Hullbridge Neighbourhood Action Panel

The next Neighbourhood Action Panel is due to be held on Wednesday 19 March at Hullbridge Community Centre in Pooles Lane, Hullbridge.  It will probably be in the Committee Room which is on the left as you come in through the entrance and it will be starting at 7.30pm.

As explained on the Police website

THIS IS NOT A POLICE MEETING but officers will be in attendance. The Neighbourhood Action Panel is a monthly meeting for anyone living or working in Hullbridge to attend and highlight issues that directly affect the area. The meeting is open for any member of the public to attend and share their comments and concerns. Please advise us of any particular requirements you have, or of any other arrangements we should make for you, to ensure that you can fully participate in the meeting.

It is a public meeting so please come along, you will get to meet the local officers and can let them know what you believe the problems are in Hullbridge.

Busy meeting for Tuesday

Rochford District Council is meeting on Tuesday next week, the 25th, to discuss a number of important items.  The meeting is held in the Civic Suite which is Opposite Holy Trinity Church at the top of Rayleigh High Street.

This meeting, known as the Full Council, is important as it is only at these meetings the Council can decide on certain matters and all members have the opportunity to speak and put their point of view across to the Administration.

The Agenda can be read here in full but the more important points to be agreed are

  • Item 11 – Motions on notice.  This is calling for the decision made at the January meeting, introducing parking charges for Saturday afternoons in the District car parks, to be reversed.
  • Item 15 – Adoption of the Allocations Document.  The document that details the numbers and places for the proposed housing to be built in the district (including the 500 for Hullbridge etc).
  • Item 16 – Hockley Area Action Plan.  The document detailing development within Hockley Centre including a large shop (watered down from specifically being a supermarket but still a large shop).
  • Item 17 – Forum for surface water flooding issues.  This will establish a group of Councillors (how they are to be chosen isn’t clear) who will liaise, advise and coordinate with responsible organisations on flood issues.  It will have an initial budget of £18,000.

Hopefully there will be a large number of people in the chamber on the night as these four items are key decisions of the council on which the Administration has been widely criticised for either pushing through against public objections (items 11, 15 & 16) or for not acting on soon enough (item 17).

Police & Crime Commisioner coming to Hockley

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston, is to hold a public meeting in Hockley.  These meetings are held twice a year, the last one being in Rayleigh, and they are open to the public to raise questions directly with the Commissioner.

The meeting is being held on Thursday 13 March at Hockley Primary School (in Chevening Gardens SS5 4UR).  The meeting starts at 6.00pm and is scheduled to end at 8.00pm.

This is a good opportunity for residents in the District to raise any concerns they have with policing and its effectiveness (or not) with the person directly responsible.

Report from the Inspector issued

The Government Inspector, David Smith, has issued his report on the District Council’s proposals for housing including the 500 earmarked for Hullbridge.  The report is his final conclusion after making an interim report late last year and it is based on his study of the plan and also the evidence from participants at the public hearings in the autumn of last year.  The report can be read here.

A lot of people are going to feel very disappointed with the report which proposes only a few changes most of which are either minor or unhelpful and includes no changes to the overall figures or any significant infrastructure improvements.  We have picked out a few points ourselves.

On building within the Green belt he says

16. Many representations argue that the housing developments proposed are wrong in principle as they would, amongst other things, intrude into the Green Belt. This includes the sites at Canewdon, Hullbridge…. However, the CS considered the need for housing within the District until 2025 and confirmed how this would be distributed across a number of different areas. It also accepted that Green Belt land would need to be allocated for residential development. So the broad approach to the location of new housing has already been definitively settled by the process of examining and finally adopting the CS. There is no overriding evidence to justify fundamental revisions to it.

Broadly this seems to say as policy states we “need” more housing and there is little spare land other than Greenbelt they have to build on Greenbelt.

