Local Council News
I was called out by residents early on the morning of Saturday, April 19 to the work being carried out by a developer on the land running alongside 63 Hawkwell Park Drive and Park Gardens. I spoke to the Architect and Builder advising them that they were illegally diverting and surfacing a bridleway. They refused to stop the work.
I contacted our County Councillor by email immediately and also Rochford District Council.
It has been confirmed by Essex County Council Records Section that the bridleway is almost entirely within the fenced site. The developer has been asked to move the fencing clear of this as a matter of urgency so that the boundary can be pegged out. Once this has been done they will be asked to reinstate the surface of the footpath and bridleway to a standard to be agreed with the Highway Authority.
The Rochford District Council Tree Officers, who were in attendance at the meeting, confirmed that the works around the TPO oaks were inappropriate and requested that the surfacing be removed from the entire area under the canopies of the two oaks as a matter of urgency.
This work is to be done by non-mechanical means (i.e. spade and wheelbarrow) and the paths are to remain open for use during this time with appropriate traffic management in place (eg men at work warning boards and plastic barrier). The surface in this area is to be reinstated to grass.
A planning application for residential building has been submitted to RDC and once it has been validated ECC will be looking carefully at it to ensure appropriate provision is made for the public rights of way.