• 547 Days Later……. (Tesco’s)

    There may be a glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel for Vernon Avenue residents. Last week I spoke to a surveyor for Tesco’s who was there for the long-awaited reconfiguration of the car park.

    Since being elected in May 2016, I have relentlessly chased Rochford District Council to get this issue resolved. However, it came to light that the issue lay with Essex County Council & Tesco, due to an issue with the lease and has been tied up with solicitors ever since.

    The proposed works will see the area of grass (which I previously request bollards to be installed around due to the damage caused by illegal parking) leased to Tesco to create additional parking spaces. The current dropped kerb on Vernon Avenue will be reinstated to a raised pavement and that entrance closed. The car park will be configured to allow delivery vehicles to turn around in the space.

    I will be contacting Rochford District Council to see if they can get up an update on when the work should be commencing.

    Hopefully, this will be near the end of a very long journey for residents in the local area.

     

  • Meeting the needs of our residents with affordable housing

    There must be more that we can do to meet the needs of residents with affordable housing right? Well today on my journey home from London, I read this article.

    If you want to skip to the interesting part - the article discusses Community Land Trusts. Is this the way forward for to help people get their foot on to the property ladder at realistic prices?

    More information on Community Land Trusts here - http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/

  • A Clean Air Zone for Rayleigh?

    Rayleigh has a cloudy history when it comes to Air Pollution and now the Government has been forced to up the ante to solve the increasing problem with Air Pollution across the UK. Whilst we all probably realise, London suffers with poor air quality, we are in fact (and have been for a long time) facing an illegal limit of NO2 right in our own town. 

    You may have read my previous posts on air pollution or seen our campaign to increase the air quality monitoring across the district. Now, however the UK Government has launched another consultation on how to reduce the pollution in our towns and cities.

    The highlights of the document are the ways in which this could be acheived

    • ​Exploring innovative retrofitting technologies and new fuels;
    • Buying ULEVs and encouraging local transport operators to do the same
    • Encouraging private uptake of ULEVs via ensuring adequate chargepoints
    • Encouraging use of public transport, cycling, walking, park and ride schemes, and car sharing
    • Improving road layouts and junctions to optimise traffic flow, for example by considering removal of road humps
    • Working with local businesses and neighbouring authorities to ensure a consistent approach
    • Charging certain types of vehicles to enter or move within the zone

    Now I don't have any prior knowledge of what our local council could be doing about our particular problem (as that would be a Tory decision), other than the already published AQAP - but in the Government's consultation it's suggested that charging vehicles to enter a clean air zone (i.e Rayleigh Town Centre) would be the quickest way to get the problem under control.

    On the basis of the failure to act and armed with the knowledge that even OUTSIDE of the AQMA, there are indications from our own sampling that there is more illegal pollution in our town, there is a possibility that we could see a clean air zone set up in Rayleigh with some of the dirtiest polluting vehicles being charged to pass through our town centre.

    Watch this space for future developments or sign up below for future updates!

  • Thought for the day – If you could see the air pollution in Rayleigh would it look like this?

    So it’s a foggy day right? But as we walked back from the High Street along the London Road, I did ponder to myself whether if air pollution was visible to the naked eye, are these the types of images we would see like in China? I think it’s an interesting thought as so often it’s said “Seeing is believing” – in this case though just because we can’t see the air pollution doesn’t mean it’s not there. We are working towards scientific proof that what we think is very real. Though we still won’t be able to see the air pollution we will offer the evidence to prove otherwise.

  • More Houses…Have the Developers Finally Won?

    Rayleigh Town Council Planning Committee

    Last night’s planning committee meeting was a full evening with numerous big applications being discussed.

    What did strike me as odd was the lack of public interest…. we had 2 delightful older ladies come along to make representation on one of the applications and one member of RTC that was attending as a member of the public –  that was it, no other members of public! 120 new dwelling tabled for development in Rayleigh that nearly 20% of the West Rayleigh development and not a soul to make representation….. I’m curious to know, have the developers finally beaten the people of Rayleigh into submission or has the public become so disillusioned with the decision-making process that it’s almost a foregone conclusion that in as little as 10 years from now Rayleigh could become another concrete jungle?

    I really thought (or hoped) the lack of turnout at the recent local plan consultation wasn’t a sign of things to come and tried in my own mind at least to put it down to a result of poor publicity and bad timings or maybe it’s true that the people of Rayleigh have just given up on the future of their town?

  • Will the High Court Ruling on Air Pollution Have Consequences for Rochford District?

    Today’s High Court ruling found the UK Government has failed to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK. What will this mean for the impending AQAP for Rayleigh? With the emphasis on the reduction of traffic congestion and traffic volumes, one wonders if and how this is achievable given the ‘pinch points’ in Rayleigh will be loaded further with more traffic from housing developments that are yet to built. Is planning policy strong enough to deal with the influx of new development? Can the council robustly enforce these strengthened policies against the ‘deep pockets’ of the developers?

    Some optimism to reducing the pollution levels is given by the usage of ‘cleaner’ transportation, with a reduction in vehicle exhaust gasses.

    “We need a national network of clean air zones to be in place by 2018 in cities across the UK, not just in a handful of cities. The government also needs to stop these inaccurate Modelling forecasts. Future projections of compliance need to be based on what is really coming out of the exhausts of diesel cars when driving on the road, not just the results of discredited laboratory tests.” – ClientEarth air quality lawyer Alan Andrews

    What really is the answer to the congestion in our area? Would we see more pedestrians and cyclists in our area if we have the necessary safe routes or can ‘tweaks’ be made to our traffic systems to stop the build up of traffic?

    I don’t have the answers and I’m not sure if the rumoured £60k price tag for traffic modelling will fix the problem either, perhaps it’s time to leave the car at home and don the face mask!

    Free Face Mask with all new houses!

    Free Face Mask with all new houses!

     

  • From the Echo Newspaper

    Echo Newspaper

    The article discusses more development on London Road in West Rayleigh and the rebuilding of  a care home.

  • Could This Help Rochford Meet Our Affordable Housing Crisis?

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    I often hear the argument made that we need houses that are affordable. Today I came across this article from the BBC which discusses a village which has been built by a private company, which is entirely powered by the sun. It’s an interesting article and in my opinion is very thought provoking.

    It seemly addresses a number of issues when it comes to affordability, profitability and sustainability. The article suggests that land is released by the council exclusively  for affordable homes to be built due to the high cost of land. These developments could also see a 4% return on the investment. Perhaps our council would do well to consider this sort of scheme to help house our first time buyers and those struggling to get on the housing ladder?

  • Notable Planning Applications in Sweyne Park & Grange Ward

    There are a couple of more notable applications that have been submitted to the council.

    The first is application an application by Sweyne Park School for a new building for the sixth form.

    The Sweyne Park School, Sir Walter Raleigh Drive, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9BZ

    Reference: 16/00870/FUL

    Date received: 9/7/2016 12:00:00 AM

    Planning for: Construct Two Storey Building To Provide Teaching Accommodation Sixth Form

    The second application is an application for 47 dwellings on the land adjacent to Grange Villa (M&S Garage)

    Land Adjacent Grange Villa , London Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9DR

    Reference: 15/00736/FUL

    Date received: 10/9/2015 12:00:00 AM

    Planning for: Form Access And Layout Site To Provide Residential Development Of 21 Flats And 26 Houses ( 47 Dwellings In Total)

     

    What’s your thoughts on these applications? Let me know in the comments box

  • Rayleigh Times reports on London Road planning application

    New Doc 37_1 New Doc 37_2

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