Before I make a statement concerning the High Court Judgement handed down today at 5.12pm I wish to simply say ‘THANK YOU’ to all my family who have supported me
Objection to Outline Planning Application
TUESDAY 5TH AUGUST 2014 Court 1 Mr Justice Lindblom Royal Courts of Justice The Strand London Case is Linda Kendall v Rochford District Council and the Secretary of State for
You can donate in one of many ways. Via your bank into Rayleigh Action Group Bank account Sort Code 30 -96-94 Account 22329568 by Cheque made payable to Rayleigh Action
Before I make a statement concerning the High Court Judgement handed down today at 5.12pm I wish to simply say ‘THANK YOU’ to all my family who have supported me throughout and offer a massive thank you to all those who have supported me and the Rayleigh Action Group, in any way.
I want to particularly thank the small team that has repeatedly stepped up to help in so many ways. Besides those that attended our meetings in their thousands, there were teams delivering leaflets across Rayleigh, someone kindly provided our printing for free, others helped by producing posters, standing with posters to boost awareness in demonstrations, making the effort to attend the High Court, hosting our posters on their properties, standing in the High Street and at the station raising the profile of our group and by supporting us in too many ways to list. Above all, by giving their time.
I must not forget the many contributors to the plea for financial support that to date has raised £8700. This will help towards my expected costs of £55,000 that I will now be required to pay as the case concludes. When Patricia Putt and I called our initial meeting costing the sum of £120 I could never have imagined where this journey was to lead. This whole programme has made great demands not only on my finances but also on my time. I have tried to expose the many controversial aspects surrounding the full seven year progress of the Local Plan. I still believe a full enquiry is necessary to establish whether conflict of interest has played any part in the choice of greenbelt food producing farmland when areas of brownfield and degraded green sites are readily available. There is a 38degree petition on this webpage calling for such an enquiry.
RAG Judgement Analysis
This evening my Legal team, Richard Buxton Environmental of Cambridge, forwarded the Judgement of the High Court, in the matter of the challenge to RDC Allocation Document Sadly for the residents of Rayleigh and Hullbridge my private legal challenge, supported by 10,000 residents of Rayleigh and Hullbridge, has failed. Rochford District Conservative controlled council can proceed with the disputed Local Plan that will destroy the greenbelt entrance to our town.
Mr Justice Keith Lindblom did find RDC had not complied with aspects of the SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment), in that they failed to consult with the public affected under this provision of a European Directive. Despite this failure he found the harm caused, to me the Claimant and by extension the people of this district, that it would be disproportionate to quash the Allocation Document.
To expand on the above Rochford District Council’s evidence to the court they stated that just 195 residents from a possible 33,000 in Rayleigh, made representations on one consultation process. Of these, 194 objected and rejected their proposal and just one individual supported their submissions. The programme continued unabated. This simple fact establishes the fact that the ‘consultation’ exercises, on which RDC have expended £2.1 million pounds of public money (confirmed by a Freedom of Information request in July 2013), are simply a total waste of public money at a time when essential services are being slashed to save precious resources.
The Judgement makes clear that the Judge accepted there is now established major opposition to this Local Plan. This is evidenced by both the petition collated by Brian Carleton of Hullbridge Action Group and the list of 5062 residents connected to the objection produced by Rayleigh Action Group in 2013. Despite this he has refused to quosh the disputed Allocation document, which will serve to destroy swathes of the green belt across our area, as it conforms with the RDC Core Strategy, adopted in 2011. Despite clear evidence that the public were oblivious to the many proposals he found RDC had acted in compliance with their STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT (SCI). Produced by RDC Officers and RDC Councillors. It is becoming increasing evident that RDC have no legal requirement to take account of any public opposition to the plans they put forward. Any ‘Consultation’ appears to be an exercise in useless public relations that has no effect on eventual outcomes. This is evidenced by the results of actual ‘consultations’ as presented in evidence to the court by RDC where the overwhelming majority of those who did respond rejected RDC proposals.
My opinion remains that RDC have not acted in the best interest of the people they serve. Our roads will become increasingly gridlocked, many residents will face increased risk of flooding, our services will become further stretched. The Core Strategy decisions are thus enshrine for the future including every proposal sanctioned in that document, don’t forget the removal of Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club grounds are still an integral part of that plan. Further to place both a Heavy Industrial complex and huge Gypsy and Traveller site in this vicinity will be an error of judgement that will devalue the homes of the hard-working families that have chosen to live here. I do not believe democracy is well served by the decision of the High Court as it will further erode the trust ordinary citizens have in those that are charged with protecting our interest. It is a sorry day for us all.
Mr Justice Lindblom recognised some failures of the RDC legal team. He has confirmed an agreed wasted costs order against RDC to the sum of £ 11,815.20 which includes the fees due for their failed challenge to the requested Protected Cost Order. The action to prevent the PCO would have halted the hearing. It would have had the effect of silencing the huge protest that emerged when local residents became aware of the full implications of RDC future plans for the district.
My legal team have reserved the right to appeal the Judgement but I have made it clear I am not in a financial position to fund such a challenge. I have done all I can and hope you will all perhaps appreciate that to be the case.
We have now been joined by the Hullbridge Residents Action Group with the aim to attempt to stop the loss of our Greenbelt around our area to massive building plans and the imposition of a huge Traveller site on the entrance to Rayleigh.
