Legal bid to block new homes across Rochford District

Southend Standard: Legal challenge - Linda Kendall Legal challenge - Linda Kendall

CAMPAIGNERS have secured a legal review of Rochford Council’s plans to build thousands of homes afterawoman stumped up cash to pay for it.

Linda Kendall, 66, of Lubbards Close, Rayleigh, and her Cambridge-based solicitors Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law, have secured a judicial review over whether the public were properly consulted on plans to build 2,785 homes by 2025.

Ms Kendall, leader of the Rayleigh Action Group, has the backing of hundreds of people in the area and in Hullbridge, but has come up a substantial amount of money from her pension fund in order to secure the legal challenge at the High Court.

She still hopes to get financial support from other campaigners as the money needed for the legal fight has previously been touted as costing as much as £40,000.

She said: “I can’t let the matter go.

“I’m appealing for the people of Rayleigh and Hullbridge to help me. There are leaflets going out to houses across the towns already.

“If everyone put a couple of pounds in, it would be enough.”

The district council plans to build 2,785 out of a total of 4,600 homes on green field sites by 2025. A total of 550 new homes are planned for land north of London Road, Rayleigh, with a further 500 in Hullbridge.

Rochford will take 600, Hockley 50, Hawkwell 175, Ashingdon 100, Canewdon 60, Ashingdon 500 and Great Wakering 250.

Residents in Ms Kendall’s Rayleigh group, as well as those surveyed by Brian Carleton in his capacity as leader of the Hullbridge Residents’ Action Group, are concerned by potential overcrowding in the area, a lack of infrastructure improvements, and the potential for flooding.

Ms Kendall’s legal challenge is on a point of law the council failed to adequately consult the public.

She added: “It is one of the first times plans like these have been challenged like this.

“This may not even work anyway.

I just feel there are too many questions not answered.

“I shouldn’t think the council is terribly pleased with me though.”

Lisa Foster, associate solicitor for Richard Buxton, said: “We deal with this type of case on a regular basis.”

Claim is based on inadequate consultation

Linda Kendall's challenge is against the validity of the council’s allocations plan, which details the sites for development in the next 11 years.

The claim has been made on the grounds adequate public consultation, a procedural requirement, was not complied with.

Were the review to be successful in the High Court, the plan would be either wholly or partly quashed, meaning the plan would need to be reconsidered.

However, district councillor for planning, Keith Hudson, notes it was mentioned in the council’s Rochford District Matters quarterly magazine, delivered to every property in the district, as well as receiving coverage in local media and by officers speaking at public meetings.

There has been precedent for a successful similar claim as Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law won a claim against a council in Norfolk against the building of 9,000 new homes in 2012.

An anti-urbanisation campaigner successfully brought the claim and forced the High Court to make the council reconsider its plans.

For - Brian Carleton, chairman of Hullbridge Residents' Action Group

We have 98.5 per cent of the Hullbridge residents registered as against the plans, so we are now fighting it with Linda and Rayleigh.

I’ve also had messages from people in Ashingdon and Canewdon saying if they’d known such things were possible, they would have done something.

We in Hullbridge now have a volunteer committee of three surveyors, one solicitor, a housingmanager, an architect, two involved in insurance and a secretary. We are, and have been, taking this seriously.

Against - Keith Hudson, Rochford District councillor for planning

The process of consultation we went through was far and away more than is required in law in order to ensure the best possible communication with our residents over the past seven years.

I regret our residents are subjected to a further period of uncertainty which is not in the majority of people’s interest because of the potential blight to their properties.

Proposed sites on flood plains were dismissed. We are not building on flood plains and all vacant brownfield sites in the district have been allocated.

Comments (23)

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12:27pm Sun 13 Apr 14

I care about rayleigh says...

Good luck to Rayleigh Action group. Well done Linda.
Good luck to Rayleigh Action group. Well done Linda. I care about rayleigh
  • Score: 13

1:03pm Sun 13 Apr 14

bignosechaff says...

