Residents Need To Be Aware Of This One

We’ve just seen this in the Echo:

A GOLF club in Hullbridge is hoping to make some of its holes more challenging.

Lords Golf and Country Club in Hullbridge Road has asked Rochford District Council for permission to reshape part of the course.

Leigh Palmer, spokesman, said the improvements were designed to stop balls crossing over on to wrong parts of the course and to make some of the holes more difficult. He said: “With advances in driving technology we are driving longer the holes are becoming shorter. The redesign will stop balls from crossing into the path of other balls. On one hand the redesign is for safety.

“But on the flip side we will be making some of the holes longer. The longer the course, the more difficult it is to play.”

Mr Palmer added that the work would increase the biodiversity of the site, introducing more wildlife and lakes for irrigation…..

A couple of points worth mentioning:

  • The Club’s spokesman , Mr Leigh Palmer, was a Rochford District Planning Officer until recently.
  • According to a brief phone call to the council, this application is very similar to the previous one , that involved 46 lorryloads of earth being transported to the site every day for 3 years.

    As always, the district councillors will follow the local govt code of conduct, and not make our minds up until the meeting. That should apply to our district council candidates too – so please – no comments from Pat, Mike, Corey, Elena, Valerie and Mark! Or even Angelina! (though questions would be OK)

  • Parish Councillors can say what they like!

  • You’re absolutely right, this application is very similar to the last one. We objected then about the 46 lorries every day for 3 years and we object again now. We already have a massive increase in traffic along Rawreth Lane without more.

    We still don’t know exactly where all this “spoil” is coming from and what it contains and I note there are already huge heaps of soil etc on site.

    We are already being woken up very early by large delivery lorries, mostly going to Asda, and there is also the request by Makro to change their opening hours to 6.30am. Yet more hassle and disruption for residents.

    I understand that they, Makro, have pre-empted the decision on their request by telling their customers that they will shortly be opening at 6.30am and staying open later in the evening.
    Here we go again!

  • If Mr Palmer believes the proposed work to the site will “increase the biodiversity of the site, introducing more wildlife and lakes for irrigation”, then he must be better at golf than planning! The last application looked like a huge money making scam with such huge lorry movements no one but the golf club owners would benefit, it appears to be the same this time round. Rawreth Lane cannot sustain anymore lorries. The residents need to register their objections as well, not just Councillors, if you feel strongly then go onto the RDC website and register your objection online, as a resident I will be.

  • The article states that “Lords Golf and Country Club has ASKED Rochford District Council for permission to reshape part of the course”.
    Does just asking constitute a planning application or has a formal application been submitted?
    If so could someone provide the Planning Application number please, it make things easier when submitting an objection.

  • On the RDC website it shows the application number as 08/00214/FUL, the application was submitted on the 12th of March 2008 and vaildated on the 3rd of April 2008, so looks like a formal application has been made, you can view it online using the reference above.

  • The description of the application is as follows:

    08/00214/FUL
    Parish: Hullbridge Parish
    Council Ward: Hullbridge
    Responsibility: Committee;
    Officer: Mr Mike Stranks

    Proposal: Reshaping and Landscaping of Parts of Existing Golf Courses Including Raising Land Levels to Parts of Site by up to 4m to Improve Quality and Safety of Facilities and Creation of New Reservoirs for Irrigation Water Supply. Construct Temporary Site Access Onto Hullbridge Road for Duration of Construction Period. Remove Existing Ball Safety Fencing to Practice Range and Remodel Practice Range to be Contained Within Raised Mound up to 5m High and Provide 2m High Fence on Mound Top With Landscaping.

    Location: Grid Reference Lords Golf And Country Club Hullbridge Road Rayleigh

  • Thanks Hayley & Admin. This may improve the quality & safety of their facilities but it WILL adversely affect the quality & safety of the residents of Rawreth Lane if some 46 large lorries a day are involved.
    I will make this point in my objections. Other objectors please make similar comments!

