The Echo published an Article today headed “Hawkwell homes “out of our reach”.
You can read it here.
We have approximately 600 registrations on the Council’s Housing Register in a hierarchy of bands that are eligible for housing in our District.
We hoped that the 35% Affordable Homes, presumably sold at rock bottom prices to Registered Social Landlords (RSL), would enable some of those residents that are on the Rochford District Council Housing Register to be housed at last.
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.
By Christine Mason
Planning is probably the one issue that is always most controversial and creates strong opposing opinions and yet one of the most Government regulated areas of Rochford District Council’s powers and responsibilities.
Planning Applications are determined within an accepted and published set of procedures. Most of these decisions are delegated to the Council’s experienced Planning Officers but some are referred to the Council’s Development Committee for decision. Once a PlanningApplication is Approved it usually has a series of conditions attached to it, some of which are pre-conditions which are required to be signed off and agreed by the Council’s Officers before any building commences.
Some Residents have received a Letter – DWH Starts on Christmas Tree Farm/Thorpe Road – Monday 7 January 2013
DEVELOPERS have won a legal battle to build more than 300 homes on Green belt land at East Tilbury, prompting a leading local councillor in Thurrock to say he fears the “floodgates” are about to open.
Whilst back in Rochford in an email to a resident representing the West Rochford Action Group (WRAG) (and openly copied with no restriction to all Members of Rochford District Council) Portfolio Holder and Cabinet Member, Councillor Keith Hudson writes “I must profess disappointment and not just a little concern with respect to the planning appeal in East Thurrock towards the end of last week, the detail within the report is worth careful consideration.”
Rochford District Council says in its Press Release that it has to continue to proceed with its Core Strategy (CS) because although the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has announced the new Government’s intention to abolish the Regional Housing Targets (RSS) it has not passed legislation.
It has been said by other planners that Section 79 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 sets out the Secretary of State’s reserve power to revoke a regional strategy where the Secretary of State thinks it, necessary or, expedient to do so.
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
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.”
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
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.
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.
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
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
The principle that RDC stated in its interview with the Echo is correct but why, oh why, does it let the mobile hoardings that permanently live alongside and on our roads stay there and why does it not take down ALL the flyposting? Other indentifiable advertisers should be prosecuted for planning violations and fined.
Christmas lights banner row
Echo 5th December 2009
A COUNCIL employee has been criticised for taking down banners promoting a Christmas lights launch ceremony.
Rochford Parish Council put up three banners on November 26 in Bradley Way, Cherry Orchard Road and the junction of West Street and Hall Road, announcing the display in the Market Square this Sunday.
Dear Councillor Mason
To confirm our discussion and my advice to you which John Honey as Monitoring Officer has affirmed, there is a clear distinction between Council Members’ participation in the Core Strategy deliberations and the consideration of a subsequent planning application. The key issue for the purposes of the code of conduct is that you keep an open mind in respect of the planning application and do not made public statements on those proposals, in advance of the formal consideration, that gives the appearance that you have already made up your mind on that matter. In the circumstances I do not consider you would be precluded from participating in the determination of the planning application .
Hawkwell Parish Council has obtained permission from Rochford District Council to site this new development near the skate board ramp in the playing fields. Residents at the Central Area Committee held at Hawkwell Village Hall last year voiced their concern but the consultation conducted in the Parish Council Newsletter did not raise any objection. The Parish Council has the funding and it is now going ahead.
A resident has, however, found out that another teen shelter of a particular design has run into big problems and has had to be removed. I have asked Hawkwell Parish Council to check this out before going ahead.
At the Public Meeting in Hawkwell a resident asked me to explain why this has not been considered in the planning for the strategic housing development plan for Rochford District whereas it was include in the London Southend Airport Report (JAAP)? The Brickworks Site could support 200 new houses.
The detailed position is as follows.
The formal consultation period on London Southend Airport Report (JAAP) started on the 24 June. If you look at the four possible development scenarios you will see that a mixed development scheme is suggested for the old brickworks site under Scenario 3.
Having seen the huge turnout at the Hawkwell Action Group’s Public Meeting many of you asked how you could object. Rather than wait for an official public consultation you can protest now especially as it is known that the Planning Policy Committee has reviewed the sites.
The Liberal Democrats have published an article called A “Presidential-style” Council but The Rochford Independent would like to share with all residents just how this new BASIS for Rochford District Council will directly affect one of the big decisions that are made in the next few months. We don’t think that the public appreciates that the new cabinet members are in a very powerful position. So how will this impact on the allocation of 3700 new houses across the District? This is how it works…………and if you wish to get your views known before the policy is made then write to Councillor Hudson now rather than later. We feel that although there is a public consultation period it will be so much harder to get big changes once it has been published so do it now ……..