It seems that Rochford Councils Area Plan for Hockley, which includes plans for a 3,000sqm Supermarket on the Eldon Way Business site, is becoming more controversial by the minute.
The responses to the consultation on the plan titled “improving retail choice for local people” (the supermarket) now stand at 786 and we cannot find any in favour. In relation to the section titled “Promoting better movement” or traffic management, there are 794 responses, again we cannot see any in favour.
It is amazing that a consultant can come up with such an unimaginative plan, saying Hockley needs not just another supermarket but one which is 6 times the size of the Co-op and which contains no substantive suggestions regarding the management of current traffic flows let alone the substantial increase a supermarket would attract.
When you add to that this is the second plan that has been written for the area as the first outside consultant got it so wrong it could not be published, it makes you wonder how many supermarkets that one proposed, the whole process becomes flawed. In fact there is very little in the proposals to promote and encourage local shops and leisure uses, just a few words about a few smaller units and retaining CJ’s with no mention that we can find of the Massive Project.
The whole exercise demonstrates, and not for the first time, the inability of Conservative controlled Rochford Council to actively engage with the community and hold inclusive public consultations with the residents. They have not just failed to take on board residents views about the future of Hockley, they have patently failed to ask the residents what they want in the first place.
I have been advised that there are at least 2 (two) responses in favour. If anyone has a higher figure please let me know.