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400 Extra Houses for Hawkwell? Perhaps, if you do not act now !!

May 26, 2007 by  

 Planning : Matter of Concern Number 5, Residents Survey – Hawkwell West 2007

The Conservative run District Council has determined its preferred options for how the District is to develop over the next 14 years and it wants to hear your views on these.  An array of issues need to be decided, including the general locations for new housing, areas to be protected, future employment provision, affordable housing, the approach towards tourism and leisure, and more.
 
The proposals are explained in the draft Rochford District Core Strategy, one of a series of development plan documents being prepared by the Conservative Party for the District.

As your Independent District Councillor I have to tell you that I am not happy with the way that the Core Strategy (Reg 26) is being presented in the public consultation.

I do not think that the Draft document explains how the allocations below might have been arrived at;

Rochford/Ashingdon 1000    HOCKLEY/HAWKWELL 400    Rayleigh 1800

Here is the reasoning included in the Draft Core Strategy for Hawkwell/Hockley.  Has Hawkwell already been chosen?  It looks like it to me with the statement “Hawkwell is the best located part of the conurbation”.
 
Full Quotation “Hockley/Hawkwell is less well located in relation to the existing highway network and close to its edges the conurbation has a more rural feel than Rayleigh and Rochford/Ashingdon. Hawkwell is the best located part of the conurbation, being only a short distance from the Cherry Orchard Way link road. There are a range of environmental designations surrounding the area from the Roach Valley and Hockley Woods along the southern boundary to a series of open spaces and wildlife sites elsewhere. The conurbation is significantly limited, as a result, in terms of opportunities for expansion.”

I have been reminded by an Officer that the Core Strategy is not site specific – the site specific details will be included in the Allocations Development Plan Document to follow. But if the allocation of 400 is approved then the Council will have to identify sites in Hawkwell/Hockley to meet that capacity allocation and we might not stop it.

But earlier in 2007 RDC made a ‘call for sites’ as part of the early work on the Allocations Development Plan Document. The aim was to flush out details of all the sites landowners and developers that are lining up to promote for housing development (and make a lot of money !!).

When I asked the Officer about this information I was advised that RDC will be arranging for a summary of all the promoted sites to be reported to Members in the not too distant future.  At the moment, the information is not public. And too far late for this information to be given to both Members and Residents as part of the consultation!!

Enquiries of the Officer confirmed that as part of that exercise, RDC had received representations in respect of the farmland east of Clements Hall, behind Rectory Road and Magees Nursery (mushroom farm and industrial units).

Hockley/Hawkwell has an allocation of 400 houses.  By a strange coincidence working from current housing densities the two sites which have been identified in Hawkwell have a capacity around 400 houses !!

My own view is that brownfield sites such as the mushroom farm and factory site will inevitably have priority consideration but I will fight against the loss of Green Belt adjoining Clements Hall.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS GREEN BELT LOST YOU MUST WRITE TO THE DISTRICT COUNCIL BEFORE 2 JULY 2007.

You can download the Council’s proposals document and send your objection to the Council from http://www.rochford.gov.uk.  Or you can write to Shaun Scrutton, Head of Planning & Transportation at RDC, South Street, Rochford, Essex.  SS4 1BW with the Reference, Draft Core Strategy (Reg 26), Objection.

 

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Comments

2 Responses to “400 Extra Houses for Hawkwell? Perhaps, if you do not act now !!”
  1. admin says:

    Comments from Councillor John Mason representing Hawkwell West Ward

    Has Hawkwell already been chosen? It looks like it to me with the statement “Hawkwell is the best located part of the conurbation”.

    “Hockley/Hawkwell is less well located in relation to the existing highway network and close to its edges the conurbation has a more rural feel than Rayleigh and Rochford/Ashingdon. Hawkwell is the best located part of the conurbation, being only a short distance from the Cherry Orchard Way link road. There are a range of environmental designations surrounding the area from the Roach Valley and Hockley Woods along the southern boundary to a series of open spaces and wildlife sites elsewhere. The conurbation is significantly limited, as a result, in terms of opportunities for expansion.”

    There is no planning benefit for housing developments in Hawkwell West from the Cherry Orchard Way link road. This is a red herring and must be discounted.

    The routes to and from Hawkwell are all seriously congested already. Ashingdon Road via Golden Cross is one example. Another is the Cherry Orchard Way link road which only goes to the already heavily congested A127 via three roundabouts which come to a standstill several times a day: Cherry Orchard Lane/Eastwood Lane/Nestuda Way/A127.

    The access to the A130 and Rayleigh is via the B1013 and the congestion in Hawkwell/Hockley. The roundabout at Foxhunters is congested with serious tailbacks into Rectory Road several times a day.

    It is understood that several large development sites in Hawkwell West have been notified to the Council. The sites in Thorpe Road are only accessible via a rural unmade road. This is not acceptable. Nor is the loss of green belt in this semi rural area.

    The field to the east of the Clements Hall Leisure Centre has no access from there and only by a bridle way leading to Windsor Gardens. The Magees Mushroom Nursery is brownfield but again the access is via a bridle way.

    Residents do not wish any of the green belt adjoining CHLC to be released for development.

    Hawkwell West does not have any significant capacity for housing development and it is considered that the 400 house allocation for Hawkwell/Hockley is too high unless the District Council can forsee there being 20 or so small infill sites of average 20 houses which are already designated residential or brownfield sites with good access and infrastructure nearby.

    On behalf of residents I object at this stage to the allocation of 400 houses to Hawkwell and Hockley.

  2. admin says:

    We are now four weeks into the Rochford Council planning consultation on the allocation of nearly 4000 new homes to certain chosen areas in Rochford District. And just a week to go until the consultation closes.

    People in Rayleigh and Hawkwell have got hold of the idea that if you don’t want to see the loss of green belt in Hawkwell for 400 houses and Rayleigh 1800 houses you need to write to Rochford Council by 2 July.

    But those residents who have attended the roving exhibitions are bewildered and confused.

    Firstly the map has no roads and other features, it does not indicate where the houses might go and there are no comprehensive and convincing arguments for the allocations anyway. There is no infrastructure to support such developments full stop.

    But Rochford District Council does know where they might go. It consulted with landowners earlier in the year asking to hear about land that might be offered for housing.

    So the Residents of Rochford District are definitely confused and bewildered, Who wouldn’t be? Is it deliberate or just bad management? Residents should ask why they have not been given this information and demand it to be published.

    As they do not have all the information then residents should reject all the allocations to certain areas and insist that the Council consider each plot of land on its merits regardless of what part of the District the land might be. That would be objective and most likely create a fair spread across the District.

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