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Hullbridge Residents Speak Out

October 24, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The RDC Central Area Committee met in Hullbridge tonight.  About 100 people attended.  By and large they left unhappy. Here are a couple of quotes from those who spoke as they left. “This meeting has been carefully orchestrated so that we did not talk about what WE wanted”.  “The meeting has been all about dog crap and not about people.”  My take from those who raised issues at the beginning of the meeting was that the public wanted to talk about current planning issues and the new allocation of houses to Hullbridge.  The first questioner wanted to know how the allocation that was consulted upon in May/June 2007, turned into 400 houses for Hullbridge.  No answer was given from the Chair apart from “it’s all back in the melting pot.”

Local Residents in Hawkwell Meet to Oppose New Housing

October 15, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The meeting was so well attended that the organisers, Jamie Popplewell and his neighbours in Mount Bovers Lane, asked Belchamps if they could move the meeting to the larger upper hall.  Luckily, Belchamps were happy to do this otherwise about 90 people would not have been able to get in because the small hall only held 60.

Over 150 concerned residents attended mainly because of the possible threat of new housing being allocated to the Mount Bovers field but also the threats to land at Thorpe Road and behind Rectory Road adjoining Windsor Gardens and Clements Hall.

Which Village Cops the Increase in New Houses from the Reduction in Rayleigh?

October 2, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rochford Independent has been asked by residents to look at the original the housing allocations actually put forward to the public in the recent consultation and find out which parts of the Rochford District are the unlucky ones which receive the increase of 1060 houses from the Conservative Party resulting from the reduction in the allocation to Rayleigh.

  • Rochford and Ashingdon increased by only 125 from 1000 to 1125
  • Hawkwell and Hockley 400 (no change but Hawkwell West gets the lot !!)
  • Smaller Settlements (Hullbridge,Canewdon,Stambridge & Great Wakering) increased by a MASSIVE 555 to 1055

Hawkwell Parish Council Opposes the loss of Green Belt for New Houses

October 2, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

Stuart Mennell
Clerk to Hawkwell Parish Council

Dear Stuart

I am writing further to our conversation this morning concerning the RDC public consultation on the LDF Core Strategy which took place in May and June of this year. 

As a District Councillor I informed residents by Newsletter that the RDC allocation to Hawkwell and Hockley was 400.  The District Council also released details of those landowners who had put their land forward for consideration of allocation for development.  You can find maps and descriptions on the RDC web site at http://www.rochford.gov.uk/rdc/main.asp?page=1101

Housing Allocations in Hawkwell – Action Groups Set Up in Opposition

September 29, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Residents have contacted their independent District Councillor, John Mason, and have asked him to provide them with information and campaign assistance.

This follows the announcement by the Conservative Party running Rochford District Council that 365 new houses should be built in Hawkwell.  As the current position shows for Hawkwell that there are four major sites likely to have been earmarked for development residents in Hawkwell have added 2 + 2 and come up with 4 !!  They can’t guess which of the four sites might be chosen so they have decided to set up Action Groups to oppose development.

365 New Houses for Hawkwell

September 24, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

365 Houses Allocated by Conservative Party to Hawkwell West but only 36 houses to Hockley

So far the only land put forward is all in Hawkwell West –  53.3 hectares = 1599 to 2665 houses at the density required by Government of 30-50 houses per hectare.

Where?

Off Thorpe Road (residential but ‘open to discussion’) 11 hectares = 330 to 550

South of Ironwell Lane 0.3 Hectares = 10 to 17

East of Clements Hall Sports Centre (‘residential or mixed use’) 14.6 hectares = 450 to 750

Magees Nursery, Windsor Gardens 3.1 hectares = 90 to150

Options for Housing Allocation – Rochford District

September 24, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Shaun Scrutton
Head of Planning and Transportation
Rochford District Council
Dear Shaun

Options for Rochford District Core Strategy – LDF Consultation

You asked me to submit any Options that Rochford District Residents (RDR) had on the LDF before 30 September.

In terms of the Options put forward by the Conservative Party, RDR would like to see a copy of the proposal together with all supporting papers if this has already been received by the Council before the deadline of 30 September.  If the proposal is not complete then I would like to receive a copy on 1 October please.

Is this the big debate that is needed in Rochford District?

July 15, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you know someone who is finding it difficult to rent or buy their own home in Rochford District, or know someone who has had to move from the District to find a home? Most likely, Yes. But what is Rochford District Council going to do?  It has been reminded that it must look at the following data so by the IDeA Review Team this week.

A Housing Needs Survey was completed in 2004 and it identified that 67% cannot afford private rental and home ownership is beyond the reach of 75% of concealed households, even though nearly 40% of them earn over £25,000 p.a.The Survey established an outstanding net total need for 291 affordable homes per annum. This calculation took into account the Council’s waiting list, homeless and concealed households, and requirements emanating from demographic changes. It is clear from the study that there is too little affordable housing in the district to satisfy local needs. Over 15 years that means 4,500 affordable homes. The current Government target for Rochford District for the same period is an additional 3700 houses. But the Rochford District Council is only proposing 30% of that figure based on each new development over 25 houses contributing 30%. There will be an affordable homes deficit of around 3,300 homes.

The two public consultations on the “Housing Target” (LDF) have shown that the public is overwhelmingly against further loss of Green Belt. But did they realise that 67% of the population of Rochford District cannot afford private rental and home ownership. Most likely, No. (Here are the latest consultation results.)

But it is clear from anouncements this week from Gordon Brown and David Cameron that this issue must be faced up to by Rochford District Council.

Gordon Brown has put affordable housing at the top of his Government’s agenda by announcing plans to build three million new homes by 2020. He told MPs that the number of new homes to be provided each year would be raised by 40,000 to 240,000 a year. He promised to “protect robustly” the green belt but left the door open to some limited building in it, saying that “principally brownfield land” would be used for the new programme. But there appears to be little brownfield available in Rochford District.

