Update Number 4 – DWH Clements Gate (Thorpe Road/Rectory Road Hawkwell)

March 29, 2013 by  

DWH Clements Gate (Thorpe Road/Rectory Road Hawkwell) No4


We were hoping things would quieten down and the disruption would be contained within the areas agreed by Development Committee.  Unfortunately they have not.

On Christmas Tree Farm

However it is not all bad news we do have some, most importantly –

Thorpe Road Closure – Planned Road Closure for 6 months – unmade part

With the support of our County Councillor Tracey Chapman and the MP we have been successful in getting the pedestrian access included in the Decision Notice which is posted in Thorpe Road.

No traffic lights or gates were included to keep traffic flowing through although it should be noted that very few vehicles travelled through to Rectory Road whilst the “track”, for that is how it appears on the Ordnance Survey, was deeply rutted, muddy and overgrown!

We are, however, concerned that the 6 months seems to have been extended to 18 months and that no effective action was taken by RDC or ECC to prevent the road being blocked prior to the Closure Notice taking effect on the 1st April.


Hours of Working – would the hours read out before voting at Development Committee be kept to? 

Still no response to our enquiry of Mr Scrutton (restricting there to be NO Deliveries on Sundays and Bank Holidays) since the 8th March and he is now out of office again till the 2nd April !!


Christmas Tree Farm “Vega Nurseries Gate” Access in Rectory Road

Despite the RDC Planning Department asking residents for Breaches of this Condition to be logged it would appear that RDC Officers are minded to authorise the actions that the developer is taking.

Rochford District Council Officers have the power to alter and override Conditions and Restrictions agreed at Development Committee and in The Section 106 Legal Agreement at their discretion. Once Planning Permission has been granted Members are excluded from future decision making.

We think that this is fundamentally wrong and that when planning applications are passed by the Development Committee with proposals by the developer attached that these proposals should be honoured by all parties unless there is a really important, unavoidable supervening reason why they should not be met.

 We have called for RDC to be very clear now which restrictions and conditions as approved by Development Committee will be either completely waived or temporarily waived by Officers?

 We have demanded a definitive statement from RDC Officers in order that residents of our Ward may be advised very quickly of the decisions that have been taken on their behalf by Officers (not Members).

Surely a developer of this size and experience should know what to put forward in a planning application the first time round with regard to what accesses to the site are required?

 You might be interested in seeing an email sent to RDC by ECC. We think it says it all!!  (The spelling mistakes were made by ECC not us and the bold emphasis is OURS.)

“Then developer is reusing a formed access which I assume meets the highway requirements onto rectory road.”

 “The decision with enforcement lies with yourselves however, I understand RDC want to progress this development and this would facilitate the process for what would only be a temporary arrangement construction arrangmetn with all the relevant protocols in place until such time as the new access from clements hall road is formed.”

Depending on how strongly you feel about this as a resident you do have the option of complaining to:

 The Chief Executive of RDC, paul.warren [at] [dot] uk  Or: Terry Cutmore, Conservative Leader of the Council, CllrTerry.Cutmore [at] [dot] uk  or Keith Hudson  CllrKeith.Hudson [at] [dot] uk, Conservative Deputy Leader of the Council who both lead the Administration.

Please continue to keep us in the’ loop’.


Rodent infestations in adjacent residential premises due to site disturbance

We have received even more reports of properties being affected and the original affected properties ones are still not free of infestation.  Rodents are burrowing under gardens and into their houses Thank you all for keeping us updated on this.  Today Christine wrote to Barratts/DWH as follows;

I would ask DWH to treat these properties as a matter of urgency because of the distress and health risks that DWH’s neighbours have been exposed to.  My understanding is that the worst affected properties are those in the unmade part of Thorpe Road where the rodents are burrowing under lawns into sheds and houses and similarly in Royer Close following the work at that end of the site.

We are concerned that it would appear that DWH have already been asked to undertake this work and do not appear to have responded.

I am sure you will appreciate the urgency of this situation and I would appreciate a reply today so that we can put a positive response in our weekly update.  If DWH are prepared to meet the costs we need details of how and when as some of these residents are on very limited budgets and need reassurance on more than one front.

We have been successful because the reply received is as follows;

’ residents are invited to arrange treatment and send DWH a bill for the works which they can then consider. Please invite residents to send the bill to me (c/o DWH) which I can then ensure gets to the right people within the organisation. ‘

The Address is: Nikki Davies, Associate Director, Meeting Place Communications , Lyttleton House, 64 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford CM1 1SW Tel: 01245 218160 / 07883 504 644

Please continue to keep us in the’ loop’.


Complaint as to whether or not the tree felling plan was being adhered to and query over correct removal of hedgerow.

We have received an acknowledgement from Mr Scrutton that an oak tree has been incorrectly felled after previous assurances from the expert Officers involved– surprising what happens when Ward Councillors state they will check once the site is open!

However the reply from Mr Scrutton does not fill us with confidence of an equitable outcome.

‘With regard to tree works, it’s now been possible to check on the situation and it does appear that an Oak tree identified for retention has been removed.  We’re in contact with DWH for an explanation and I’ll let you have an update when we receive a reply’.

Thank you everyone who is keeping us informed, much appreciated.

Please keep us advised of any developments and copy us in if possible.  On behalf of all those affected residents thank you for your continued help.


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