At tonights meeting, 2 applications were passed, and 2 refused:
1. Dust extraction equipment at Benchmark Doors Ltd in Main Road, Hawkwell (recommended for approval)
Passed. Independent Councillor John Mason was concerned about any possible risk to residents from the dust, but most councillors were content to pass the application as the Health and Safety Executive would be monitoring the situation.
2. Four flats north of Johnson Court, North Street Rochford (recommended to delegate to the officers to approve). Passed without too much debate (Tory Councillor Sue Harper asked some questions)
3. Demolition of outbuildings and erection of new 432 square metre greenhouse and fencing next to 43 Shoebury Road, Great Wakering (recommended to delegate to the officers to approve) Refused. Councillor Colin Seagers moved refused and was supported by fellow Tory Trevor Goodwin. After a long and complicated debate they won the vote.
4. Allowing extended pre Christmas opening hours at Makro, Rawreth Lane, (recommended to delegate to the officers to approve). Refused. At the start of the debate , all councillors holding Macro cards were invited to leave the meeting. Nearly half the councillors walked out – 13 out of 27!
Chris Black moved refusal on the ground that the weekday hours – 0630-2200 were unfair to the residents who lived next door to the Macro site. Colin Seagers seconded the refusal (Ron was absent through illness). There was a good debate on the issue, with Leader of the Council Terry Cutmore supporting the refusal but veteran Tory Peter Webster happy with the proposed hours. When it came to a vote it was refused by 9 votes to 3.
I wonder if the discussion re Makro was a waste of time. Will Makro actually change its hours when the end of Christmas trading is so near. Shouldn’t the extension of Christmas hours trading have been discussed prior to 19th December! I wonder what will happen next year?
I presume of course the Councillors with Makro cards are in business’ which require wholesale purchases!
Their application was for every Christmas period, not just this one, so in the long term I don’t think the refusal was a waste of time.
Makro has been open till 10pm Monday to Friday in previous years for the Christmas period, I presume that was without permisssion! On Friday the sign within Makro read ‘ Due to Planning Permissions Recently Established Our Opening Hours Have changed Mon – Fri 7.30am – 10.00pm’ etc. Does Makro presume that RDC Officers make the planning decisions. I’ll now leave this subject to rest. I’m sure that there will not be any enforcement from RDC re their trading hours!