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Barratt Consults Public on 370 Houses in Rectory Road

July 25, 2009 by  

The developer is David Wilson Homes which is part of Barratt Developments PLC.  Site Map

Rochford District Council has put forward a plan in its Core Strategy for 175 new dwellings in Hawkwell whilst David Wilson Homes is actually preparing a Planning Application for 370 houses on one of the potential sites that have been suggested to the Council.  Confused, Yes you have every right to be !!

At the same time, The Hawkwell Action Group, which is believed to have at least 300 active supporters, will also no doubt be letting them both know what it thinks about their conflicting proposals !! And also the public.

This is a unique position.  Both developer and residents seem to be saying “Thank You, Mr. Council for your Offer but NO DEAL !!”

But first a legal statement from this site. Because there is now been an pre-announcement of the submission of a  Planning Application the law says that all district councillors, because they make decisions on planning applications, have to remain impartial and open minded to hear all views put forward.

John Mason, the site publisher who is the rochford independent, has contacted The Hawkwell Action Group  to just assure residents that the proposal for 370 houses is definitely not a “done deal”.  If a Planning Application is submitted then it will be considered on material planning issues just like any other.  Even the 175 being put forward by the Council in its Core Strategy is the subject of consultation which residents can participate in. It will be helpful if, when contacting the Council or the Developer, that you could contact John and let him know what you think so he also knows what you views are before he speaks in Council !!

Our major local paper, The Southend Evening Echo, as well as having interviewed local residents and District Councillor, John Mason,  has commented today about the proposal in pragmatic terms and explained what the paper sees as the background and strategy behind the David Wilson Homes exhibition, consultation and the ultimate planning application which is believed could be submitted before 9 September 2009. This is the same date on which All Members of Rochford District Council meet to approve their Core Strategy, Submission Version which puts forward Council’s vision for just 175 new houses in Hawkwell and not 370 as the developer is applying for.

Echo Front Page on 28 July 2009

Echo Articles on 28 July 2009

If the Planning Application for 370 houses is submitted then the Council will have 13 weeks in which to make a decision. If the planning application were submitted in early September, and found to be complete or “validated”,then a decision would have to be made by early December. But that would be before the Council has even announced it’s decision on what site in Hawkwell West should be developed together with its own concept design for the site chosen. It might or might not be this one.

There are even more conflicting dates.  The Council’s public consultation on it’s Core Strategy recommending just 175 houses is likely to commence on 16 September and last for only 6 weeks.  At the end of the 6 weeks it is expected that the Council will submit it’s Core Strategy for Examination in Public by a Government Inspector.   And that is really conducted at a public hearing or inquiry over several days in 2010. Only then could the Council’s Core Strategy be adopted.

The Echo said in its article  “They [developers] hope if councillors reject a scheme because of the local plan, it could get approved by a Government inspector on appeal.”

The Examination in Public by a Government Inspector will not happen until 2010 and subject to when he/she publishes any changes required the Council is unlikely to be able to adopt the Core Strategy until later in 2010.  It is likely that the June 2010 latest date for the General Election will come first unless the General Election takes place earlier.

So would any proposal in Hawkwell be squashed anyway? Who Knows?

Here is an article which discusses what the Conservative Party nationally has announced as to what it might do to the Core Strategy if returned to Government in a General Election. 

Please also see the letter received by councillors from Hard Hat Communications dated 24 July 2009 on behalf of David Wilson Homes which is part of part of Barratt Developments PLC (Barratt Group).

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