Advent Day 14 – The Gift of Planning Consent

Tonight’s development committee saw some of the larger applications come forward for Southend Airport, Rayleigh, Great Wakering and a smaller, but possibly contentious application in Rochford.

17/00996/FUL – NEW AIRPORT TERMINAL BUILDING, LONDON SOUTHEND AIRPORT NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN EXTENSIONS TO THE PASSENGER TERMINAL BUILDING (Approved)

17/00588/REM – LAND NORTH OF LONDON ROAD AND SOUTH OF RAWRETH LANE AND WEST OF RAWRETH INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, RAWRETH LANE, RAYLEIGH, ESSEX RESERVED MATTERS APPLICATION FOR STRATEGIC LANDSCAPING PROPOSALS FOR PHASE 1 (Approved)

17/00862/REM – LAND BETWEEN STAR LANE AND ALEXANDRA ROAD SOUTH OF HIGH STREET, GREAT WAKERING, ESSEX RESERVED MATTERS APPLICATION FOR 180 DWELLINGS CONSIDERING APPEARANCE, LANDSCAPING, LAYOUT AND SCALE FOLLOWING APPROVAL OF OUTLINE APPLICATION REFERENCE 16/00668/OUT (Approved)

17/00928/COU – 11 WEST STREET, ROCHFORD CONVERT KINGS HEAD PUBLIC HOUSE TO 11 NO. MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY BED SITTING UNITS AND 3 NO. SELF CONTAINED SHOP UNITS (Approved)

Cllrs Stanley and Newport made valiant efforts in commenting on the ‘Land North of London Road’ application. Cllr Stanley addressing the flooding and drainage issues in some detail, which was a fine example of a Cllr taking a very detailed look at the application (something that is often is short supply by our observations). Cllr Newport was scoffed at for suggesting that air quality should be taken into consideration when considering landscaping. Perhaps many Cllr’s have missed the recent news on air quality issues where trees are being used to help reduce the effects of poor air quality. They only pertained to show ignorance, perhaps due to an overarching response that has already been demonstrated by the Tory administration that air quality is not important to them. Remember when we asked if they would monitor more areas in the Rochford District?

The application for a HMO (Bedsits) in West Street in Rochford was back in front of the committee after it was deferred at the last committee meeting to seek further information about the commercial viability of the retail space. Cllr Steptoe, who originally referred the application to the committee was not present. Non-member Cllr Michael Hoy (greens), challenged officers on two very good points. ECC allows a reduction for parking spaces in town centre locations, this application provides NO PARKING and secondly, there was no provision for cycle storage as per ECC policy. RDC’s officer went AGAINST the statutory advice and Cllr M Hoy was quick to point this out. Justified by the public parking nearby, officers seemed to think that public cycle storage was equally acceptable. However, Cllr’s Hookway and Newport were not convinced that this was acceptable and added a condition to the planning that secure cycle storage was included. People have to move around and we simply can not kid ourselves that public transport is up to the job 24/7/365 – it isn’t!

HMO’s (bedsits), unfortunately, scream ‘undesirables’ to many, however, they can provide a positive ‘stepping stone’ for many who can not afford an ‘affordable’ house