Infrastructure is acknowledged in the report but gives little comfort to readers despite the Inspector admitting in point 25 that

there is no technical information about the impact of additional traffic. Furthermore, there is no other assessment to contradict the Highway Authority’s position that the network as a whole should be able to cope

But he goes on to accept that because County aren’t worried and, because they have had the plans and the proposals are in the Core Strategy, it isn’t a problem.

With regard to Watery Lane the Inspector has at least recognised some problems and says

There is particular concern about Watery Lane which is narrow and twisting and provides a link to major routes to the north. It is apparent that there is a difference between the Highway Authority’s view of its status within the road hierarchy and the actual level of use of a well-known ‘short cut’. Watery Lane
is also vulnerable to flooding but development would provide an opportunity for this to be mitigated. The concept statement should be modified to include
reference to raising the highway and ditch maintenance to ensure satisfactory highway conditions (MM52). CS Appendix H1 and paragraph 3.188 of the RASD also refer to improvements to the Hullbridge Road junction which might involve a dedicated turning lane.

There really should not be any disagreement about the position of Watery Lane as it is listed as a PR (Priority Route) link road.  However at least the Inspector has taken on board representations made by ourselves, and others, about this important link.

The Top 5 Highway (flooding) problems in Rochford are…….

Rochford District Council has forwarded to Essex County Council the top 5 flooding problems in the district and they are as follows.
 
•          Watery Lane
•          Hall Road railway bridge
•          Spa Road, Hockley railway bridge
•          Ditch behind Kingsmead Cottages, Barling Road
•          Church Road railway bridge
Few people would, we think, disagree with the list but like us I am sure they know many more spots could quite easily be included.
The top 5 will now qualify for the additional £1m  of funding announced by Essex County Council earlier this week. 

Rochford District Council issues free sandbags (and sand)

Rochford District Council have at last decided to issue free sandbags to residents.  It was only in August last year when Cllr Cutmore was quoted as saying

“While I understand people’s frustration, in line with other councils we aren’t able to supply sandbags and it is up to the householder to provide their own personal flood protection equipment. Even if we had the budget to issue sandbags, there would have been no way we could have got them to residents quickly enough with such a large amount of rain falling so quickly.”   

The press release advising of this about turn was issued yesterday, Thursday 13 February, and gives information on where and how to collect them.  In addition to the sandbags sand will also be provided to fill them, also free of charge.    The press release is set out below.

Due to the adverse weather conditions, Rochford District Council will be providing free sandbags and sand to those in need.

These will be available from BSG Buildbase, at Purdeys Industrial Estate, in tomorrow (Friday, February 14).

Residents will need to take proof of residency with them, such as a council tax or utility bill.

They will not be expected to pay for them, merely to sign for them.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Keith Hudson, said: “Because of the exceptional weather conditions we are experiencing at the moment, following urgent discussions with our officers this afternoon, Rochford District Council has approved this move to help residents all that we possibly can.”

Rochford District Council also called a meeting on Wednesday afternoon with partner agencies to discuss the response to flooding issues.

The meeting was a move to work more closely with Anglia Water, Essex County Council’s Highways department and the Flooding Partnership manager at Essex County Council to find joint solutions to tackle flooding.

 

Hullbridge Neighbourhood Action Panel

The next Neighbourhood Action Panel is due to be held on Wednesday 19 February at Hullbridge Community Centre in Pooles Lane, Hullbridge.  It will probably be in the Committee Room which is on the left as you come in through the entrance and it will be starting at 7.30pm.

As explained on the Police website

THIS IS NOT A POLICE MEETING but officers will be in attendance. The Neighbourhood Action Panel is a monthly meeting for anyone living or working in Hullbridge to attend and highlight issues that directly affect the area. The meeting is open for any member of the public to attend and share their comments and concerns. Please advise us of any particular requirements you have, or of any other arrangements we should make for you, to ensure that you can fully participate in the meeting.

It is a public meeting so please come along, you will get to meet the local officers and can let them know what you believe the problems are in Hullbridge.