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Report by the Leader of Rochford District Council

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

fountain pen tips 3

Every 6 weeks or so the Leader of Rochford District Council at a Full Council Meeting in Rayleigh reads his “Report of the leader on the work of the Executive”. The Executive are all Conservative Councillors who are Cabinet Members.  Only The Cabinet Members can speak at Meetings of The Executive. The Conservatives in their own words “control” the Council.  The latest Leader’s Report was read out on 30 July.

You can read it here.

In our view this Report is  much less about “the work of the Executive” and more about Party Political  Statements.  (Make up your own mind, of course.)

Rochford Core Strategy – Revisited 2011

July 24, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

The Rochford Independent stopped publishing Articles for a time because we wished to be less of a “publisher” of news and to concentrate on the primary objective of being District Councillors.

Christine was elected in May to also represent the Hawkwell West Ward in the second of the two seats. I have been naturally acting as her mentor and I am pleased to tell you that she is already acting for residents and making efforts to influence change in the District.

New Government Bonus for Local Councils to build New Houses

November 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Government has today, 12 November, published the consultation paper on the New Homes Bonus (NHB) which is described in the paper as “an effective fiscal incentive to encourage local authorities to facilitate housing growth“.

The Consultation closes on 24 December.

Everyone in Rochford District should be interested in this because that is the reward Rochford District Council will get for building more houses than the public wants.

Could there be a Reduction in House Building Targets in Rochford District

July 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Yes, there could be, but many residents who listened to and read the promises made about over development of the green belt at the General and Local Election in 2010 think that the new Government has stopped all building on green belt.

No that is not the case, far, far from it.

Well the RSS Housing targets have been revoked. What does that mean then?

It could mean this;

-10.9%
East of England Regional Assembly (EERA)
23,900 local authority option one figure
26,830 current RSS figure

[Source http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/ihstory.aspx?storycode=6508627]

Rochford Core Strategy Housing Location Hearings

June 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With all the recent talk and focus on the The Pickles Letter it has been easy to forget that the Public Examinaton of the Rochford Core Strategy is still continuing under the direction of Government Planning Inspector, Miss Laura Graham.  Indeed the Hearing on Housing that was attended by many residents and residents groups was only on 12 May 2010.

During the Hearings many questions were asked and challenges made of the Council.

Miss Graham asked the Council to provide the following additional information by 11 June.

  • Vision
  • Housing location audit trail

What local councils could do to stop an existing or emerging Core Strategy

June 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rochford District Council says in its Press Release that it has to continue to proceed with its Core Strategy (CS) because although the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has announced the new Government’s intention to abolish the Regional Housing Targets (RSS) it has not passed legislation.

It has been said by other planners that Section 79 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 sets out the Secretary of State’s reserve power to revoke a regional strategy where the Secretary of State thinks it, necessary or, expedient to do so.

Eric Pickles’ Letter

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Having taken advice on behalf of concerned residents………..

“Ministerial proposals do not have legal force until the necessary legislative provisions have been enacted, the statement and the weight to be attached to it as a material planning consideration have to be viewed in this context.”

Sent to all Chief Planners on 27 May 2010 by The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

ABOLITION OF REGIONAL STRATEGIES

Pickles makes a first move on The Core Strategy

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I have asked RDC for a legal opinion on the following letter.

What legal status does this letter have to determine a course of action by a Planning Authority? 

Or is it only an informative?

Sent to all Chief Planners on 27 May 2010 by The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

ABOLITION OF REGIONAL STRATEGIES

I am writing to you today to highlight our commitment in the coalition agreements where we very clearly set out our intention to rapidly abolish Regional Strategies and return decision making powers on housing and planning to local councils. Consequently, decisions on housing supply (including the provision of travellers sites) will rest with Local Planning Authorities without the framework of regional numbers and plans.

Will it be a Happy New Year for the Developers……but not for residents?

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I am told by some readers that there is nothing to worry about because the green belt will be protected by the New Lib/Con Coalition.

But when will the Bill scrapping the housing targets go through Parliament?

Our MP’s Office says “Unfortunately, no dates appear to be available yet however, once these are known, they should be listed on the following website.”

http://www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/

According to the Queen’s Speech the Bill which will, amongst other things, scrap the Regional Housing Targets is called The Decentralisation and Localism Bill.

Council Officers Recommend Refusal of 330 houses in Hawkwell

November 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Rochford District Council Officers are recommending that The Development Control Committee refuse a Planning Application from David Wilson Homes for 330 new houses in Hawkwell on the site known as the Christmas Tree Farm, Rectory Road and Thorpe Road.

The Hawkwell Action Group has advised residents by leaflet this weekend that Mr. John Dagg QC will also be speaking on behalf of residents who have campaigned over several years against a proposal from either the Council in the form of its Core Strategy or this specific planning application.

Hockley doesn’t want 150 New Houses in Town Centre

August 20, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

From the Echo 19 August

RESIDENTS have given a “resounding thumbs-down” to a council plan to revamp Hockley, a pressure group says.

The Hockley Under Threat campaign was set up by neighbours in response to the Hockley Area Action Plan, which aims to revitalise the town centre with new shops, a smarter look and more homes.

Earlier this year, Rochford District Council asked residents what they would like to see. But many complained they were unaware of the plans.

The group’s committee has examined more than 250 responses to the plan and found 77 per cent were against.

Barratt Consults Public on 370 Houses in Rectory Road

July 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The developer is David Wilson Homes which is part of Barratt Developments PLC.  Site Map

Rochford District Council has put forward a plan in its Core Strategy for 175 new dwellings in Hawkwell whilst David Wilson Homes is actually preparing a Planning Application for 370 houses on one of the potential sites that have been suggested to the Council.  Confused, Yes you have every right to be !!

