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Villagers to fight housing proposal (from the Echo)

October 24, 2007 by  

Villagers to fight housing proposal

By Geoff Percival

ANGRY villagers plan to set up an action group to oppose the building of 400 new homes in the area.

Rochford District Council’s blueprint for development until 2021 includes a proposal for 365 homes in Hawkwell, but only 36 in neighbouring Hockley.

The figure for Hawkwell had to be increased because of an agreement to cut the number of homes proposed for Rayleigh from 1,800 to 740.

The agreement followed fierce campaigning from Rayleigh residents, who complained the town would have taken more than half the district’s housing allocation.

But the move has now angered residents of Hawkwell, about 150 of whom attended a recent protest meeting.

The meeting was originally called because of concerns the area around Mount Bovers Lane, in the Upper Roach Valley, had been suggested by developers as a suitable site for development. The landscape at Mount Bovers Lane is currently considered to be of special value and links to the district council’s Cherry Orchard Country Park. It is part of the vision to maintain a green lung within the area, and it is unlikely development will be allowed there.

However, Hawkwell district councillor John Mason said: “Residents decided they wanted an action group to oppose all the potential sites in Hawkwell and 365 new homes anywhere.”

He said many residents expressed concerns (about) the roads, sewerage capacity, water, refuse collection services, dentists, doctors and schools (that) could not support this number of new homes.

The new action group plans to lobby district councillors, asking for a rethink on the number of homes being proposed for Hawkwell.

Monday 22nd October 2007

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