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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.

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

How did Rochford Council get into such a mess about Housing?

September 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

A woman in a hot air balloon realises she is lost. She lowers her altitude and spots a man fishing at the lake near Bradley Way in Rochford.

She shouts to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consults his portable GPS and replies, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 21 feet above a ground elevation of 50 feet above sea level. You are at  51°34’47.26″ north latitude and 0°42’22.89” east longitude.

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.

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.

Arriva No 8 Bus – Improvements sought by RDC

June 25, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

Planning Policy & Transportation Committee – 3 April 2007
Review of Bus Services

Resolved
(1) That County Highways be asked to:-
– Explore with the local residents ways in which the transport link between the Dome and Hullbridge could be improved.
Planning Policy & Transportation Committee – 3 April 2007
-Explore ways of improving evening services generally.
-Explore the possibility of reinstating the No. 8 service from Hawkwell to Rayleigh during the week.
-Explore with the local residents ways in which the local bus services could be expanded to cater for people wishing to visit places of recreation from the Rochford District.
(2) That Central Government be lobbied to increase its funding to support subsidisation of the bus services in the county.
(3)  That Arriva be lobbied via Essex County Council to improve the condition of their buses and make them more user friendly.

Hawkwell Parish Council – No Village Plan When Needed

May 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

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

In 2003 I was elected by you as a Member of Hawkwell Parish Council.  One of the priority projects was the development of a village plan. This is one of the projects that I wished to see taken forward by Hawkwell Parish Council 2003 – 2007.

One of the big questions is development, what is going to happen to Green Belt?  Houses or not?

A Politico Blog on the RDC New Structure

May 21, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

It was inevitable that only members of the Conservative Party have seats on the powerful Executive Board.

Whilst decisions can be questioned by Full Council or Overview and Scrutiny in reality the Party Whip will ensure that the Conservative Party majority will prevail.

All other Councillors on RDC are consigned to the only remaining role available – Opposition. I mean ALL OTHERS, including some disgruntled Conservative Councillors. The spectacle of Conservative Councillors scrapping for votes to become Area Committee Chairman must have upset the losers.

This New Political Structure has for once and for all polarised the business of Council.  Something that the system that the public liked, The Committee Structure, did not.

Hawkwell Parish Council – 2007 to 2011

May 20, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

The Local Government Elections in May 2007 saw “No Contest” for any seat on Hawkwell Parish Council.

There are 17 seats on Hawkwell Parish Council but only 14 of those are filled. Consequently there was little change.

There are 3 Vacancies which the Council will have to try to co-opt.

Half of the 14 Councillors represent registered political parties:

4 Labour Councillors, 1 Conservative Councillor, 2 Hawkwell Residents Councillors

The Woes of being a Tory Councillor

May 20, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Tory raps ‘lazy councillors’

From the Echo  Monday 23rd April 2007

A FORMER council leader has claimed his own colleagues are more concerned with their allowances than working for their constituents.

Tory Rochford district councillor Peter Webster launched an astonishing attack on his fellow members who, he claimed, were “too lazy” to fill in a questionnaire about how the authority worked.

The questionnaire was sent to all of the 39 councillors, asking for their views on the workings of the review committee during its first year of operation.

NEW HOUSING FIGURES REVEALED FOR ROCHFORD DISTRICT

March 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

NEW HOUSING FIGURES REVEALED FOR ROCHFORD DISTRICT

“The Council sets out a policy allocating the total number of housing units to the top tier (90 per cent) and second tier (10 per cent) settlements , to gain a smaller number of large sites which will deliver the greatest number of infrastructure improvements. The split is as follows:

Completions 2001 -2006: 900

Rochford/Ashingdon : 1000

Hockley/Hawkwell : 400

Rayleigh : 1800

Smaller Settlements 500

====

TOTAL : 4600
(By “1st Tier ” this means towns and large villages – Rayleigh, Rochford, Ashingdon, Hockley and Hawkwell. By “2nd Tier” this means Hullbridge, Canewdon and Great Wakering. “Completions 2001-2006″ means houses already built.)

RDC threat to Green Belt

November 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Thousands of homes to be built in Green Belt

Government agency agrees with HRA concerns

Hockley Residents Association (HRA) is very concerned that Rochford District Council (RDC) are planning to put thousands of houses on Green Belt land. Under government policy, RDC has to provide for an additional 4,600 homes by 2021. This is a net increase of about 3,700 homes over existing plans.

Hockley Residents’ Association (HRA) – Council exposes tax payers to massive compensation

September 22, 2006 by · 1 Comment 

RDC have refused to consider HRA complaints, before the Development Control Committee meeting next Thursday, that the Pond Chase Mushroom Farm planning application has not been properly processed. The application is to convert part of a mushroom farm in the Green Belt into industrial units.

Once granted, planning permission cannot be rescinded. This means that if RDC or the Local Ombudsman subsequently uphold the complaints, RDC could face massive compensation bills from home owners whose properties have lost value as a result of the change of use.

Echo Article – Expansion of Southend – Threat of Rochford/Southend By Pass looms

September 17, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

2,000 new homes for New Ranges
Exclusive By Steven Blaakman

Up to 2,000 new homes could be built at the New Ranges weapons testing base in Shoebury.

Consultants are proposing a vibrant new town with a tree-lined main avenue, a central park and the possibility of a landmark tower block.

Investment from big companies and the University of Essex could also create more than 3,000 new jobs, consultants Llewelyn Davies Yeang believe.

A light rail system transporting residents to nearby shops and facilities could be built along the main avenue.

The project would also include a new road to the north of the site, the catalyst for the long-awaited Southend outer relief road.

Evening Echo – Reluctant Rochford’s 3,000 new homes

September 17, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

Reluctant Rochford’s 3,000 new homes
By Geoff Percival

Rochford councillors have reluctantly agreed 3,000 more homes might have to be built in the district by 2021.

But councillors are angry that the Government is trying to force so many new houses on area.

The proposals will mean 90 per cent of the extra homes would be in Rayleigh, Hockley, Hawkwell, Rochford and Ashingdon.

However, Rochford District Council leader Terry Cutmore (Con, Ashingdon) pointed out the plan had yet to be ratified by the East of England Regional Assembly, which drafted it.

Planning Policy to 2021 – an extra 3000 houses

September 13, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

The District Council Planning Policy and Transportation Committee meeting on 12 September presented the Council’s Core Strategy on planning for the next 15 years or more. Nothing was decided and there is public consultation.

But it gave a strong bias as to where the council will allow 3,000 extra homes to be built up to the year 2021.

What goes on in the Local Elections?

May 18, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

So what does go on in the Local Elections that shouldn’t and you don’t get to hear about? Read on to discover the level of activity that was undertaken against myself, an independent candidate in the 2006 Local Government Elections.

Abolition of The District Councils

May 18, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

John Prescott now longer has the ODPM and David Miliband has moved on. Several senior civil servants are no longer involved.  It is rumoured that the Government does not wish to take on some County and District Councils.  The White Paper will now be published towards the end of October.



Recent election candidates for District Councils might find that the losers have the last laugh almost immediately as their office will most likely abolished with the District Councils as early as 2008 by the Labour Government.

The Labour Government is even thinking of calling off the next District Council elections due in 2007 to make way for early abolition of the District Councils.

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