330 reasons to object to new houses in Hawkwell

November 14, 2008 by  

160 residents from Hockley and Hawkwell went to the Rochford District Council Meeting held at the Hawkwell Village Hall to protest against the proposal from the Council to build 330 new houses between Thorpe Road and Clements Hall Way.

Independent District Councillor John Mason for Hawkwell West spoke at the end of the Meeting at the request of a resident to explain whether he was against the proposal.

Councillor Mason confirmed that he remained steadfastly against the proposal, indeed as he had said at two public meetings arranged by the Hawkwell Action Group.  He took time to say that he had been conducting his own technical appraisal of the location described as South Hawkwell under the Government Policy on sustainable development PPS12 and that he had concluded that it was NOT a sustainable development and should be dropped by the Council.

Download “330 reasons to object to new houses in Hawkwell”



John said that he would make his findings available on the web and that he hoped that residents would consult this and write their own letters of protest to the Council, by letter, email or by direct input into the Council’s Database.

Councillor Hudson, on behalf of the Council, said that he welcomed the input that would be provided by Councillor Mason and residents because the Council did want residents views in writing not just as expressed at the meeting.

John Mason’s hugely detailed letter of protest on behalf of residents can be downloaded here.  He urges all concerned residents to write to the Council by 17 December which is the closing date of the consultation.



4 Responses to “330 reasons to object to new houses in Hawkwell”
  1. Brian Guyett says:

    The large turnout at last night’s meeting was pleasing and reflects the general concern of people in this area at RDC’s Core Strategy. Hopefully (i) the council will listen to what was said and (ii) also residents will write to the council to formally record their views – this is vital.
    However, as a Hockley resident, it was disappointing to note the number of people who felt that dumping the housing on Hockley would solve the problem. I would say that wouldn’t I, but I would suggest that such a move would rebound on Hawkwell.
    Although not stated last night, my understanding is that the Rectory Lane area was selected as it is close to Cherry Orchard Lane, which RDC want to upgrade to dual carriageway. RDC’s theory is that traffic will use that route to exit the area quickly.
    If you simply move those houses to Hockley, the implications for all local services are exactly the same e.g. schools will be full; GPs & dentists overflowing etc. Additionally, all the extra traffic will have to use the B1013 through Hawkwell, arguably making matters even worse for Hawkwell.
    Let me make very clear, I do not support the RDC Core Strategy, including the plans for Hawkwell. However playing ‘beggar my neighbour’ is not a solution. If every parish adopts this approach, there will be no consensus and RDC will be able to impose their plan.
    As Keith Hudson repeatedly said, we HAVE to find an alternative solution. Cllr Hudson referred a number of times to all the potential developments in the pipeline, with a number potentially affecting land to the east of Rochford. We need a strategy which will deal with these threats.
    Please, lets start debating constructive solutions.

  2. Susan James says:

    Further to the comments made by Brian Guyett, my husband and I attended the meeting last night. It was made perfectly clear to all that we are getting these houses whether we want them or not. If the people of Hawkwell don’t want them in one place they will have to go in another part of Hawkwell. The problem will not go away. It can’t be shouted down, Gordon Brown will not have a re-think, and the population of this country will not shrink.

    The benefit of keeping the 330 together is that the developer would have to provide infastructure, contribute towards play areas etc. If a developer builds a large number of houses they have to provide affordable housing as part of the scheme. Does nobody in Hawkwell have a relative living in a Council or Housing Association home in Rochford or Southend? My daughter has been on the waiting list in Southend for 5 years and still is not top of the list. Surely if these 330 homes have to be built some Housing Association housing must be a good thing.

    If the houses aren’t kept together we run a very high risk that the 330 homes will be built here and there on back gardens and on the sites of old bungalows and businesses. If a block of flats is built there won’t be any infastructure provided by a developer or any affordable housing, so there will be no benefit at all to the community. This is what happens in Leigh – a huge block of flats that all the residents object to, but still gets built because the application meets all the criteria to be passed. Do we really want that here in Hawkwell?

    330 houses will be built in Hawkwell. No doubt about that. No cries of ‘build them in Scotland’ will stop this happening. The question we should ask ourselves is ‘I know that 330 homes are to be built. Where in Hawkwell do I want these to be built?’

    • Adrian Eves says:

      Unfortunately I could not attend the meeting at the Village Hall. Previously I have attended other meetings and taken a keen interest in this matter. I have however, taken the time to read thoroughly John Mason’s very lengthy report on the issue, and whilst I understand the sentiment behind Brian Guyett and Susan James’ comments I don’t think nimbyism is the problem here.

      There are a number of issues that give me cause for concern that Brian Guyett and Susan James do not seem to have grasped:

      1. The existing infrastructure is not adequate and would apparently be too expensive to be considered as a serious option for Hawkwell West – according to ECC. There would undoubtably be deaths on the roads as a direct result of the increased traffic with the development as proposed, going by the figures that councillor Mason has gleaned from ECC. Why are RDC not prepared to seriously consider this aspect in their LAP? Surely it has to be a major consideration?

      2. Hawkwell West has a known flood plane problem. This appears to be being glossed over.

      3. There HAS to be development in the area. That I agree. I personally wouldn’t suggest Hockley as an area to focus on but a serious contender in the area for development, notably Warners Bridge, is apparently not being ALLOWED to be considered. We are being told that one of the main reasons for the additional housing is linked to the development of the airport. Warners Bridge area seems to me to be a no brainer, for consideration, at least.

      4. If anyone thinks that affordable housing in Hawkwell West is going to be just that, I’m afraid to say that your affordability
      has a different level to mine. I have been running a company in the building industry for 26 years, and whether the government insist on it or not, building affordable housing still has to turn in a profit to the building company. In this area, the level of the market that the ‘affordable housing’ would have to be sold at would not make the houses affordable in my estimation, unless they are tiny, one bed flats – which are out of keeping with the area….

      It worries me that as a resident in the area to be affected, that my ELECTED councillor is having such difficulty getting the relevant information out of his first point of contact, notably RDC, but is able to get the information from a body that he is NOT ELECTED to, ie, ECC. One can’t help wondering why that is the case. Maybe John Mason is being a pain at local council, but who would we rather have as a representative on the council? Someone who tows the party line, or someone who is genuinely interested in the future of the area he/she is representing? I know what my answer is.

  3. Brian Guyett says:

    Adrian’s comments are spot on. We HAVE to put the housing somewhere – the real debate should be WHERE? I am sorry, Adrian, if my previous posting was not clear in this regard.

    RDC only want us to consider their proposal for housing scattered across 12 sites, which is not costed, incomplete, inappropriate and unsustainable. A single site could overcome many of the infrastructure deficiencies so obvious to most of the public. Why doesn’t RDC want us to consider alternative options?

    The very great danger is that we will get both (i.e. scattered housing across the ditrict plus 10,000 or so homes “east of Rochford”. EERA & ECC are aready discussing additional allocations of up to 10,000 homes with RDC.

    Please submit your (serious) suggestions for alternative sites to RDC by 17 Dec.

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