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What does the Census 2011 tell us about our future housing needs?

September 12, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Essex Coastal Scene

The recently published Census 2011 data suggests to us that we did not need 175 new houses in Hawkwell for our children and grandchildren as the Council suggested to residents when they protested.

Nor perhaps the housing estate developments proposed in the rest of Rochford District.

With the age group 0 to 18 having increased across the whole District by only 186 over 10 years we leave it to you to decide about that.

Even if the birth rate in Rochford District shoots up from 2012 onwards as predicted these youngest children will not need new houses until earliest 2031 which is almost outside of the house building plan period.

Tree Preservation Orders – Do they work?

September 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Written and edited by Christine and John Mason

4989 Stoke Lodge Lucombe Oak T1 - Quercus x hispanicus

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an Order made by a Council in respect of a tree(s) because the tree is considered to bring amenity value to the surrounding area. The Order makes it an offence to cut down, uproot, prune, lop or damage the tree in question without first obtaining the Council’s consent. A TPO can apply to a single tree, a group of trees or woodland.

Often such Orders are stimulated by planning applications when local concern is focused on an area under threat of change.

Love thy Neighbour

August 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Rectory Road Hawkwell

Despite our concerns about the new Barratts/David Wilson Homes development when an invitation to their new Show Homes launch arrived in the post unexpectedly we decided to be open minded and as a family member is house hunting for such a property Saturday morning saw us at the Sales Office (still no permission for the copious advertising and lighting but that is another story).

It was pouring with rain but the car park was full, including of all things an ice cream trolley and some tables, indeed the only umbrella on site appeared to be the one protecting the ice cream container!

Taxi Licensing Problems

August 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Presented by Councillor Christine Mason

Anniversary10-273

John and I have received representations from Taxi proprietors in the area regarding difficulties created by new conditions imposed by Rochford District Council.

Apparently the main problem is the requirement for one in three Badges to be issued to a ‘wheelchair accessible taxi’. These vehicles are by their very nature more expensive to both purchase and maintain.

Whilst the intention of the Disability Acts and Equality Acts are to assist people with mobility issues it would appear that the Council’s new decision on Licensing has actually created a problem rather than resolving it.

Rochford Core Strategy Costs Already at £2.1 Million

August 11, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

George Osborne in Beijing

£2.1 million of Public money has been poured into R&D costs of Developers which they do not pay for.

You did !!

Surely the Coalition Government should have found some sort of mechanism for this public money to be recouped from the profits made by each developer?

Rochford District Council has spent £2.1m plus over the past 7 years to April 2013 on the Core Strategy.

Within that £350,000 to Consultants.

£1 million came from Council Tax and £1.1 million from Government Grants making £2.1 million overall.

All money paid by you in Taxes.

Report by the Leader of Rochford District Council

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

fountain pen tips 3

Every 6 weeks or so the Leader of Rochford District Council at a Full Council Meeting in Rayleigh reads his “Report of the leader on the work of the Executive”. The Executive are all Conservative Councillors who are Cabinet Members.  Only The Cabinet Members can speak at Meetings of The Executive. The Conservatives in their own words “control” the Council.  The latest Leader’s Report was read out on 30 July.

You can read it here.

In our view this Report is  much less about “the work of the Executive” and more about Party Political  Statements.  (Make up your own mind, of course.)

Appointment of New Chief Executive to Rochford District Council

August 2, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Polyethylene Diffusion Series II

As your Ward Councillors we found the overall situation most unsatisfactory. We decided to “stay away” from the decision making Council Meeting because we regarded the options of FOR, AGAINST or ABSTAIN equally unsatisfactory.

Press Release by Councillor John Mason, Councillor Michael Hoy, Councillor Diane Hoy and Councillor Christine Mason

Immediate, 1 August 2013

Appointment of Chief Executive to Rochford District Council

Residents and Green Councillors were disappointed that the Conservative Administration of Rochford District Council only invited one candidate to make a presentation and take questions from all Members of the Council on 30 July.

Advertising Flags, Posters, Hoardings at the Barratts/David Wilson Homes Sales Office, Thorpe Road

July 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By John Mason

A resident and I were talking in the street yesterday morning and during the conversation they expressed their shock and surprise at the amount of advertising material that had been allowed at Clements Gate.

Advertising in Thorpe Road, 25 July 2013

Advertising in Thorpe Road, 25 July 2013

I explained that this did not actually have permission because the planning application had been withdrawn by the applicant on the day that the planning application was to be determined at Development Committee the previous day, Thursday 25th July.

Clements Gate Street Names – David Wilson Homes & Barratts – Update 15

July 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Fir trees sprouting

We are pleased to advise you that as Ward Members we have been involved in a process of sifting and approving Street Names for the Christmas Tree Farm Development.

The Developer has been informed on the decisions made.

We put forward  Aaron Lewis Close to mark the life and sacrifice of Lieutenant Aaron Lewis, from Rectory Avenue in Hawkwell Parish who died while serving with the 29 Commando Regiment of the Royal Artillery, in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province, in December 2008.

His family approved the suggestion made by Ward Members, Christine and John Mason.

Dear Tesco, Hours of Gridlock at your Southend Store

July 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Tesco Price Cut
Photo by Craig Murphy
By Christine Mason (reflecting on Tesco, Southend, on Sunday 7 July 2013

This was one of the worst, most frustrating waste of times I have yet to experience.  The staggering indifference of the staff just added to the horror.  We decided to go into store for a few items but…………….the queue to get out had snarled up the whole car park.  However we were not aware of this until it was too late to turn back.

Planning Positives or Planning Negatives?

