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Hawkwell Fire Station – Update from Councillor Christine Mason

June 30, 2012 by  

When I joined John on Rochford District Council as a new Ward Councillor for Hawkwell West I thought that it would be relatively easy, having helped him over the years.  I was in for quite a shock.  It is an amazingly steep learning curve and the amount of reading is immense.  That said I feel that I have been able to help and add to John’s expertise and it has been a wonderful benefit to have someone close at hand to guide me through the potential pitfalls and various protocols.  Also it is nice to be able to bounce thoughts about without the restraints of secrecy that often prevailed before.
 
I have dealt independently with various situations in the last year as my confidence grows and one of the more important things that I have been involved with is the planning application for Hawkwell Fire Station with the natural concerns of residents regarding such a change in a residential area and the need to balance these concerns with the respect and admiration I am sure we all feel for our retained fire fighters and a wish to accommodate their needs as far as possible.
 
After many discussions with officers and residents I was able to propose a resolution that satisfied all parties, accommodating the need for training facilities whilst limiting the use to avoid unreasonable impact on nearby residents.  We have yet to see the implementation of this application but with the support of fellow Councillors my motion was passed.
 
Item R1 – 12/00014/FUL – Fire Station, Main Road, Hawkwell
 
Proposal – Proposed road traffic collision training compound, fenced and gated to enclose a de-brief shelter, road barrier, lamp post (non-illuminated) and ditch and a proposed working at heights training tower to include 6.5m tower with screen.
 
Resolved
 
That the application be approved, subject to the following conditions:-
 
1 SC4B – Time Limits Full – Standard
 
2 No development shall commence before details of the privacy screening to be used in its construction have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Such screening as may be agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority shall be erected prior to the first usage of the training facilities and shall be retained as approved thereafter.
 
3 The use of the working at heights training tower and use of the road traffic collision training compound, including the use of power and cutting tools within this area, shall be restricted to between 0900 hours to 1800 hours Monday to Friday, with no working on Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holidays and the use of these be limited to no more than three hours per day and on no more than three days a week.
 
4 No flashing lights or sirens shall be used at the site in connection with either the road traffic collision training compound or working at heights training tower at any time. (HPT) 

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