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Parish Council Chairman objects to “Massive Great Shed”

June 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Disability Essex, based in Rocheway, Rochford, wants to put the 10ft by 12ft pitched-roof shed, near to the car park of its new £2million building.

Councillor John Bond, Chairman of Rochford Parish Council, – said: “Our objection is they want to build a shed to put tools in.” “They have gardeners to do their work.” “If they want to build a shed that’s fine, but they want a massive great shed.”

The full  Echo article is here disabilityessex

The planning application will be considered by 8 July by RDC and as the Editor of The Rochford Independent is a Member of the Planning Authority he can make no comment.

New Homes Start in Rayleigh

June 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Carter and Ward, owner of the site opposite Rayleigh Cemetery, in Hockley Road, Rayleigh, won planning permission to build 65 two, three and four-bedroomed houses on the land in the late Seventies.

Planning law says if a development is started within a set period of time, the planning permission remains valid.

The full article from the Echo on 11 June is here carterward

Government Planning Inspector says that Pickles’ Letter is Material

June 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

PUBLIC scrutiny of Castle Point’s housing proposals has been postponed following the Government’s announcement it will return planning powers to local communities.

The change comes after Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, confirmed the Government planned to scrap Labour’s housing targets.

Government inspector Paul Crysell, who will be carrying out the examination, said: “Because the Government intends to abolish  regional  spatial strategies, this becomes a material consideration in examining development plans.”

“For this reason, it is necessary to defer, at the very least, the hearing session on housing into the Castle Point core strategy until clarity is provided in a formal ministerial statement.”

Southend Airport Expansion – Project Dates

June 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Some readers have asked if The Rochford Independent knows when the various parts of the Southend Airport Expansion Project will be delivered.

A quick email to Airport Managing Director, Alastair Welch retrieved the following up to date information.

  • New Railway station and airport car park completes in August, opens in the Autumn 2010
  • New Control Tower operational in February 2011
  • New passenger terminal completes late Summer 2011
  • Runway extension scheduled to open for winter season 2011
  • New hotel at airport entrance scheduled to open Spring 2012

The Pickles Effect – And Castle Point throws out a Planning Application

June 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Originally reported here at the Echo (520 homes and business park rejected on Thundersley Plotlands)

and Commented upon by Simon (assumed to be Simon Hart Vice Chairman of Hands off our Greenbelt Action Group)

I would like to say a THANK YOU to every one involved Publicly as I have done via email already.

To Barry Braizier who has fought for this land for many many years with the support of the local and wider area residents.
To the Councillors of Castle Point for Listening to the residents of the Borough it was fantastic to see unity in the Council Chamber over a topic that is so important to everyone with constructive objections to the Barratt’s application. This action of unity sets out the Councils Stance on development to all Developers setting out to submit plans to Castle Point.

Will the Rochford Core Strategy Remain Unchanged?

June 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Currently, under existing Legislation, no local authority can avoid the targets set out for it in the RSS (regional spatial strategy), as the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 strengthened the powers of the previous Secretary of State over local planning authorities.

The LDF (local development framework) and the Core Strategy, which the Rochford District Council has produced, must be in general conformity with the regional spatial strategy and is currently before an examination in public by a planning inspector before approval. That planning inspector can recommend changes and, hopefully, Miss Laura Graham, the planning inspector, will make the changes that were sought by residents at the Hearing on 12 May 2010.

The Pickles Effect – Forest Heath throws out planning application in Newmarket

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

BBC Look East carried a story tonight with presenters in Suffolk and in London stating that this was the first planning test of the Coalition Agreement ‘s declaration that the RSS housing targets would be abolished and the controversial letter that was issued by Eric Pickles on 27 May to all council chief planners in the UK.

Tonight BBC Suffolk carries the decision at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/10221305.stm

Here is an extract of  Forest  Heath District Council’s Report Update to Members dated 1 June including Counsel’s Opinion 

Eric Pickles’ Letter

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Having taken advice on behalf of concerned residents………..

“Ministerial proposals do not have legal force until the necessary legislative provisions have been enacted, the statement and the weight to be attached to it as a material planning consideration have to be viewed in this context.”

Sent to all Chief Planners on 27 May 2010 by The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

ABOLITION OF REGIONAL STRATEGIES

Decision Making at Rochford District Council – Change or No Change?

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rochford Independent has run a series of articles over the last week which have focused on the new policies for local government that will be introduced by the New Lib/Con Coalition Government.

In many of these what we are wishing to do at the Rochford Independent Web site is firstly inform and then to put the issues, risks and impacts to Rochford District that we see on record and open to public scrutiny.  In certain instances we will be a campaigning voice with a point of view that we think will be supported by many residents.

Council Inspections/Assessments by Audit Commission to be Stopped

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Coalition has acted………….again.

Local auditors are advising councils to stop all work relating to the Comprehensive Area Assessment ** (CAA), with the Audit Commission set to outline urgently how it will wind up the programme.

The officer added that instead of councils receiving a use of resources (UoR) score, local auditors had advised them they would instead get a “broad brush” value for money statement on the direction of travel the authority was heading.