Im fully behind this. But it will only work if people stick their hands in there pocket and help out. Some will but i expect most sadly wont.
Im fully behind this. But it will only work if people stick their hands in there pocket and help out. Some will but i expect most sadly wont. bignosechaff
  • Score: 8

1:28pm Sun 13 Apr 14

andyh says...

In the unlikely event that the jr succeeds, the council will just have (another) nominal consultation and come to the same conclusion. Increasing the costs, adding delay and putting money in lawyers pockets. Is this really worth £40K from Linda's pension?
In the unlikely event that the jr succeeds, the council will just have (another) nominal consultation and come to the same conclusion. Increasing the costs, adding delay and putting money in lawyers pockets. Is this really worth £40K from Linda's pension? andyh
  • Score: 9

1:49pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Jack222 says...

Waste of money. We need more homes.
Waste of money. We need more homes. Jack222
  • Score: -20

2:03pm Sun 13 Apr 14

emcee says...

It bothers me that ordinary members of the public have to come up with so much money to challenge their local authority for doing something, they believe (after legal consultation, of course) is not legal or is outside the rules.
It seems to me that if these ordinary citizens cannot come up with tens of thousands of pounds, the local authority can, more or less, do what they like, unchallenged, and it would not surprise me that many council's decisions are made based on the fact that they know it is unlikely they will be challenged for that very reason.
If it was easier to challenge the decisions and the actions of these councils then maybe it would ensure that councils were a little more careful or thoughtful about procedures and decision making and eliminate the gung ho attitudes that some councils thrive on.
It bothers me that ordinary members of the public have to come up with so much money to challenge their local authority for doing something, they believe (after legal consultation, of course) is not legal or is outside the rules. It seems to me that if these ordinary citizens cannot come up with tens of thousands of pounds, the local authority can, more or less, do what they like, unchallenged, and it would not surprise me that many council's decisions are made based on the fact that they know it is unlikely they will be challenged for that very reason. If it was easier to challenge the decisions and the actions of these councils then maybe it would ensure that councils were a little more careful or thoughtful about procedures and decision making and eliminate the gung ho attitudes that some councils thrive on. emcee
  • Score: 16

2:51pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Sensible Man says...

Fantastic news. Let us all hope that Rayleigh Action Group are victorious. This part of Essex has already taken more than its share of new shoeboxes - why are Rochford Council so totally spineless when it comes to protecting the green belt? These houses are not needed or wanted here. Rochford Council should remember that they are there to SERVE the electorate.
Fantastic news. Let us all hope that Rayleigh Action Group are victorious. This part of Essex has already taken more than its share of new shoeboxes - why are Rochford Council so totally spineless when it comes to protecting the green belt? These houses are not needed or wanted here. Rochford Council should remember that they are there to SERVE the electorate. Sensible Man
  • Score: 12

3:32pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Nebs says...

There is plenty of land in much less crowded parts of the UK. No need for more houses in Essex.
There is plenty of land in much less crowded parts of the UK. No need for more houses in Essex. Nebs
  • Score: 9

3:48pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Richy don't shine shoes no more says...

Plenty of space in Rayleigh to build a few new houses. Tidy the place up a bit
Plenty of space in Rayleigh to build a few new houses. Tidy the place up a bit Richy don't shine shoes no more
  • Score: -6

4:01pm Sun 13 Apr 14

andyh says...

Nebs wrote:
There is plenty of land in much less crowded parts of the UK. No need for more houses in Essex.
The first part of that is true.
But people generally want to live in areas where they can find a job or near friends and (possibly) relatives.
Thus many want to live in Essex, not some abandoned mining village in the NorthEast - even if that has a more pleasant environment and much less expensive housing.

… and so we need more homes in Essex (and in places near the commuter lines, not in the heart of Dengie)
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: There is plenty of land in much less crowded parts of the UK. No need for more houses in Essex.[/p][/quote]The first part of that is true. But people generally want to live in areas where they can find a job or near friends and (possibly) relatives. Thus many want to live in Essex, not some abandoned mining village in the NorthEast - even if that has a more pleasant environment and much less expensive housing. … and so we need more homes in Essex (and in places near the commuter lines, not in the heart of Dengie) andyh
  • Score: -6

4:26pm Sun 13 Apr 14

barneydrop says...

