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Linda Kendall – BBC Radio Essex 10/3/18

The fight continues…… Linda spoke on the Radio this morning about the possible 7500 houses being built across the Rochford District. Let RAG know what you think in the comments below.

Support Our Objection on the New Local Plan Issues & Options







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


Air Quality

Greenbelt protection

Housing demand
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)

Public Transport
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.

Air Quality
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.

Health Provision
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’.

To Summarise.

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

Rebecca Harris MP

Sir David Amess MP

Stephen Metcalfe MP

John Barron MP

James Dudderidge MP

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.


Linda Kendall

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

946 signatures

To Rochford District Councillors charged with deliberating on the Outline planning Application 15/00362/OUT Applicant Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd.

To Rochford District Councillors charged with deliberating on the Outline planning Application
15/00362/OUT Applicant Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd.
From Linda Kendall 4 Lubbards Close Rayleigh Essex SS6 9PY

This is an open letter to the District Councillors who are being ordered by the RDC Executive and Planners to accept the Outline Planning Application for 500 dwellings from Countryside Developers on Land North of London Road / Rawreth Lane who are ‘ in control of’ land largely owned by a Mr. Cottis and partly the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood.

Dear Councillors

Following the intervention of Mark Francois MP and your refusal of the granting of OPP on this site on the 29th January 2015 it is a matter of record that you have been put under intolerable pressure by the salaried staff of RDC to reverse that decision. I will leave each of you to reflect on the tactics being used to thwart your views and that of the public concerned in this matter. I hope you have the courage to stand your ground and take a serious view of what you are being cajoled into accepting at the 30th September Committee meeting.

a) A new application that virtually identical to that submitted and roundly refused in January.

b) A plan that ignores the main tenets of RDC own Core Strategy in that, ‘all necessary infrastructure must be insitu before any development is considered or granted ANY permission’.

Outline Planning approval will mean RDC are liable for any subsequent claims due to flooding etc. in the surrounding area. See. Paragraph 4.38 page 4.14 of the officers report which gives clear notice of this from the Environmental Agency. I refer you to Environmental Agency v Bromley Council where the authority were held liable for damage caused by an inappropriate planning approval. The costs RDC could face when damage is occasioned due to acceptance of this application, without the necessary major infrastructure requirements, will PALE INTO INSIGNIFICENCE the threatened costs of the Appeal entered by Countryside that you have been currently told will not be defended. This is an affront to the democratic process of this council.
The decision of those responsible for the development of the Core Strategy were obviously unaware of the problems that exist in this area. That is a matter that should concern each and every one of the Committee. The Officers charged with this responsibility failed and are now seeking to steamroller their proposals through Council with the introduction of ‘secret meetings’ that prevent scrutiny of their schemes from the public. Are some simply covering their own backs and encouraging you to ‘rubber stamp’ the clear errors of judgement previously undertaken in your name at a cost of £2.6 million to the tax-payer?

c) The unilateral decision to extend the site designated in the Core Strategy by 9.8ha, to accommodate roads to the proposed development is, I consider, ultra vires as it has been adopted on Metropolitan Green Belt without any public consultation as required under the NPPF. Confirming this decision will make vulnerable every greenbelt site across the country to creeping development.

d)You will have noted within the said report that these plans have been universally rejected by every STATUTORY CONSULTEE including Anglian Water. In this immediate District the following can be noted although not exclusively, the Rayleigh Town Council (who has the Districts Planning Portfolio Holder on its Committee), Rawreth Parish Council, Hullbridge Parish Council, Hullbridge Ratepayers Association, Sport England, the Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club and the local Member of Parliament Mark Francois. Add to this the thousands of local residents who have objected in droves.
Can every one of those noted be SO WRONG? Why would any of them object if this benefited our district? Please reflect on that when making your decision.

Promises of ‘Jam tomorrow’ in regards to flood and road improvements that are yet to be approved and should not play any part in your decision on this application. Any recently suggested road improvements on Rawreth Lane /Hullbridge Road are on land in private ownership, that is yet to be adopted or considered. They refer to further developments in Hullbridge, not this application.

You may have received many messages regarding aspects of the application report. It would be possible to forensically examine every 122 pages of the report, furnished by RDC just three days ago, recommending approval but that would be pointless because the above passages negate all the other considerations in their entirety.

On a personal note I want to explain the following :- I could formulate a book on the situation I have become embroiled in the past 33 months since I sent in my January 2013 objection to the Allocation Document. At that time I had little knowledge of the objection process on planning; it took me hours working out how to register etc. Perhaps each of you would like to read that initial simple plea of a local resident, requesting that the entrance to the town she valued, should be protected by those trusted with her vote to undertake to do just that.

It was not a political act. In January 2013 I did not belong to any political organisation having abandoned my party of choice 20 years previously due to national politicians deceit on the British people concerning the UK membership of the EU. The letter was not a terribly well formulated objection. I knew nothing of the seriousness of the manipulation of the processes within RDC that I have now discovered to my utter disgust and dismay. You will see I was unaware of planned Industrial complexes and Travellers Sites. I had no group or circle of supporters, it was a personal objection. Finally, for the benefit of any doubt you may have, I have never applied for any planning permission, on any land, whatsoever despite the repeated suggestions to the contrary. Shame on those that have resorted to such ‘below the belt’ activity to try to discredit me even twisting facts to suit on BBC Radio Essex. If you bother to reflect on this you might just understand my feelings towards those that have tried to malign my name and attempted to distort the facts in my message.
I ask. ‘Why would they feel the need to do that’? Perhaps you might just ask that question yourselves. It is the one question that has motivated me over these many tiring and costly months. Who are they trying to protect? Who stands to gain? Why?

You all have been given a very precious gift, the right to decide this districts future, it is your duty (I know that is an old-fashion concept to some) to do the right thing by those that honoured you with that gift. It is hoped that you will not bow to threats and pressure and have the courage and integrity to represent the people of this area in a manner they ought expect.

Meanwhile, following any decision taken, I will persist in a call for a Full Public Enquiry into the methods and manipulation used in the formulating of RDC Local Plan which has proved so divisive and controversial. I am sure the chief architects concerned have questions to answers to as to their rationale for taking the appalling decisions they did at the beginning of this process. Those questions will not dissipate on the 30th September 2015, in the Council Chamber, whatever the outcome of this application.

Yours faithfully

Linda Kendall

Rochford District Council Planning Committee Meeting – 29th January 2015

On this page you will find some video footage of the the planning meeting. The public turnout for this was overwhelming and just goes to show how these plans are vigorously opposed by the residents of Rayleigh and Hullbridge.




Statement from Linda Kendall – December 2014

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.

The full Judgement of the court is attached and accessible by clicking the link. There is also a synopsis by UK Law.

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.

Sports Club Objects

Sports Club Objects

Fearing 999 Delays

Fearing Life or Death 999 Delays

Linda Kendall in the Echo 13/10/14

Linda Kendall Echo Newspaper

Rayleigh Residents – Say NO!


Car Poster

A4 Poster