David Cameron has warned his party it may need to drop its opposition to new housing so don’t expect the Conservatives at Rochford to be able to protect Green Belt.

2 Hours on What Needs to Change at Rochford Council

July 14, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Tory Councillor Heather Glynn said “how sad it was that only 3 (of the 9) Executive Councillors attended.” Those absent included the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council.

All Councillors were invited to attend the initial feedback.  Important because it was fresh with direct explanation from the whole Review Team.  Apart from many staff only 7 Councillors attended.  Tory Executive Councillors Seagers, Starke and Stansby.  Ordinary Councillors Humphreys, Glynn and Cottis for the Conservatives and myself, John Mason an Independent representing Rochford Residents.   

The Conservative Policy on Housing in Rochford District

June 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The Local Tory Manifesto says ” Housing – Rochford Conservative Councillors will forever be the guardians of our most precious resource; our countryside, our green and pleasant land. At the same time we recognise the needs of our growing population. We will always ensure that we make the best possible use of the land that is available to us for the benefit of our residents and their children.”

Fine words, just that, and only that, unless residents see that the ACTIONS they want are being taken to back this up; not just promises.

Review of Taxi Licence Conditions NOW Underway

June 28, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

I raised this issue with the Leader of the Council on 16 June 2007 by letter.

http://www.rochfordessex.com/rol/rochford-district-council-executive-board/

There has been no reply, of course.

But the RDC “Taxi Talk” Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 12 that was issued today, 28 June 2007, contains the following;

taxitalk

Page 6

Conditions Update

A full review of Licence Conditions is underway. 

A successful outcome, and although the Conservative Administration is going to suggest it was already happening, clearly it was not without the intervention of an Ordinary Member !!

Disability Essex Opposed

June 23, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

The insanity which is prevalent in the Conservative Party reared its ugly head again last Thursday, 21 June in the Development Control Committee (Planning).  The sane Members only narrowly approved a new education centre for the disabled being provided in Rochford District.

Disability Essex is arguably the leading organisation in its field in the UK.  Not only were they applying for a learning centre but they were proposing to build an eco friendly facility which is the only one in the UK to achieve a gold design standard.

Verge Destroyed by Factory Parking – Main Road Hawkwell

June 17, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

This issue has been the source of a constant trickle of complaints ever since I was first elected in 2000.

The planning application for a car park on the farmland was understandably refused by RDC in 1999/2000.

A then also newly elected Conservative Member of RDC asked if I would sort this out for the factories. But no one ever contacted me.  That Member has now lost his seat and at the Count I remembered that conversation.

Basically the chewed up and deeply rutted, water and mud filled verge is an eyesore and in terms of amenity value it has none.

Conservative Party Group – RDC

June 16, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the Conservative Group on Rochford District Council already seriously split and are some Tory Members on the verge of not only resigning the party whip but leaving the Conservative Party Group?

Here is an anonymous comment made on the Lib Dems web site: http://onlinefocus.org/?p=670#comment-18795

anonone Says: June 15th, 2007 

Has the council changed forever? There are quite a lot of Tori councillors here in Rayleigh that are very unhappy with this situation and are trying to band a group to bring back the old council as we used to know it. And im not talking any of the portfolio holders whoos slip of the ______ Its time this council was reverted back to it previous state were councillors felt they were taking part not left like ZOMMBIES.

Rochford District Council – Executive Board

June 16, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

If you want to read a report on the first Executive Board Meeting then you can find one on the Lib Dems site together with some relevant comments from residents.

http://onlinefocus.org/?p=670#comment-18795 

I did not attend because I had already been advised that I could not speak and I knew that I would be completely sidelined.

The following letter is, I think, now the only way that I can represent residents on policy matters – I hope that this example proves that important matters of policy can still be influenced by ordinary councillors rather than the just the highly paid nine RDC Executive Councillors – but who knows?

Overview and Scrutiny – Rochford District Council

June 10, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

I am a Member of the Review Committee.

Full Council had already asked that this “investigations” Committee look at the following:

1. Understanding of Planning Appeal Procedures

From what the Chief Executive had to say this sounded more like an internally facing review rather than something that will directly affect residents.  My guess is that the Officers want Members to understand more about the cost and causes of Appeals, especially when the Development Control Committee goes against the recommendation of Officers and cause an Appeal.  But I could just be a cynic.

Rochford District Council – How are decisions made?

June 1, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

CEO Paul Warren has said  “I’m not convinced the public are that interested in the processes of the Council – what they’re interested in is outcomes!!” 

There was no surprise when every seat on the powerful Executive Board was reserved for a Conservative.

I attended a “training session” run by Paul Warren (CEO of RDC) who advised Members how this was going to work and what non Executive Board Members could not do.

If you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that’s your own lookout

May 28, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

I don’t really mean that but it is an eye catching heading on a subject that really does matter.

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

The Vogon Constructor Fleet is the fleet of alien spaceships in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that demolishes the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass,and they despair at the fact that the planning application has been advertised at Alpha Centauri for 50 years (when of course earth people did not know about it and could not get there anyway !!)

New RDC Area Committees

May 26, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The new Area Committees were the only promising part of the New Political Structure put in place by the Conservative Party Group on Rochford District Council.  But that promise has been dispelled even before they have met.

They were promising because they meet almost locally and would allow residents to speak.

The Area Committees were approved before the way that they would work with public speaking had been worked out.

I have now been informed verbally by Councillor Stansby, Central Area Chair, that residents who wish to speak will have to fill in a form beforehand !!

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

May 26, 2007 by · 2 Comments 

 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.

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