News & Information

 

Local Comments and Info from Chair Alan James

 

 

The Way Forward For Housing?

 

As with previous Rochford District Council's (RDC) housing and redevelopment plans I find the majority of residents would, understandably, like things to stay as they are but unfortunately this would appear not be an option. We therefore need to find a solution that causes the least change and disruption to what has already been made considerably worse by the current developments that have only just been started. The current building programme that runs until 2025 is already causing serious traffic jams on the existing roads with the resulting air pollution.It has been stated that drivers in our area spend 30 hours per year in rush hour jams, the highest in our region, the second highest being Chelmsford at 23 hours per year.

I believe building more homes on green belt land that joins existing villages and towns in Rochford District is not the way forward. The existing infrastructure has taken on too much already and not just roads but services like electrics, gas, water, sewers, schools, GP surgeries, dentists and the hospital. RDC have indicated that they will include additional infrastructure this time but they have a very poor record on this so far, as the current increase in housing has produced practically none at all. I realise the reason for this is that additional housing comes from RDC and the infrastructure from Essex County Council (ECC) who provide the funds but so far this has not happened, as there hasn’t been any.

We do need additional homes for our children to buy but unfortunately most are unaffordable and many end up being used to relocate people from London councils to relatively cheaper homes in our area. We also need retirement home developments in our area that would free up existing larger homes. I notice the proposed retirement village for the brick field site in Cherry Orchard Way seems to have gone cold but I’m not sure I would want to live that close to the airport.

The Hockley Residents Association sub-committee 'Action Groups Resisting Over-development' AGRO meet every month to discuss and tackle the Rochford District Council (RDC) new plans to build up to an additional 7,500 homes across our district. Please attend if you feel you can make a positive contribution. Meetings are held at 7.30pm at Greensward Academy room GG27 in the Creative Arts Block next to the main car park. Please see our website ( hawkwell.org ) 'Events' page for the latest meeting dates.

 

 

Update on some local issues

 

Hockley Residents Association (HRA) sub-committee Action Groups Resisting Over-development (AGRO) are running separate meetings to tackle the RDC 7,500 additional homes plan. So far we have had positive meetings with our MP Mark François and Rochford District Council and additional meetings are planned. We asked for an extension to the consultation but it was too late and we now await the results. The Green Party have been monitoring local air pollution levels on our main roads and should soon be producing a report.

The Church Road Group (CRG) are still pushing for something to be done to slow up through traffic. Hockley Parish Council are keen to provide allotments at the north end of the Folly Grove development off Folly Lane. Westerings Action Group (WAG) are now pursuing additional parking restrictions for the Westerings School area.

The two pine trees in front of the sorting office were removed because their roots were pushing up the paving. I believe this could have been sorted out by raising the paving but it's too late now. I was informed by Hockley Parish Council that Essex County Council will tarmac this area. This has now been done, which is not the best solution in my opinion, as it doesn’t look like the water permeable type.

Hockley RA meetings are held in Room GG27 in the Creative Arts Block next to the main car park. They start at 7.30pm usually on the second Tuesday of the month, unless it's half term. Dates can be found on the Events Calendar page of our website. All are welcome to attend our monthly meetings to discuss current issues effecting Hockley. We cannot guarantee we will resolve your issues but we may be able to point you in the right direction towards resolution. Please note AGRO meeting are normally on the following Thursdays at the same time and venue.

 

 

7,500 New Homes Consultation

 

I had some spare time and thought I would have a go at doing the Rochford District Council online consultation. I thought it was bad the last time they did one but it has got much worse. Apart from registering, which I had already done, it just goes on and on. In fact I really can't see many residents doing it. I just hope they use the other methods of objecting, by email or post, as I will be doing.

 

 

20,000 More Cars On Our Local Roads?

 

Four public drop-in events took place in January and February to explain Rochford District Council (RDC) propose to squeeze the additional traffic from 7,500 additional homes on to our already overloaded and air polluted roads. The event in Hockey was pathetic, just two maps showing the areas put up for development. Is this the best RDC can do? I believe the existing infrastructure has taken on too much already and not just roads but services like electrics, gas, water, sewers and the health system, including the hospital, GP surgeries and dentists. RDC have indicated that they will include additional infrastructure this time but they have a very poor record on this so far, as the last increase in housing produced practically none at all. The reason for this is that additional housing comes from RDC and the infrastructure from Essex County Council (ECC) who provide the funds or not if they don’t have them.

 

I saw an interesting and relevant program on BBC2 called ''The New-builds Are Coming''. It is available on BBC iPlayer if you missed it. They also stated on BBC local TV program 'Inside Out' that Southend drivers spend 30 hours per year in rush hour jams, the highest in our region. The second highest is Chelmsford at 23 hours per year.

 

 We do need additional homes for our children to buy but unfortunately most are too expensive and many end up being used to relocate people from London councils to relatively cheaper homes in our area. We live on a peninsular surrounded on three side by water, if we really have to have an additional 7,500 new houses in our district I believe a new Garden Village located in the east and served by a new road from the north and west connecting to an existing trunk road would be the best solution. It is doubtful this will happen as it would be expensive requiring totally new roads and services involving ECC. Much cheaper to clog up all the existing roads and services and make our lives a misery.

