge strain on the existing roads, schools, doctors and amenities, Rawreth Lane is regularly at a standstill, yet this would provide one of the main routes into both the proposed developments.

Rawreth Parish Council strongly oppose development of this magnitude in the Parish, and state that any development should be proportionate with the number of existing properties, a figure in the region of 10%, equating to 40 new houses would be a fairer figure for consideration and on this basis the Council strongly urge the committee to reconsider the allocations that they have set for Rawreth, ?Rayleigh West?, and the sites they have chosen.

The Members of Rawreth Parish Council and the residents of the Parish look forward to receiving direct answers to the questions raised in this letter.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Hayley Bloomfield
Clerk to Rawreth Parish Council

  • Hayley, Excellent response to a totally arrogant campaign by the Tory Councillors to push this through ‘by hook or by CROOK’. They bring their party into disrepute by the way they have gone about this. Maybe Councillor Hudson should revisit the decision to give Hockley 50 new homes (I wonder who the councillor for Hockley is? It wouldn’t be councillor Hudson, would it?) Enough is enough with this council. They seem to go from bad to worse. The way they have treated the residents of Rawreth is atrocious, the way they have treated councillors of RDC is atrocious and the way they have treated residents of Rayleigh is atrocious but the way they have treated councillors of the ‘cabinet’ is priveliged! Councillors should remember that they are in office by virtue of the public and any decisions arrived at will be judged by the public. The public can also vote them out!