Today’s Exhibition On Future Development

Rayleigh Exhibition

The District Council brought their exhibition back to Rayleigh today – and we were told that several hundred residents came to have a look. This proves that people like ourselves, Cllr Tony Humphries and onlineFOCUS regular Alison were right to press for a return visit.

We look forward to the day when we can write something here in praise of some Tory councillors voting with us on the 1800 houses issue….

  • .I visited the exhibition on the High Street as I wanted to see it in “the flesh” rather than just on a website. I was particularly interested in discovering where the 1800 units are to be built in Rayleigh.
    There was a “map” which apparently was “not a map” – confused? So was I.
    Apparently it has not been decided where the 1800 units are to be built, just that it is the preferrred option to built 1800 units somewhere in Rayleigh. So am I understanding this correctly: 1800 units are to be built in Rayleigh because it is believed by the planners that the infrastructure is already present to service the population but they haven’t yet thought about where? If there is a slight whiff in the air it isn’t my cynicism but the stench of the proposals.

    adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit

  • Hi Alison

    Why not send an e-mail to Shaun Scrutton at RDC (Head of Planning, shaun.scrutton@rochford.gov.uk) and ask him to send you a list of those plots of land in Rayleigh that have already been notified to the Council by landowners and others as being candidates for residential development. I did this for the Hawkwell/Hockley Allocation of 400 houses and I could very quickly get a picture of where the houses might be allocated in due course?

    I have been able to raise a more detailed planning defence for my Ward in this consultation. Take a look at the information you could get.

    http://www.girltalk.pcs-net.com/rol/does-this-affect-you-sites-suggested-for-development-in-hockleyhawkwell/

    And my early defence is at:

    http://www.girltalk.pcs-net.com/rol/public-consultation-on-new-housing-in-hawkwell-loss-of-green-belt/

    Every Ward Councillor could do this as well on behalf of their residents even though the Council do not intend to give the information to Members until the consultation has closed. And there lies a sorry tale which has yet to be told.

    Regards

    Councillor John Mason
    Rochford District Residents
    Hawkwell West Ward

  • Chris, would you just clarify something for me please, I am sure we have had this conversation but I am not sure what the outcome was.
    I believe that the original figure of units to be built in the district was 4,600 and while consultation was going on development was also in full swing. Step forward and the figure is now 3,700 of which 1,800 more units are to be built in Rayleigh. If that is a true reflection, could someone tell me how many units have been built in Rayleigh already. If I am wrong, apologies. Thanks

  • Mike:

    You are right:

    Original figure= 4600
    Already Built = 900
    Left to build : 3700, of which 1800 are proposed for Rayleigh.

    I’m not sure how many of the 900 are in Rayleigh – but it would be quite a lot, and include the Park School site. I will try to find out.

    Alison:
    I think the planners would probably say that we are already lagging behind in amenities but they would try to catch up with providing them on the lines of “We’ll let you build x number of houses, if you agree to provide this amenity” (By the way, I know you think in Roman terms, but here x does NOT mean 10!) This was tried with the Park School site, but with not very satisfactory results.

    From their point of view, it doesn’t really matter which particular field near Rayleigh is used to provide x houses, looking at the town as a whole it doesn’t matter too much.

    John: What you’ve done is very worthwhile, although landowners who haven’t made representations yet could still do so later on. Back in Feb we had a link here to a place on the council website where you could download all the consultation responses from the first consultation at the end of last year, but the link’s broken now.

    We listed SOME of the landowners who who wanted their land to be built on back on November 27 2003 – the list is still interesting, and you can find it. Probably the quickest way is to click on “Archives” near the top of the screen, and then click on “November 2003”

  • Hi Chris and Jackie,

    Seems my letter was not published however Mavis Websters’ was, it’s a funny old world. Could not really make much sense of the letter though!! There were other comments as well as your letter so I couldn’t see how you misrepresented the facts, But hey who am I to complain I am just a Rayleigh resident who is completely disenchanted with the way things are going under a Tory led council. Strange really, I have left enough disparaging remarks on several websites and in the Echo but not one person has come back to give me any answers. Oh well we live in hope, is there anyone one, in power, on the district council who would join in a proper and open debate on the way they are OUR council and in turn our lives are being run?

    I bet you not one Tory councillor will accept that invitation.

    Chris if you would like to send this out to your colleagues, please do.

  • Chris I have just written to the Echo again after reading mavis Websters comments. She is talking about 1,800 houses being built here out of 4,600. (WRONG) it should be 1,800 houses out of 3,700!! We have already had our fair share here out of the 900 already built. Who does mavis Webster think she is kidding.
    I get more annoyed by the minute.

    Very angry of rayleigh

  • Mike, I know a few Conservative Councillors and campaigners read onlinefocus and maybe one or two of them would like to have a go… even if under a pseudonym ! But I don’t want to turn this into a slanging match….!

    As for Mavis’s letter, we did NOT misrepresent their leaflet- the first part of the Wheatleys leaflet began by saying that the East of England Region was forcing 4600 homes in the District and forcing the majority into Rayleigh.. (I haven’t got the precise wording to hand)

    But Ron and I still managed to have a civilised conversation with Mavis after a council meeting tonight.