 

To stop this happening you need to object to this consultation in any of the following ways: Online: www.rochford.gov.uk/iao Email: issuesandoptions@rochford.gov.uk Post: Planning Policy, Council Offices, South Street, Rochford, SS4 1BW Fax: 01702 318181. Probably the easiest way to object is online and Hockley Residents Association (HRA) sub-committee Action Groups Resisting Over-development (AGRO) have useful information on their websites ( agrorochford.wordpress.com ) to help you do this. There is not much time left, as the consultation closes at 5pm on 7 March 2018. If you don’t want our local road system to come to a complete standstill, please object asap.

 

AGRO have now had positive meetings with our MP Mark François and RDC but it's too early to say this will make any difference. AGRO have also requested to extend RDCs consultation date for an additional month but as so far this has not been granted.

 

 

7,500 New Rochford Homes Drop-in Events


Four public drop-in events are taking place this week so we can find out how Rochford District Council (RDC) propose to squeeze the additional traffic from 7,500 additional homes on to our already overloaded and air polluted roads. I believe the existing infrastructure has taken on too much already and not just roads but services like electrics, gas, water, sewers and the health system, including the hospital, GP surgeries and dentists. RDC have indicated that they will include additional infrastructure this time but they have a very poor record on this so far, as the last increase in housing produced practically none at all. The reason for this is that additional housing comes from RDC and the infrastructure from Essex County Council (ECC) who provide the funds or not in this case.

We do need additional homes for our children to buy but unfortunately most are too expensive and many end up being used to relocate people from London councils to relatively cheaper homes in our area. We live on a peninsular surrounded on three side by water, if we really have to have an additional 7,500 new houses in our district I believe a new Garden Village located in the east and served by a new road from the north and west would be the best solution. I doubt this would happen as it would be expensive requiring totally new roads and services involving ECC. Much cheaper to clog up all the existing roads and services and make our lives a misery.

The four public drop-in events are taking place at:

Rayleigh WI Hall, Bellingham Lane, SS6 7ED: 3pm to 9pm on Monday 15 January 2018.

Hockley Old Fire Station, Southend Road, SS5 4QH: 3pm to 9pm on Tuesday 16 January 2018.

Rochford Parish Rooms, West Street, SS4 1AS: 3pm to 9pm on Tuesday 6 February 2018.

Rayleigh WI Hall, Bellingham Lane, SS6 7ED: 3pm to 9pm on Monday 19 February 2018.


Please express your concerns at these events and then you can then object in any of the following ways:

Online: www.rochford.gov.uk/iao

Email: issuesandoptions@rochford.gov.uk

Post: Planning Policy, Council Offices, South Street, Rochford, SS4 1BW

Fax: 01702 318181


Probably the easiest way to object is online and Hockley Residents Association (HRA) sub-committee Action Groups Resisting Over-development (AGRO) are planning to produce some information to help you do this.

 

 

Action Groups Resisting Over-development


The Hockley Residents Association have decided to form a sub-committee to tackle the Rochford District Council (RDC) have plans to build an additional 7,500 homes across our district. There was a good turn out at the first meeting on the 19 December 2017. After introductions and chat about the concerns it was decided the chair will be Jim Hall, the Vice Chair will be Jim Cripps and the sub-committee will not just address this issue for Hockley but the whole of Rochford District. It was decided the sub-committee will be called 'Action Groups Resisting Over-development' AGRO. Decisions were also made on other measures to be taken by the group.

The next meeting will be on the 11 January 2018 at 7.30pm at Greensward Academy room GG27 in the Creative Arts Block next to the main car park. Please attend if you feel you can make a positive contribution but not if you just want to have a moan.

As I have said before, to build all these homes without better roads and local facilities, including the NHS, will be disastrous. The situation is already bad, as our roads are getting more and more congested, to add an additional 7,500 without sufficient infrastructure is just crazy.

There are just two months left to express your opinion to RDC on this issue as the 'New Local Plan Issues and Options Document (and draft Sustainability Appraisal)' closes at 5pm on 7 March 2018. You can respond online, by email, by post or by fax. Surveys and consultations generally get a poor response with numbers as low as 0.02%, but if you decide not to respond, I believe RDC will view this as that you are in agreement with them on this issue.




Rochford District Local Plan

Rochford District Council (RDC) have plans in the pipeline to build an additional 7,500 homes across our district. Large areas of green belt land have been submitted by land owners to build these homes on, as of course they can make far more money by selling it for housing. Some of you may believe building all these homes is a good idea, that we need additional affordable homes for our residents and their children in the future.

Whatever your views on this, to build all these homes without better roads and local facilities, including the NHS, will be disastrous. You may have already noticed that our roads are getting more and more congested and that’s without the 600 new homes that they are now building in Rochford Town being fully occupied. Sewers are being overloaded and we are experiencing power cuts on a regular basis particularly in Hawkwell.

A consultation on this subject is due to start in December and at this point I don’t know what form this will take. I will say that, from past experience, surveys and consultations have had a poor response with numbers as low as 0.02% of our residents taking part. I am not blaming anyone as I also find them a pain to do.

 

Hockley Library

Opening Times

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Tuesday 9.00 - 5.30
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 9.00 - 5.30
Friday 9.00 - 5.30
Saturday 9.00 - 5.30
Sunday Closed

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Email: Hockley.Library@essex.gov.uk

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Allotments For Hockley


If you are interested in having an allotment, they are on the way in Hockley.   They should be located at the back of the Folly Grove development Folly Lane in Hockley, subject to financial support and planning approval.   Search for the "Hockley Allotment Society" Facebook page for the latest info.