ROCHORD DISTRICT COUNCIL COUNCIL OFFICES SOUTH STREET ROCHFORD ESSEX SS4 1BW
LINDA KENDALL 4 LUBBARDS CLOSE RAYLEIGH ESSEX SS6 9PY
PLUS THE UNDERSIGNED MEMBERS OF RAYLEIGH ACTION GROUP
NEW LOCAL PLAN ISSUES AND OPTIONS DOCUMENT
OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSALS CONTAINED IN THAT DOCUMENT.
This is a response to the expensively produced document of approximately 800 pages which outlines proposals for the development of Rochford District post 2025.
I wish to state that I consider the prospect of building a possible unconstrained additional 7500 dwellings is UNSUSTAINABLE in every way imaginable. My reasons are summarised briefly below.
There will be an expansion on these issues further in this document.
Traffic / Roads / public transport trains & bus capacity
Health provision / hospitals / doctors / care provision
Schools / Education
There is a need for housing to meet the natural growth in our district. The percentages of house building requirements do not match the current objective need. The actual objective is to provide for London overspill because of the mass influx of people that have arrived in our capital city in the past ten years. To suggest otherwise is to be disingenuous.
The natural growth of the district can be met by RDC actively seeking out brownfield sites for development, small infill developments, use of degraded greenfield, the return of the use of flats over shops, in order to keep our towns and villages alive and active, and finally the conversion of properties into larger units. All these measures will prevent the proposed maximum attack on our greenbelt and valuable farmland.
I will cite the following examples of fairly recent developments:-
Gunn Close London Road (One bungalow morphed into 14 four bed houses)
Eon site London Road (one industrial site became 101 homes)
London Road / Station Approach (small scrubland site developed into numerous apartments). Lakeside Downhall Road (back land development of multiple apartments).
I could continue to discuss developments throughout this particular small part of Rayleigh that are NOT included in the figures, to meet some central Government target, that should serve to meet the generic need for the area without mass building projects. Add to this the regular conversion of bungalows into 4/5 bed houses and the proposals to create cul-de-sacs from single dwelling plots, the capacity to house our increasing population could be met. The figures for generic growth in our district do not support by the kind of mass development envisaged.
It is claimed that developers, having secured planning permission, have been using a loop hole in the ‘affordable housing’ requirement by subsequently claiming the projects don’t might the 20% profit threshold required. Thus very few houses are being build that are affordable for local people.
The maps of the areas to be suggested for development show a huge number to be built in the town of Rayleigh. It identifies enough land to build a minimum of 6000 suggested for Downhall and Rawreth Ward in the west of the district. This is in addition to the 700 not yet built as a result of the 2010 Local Plan (SER1) in the same location.
Traffic and Road network
This western part of the district is unfortunate to suffer an almost daily gridlock on our roads.
London Road, Rawreth Lane and Watery Lane are the arteries that feed most of the villages and small towns to the east. They are all regularly at a standstill. 7500 extra dwellings will result in at least 15,000 more vehicles.
The increase in traffic on our roads will be UNSUSTAINABLE if this plan is implemented.
Promises of the ‘jam tomorrow’ of roundabouts and traffic improvements have no prospect of delivery due to the piecemeal nature of the developments already approved.
There have been suggestions from other objectors that a substantial upgraded road be developed towards the east of the district. Taking a route whereby Watery Lane / Lower Road are fed by vehicles, directly via the A130, bypassing Rayleigh. We cannot support this idea because it will serve to open up much of our remaining greenbelt to further development to the detriment of the villages further east in our district. We cannot agree to make the situation worse for our neighbouring villages.
70,000 vehicles pass through the A127 Fairglen Interchange daily, serving Rochford, Southend, South Benfleet and beyond, making it the busiest junction in South East Essex. To increase the volume of vehicles by 15,000, in this area alone, is not sustainable.
Essex County Council have a serious shortfall in funding. It will result in no major improvements in the road network for the foreseeable future in this district. Refer to addendum 1 showing ECC Summary of infrastructure project costs and funding gaps.(2016-2036)
There is limited opportunity to increase the train capacity on the Greater Anglia line at peak times because of the terminus at Liverpool Street is currently at its’ peak capacity. Trains are overcrowded now so how can they accommodate more passengers.
