Thurdays Night’s Planning: Asda, King Georges Field, and other stuff….

There was a packed public gallery for the Development Control Committee meeting of the District Control. More than 60 residents were there, and this is what happened:


Rawreth Lane – Asda supermarket plus some small shops and units for community uses: Refused 26-6 against officer advice

Chris and Ron proposed refusal on the grounds of

  • 1) traffic numbers would be ” demonstrably detrimental” to the convenience and safety of highways users, contrary to the outline planning permission
  • 2) the application did not comply with the council’s retail policy SAT1 on new shop developments
  • 3) the application would be detrimental to the “residential amenity” of the new road, Priory Chase ,- especially bearing in mind how narrow it is, and that County Highways are already considering yellow lines.
  • When he opened the debate Chris highlighted the traffic figures that Asda’s own consultants had produced. He also said that about 90 percent of residents would welcome a smaller store there- something still useful for local shopping, but left room for more community uses, didn’t damage shops in places like Hullbridge and didn’t cause traffic problems. But the store proposed tonight was as big as Somerfield’s in Rayleigh. Not the size of a Tesco Express, which was how County Highways had described it.

    Ron followed up , covering a wide variety of points, such as the 23 million pound turnover expected if the store was built. He got a round of applause from the audience. Others speakers then followed, including Chris Lumley , Mavis Webster and Tony Humphries (supporting refusal) and Michael Starke (against refusal).

    When it came to a vote we won 26-6. Some of those who voted against refusal were Mr and Mrs Starke, Terry Cutmore (Tory leader) and Heather Glynn (Junior Conservative).

    It was a good-natured non-political debate, chaired very fairly by Simon Smith, and we are grateful to the 22 Conservative Councillors who voted with us.

    30 flats adjacent to the recreation ground next to St Marks Field , Rochford : passed following officers advice.

    This was agreed after a small amount of discussion – Ward councillor Keith Gordon was supportive.

    Replace the existing perimeter fence around King George’s Field in Rayleigh: Passed against officer advice.

    This was a controversial one. The Town Council want to reduce vandalism and youth nuisance in the park, and want a green metal fence that’s more difficult to climb over. The District officers didn’t like the design, saying it was ‘brutal’.

    Most councillors couldn’t see any problem with the fence – Heather Glynn and Keith Gibbs proposed allowing it, and Chris Black was one of those who spoke in support of it.

    Demolition of 46-52 Crown Hill in Rayleigh, and construction of 24 flats: Passed , following Officers Advice

    This was a difficult one for the ward councillors. The council had refused a similar application here before, and won on appeal – but only on an issue involving road access to the site. Now that the applicants had sorted out the access issue, there was nothing to refuse it on.

    Even so, ward members Mavis Webster and John Pullen moved refusal , but weren’t supported by other councillors, who spoke reluctantly in favour of approval. When the vote was taken the flats were passed by a big majority.

    Remove Existing Mobile Home and Contruct One Bungalow, Lower Road, Hockley ; Refused ,following officer advice

    This was refused on Green Belt grounds without any debate.

    18 flats at Victoria Avenue, Rayleigh – refused , following officer advice.

    This was an application to ‘knock down one, build eighteen’ It was brought to the committee by Councillor Keith Gordon, who didn’t agree with the officer’s recommendation of refusal. However most councillors felt that it shouldn’t be passed. Chris Black said that although something would probably be built here eventually, this particular application seemed too ‘over-dense’