The Trick Is In Getting The Developer To Do this…

If you want to operate a leisure or fitness business in our area, where do you locate? If it’s an open air activity, you can probably do it in the green belt. But if you need an actual building, you might not get planning permission in the green belt. In fact a lot of leisure businesses are located on industrial estates. That can work, but it reduces the amount of buildings available for industrial companies. And sometimes a particular industrial state is not suitable for what you want to do.

A recent example was a planning application at the Imperial Park Estate, on Rawreth Lane, Rayleigh for a “Change Use Of Premises To Provide Swim School Business”. This was refused by the district council.  The first reason was that the industrial estate should be protected for industrial use and the proposed use didn’t fit well with the other existing ones. The second reason was that there wasn’t any dedicated parking nearby , which is very significant when you think about lorry movements, no pavements and that the target age range is 0-10 years . In fact the managementof the industrial estate summed things up very well when they wrote to the council saying:



The applicant has now appealed against the decision.

So this kind of business can’t go in the Green Belt , can’t go on an industrial estate and won’t go into an existing residential area because a) it might affect neighbouring homes and b) land prices would be too high. There is one other possibility – newly-created residential areas. Big developers could fairly easily provide land for businesses like this, that provide an amenity to the public but probably can’t afford high rents. The trick is in getting the developer to do this… but if any town planner, Countryside executive or small business owner is reading this…


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  • There is as much chance of Countryside properties building a swimming pool on the new estate as Vince Cable becoming the next PM….😂😂😂

  • Do we need another swimming school in Rayleigh? We already have Swimming Tales that has a purpose built swimming pool for training children over at the Lubbards Farm site. Then we have Strokes swimming school that uses Sweyne Park school’s swimming pool (and other local school pools) during the evenings.
    We used both of these swim schools for our kids, excellent level of teaching at both – highly recommended.

    • You make a good point ST1, but looking at things more generally, we could still benefit from having this type of land available for other hard-to-locate uses that provide an amenity to the public.

  • But with all the extra housing planned already and the next lot which will probably be built on the other side of Rawreth Lane then a good idea to set aside land for leisure activities. Our fight now
    Is to fight, campaign for this. If not in years to come it will be even worse for our children. Plus the new scholarship and health centre. But of course no doctors or nurses.

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