The Urban Capacity Study – Something Really Important

Last week one of the District Council committees approved the Council’s Urban Capacity Study. It’s a very important document , although it doesn’t seem to be on the District Council website yet. It has particular significance for Rawreth, because it suggests that there is a high probability that Rawreth Industrial Estate might be re-used for housing.

Basically, the document tackles this question – the District Council has to allow another 3700 or so new homes, how many of these can be built inside existing urban areas and industrial sites? These are the answers that the council has come up with:

Sites with existing planning permissions (and may or may not have been built yet): 856
This is the number for each ward:

  • Ashingdon & Canewdon 21 homes
  • Barling & Sutton 4
  • Foulness & Great Wakering 58
  • Hawkwell North 2
  • Hawkwell South 20
  • Hawkwell West 32
  • Hockley Central 17
  • Hockley North 8
  • Hockley West 16
  • Hullbridge 30
  • Paglesham 0
  • Rochford 301
  • Stambridge 0
  • Sutton 0
  • Downhall & Rawreth 133
  • Grange Ward 10
  • Lodge Ward 16
  • Rayleigh Central Ward 5
  • Sweyne Park 8
  • Trinity Ward 95
  • Wheatley Ward 23
  • Whitehouse Ward 65
  • TOTAL 856

    Building Homes on commercial sites in residential areas
    The document looked at various commercial sites that were really in residential areas and suggested that a number of sites had a “high probability” of being changed to housing:

  • 68-72 West Street Rochford (vehicle repairs /car showroom) – 18 homes
  • 247 London Road Rayleigh (offices, workshops, car sales) – 14 homes
  • 2-4 Aldermans Hill Hockley (former service station) – 8 homes
  • Land next to Hockley train station – 55 homes
  • TOTAL 95

    Intensification of existing sites (“knock down one, build four”)

    The report suggested that about 404 extra homes might be built up to 2021 by “intensifying” existing residential plots. However the reaport recommended that councillors shouldn’t allow for this in the figures because it might possibly sway a planning inspector to pass something he otherise wouldn’t. So this figure wasn’t included.
    TOTAL 0

    Subdividing existing homes (“turn your house into a couple of flats”)
    The document suggested a figure of 15 extra homes from converting existing houses into flats – and this was to be included in the calculations.
    TOTAL 15

    Living above the shop
    The document suggested that having homes built above shops would have a minimal impact – maybe 7 extra homes
    TOTAL 7

    Building houses on bigger industrial and commercial sites.

    The document looked at various big commercial sites and suggested that a number of sites had a “high probability” of being changed to housing, This doesn’t mean that these sites would automatically get planning permission. It does mean though that we can say to the government that we can cut down the number of greenfield sites because these industrial sites – or maybe other ones instead – are highly likely to go for housing. (however if an industrial state is lost the council may have to allocate one elsewhere on a greenfield)

    The sites are:

  • Rawreth Industrial Estate – 220 homes
  • Land between 39-69 Lower Lambricks – 12
  • Stambridge Mills – 60 homes
  • TOTAL 292

    So there is a grand total of 1301 homes projected to be built in urban areas. The consequence of this is that only about 2400 may need to be built on greenfield sites.