  • I question the motives of the applicants. If they are serious about the quality of the course why do they also put the whole area forward as potential housing in the district council,s call for sites to be considered . We have been here before and it must be rigorously fought. We knew where some of the potential “spoil” was possibly coming from then,no reason why it won,t be coming from the same source with the risk of toxic soils as the site cannot be continuously monitored with so many lorry movements for so long . No I see it as an excuse for legalising the dumping of huge tonnages of questionable quality spoil which could pollute water courses which rise in that area . It would alter out of all recognition the natural lay of the land albeit modified for the existing golf course.

  • Re altering the natural lay of the land, creating 5 metre high raised mounds will be akin to building an area of single storey pitched roof buildings and with 2 metres of fencing on top it will look like a prison boundary.
    How does this improve quality of facilities as the applicants are stating?

  • I have read sceptical comments.
    Can we put this in to perspective regarding the extra movement along Rawreth lane, they are a drop in the ocean compared to the new ASDA traffic.

    I agree that we do not want bad soil, and I assume that the council will make random checks throughout the process to assess the suitability of the soil.

    Compared to the previous owner, the new owners have invested capital that have made considerable improvements to the appearance of the buildings and conditon of the course. They have advertised functions for the public such as Firework night, Salsa evenings and charity events. They link with local charitable organisations and want to be involved with local community events. I understand that the membership was in decline and now many local people that use the club facilities and may bring in visitors to the area.
    Without our support the new investers may decide that the club is not viable & go elsewhere.
    Do we want to give good reason for it to be converted to a property development which will certainly not be bio positive. Personally I would prefer creating 5 metre grassed mound in certain places than building an area of multi-storey pitched roof buildings.

    A local resident.

  • Has the question not been raised, why if the previous membership was in decline did the new owners choose to buy the club? we are already aware that they put the whole area forward as potential housing in the district council’s call for sites to be considered, either way do they not potentially stand to make a lot of money be it from the companies dumping spoil or potential housing, even the events that arrange make money for them after all they are running the club as a business. I don’t think Rochford would have the resources to check 46 lorries every day to see what the spoil contains and random checks would be pointless as the spoil would already be on site and the lorries will have already driven along the roads that cannot sustain them. Yes Asda has created extra traffic so why do we want even more, espcially lorries? If membership is up and the course and buildings have been improved why do they need to do more?

  • Well put Downhall Resident, and to M. Hodson, the extra lorry movements may be a drop in the ocean to you but to others the ocean is almost at the point of overflowing. It’s like global warming, small changes cause rising oceans to affect other people remote from the source of problem.
    With regard to Firework nights, Salsa evenings and Charity events, I fail to see how these are relevant to shipping thousands of tons of spoil to the golf course. This sounds like a Red Herring from your ocean.

  • Just a thought . There is trouble over dumping 150,000 tonnes of “spoil” on Basildon Golf Course and remodelling it . Sounds familiar ? This story has been running since when the first application at Lords was refused . Is there any connection between the two stories ? The Evening Echo has been running the saga, it can be accessed via the link on the left . Basildon Couincil appeared to have permitted the application but a local group have succeeded in taking it to judicial review .
    As for improving the buildings that may be true for the convenience of the consumers of the various enterprises taking place on what was supposed to be a golf course , But they do seem to dominate Hullbridge road in what was the last bit of green belt between rayleigh and Hullbridge .
    I did not think you could increase the biodiversity by burying it under 5ms. of spoil ! I pity the voles and invertebrates as well as the inevitable great crested newts trying to dig themselves out of that lot !

  • Has any thought gone into the possibility that perhaps the new owners are genuine – AND NO I AM NOT BEING NAIVE!

    In business it is common practice for failing companies to be sold or bought out. Perhaps the new owner has experience in running golf clubs and has pinpointed weaknesses in the previous running of the club and wants to work on removing those weaknesses and to make it a more desired golf club to join.