June 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Choices



Despite our recent experiences with Planning Conditions on the David Wilson Homes/Barratts planning permission not all the results of our negotiations are negative.

With the David Wilson Homes/Barratts development there was even the potential of Community benefits through a Public Open Space if Rochford District Council, Hawkwell Parish Council, and The Hawkwell Residents Association had the same vision as ourselves, HAG and CTFDAG. A Private Open Space isolated from the Spencers Park Open Space, which is owned by Hawkwell Parish Council, is not a Community benefit. We negotiated for the provision of a bridge to join the two spaces, to be paid for by the developer but as permission by Hawkwell Parish Council was refused this cannot go ahead. So there are no benefits there which seems hardly reasonable given the loss of greenbelt.

Sighs over Signs !! – David Wilson Homes & Barratts – Clements Gate – Update 14

June 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Whatever Way You Want
Photo by clappstar
When is a street sign not a street sign? When it is an advert apparently!

The residents of the unmade part of Thorpe Road asked Essex County Council in 2012 for permission for a “residents only parking” sign. ECC agreed that residents could do this.

In January when DWH/Barratts commenced the residents decided to ask DWH/Barratts to pay for the sign as the need was caused by their development. DWH/Barratts agreed but Rochford District Council decided they needed to consider giving permission because it was an advert.

A few months later RDC decided that it was not an advert.

Meeting Place Communications (MPC) – Barratts and David Wilson Homes Update Number 13

May 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

13Meeting Place Communications has been described by RDC as a “complaints service for residents” and our local police as “mediators”.We have found this article from Meeting Place Communications on the internet and we felt that we should share this with you together with our feedback on the contents.
Case Studies – “Shifting the balance from opposition to support in Essex”

http://www.meetingplacecommunications.com/case-studies/shifting-the-balance-from-opposition-to-support-in-essex.aspx

MPC was appointed by a leading national housebuilder to assist in the promotion of 175 new homes in a village in Rochford District, Essex. Previously, two similar applications for the site by the developer had received strong opposition from the ward councillors and three local residents groups and were refused by the district council.

David Wilson Homes & Barratts – Clements Gate – Update No 12

May 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Gosh!  We have never been so busy!  This afternoon, when returning home from a Planning Training Session lead by Shaun Scrutton at Rochford District Council we noticed a large advertising hoarding accompanied by four flag poles with site advertising banners at the end of Thorpe Road.

Only 3 Flagpoles are permitted on the whole site according to RDC. There are two already in Clements Hall Way.  This makes 6.

Only 3 Flagpoles are permitted on the whole site according to RDC. There are two already in Clements Hall Way. This makes 6.

Driving round to check that our eyes were not seeing mirages we were unable to drive through Thorpe Road as a ‘tipper truck/lorry’ was being loaded with top soil over the temporary fence whilst parked in Thorpe Road. The Planning Officer at RDC considered this unacceptable.

David Wilson Homes & Barratts – Clements Gate – Update Number 11

May 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Rodents – “a short update”

Demon Squirrel

Since the issue of rodent infestation in some properties surrounding the David Wilson Homes & Barratts site, alleged by residents to be following the start the clearance work, there has been a lot of anxiety and uncertainty experienced by residents.  Initially affected residents were told by David Wilson Homes & Barratts site operatives that it would be dealt with by David Wilson Homes & Barratts but when this failed to be effective the residents turned to us as Ward Councillors for assistance.

Barratts and David Wilson Homes – Clements Gate – Hawkwell – Update Number 10

May 4, 2013 by · 1 Comment 


Advertising
Barratts, Clements Gate, Hawkwell 

Editorial

So what revelations do we have to report to residents this week?

You would expect that major developers would put forward a proposal for planning permission a scheme that was pretty much “on the ball” in terms of significant needs such as road closures, construction access, building compounds, change of haul route and new marketing suites etc.,

But according to RDC Officers the people that put planning applications together are then superseded by the operational people who open the site who then see that major changes need to be made hence the problems we are now trying to deal with.  The apparent lack of contact between these two groups of professionals seems astonishing.

Christine’s Charitable Work – Southend University Hospital

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

 

An Interview With The Rochford Life Magazine – John & Christine Mason

May 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

 

What Residents Are NOT Told by Barratts and David Wilson Homes – Update Number 9

April 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Route141-October2010-80
Photo by modot_stl_photos
Summary of Clements Gate, Hawkwell Update

Many residents will now have received the misnamed Hawkwell “Focus” from Barratts-David Wilson Homes.

As your Independent District Ward Councillors, John and Christine Mason, we will now give you much more information of what is going on with the issues that Barratts and David Wilson Homes left out of their glossy, expensive, news pamphlet and report on other issues covered by Barratts and David Wilson Homes but without “spin”.   We are going to cover progress with the Clements Hall Way Access, the continued use of the Rectory Road Access (not in planning approval), the so called “public “Open Space, The Rat Problem, Street Naming, the continual use of the permanent open space of the “Paddocks” for a Builders Yard contrary to the intention of a legal agreement, the inadequate width of the Rectory Road Footway and the “Estate Agents” Office.

David Wilson Homes/Barratts, Clements Gate – Update No 8 – Street Naming

April 24, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Name stamp

Have you ever wondered how and why streets get called what they do?

Some are very obvious, Main Road, London Road, Esplanade, Wood End etc.

Some more obscure.

When a new road is formed certain criteria for the names are considered.  One consideration is easy spelling so that a name is unlikely to be misspelt.  Another consideration is easy pronunciation in case of Emergency.

Names that reflect subjects that can be identified with the area such as Nursery Corner are encouraged.  One big “NO, NO” are names that relate to a person who is either living or those who have been alive during living memory.

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