I hope the Rayleigh group succeed. However, as part of the land is owned by the family of one of the councillor's involved in the decision, it's highly unlikely to stop the planned development. It will merely delay the inevitable.
Don't forget, the builders/developers will have greased the palms of the right people to make sure this goes ahead.
I hope the Rayleigh group succeed. However, as part of the land is owned by the family of one of the councillor's involved in the decision, it's highly unlikely to stop the planned development. It will merely delay the inevitable. Don't forget, the builders/developers will have greased the palms of the right people to make sure this goes ahead. barneydrop
  • Score: 15

6:12pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

bignosechaff wrote:
Im fully behind this. But it will only work if people stick their hands in there pocket and help out. Some will but i expect most sadly wont.
...and some just can't even if they wanted to..
[quote][p][bold]bignosechaff[/bold] wrote: Im fully behind this. But it will only work if people stick their hands in there pocket and help out. Some will but i expect most sadly wont.[/p][/quote]...and some just can't even if they wanted to.. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -5

6:14pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

andyh wrote:
In the unlikely event that the jr succeeds, the council will just have (another) nominal consultation and come to the same conclusion. Increasing the costs, adding delay and putting money in lawyers pockets. Is this really worth £40K from Linda's pension?
on a flood plain - with yet another traveller site next door. And without the extra facilities to cope with it and the extra pressure on the road system.
Tell you what, YOU find somewhere adjacent to your home and tell the planners they can build there.

Think before you speak
[quote][p][bold]andyh[/bold] wrote: In the unlikely event that the jr succeeds, the council will just have (another) nominal consultation and come to the same conclusion. Increasing the costs, adding delay and putting money in lawyers pockets. Is this really worth £40K from Linda's pension?[/p][/quote]on a flood plain - with yet another traveller site next door. And without the extra facilities to cope with it and the extra pressure on the road system. Tell you what, YOU find somewhere adjacent to your home and tell the planners they can build there. Think before you speak Kim Gandy
  • Score: -2

6:15pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

"The process of consultation we went through was far and away more than is required in law in order to ensure the best possible communication with our residents over the past seven years."

What consultation?
"The process of consultation we went through was far and away more than is required in law in order to ensure the best possible communication with our residents over the past seven years." What consultation? Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Sun 13 Apr 14

ddf35 says...

i know no one wants homes on their doorstep, but if there is a housing shortage and central government has decreed more must be built, where exactly are they supposed to go? if they are arent build there, they have to go somewhere else and im sure people in that somewhere else wont like it either. there certainly seems to be bigger issues here, but at a basic level, i just dont know where they are meant to build the houses - no one wants them near them.
i know no one wants homes on their doorstep, but if there is a housing shortage and central government has decreed more must be built, where exactly are they supposed to go? if they are arent build there, they have to go somewhere else and im sure people in that somewhere else wont like it either. there certainly seems to be bigger issues here, but at a basic level, i just dont know where they are meant to build the houses - no one wants them near them. ddf35
  • Score: -2

7:23pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/earth/greenpo
litics/planning/1076
3789/Local-authoriti
es-hustled-into-pass
ing-greenfield-plann
ing-permissions.html
http://www.telegraph .co.uk/earth/greenpo litics/planning/1076 3789/Local-authoriti es-hustled-into-pass ing-greenfield-plann ing-permissions.html Kim Gandy
  • Score: -3

7:42pm Sun 13 Apr 14

the25man says...

ddf35 wrote:
i know no one wants homes on their doorstep, but if there is a housing shortage and central government has decreed more must be built, where exactly are they supposed to go? if they are arent build there, they have to go somewhere else and im sure people in that somewhere else wont like it either. there certainly seems to be bigger issues here, but at a basic level, i just dont know where they are meant to build the houses - no one wants them near them.
There is plenty of room very close by Boris has the right idea but instead of an airport why not houses
[quote][p][bold]ddf35[/bold] wrote: i know no one wants homes on their doorstep, but if there is a housing shortage and central government has decreed more must be built, where exactly are they supposed to go? if they are arent build there, they have to go somewhere else and im sure people in that somewhere else wont like it either. there certainly seems to be bigger issues here, but at a basic level, i just dont know where they are meant to build the houses - no one wants them near them.[/p][/quote]There is plenty of room very close by Boris has the right idea but instead of an airport why not houses the25man
  • Score: 1

8:25pm Sun 13 Apr 14

TherealIndiana says...