Bus transport is somewhat irregular and completely unavailable in many parts of the district.
Cycle. The distances and the terrain preclude the use of cycles except for those who are super fit.
Due to the distances covered it is impractical to expect residents to walk or most of their daily requirements. For instance, the elderly and families will not be able to walk from Hullbridge to Rayleigh and carry necessary groceries, a distance of 3 miles plus. It is simply not practical and to suggest otherwise is a ridiculous fantasy.
Families use cars. That is a fact of life for almost every activity i.e. shopping, travel to work/school (many youngsters have to be ferried to and from school due to the distances involved) and for the opportunity to even use the somewhat remote leisure facilities.
Where are the measures to tackle the flood risk to many of our riverside communities? Extreme weather is becoming a norm and the building of huge estates with piecemeal flood alleviation measures is unsustainable. Evidence is readily available to the RDC that clearly identifies pinch points in the flood defences of this area.
Rayleigh town centre, as acknowledged in the report, has a dismal record on AIR POLLUTION. Being at consistently illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide. This is damaging our children’s health and well being and with a possible link to dementia. Increasing the traffic will exacerbate this problem.
Residents have difficulties accessing their doctors in a timely manner. It is routine at the moment for the local surgeries to offer appointments three weeks after they are requested.
Our three hospital Southend , Basildon, and Broomfield have all issued notices that they are on ‘black alert’ over the past year. Indicating they have NO BEDS available. There is no provision made in the proposals to increasing the capacity in our health service to meet the increased demand.
The gap in funding for adult social care is not addressed in this proposed plan.
Refer ECC Summary of Infrastructure project costs and funding gaps (2016-2036).
Evidence is available that Rayleigh Primary Schools are over-subscribed. Rayleigh Primary and Glebe School state they have no capacity at present. Some parents are face with travelling across the district to different schools to educate their children.
As discussed in a Guardian newspaper article developers have managed to wriggle out of providing a planned schools, after securing their planning permission, by persuading authorities that the development would be made ‘unviable’.
I cite the situation on the Hall Road Development where a school was promised and now is not to be provided. Also the planning for the site North of London Road was recently given the go ahead by the District Councillors and the school was left as a ‘pending’ provision with no firm promise of it being built. The education of our children should not be left to a chance that a developer MIGHT provide the facilities.
Refer ECC Summary of Infrastructure project costs and funding gaps (2016-2036).
There is no possibility of delivering the number of dwellings proposed without the destruction of vast swathes of our remaining greenbelt which is against the policies contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. NPPF. Our Prime Minister and Minister for Housing has stated repeatedly ‘there should be no building on greenbelt until every other opportunity has been explored’.
Due to the evident unsustainable nature of the present Issues and Options document I would make a request to consider the following :-
I propose a compete rethink of the document and would ask the Members of Rochford District Council and Members of Parliament representing constituencies in South East Essex namely:-
Mark Francois MP firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Harris MP email@example.com
Sir David Amess MP firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Metcalfe MP email@example.com
John Barron MP firstname.lastname@example.org
James Dudderidge MP email@example.com
To call for a scheme to build a new Garden City on the Dengie Peninsular with a road and rail bridge over the River Crouch linking Southend to the north of the county. Links could be provided to provide further development in future. This would help to preserve the semi-rural nature of South East Essex and prevent the total URBANISATION of our part of Essex. They could call on the new proposed Infrastructure Policy, announced recently by the the Government, to help fund the roads and bridge.
Members of Parliament representing constituencies along the Cambridge to Oxford corridor and those serving Kent constituencies have secured such funding for Garden Cities with all the necessary infrastructure, roads, hospital, schools etc. This is in order to protect their residents. I call on all our local Members of Parliament to step up and try to protect our people in the same manner. A copy of this objection will be distributed to the Parliamentary members named for their attention.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – Please provide your house number or house name when completing the form
Issues & Options
This petition is now closed.
End date: Mar 07, 2018
Signatures collected: 946