On Tuesday night Rochford Council discussed the Allocations Submission Document, the document that identifies the specific locations for where the 3,790 housing units are to go in the District (mostly on Green Belt land), including the 500 planned for Hullbridge.
The document discussed and agreed (subject to a few relatively minor changes) by the Council, with only Green Cllrs Michael & Diane Hoy and Lib Dem Clrrs Ron Oatham & Chris Black voting against, can be read in full here.
For the Green Councillors the main issues with this document were
- Watery Lane – There appears to be no idea what improvements need to be made to this road, either for the housing planned for Hullbridge, or for the totality of the Housing in the West and Centre of the District.
- Roads Generally – Highways are to be considered on a planning application basis, therefore, for Housing in Rawreth say, that housing only will be considered when looking at the impact on road infrastructure. There will be no cumulative view of all the Districts housing and how it will impact on road infrastructure, just a piecemeal approach.
- Open spaces are tiny compared to other developments, a point raised by Cllr Chris Black. It should be noted that all these plans have been drawn up with a large field showing as proposed open space in Hullbridge, but that is now nowhere to be seen.
- Rayleigh Sports and Social Club being forced to relocate onto new pitches. The pitches they have taken years to cultivate, something that is not possible in a few years as evidenced by the poor quality pitches by ASDA.
- Quality of design – There is only a weak reference to the Essex Design Guide saying developers should pay it attention. Cllr Michael Hoy spoke up for this, asking for the Design Guide to be accepted as policy by the District, although not possible to adopt on the night Cllr Keith Hudson did suggest this could be done in the near future, however no changes were made to make the commitment to good design stronger.
- Rawreth/Hullbridge – Of the 500 houses planned for Hullbridge around 250 are actually in Rawreth, this does not build a good community it splits it, those houses will come under a different Parish and District Ward but will to all intents and purposes live in Hullbridge.
There is now to be a consultation, on whether the document is Sound and Legal, which will last to the end of January 2013, the Consultation can be answered via this page. However we are planning a public meeting to allow residents to discuss this and allow them to be in a good position to respond to the document, this should be in early January and the date and venue will be advised.