    By the way, councillors were given info today about what sites have been put forward for devlopment by landowners – if I can get confirmation that the info is in the public domain we will publish it here.

    – chris

  • Thanks Chris, I would not like a slanging match either, however I am sure that there are many people like me who would like to put our views forward, not only about development but also about how we feel that the councillors that we elect are not able to contribute as we would expect them to be able to. This is especially true when there appears to be a siege mentality where only Tory councillors get the top jobs. It should be the right people for the right jobs and I am amazed that only the Tory councillors got the top jobs. This is about party politics and not about looking after the electorate. I really feel that the national party is directing the local party. We had this conversation Chris, some time ago and you said to me that we are talking about local issues, well I am now talking local but the Tories are looking over their shoulders and hoping that Mark Francois is giving them the thumbs up.

    Our fathers fought for the right for us to be able to voice our views without fear of the consequences, the local and national parties need to take this on board and show some humility.

  • So my letter to the Echo was printed after all and very prominently. What really baffles me is that not one councillor has challenged me and my views on what is happening here. It is pretty surreal. It is as if they believe if they do not comment on my views and understanding of what I believe is happening I will just go away. WRONG. I have already caught out misleading comments from Mavis Webster regarding the new housing numbers. I will not go away, I will record every meeting, comment on every decision that the ‘Cabinet’ make and let the people of Rayleigh see what a shambles this district council is making of of our town.
    I will now be sending comments to papers out of our district so that they can understand what electing a Tory council will do for them. the Essex Chronicle will be a good start so that the County Council can make up their own mind to what is happening.
    Chris, did you find out where the council want to build the extra 1,800 houses? ( which is over the new builds that we have already had to absorb)

  • As you know I asked the Head of RDC Planning for information on what sites had been offered by landowners for housing development in Hawkwell/Hockley. He sent me this reply.

    “At the moment, we are still analysing the site proposals that were received and the land areas have not been calculated. I will be preparing a report for the Executive Board in July that will provide a comprehensive summary of the information. In the meantime, the best I can do is provide a list of the sites proposed in the Hockley/Hawkwell area. I am also not able to give any specific guidance about the density, other than to say that national planning policy is that sites should be developed at a minimum of 30 dwellings per hectare (there is no upper limit now).”

    Since then he has sent information relating to the whole district to all Councillors. As it was not marked Private and Confidential, I have published this on my site.

    http://www.girltalk.pcs-net.com/rol/rochford-district-houses-allocation-call-for-sites/

    Councillor John Mason
    Rochford District REsidents

  • Thanks John,

    What really baffles me is that speaking to a few of my friends this week they are still not sure of what is exactly going on. Wouldn’t it have been much better for the council to have printed an agreed wording for a information letter and get all Rochford District Councillors and helpers to deliver this information. The people who I have spoken to live near to where the sites on your list are.

    The council must realise that not all local residents read the local papers or know about websites such as this one or the one you manage, John. But again I suppose that is all good for the council. The more people who do not realise what is going on the less resistence there will be to the developments, ignorance is bliss

    I still come back to the problem of exposure to the public regarding what is going on in their district and transparency in how the the council make decisions (taken from your website, John).

  • John: I have confirmation from the District Council that the information is not confidential and is in the public domain. I have asked them to put it onto the RDC website. In the meantime I think we’ll be writing something later on today about the location of the sites – for one thing, I’m not sure if enough landowners have come forward yet to provide land for 1800 houses within the parish boundaries of Rayleigh.

    It must be borne in mind though , that some other sites could still ’emerge’.

    Graham – we could do some help with onlinefocus when you have time – maybe add rss feeds from RFC and the Echo..

    Mike: “What really baffles me is that speaking to a few of my friends this week they are still not sure of what is exactly going on.” I’m not surprised…

  • Graham, thanks for your offer, I am a complete novice at the functions and processes going on behind using a website so you would be a great help.

    Chris, I am going to write to the Echo again this week to ask if they would put into the paper that the consultation and date for objections and views runs out at the weekend so there is very little time left. What I do know is that if not enough people voice their concerns now the council will take that as a yes vote – GO AND BUILD WHAT YOU LIKE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE – which it definately is not! Through your colleagues in the Lib Dems in other districts in the South East do you know if any or all are going through the same problems as we are? It might be worth thinking about a site which would encourage all districts to post messages about what is going on within their ‘patch’ especially about overdevelopment.

    John, you might want to do the same with any other independents in the South East?

  • Mike, once the consultation is over a sub-committee will look at the responses. That sub-committee consists of Keith Hudson (Deputy Leader of the Council , from Hockley) Keith Gordon (Rochford), John Pullen (Rayleigh), Derek Stansby (Hawkwell) , Colin Seagers (Great Wakering) and myself.

    The consultation is not a referendum – the results are not binding. But I think those of us on the sub-committee would be foolish if we didn’t take notice of what people said…..

    As far as I know there are lots of districts wrestling with similar problems, but to be honest I haven’t had time to study them in any detail, except for Uttlesford which is facing the proposed explansion of Stansted Airport too..

    Chris