 The news will further fuel speculation that the Audit Commission is going to have to make swingeing job cuts in the coming months.

Spending Cuts – the effects on Rochford District

June 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The only place you can read about Council Tax and Council Finances in detail is in the Council’s own newspaper (online and paper) “Rochford District Matters” which is obviously not an independent commentary.

Given the lead of the new Coalition Government which will “impose tougher rules to stop unfair competition by local authority newspapers” I have decided as an independent district councillor and independent internet publisher to present an update article on the issues that I think that residents will find  impacting on them as a result of The Spending Cuts.

Will Rochford District follow South Oxfordshire & Scrap further work on The Core Strategy?

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

South Oxfordshire’s announcement immediately follows a letter yesterday from the Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles to Local Authority Planning Chiefs telling them that Regional Housing targets are to be scrapped, which has in effect given a green light to Local Authorities to halt decisions on development plans and planning applications.

But will Rochford District Council, given the huge number of written objections made by residents over the last 3 years of expensive consultations do the same? 

Many residents groups even went to the trouble of making themselves available to discuss their objections directly with the Government Planning Inspector on 12 May which was reported on very fully by the Echo.

Pickles makes a first move on The Core Strategy

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I have asked RDC for a legal opinion on the following letter.

What legal status does this letter have to determine a course of action by a Planning Authority? 

Or is it only an informative?

Sent to all Chief Planners on 27 May 2010 by The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

ABOLITION OF REGIONAL STRATEGIES

I am writing to you today to highlight our commitment in the coalition agreements where we very clearly set out our intention to rapidly abolish Regional Strategies and return decision making powers on housing and planning to local councils. Consequently, decisions on housing supply (including the provision of travellers sites) will rest with Local Planning Authorities without the framework of regional numbers and plans.

Will it be a Happy New Year for the Developers……but not for residents?

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I am told by some readers that there is nothing to worry about because the green belt will be protected by the New Lib/Con Coalition.

But when will the Bill scrapping the housing targets go through Parliament?

Our MP’s Office says “Unfortunately, no dates appear to be available yet however, once these are known, they should be listed on the following website.”

http://www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/

According to the Queen’s Speech the Bill which will, amongst other things, scrap the Regional Housing Targets is called The Decentralisation and Localism Bill.

Would the Government please explain exactly what this means for Rochford District

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The New Liberal/Conservative Coalition Government has made some big announcements on planning today and we have taken this direct from the full document below.

But does this really mean;

  • the end of the Core Strategy?
  • the certainty of dismissal of the Hawkwell and Coombes Farm Appeals?
  • that RDC can turn down the queue of big planning applications simply on prematurity?
  • Or will some or all of these things skid through because the Law will not be changed quickly enough?

Against Homes Development Proposals in Rochford District

May 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Emma Thomas (emma.thomas [at] nqe [dot] com) wrote a great double page spread in the Echo entitled “United Against Homes Proposal” which reported on the representations that were made by many residents’ groups across Rochford District to a Government Planning Inspector.

As an objector myself (district councillor John Mason) I came away feeling so proud that there were so many people in our community who were prepared to enter a public inquiry to make their views so well known.

But I have pondered on the question of was that enough for common sense to prevail?

Election Results 2010

May 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rochford District Council Election Results 2010

http://www.rochford.gov.uk/council__democracy/elections/election_results.aspx

John Mason was re-elected to Hawkwell West

Thank you to our supporters !!

Hawkwell Parish Plan Group

April 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

There are many in Hawkwell who do not know that the Hawkwell Parish Plan Group is now in place (again!).

We would like all groups in Hawkwell to contact us so that we can take account of your needs, fears and expectations for the people of Hawkwell that you are in contact with.

Our aim is to produce the Hawkwell Parish Plan, which covers all aspects of living in Hawkwell, and includes Housing issues, Transport issues and Youth issues amongst others.  We are an independent committee of residents of Hawkwell and we’ll listen to anybody who lives in Hawkwell (East as well as West!).

Rochford District Housing Development Consultations

March 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rochford District Council is holding two further major consultations on its Housing Development Strategy (Core Strategy).  The public is being encouraged to comment online via its web site, by email and letter. The consultation period is 17 March to 30 April 2010.

If you are just interested in Hawkwell you can download just those sites here.

This is a surprising choice given that it is increasingly likely that the General Election will be well underway during this period.  If the Council has no choice but to do this now then these should have been conducted earlier to avoid such a distraction and possibly a low response because there are expectations of repeal if there is a change of Government.

Mobility Scooters and yet another Planning Appeal

March 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Richard Boyd is CEO of Disability Essex and a resident of Hawkwell, in Rochford District, Essex .
 
Members of the Commons Transport Committee were given a list of people in Essex and Norfolk who had been killed or injured in scooter incidents.

An Essex disability group said the list of fatal or dangerous incidents involving drivers “goes on”.

Richard Boyd from the campaign group Disability Essex told the committee: “One lady in Chelmsford fell off her scooter and was killed by it.”

He added: “Another lady in Clacton was taking her dog for a walk on the sea front, the dog pulled the scooter over and it fell on her and killed her.

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