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Hawkwell Parish Council is sitting on the fence on green belt housing development

February 19, 2008 by  

This has been published by the parish council in its Spring 2008 Newsletter. Every dwelling in the Parish will have received a copy so I will not repeat it here (there is a Hawkwell Parish Council Web Site). 

It is a very comprehensive policy on what the parish council thinks about any future housing development in Hawkwell.

But what does it mean?

The District Council says that Hawkwell will get 365 new houses.  Where? We have already been notified a four options.

Magees Nursery,The land behind Rectory Road running to Windsor Gardens and in the other direction to Clements Hall
LC, The land running behind the factories in Main Road to the CHLC and the Rankin field adjoining Mount Bovers Lane.

The parish council policy says ” HPC further expects any new development within the Parish boundaries …………..not to increase the village footprint……………….”

I wrote to the parish council asking what this actually meant in relation to the four sites. Is the parish council against housing development in these 4 sites or not? We need to know in simple language not policy speak.

Stuart Mennell, Clerk to Hawkwell Parish Council, said to me over the telephone following the Hawkwell Parish Council Meeting on 3 March 2008 “The Parish Council has declined to define the footprint”.

So is your Parish Council really against housing development in your Green Belt? What is the point of making a policy if nobody knows what it means? The policy looks like a bad case of “smoke and mirrors”. Was the published policy intended to give an impression of being against the developments?  Worse still the Council doesn’t seem to know what it’s own policy means even when it is asked a straight question.  Or perhaps the Parish Council does know what it means and doesn’t want to tell us?  

Why couldn’t experienced parish councillors Myra and David Weir who campaign against the loss of green belt make the Parish Council come off the fence one way or another?

And what is the position of the Parish Councillors representing the Hawkwell Residents’ Association? I thought that this body was against development of green belt? 

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One Response to “Hawkwell Parish Council is sitting on the fence on green belt housing development”
  1. Editor says:

    Hawkwell Parish Council Policy on Development: Village Footprint

    Cllr Glynn left the room after declaring a prejudicial interest.

    The Clerk reiterated that the council developed policy and this had been sent to Rochford District Council. The policy included a statement that development should not be allowed outside the footprint of the village. A District Councillor had sought clarification on how the footprint was defined. A map had been circulated and he asked Members if they wished to define more precisely what the footprint of the village was.

    The Chairman stated that the idea of a footprint had not been defined anywhere. The local plan produced by RDC was where development was permitted. Cllr Leach stated that the footprint had not been defined precisely to retain flexibility and proposed the motion ‘That this Council declines to identify the village footprint to retain flexibility and is proactive in the planning process when it is considered appropriate’. Cllr Mrs Weir seconded. Cllr Mrs Weir felt that it would be a problem to define as there was a perceived block of Hockley and Hawkwell and another with Ashingdon and Rochford – these blocks had coalescence. The Chairman asked the Council for a show of hands of those in favour. All Members voted in favour and the motion was carried.

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