Remember RDC are planning over 1379 houses between Rayleigh and Hullbridge, a huge 15-22 Pitch Traveller site and a heavy industrial site right on the entrance to our town. The second industrial site planned for the London Road remains in their Core Strategy but is currently on the back burner. Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club have been confirmed in the Local Development Allocation Document ratified by RDC on the 25th February 2014 to be subject to removal to another site. No alternative decision has been made in Council despite flyers to the contrary from the ruling party majority on the Council. There are no plans for new roads, schools, flood or sewage upgrade etc etc.
Of the 5067 residents of Rayleigh who signed our objection (petition) 93% claim to have known nothing about these proposals. Due to this apparent failure of Rochford District Council to adequately inform the residents we are presently engaged in a High Court battle to try to get a rethink of these proposals. It is a very hard task and we have worked tirelessly to try to achieve that aim. WE CANNOT PROMISE TO STOP THESE APPALLING PLANS BUT WE ARE TRYING.
In an attempt to stop this action Rochford District Council were in the High Court on Wednesday 11th June 2014 trying to stop the provision of a Protected Cost Order that would have served to possibly bankrupt the Claimant in this case Linda Kendall. Linda Kendall is a Rayleigh retired 66 year old widowed grandmother who is pledging funds from her limited pension provision to guarantee the legal costs of this action.
We are now asking all of our supporters to consider a donation towards the possible £50,000 legal costs she will have to fund. Any amount will be gratefully received. A list of donors can be seen here.
For those of you that have already donated to our fund please accept our grateful thanks.
You can donate in one of many ways.
- Via your bank into Rayleigh Action Group Bank account Sort Code 30 -96-94 Account 22329568
- by Cheque made to Rayleigh Action Group sent to c/o 4 Lubbards Close Rayleigh Essex SS6 9PY
- or by Paypal - Click on the donate button at the bottom of the page or top right page – You don’t need a PayPal account to donate
We are receiving many queries regarding the outcome of the legal challenge to the Rochford District plans which will lead to the building on the ‘greenbelt’ farmland between London Road and Rawreth Lane. A decision was expected imminently but we now understand we must wait until mid-December before any Judgement will be handed down by the High Court. As soon as it is available our supporters will be advised immediately.
Meanwhile please accept our thanks for the continuing support for our fund-raising appeal towards the massive £50,000 legal bill faced by our Chairman Linda Kendall. Thanks also to those permitting the siting of our current posters on their properties and the businesses helping us in this exercise. They are very effectively spreading our message to everyone that passes through our district.
RAYLEIGH, RAWRETH AND HULLBRIDGE RESIDENTS DO NOT WANT THE HUGE HOUSING ESTATES (CURRENT FIGURE is 1379 HOUSES), INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND 22 PITCH (will accommodate 44 CARAVANS) TRAVELLERS SITE ON THE GREENBELT ENTRANCE TO OUR TOWN. We will not have our homes devalued by these flawed proposals. We refuse to be grid-locked on our roads and for many to be subject to fear every time it rains in case flooding occurs. We are the people of this district and demand we are listened to by the organisation that takes our Council Tax to provide us with a SERVICE. We employ these people they are not our masters!! See our 38 degree petition asking David Cameron to intervene. Every local Parish Council, Rayleigh Town Council, over 10,000 people and now (belatedly due to an impending election we suspect) our MP are joining the chorus started by Eric Pickles MP, Minister for Communities and Local Government, in demanding the protection of our greenbelt. Rochford District Councillors must listen.
We currently have a poster campaign to try to keep everyone aware that the Rayleigh Action Group is continuing the fight to protect our neighbourhoods from total urbanisation.
Many thanks to those hosting and fixing the posters and to the very few who have helped in this process. We must thank Gordon Toal for his time and Stevie Turner for siting some of our posters for us. Especial thanks goes to the Annwood Estates team of Jan, Mick and Rob who provided the materials, paid for the prints and labour. Thanks to James for his work and help producing the artwork.
The main object of this campaign is to encourage our residents to object to the first OUTLINE PLANNING PROPOSAL 14/00627/OUT put forward by Countryside Properties for 500 houses off London Road and Rawreth Lane.
We are awaiting Mr Justice Keith Lindblom’s decision on the case against Rochford District Council regarding the alleged failure to truly consult with the residents of Rayleigh, Rawreth and Hullbridge. The case was heard, and concluded on the 3rd October 2014, at the High Court of Justice over an extended period due to RDC’s legal teams personal difficulties and due to the production of a substantial volume of further evidence on the perceived final day of the hearing in June this year. The case concerns the huge programme of developments that RDC have chosen to blight our part of the district with over the next ten years. Those familiar with the details are aware of the inequitable balance of development this particular part of Rochford District is to be subject. Many other areas are virtually untouched by the schemes put forward by RDC Officers and Councillors who appear to have scant connection with our part of the district. Currently the first of these developments on our precious GREENBELT, for 500 houses (read a thousand cars, no upgrade in main drainage or roads), has been presented to RDC in the form of an OUTLINE PLANNING PROPOSAL from Countryside Properties on land off London Road and Rawreth Lane. Countryside Properties have presented this proposal as a company in control of land allegedly owned by three landowners named on the application a Mr. Cottis , a Mr. Levy and the Roman Catholic Doicese Of Brentwood. We would urge every resident across the district to consider objecting to this proposal (every adult member of a family is eligible so multiple objection from each household is possible). The Application can be accessed on RDC website under the Planning Application no. 14/00627/OUT. MAKE SURE YOU DEFAULT FROM THEIR PRE_SET COMMENT OPTION AND GO TO OBJECT TO ENSURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD. It is not too late.