    I see little (or in fact no) merit in spending money on applications for the land to then be sold on for housing. It has been stated that the previous owner had indicated an interest in selling the land for housing, and why not if it was a failing business. But why would the new owner spend resources on functions and events to help build a new client base if they then intended to sell on?

    Technology has developed golf to a point that it is possible to tee off and hit the ball further than possible a few years ago, from what I have read it is therefore little challenge currently for a keen golfer, by making some alterations to the course, it will be enough of a challenge to the keen golfer for return visits AND perhaps attract more business, thus giving back to the local economy.

  • Corey
    I may sound like an old sceptic but I have lived here all my life and I do care about this area . My big worry about the developement is Rawreth Lane and the effect on the long suffering residents of the extra lorry movements . Anything else I say is incidental and my musings!
    I do hope that the golf course is a success but does it really need such drastic landscape surgery . Besides when I retire I might like to take up Golf and I can use my free bus pass to get there !
    Incidently good luck in the election .,
    I must confess I always imagined you were a female !so when I saw your mug shot it was a surprise .

  • Corey, could it not be a double way of making money, charge for the dumping of spoil, then sell the land off for houses after! quids in both ways, you make money in the short term for very little out lay in planning fees, we all know there is a premium to be made if you allow contractors to use your site for spoil (aren’t there some other sites in Rayleigh that have been in the spot light recently for this, not too far from the A127) then you sell the land at a huge profit for development, who loses out, certainly not the owners, but the poor residents who have put up with the extra traffic from the spoil runs, and then the increased traffic from the development, no doubt doing their shopping at Asda!

  • A Matthews and Downhall Resident, you both make compelling arguments, and off course there is the possibility that you are right! I hope not though! I can empathise with the 46 lorries, I still am not used to 12 lorries per day parking outside my house on double yellows waiting to deliver in ASDA, and would not wish that on anyone.

    A Matthews, thanks for a Sunday morning laugh. You have not been the first with your confession, and nor, do I doubt, will it be the last. I guess it is a curse of having a name that is not too common in the UK; that said I do share my name with a professional golfer – Corey Pavin!

  • Hi All. I’m no golfer but I would prefer minor amendments to the golf course to more housing. The point is to limit their environmental impact, both on local residents and the wild life. They could be far more successful by improving their indoor facilities to attract more local community events and could even be a major force in helping us get the local youths off the streets by hosting activities / clubs.

  • Hi,

    This is my 1st post & im not really sure if I can ask this question or if i have posted this in the right area, but here goes!

    I will be moving to Rawreth Lane in the very near future & have recently noticed that patten Pools have sold their property (subject to contract).

    I understand, I might be wrong, that they have sold the commercial building & this can be changed to whatever kind of bussiness the new buyer wants.

    Or indeed it may have been sold as a residential dwelling!

    Does anyone have any info regarding this property as im panicking this could be turned into anything the buyer wishes ie. McDonalds etc

    any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Hi Pete, thanks for leaving a comment, you are very welcome.

    I’m dashing off to work now and can’t remember offhand the planning situation for the pools place. Can any of our Rawreth Parish Councillors advise Pete on this?- I’d check on the council website but not sure what the precise postal address is. But I’ll try to speak to the planning dept. at the Rochford DC today.

    A Macdonalds would almost certainly require a planning application – it would be a change of use from retail to restaurant and takeaway. Whether it would get permission I don’t know.

    Anyway, Pete, one or more of us will respond soon – and welcome to Rawreth. It’s a good place!

  • Pete welcome to Rawreth as to Patten I am not aware that the business premises were for sale. The house I believe was on the market . There appears to have been some tidying up of the shop recently with a new name board etc.so seems unlkely to me that they are moving. As to any other uses that the building could be put to because of its position I doubt if there would be much leaway to change.Thanks for alerting us .

  • Pete, I’ve tried to email you tonight but my message seems to be bounced back.

    You’ll see that I’ve written about an application for a Lawful Use Certificate- Could you please phone me on 01268 778973 sometime?