At the same time, The Hawkwell Action Group, which is believed to have at least 300 active supporters, will also no doubt be letting them both know what it thinks about their conflicting proposals !! And also the public.

Exposing the Rochford Core Strategy

July 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As regular readers will know  I  have  been  helping  residents  and the Hawkwell Action Group fight against  the  imposition  of new houses on green belt in Hawkwell West because the majority said at three well attended public meetings that they don’t want it.

The Hawkwell Action Group (HAG) has asked me to explain comments that have been made on the local press about house building plans being put on hold.

Yes, informed sources [of the Southend Standard] have already suggested the delays on the more controversial schemes mean they may never happen.

http://www.southendstandard.co.uk/news/southend/4472212.New_housing_plans_delayed_until_2015/

New Houses for the Mythical World of “HockWell”

June 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

The latest version of the District Council’s Core Strategy is now available from the Rochford District Council website.

And the Council still is talking about this mythical place called HockWell !! This is because the Council insists that Hawkwell and Hockley are grouped together “because of housing markets and access to services and facilities”.

Hawkwell West, which is still masqueraded by the Council under the misdescription of “South Hawkwell”, is nothing at all like Hockley in terms of access to services and facilities.  

More or Less New Houses in Hawkwell?

March 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

From the Echo;

“Councillors are preparing to tour the Rochford District to find sites for new homes. Last week, Councillors decided they would look at about 30 to 40 locations for settlements of more than 50 homes.  They will then draw up their plan, called a core strategy, which guides development in the district. Keith Hudson (Con, Hockley Central), Councillor responsible for planning, said a possible 100 magic prismhomes, which could be built in Hockley town centre, would be included in the 350-home total required for both Hockley and Hawkwell.  Last autumn, the district council revealed its provisional plans for where the housing would go as part of its preferred options for the core strategy.  The two most contentious areas were Hawkwell and Rawreth, where residents campaigned against their housing allocations.  The District Council earmarked 330 homes for Hawkwell and 1,050 houses for Rawreth.  During the consultation, Rayleigh Town Council and Hawkwell and Rawreth parish councils all listed their objections to the plan in strong terms.”

Are there going to be Major Housing Developments in the East of Rochford and Southend?

November 16, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

If you need any evidence of how quickly things change in politics look no further than Southend Borough Council.

On 28 October in the Echo, Anna Waite, Planning Supremo at Southend Council on the possibility of NEW plans to build 10,000 new homes in the next 20 years on land at Fossetts Farm and Bournes Green, Southend said:

“This scheme is ill-conceived, unsustainable and very undesirable.

“I believe we should be protecting the green belt from housing developments and farming our agricultural land to sustain the population.

“I shall be opposing this proposal, which I strongly believe the residents of east Southend do not want.”   

New Hawkwell Housing – How to Protest

June 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Bloor Street Corridor Visioning Study Kick-Off Meeting, Walmer Road Baptist Church Upper Gym, Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - 267Having seen the huge turnout at the Hawkwell Action Group’s Public Meeting many of you asked how you could object.  Rather than wait for an official public consultation you can protest now especially as it is known that the Planning Policy Committee has reviewed the sites.

Here is the draft of a letter you could send to the Council, Click here.

‘Fair Shares for All’ Housing Allocation? – 365 is NOT a Fair Share in Hawkwell West

May 26, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

The story so far:

In the Summer of 2007, after the first public consultation, 32 Conservative Councillors met in private to allocate 2200 new housing units across Rochford District.  They came up with 365 for Hawkwell West and just 740 for the whole of Rayleigh.

The Liberal Democrats seem to have gratefully accepted the reduced allocation for Rayleigh and have not raised any objection yet to the allocations across the remainder of the District. Not surprising because any objection to what is going on elsewhere might lead to the Rayleigh allocation increasing !! 

But Lib Dem Councillor Chris Black, Leader of the Opposition at RDC, has written “We support a ‘fair shares for all’ policy for new housing in Rochford District.”

But how can 365 new houses in Hawkwell West be described as ‘Fair Shares for All’ ?  It is not Fair Shares At All !!

  • A ‘Fair Shares for All’ policy would mean just 110 new houses in each of the 23 District Wards
  • Rayleigh should have 1000 new houses not 740
  • Hockley should have 330 not 36
  • So why is one Ward in Hawkwell allocated 365?
  • This would mean an increase in the number of houses in Hawkwell West by 25%

Not Sustainable – 3700 Homes for Rochford District

May 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

From the Echo 19 May 2008.

PLANS for 3,000 new jobs and 3,790 new homes in the Rochford district are not sustainable without improvement to the area’s transport links, according to an RDC Councillor.”We wonder if the Government has any idea at all of the daily problems our residents face due to the severe lack of infrastructure in our area and the East of England generally.”

But Rochford District Council has come up with a spin strategy to make everyone feel happy about things.

The Hawkwell Action Group (HAG)

May 14, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

A group of residents in Hawkwell West have formed a organisation called the Hawkwell Action Group (HAG) which has the purpose of ensuring that all of the residents of my Ward are independently advised of proposals affecting Hawkwell West in the Local Development Framework (Planning for Housing) and that as many residents as possible respond to the public consultation.  I was invited to join the HAG Committee and I have done so.

From the Echo, 12 May 2008 – Do you believe that Hawkwell Green Belt will be saved? Or is it still at risk? 

District’s green belt aims to skirt housebuild quotas

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