Top

Southend Airport Expansion – Project Dates

June 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Some readers have asked if The Rochford Independent knows when the various parts of the Southend Airport Expansion Project will be delivered.

A quick email to Airport Managing Director, Alastair Welch retrieved the following up to date information.

  • New Railway station and airport car park completes in August, opens in the Autumn 2010
  • New Control Tower operational in February 2011
  • New passenger terminal completes late Summer 2011
  • Runway extension scheduled to open for winter season 2011
  • New hotel at airport entrance scheduled to open Spring 2012

I asked the same question of RDC but asking what project milestones applied from the public side, like road infrastructure changes and development of the new industrial estate which will adjoin.

The first response was as follows;

“It is anticipated that the JAAP will be submitted to government by the end of this year or early next year, assuming the current arrangements for plan making continue.  The aim would be to see the plan adopted in 2011.”

That concerned me because the Airport sees the runway being open in say Sept/October 2011 for the Winter Season.

So I asked again to be shown the document which contained the milestones and this is the reply I received.

“It would be the Local Development Scheme, but we are revising at the moment.”

I have the uncomfortable feeling that with fundamental documentation for the public side still not even finalised that the aspirations of the Airport for 2011 might not be met?

 

Rochford Council’s Airport Meeting Cancelled

June 28, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

southend-on-seaThe Extraordinary Full Council Meeting to be held in Rochford on 16 July has been cancelled.

It is understood that residents intended to attend the meeting to hear what their councillors thought about the JAAP Plans for Southend Airport.

Residents in both Southend and Rochford have expressed concerns about the plans in the public consultation and have read in the Press about an apparent about turn by many Southend Councillors. This was followed by a critical Press Release from Rochford District Council that the administration remain wholly in favour.

No new date has been advised as yet and no reasons for the sudden cancellation have been given.

What were the recent elections like for you?

June 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

BeefDid the County Council Elections prove to be the best place for important questions of policy to be answered by the existing political administration and its political challengers? Did you get the chance to even ask? Did any of the candidates ask them for you?

Faced with promises from David Cameron that Council Tax could be frozen did any of the other parties put them on the spot and extract a local commitment from the Conservatives running Essex County Council?

Well No !! 

And did anyone tell us the answer to this question “When will we get anything on improvements to cope with all the extra planned housing?”

What was the view of candidates on the London Southend Airport Plan and transport?

Talking to residents in my Ward post the elections revealed that these questions were not even asked yet alone answered.

The Local Transport Plan is the responsibility of Essex County Council.  The Department for Transport says that it wants local transport planning to be seen as a vital and essential public service – a service that can be relied upon not just to solve problems, but to deliver opportunity for all, and to enhance quality of life.

The Local Transport Plan is a long term plan which sets out Essex County Council’s plans and policies for the future of transport in Essex. The first Local Transport Plan was a document containing the five-year programme from 2001-2006. The second Local Transport Plan contains the five-year programme from 2006-2011.

If you are wondering what’s in the LTP’s here is a link http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCWebsite/dis/faq.jsp?channelOid=16819&guideOid=39939&oid=18098

So why was it not a feature of the elections?

The LTP is, I believe, not up for formal revision until 2011 which means that the Rochford Core Strategy will be in place before this is formally revised and any infrastructural changes that we think are necessary will not have been committed to in my opinion. The only hope we have is a General Election before The Rochford Core Strategy is finally put in place early next year because the Conservative Party has pledged to stop the housing development plans.

In the meantime, as residents, we have to do what we can to influence the LTP revision and the Rochford District Core Strategy in forthcoming consultations.

According to RDC “We are discussing the Core Strategy with officers at County Hall and will feed the results of those discussions into the Core Strategy to develop the material included in the appendix to the housing chapter. Bear in mind that the Core Strategy is only intended to set out the broad principles for the development of the district – greater detail will be provided in other development plan document, notably the Allocations Development Plan Document.”

Essentially, the situation is still that each development will provide its own infrastructure under agreements with developers. It is going to be absolutely vital that individual Ward Members are as proactive as possible in giving input to the design statements for individual developments. A decision on sites will, I believe, come forward to Council in July but the detail in terms of Design Statements not till October. My greatest concern is that the Council is intending to give the task of an initial draft of Design Statements to the developers so that they will lead the process and carry most of the cost. In Chelmsford the Council employed consultants to initiate these and this is the better route in my view if residents are not to be railroaded by developers in the first draft.

So if you are not happy with the overall current transport infrastructure and the plans put forward for new housing say so in July.

And on individual sites in October.

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)

Bottom