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Questions at the RDC Central Area Committee (9 Nov 2010)

November 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Pat James, a resident of Hawkwell sent in a question about the latest consultation on the Core Strategy.

Apart from asking about how residents would be informed about this important communication the question went on to ask;

Please explain what changes have been made and how these will effect Hawkwell, Hockley, Hullbridge and the very nearby parts of Ashingdon which comprise of the Central Area?

The Officer dealing with questions said that the answer was in writing in front of everyone so he would not read it out.  Pat realising that the last part of her question (above) had not been answered and despite putting her hand up the Chairman failed to acknowledge her request to speak.  John Mason stepped in and asked the Chairman to explain why this part of the question had not been answered.

Shaun Scrutton said that he had not answered it because the questioner could read about the changes at the places in the answer. He did not propose to read everything out.

John advised the Chairman that it was not good enough and with the Portfolio Holder Councillor Hudson sitting almost next to him, he felt that an answer in summary of the effect on the Central Area should be given.

Mr. Scrutton who went on to say that he could only read out Policy H2 and H3.

John still felt that this was unhelpful and uninformative and asked the Chairman to ask Pat if she was satisfied with that as an answer.

Pat said No and all Shaun Scrutton did was to ramble through a list of locations, numbers and dates.

At that point Pat and John both gave up.

This is what Pat James said afterwards;

“It is a shame that so few members of the public attend but I believe the public are becoming more and more dissatisfied by Officers and Councillors failing to be open or at times appear interested in the public’s opinion resulting in their questions not fully answered or worse ignored when raised.  It is becoming increasingly clear to me that there is a secrecy surrounding the issue of houses in Hawkwell and elsewhere that Officers do not wish to be  questioned on by the public and will only give replies and answers to questions that they wish the public to know about.  Thus avoiding many important questions raised by concerned members of the public who will be directly affected by an increase of housing and loss of green belt.”

A question on the Core Strategy from Councillor Myra Weir was ruled out of order and was disqualified by the Chair because she was not a member of the public.  Councillor Hazlewood also raised question and was refused by the Chairman.

Mr Alan James then interjected by saying that if Councillor Weir could not ask the question then he would and asked if it would be answered.  The quote of the week is that “infrastructure  in the Central Area is reasonable”.

The impression given was that the matter was in consultation and that no questions would be answered and that the debate could be held with the public at the Public Examination Hearings in January before a Planning Inspector.

There were only 14 people other than District Councillors and Officers present and one of these was the Press!!

Hockley Regeneration Plan – How could this affect Hawkwell?

March 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 But how could this affect Hawkwell?  Apart from the obvious that many, many people from Hawkwell regard Hockley Village as a place for public resources and shopping – one of the Options (2.1) involves building up to 200 houses/apartments on the Eldon Way Industrial Estate.  Is this the best Option ignoring the interests of protecting Hawkwell’s green belt?  Where would the industrial users go?  To the proposed new industrial area at the Airport. If this Option were chosen then the total number of houses that are proposed to be built on green belt in Hawkwell could be reduced from 330 to 130 which in turn could be built on a brown field site like the industrial site at Magees in Hawkwell.

 
If this is what Hawkwell would prefer then Hawkwell residents need to say so in the Hockley Town Centre Consultation.  It is up to you !! Is this a better place for development?  A re-use of a brown field site?  But remember that green belt is being proposed for industrial use at the airport.  But is this a better place for this development?  Does it make more sense than an industrial estate in the centre of Hockley?
Don’t forget to tie up your thoughts with the concurrent consultation on the airport.
http://www.rochford.gov.uk/rdc/main.asp?page=1727&atoz=1

http://www.rochford.gov.uk/rdc/PDF/planning_hockley_aap_issues_and_options.pdf

Rochford District Council says ”

Hockley Area Action Plan Issues and Options

Plans for Hockley centre regeneration – your views sought
 
A new square, village green, more leisure, retail, commercial and housing – would you like to see these in the centre of Hockley?
 
The Council are in the process of producing an Area Action Plan for Hockley. This Area Action Plan will set the planning framework for the central area of Hockley, directing development and guiding public and private investment in the area.”
Please ensure that any comments you wish to make are received by 5pm on 30th April 2009. You also might wish to record your comments on this Article.

Consultation – On The Airport

March 10, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Please let us have your Comments !!

Please add them to this Article and also add them to the Council’s Web Site, http://www.rochford.gov.uk

I am very concerned about the future capacity of the B1013 to accommodate the vehicle traffic from the extended airport and the 3300 houses that the Government require to be built in our District.  I have seen no studies from Essex County Council which allay my concerns. I have already raised these concerns with the airport.

One of the Options (2.1) in the concurrent consultation on the Hockley Town Centre Regeneration Plan involves building up to 200 houses/apartments on the Eldon Way Industrial Estate.  Is this the best Option ignoring the interests of protecting Hawkwell’s green belt?  Where would the industrial users go?  To the proposed new industrial area at the Airport. If this Option were chosen then the total number of houses that are proposed to be built on green belt in Hawkwell could be reduced from 330 to 130 which in turn could be built on a brown field site like the industrial site at Magees in Hawkwell.

But if there the airport expansion plan does not get approval then the Eldon Way Industrial Estate has nowhere to move to and 330 houses will still be built on Hawkwell’s green belt.

What a dilemma for Hawkwell residents !! Is the key to Hawkwell’s future to say no to the Airport Expansion and No to the 330 houses?  Residents could say that or alternatively elect to press the Government and Essex County Council to provide the right highway infrastruture to allow the airport to go ahead and reduce the houses required in Hawkwell.

Southend Borough Council and Rochford District Council are in the process of preparing a Joint Area Action Plan in response to the challenges and opportunities offered by London Southend Airport, together with an airport related employment cluster.

The JAAP will;

* Manage growth and change in the area by establishing development and design principles
* Ensure the protection of areas and places sensitive to change
* Direct investment and form the basis for regeneration in the area
* Be deliverable

Rochford and Southend Borough Council produced an ‘Issues and Options’ Report which sets out the initial analysis and possible spatial plans for the development of the area in the period to 2021.

Following extensive consultation the Council’s have prepared a ‘Preferred Options’ version of the plan, which sets out the vision for the future of the airport and the linked employment land and provides details of the policy framework that will be required to deliver the vision.

The ‘Preferred Options’ document is now published for consultation – comments should be submitted by 27 March 2009.

You can download the document here http://www.rochford.gov.uk/rdc/PDF/JAAP_preferred_options_130209.pdf (3 Mb)

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