This is just a small item about the incestous relationship going on with RDC the landowner and the developer...oh...and Mr Francios. There REALLY are dirty deeds at hand here..which RDC have legally blocked certain parties being named.
This is just a small item about the incestous relationship going on with RDC the landowner and the developer...oh...and Mr Francios. There REALLY are dirty deeds at hand here..which RDC have legally blocked certain parties being named. TherealIndiana
  • Score: 9

8:26pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Royr says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
http://www.telegraph

.co.uk/earth/greenpo

litics/planning/1076

3789/Local-authoriti

es-hustled-into-pass

ing-greenfield-plann

ing-permissions.html
Link doesn't work Kim
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: http://www.telegraph .co.uk/earth/greenpo litics/planning/1076 3789/Local-authoriti es-hustled-into-pass ing-greenfield-plann ing-permissions.html[/p][/quote]Link doesn't work Kim Royr
  • Score: -1

8:32pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Mattster says...

"I regret our residents are subjected to a further period of uncertainty which is not in the majority of people’s interest because of the potential blight to their properties."

What a bizarre statement from someone supposedly championing the allocation plan, so the fact that this development will have an overwhelming negative impact on existing residents isn't contested by RDC?

As Nigel Farage would say, Baffling!
"I regret our residents are subjected to a further period of uncertainty which is not in the majority of people’s interest because of the potential blight to their properties." What a bizarre statement from someone supposedly championing the allocation plan, so the fact that this development will have an overwhelming negative impact on existing residents isn't contested by RDC? As Nigel Farage would say, Baffling! Mattster
  • Score: 9

9:23pm Sun 13 Apr 14

QuestionTime says...

Well done Linda and to everyone else who have assisted in getting this matter in front of the courts, it's very much appreciated.
For a planning department to pass these applications that are on green belt land without following the proper process stinks of either corruption or incompetence, either way these applications need to be vigorously challenged and for the whole process to be open and transparent to all that want to know!
Well done Linda and to everyone else who have assisted in getting this matter in front of the courts, it's very much appreciated. For a planning department to pass these applications that are on green belt land without following the proper process stinks of either corruption or incompetence, either way these applications need to be vigorously challenged and for the whole process to be open and transparent to all that want to know! QuestionTime
  • Score: 5

9:51pm Sun 13 Apr 14

QuestionTime says...

"However, district councillor for planning, Keith Hudson, notes it was mentioned in the council’s Rochford District Matters quarterly magazine, delivered to every property in the district, as well as receiving coverage in local media and by officers speaking at public meetings."

So when I submit an application for a new build on my little piece of green belt land, I won't need to directly notify my neighbours as per current planning requirements, instead I'll just put a notice in the Rochford District Matters magazine (which looks more like a freebie newspaper than a magazine) for them NOT to read and I'll easily get permission because nobody objected!

Is this really a good standard of practice Mr. Hudson ?
"However, district councillor for planning, Keith Hudson, notes it was mentioned in the council’s Rochford District Matters quarterly magazine, delivered to every property in the district, as well as receiving coverage in local media and by officers speaking at public meetings." So when I submit an application for a new build on my little piece of green belt land, I won't need to directly notify my neighbours as per current planning requirements, instead I'll just put a notice in the Rochford District Matters magazine (which looks more like a freebie newspaper than a magazine) for them NOT to read and I'll easily get permission because nobody objected! Is this really a good standard of practice Mr. Hudson ? QuestionTime
  • Score: 7

10:00am Mon 14 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

andyh wrote:
Nebs wrote: There is plenty of land in much less crowded parts of the UK. No need for more houses in Essex.
The first part of that is true. But people generally want to live in areas where they can find a job or near friends and (possibly) relatives. Thus many want to live in Essex, not some abandoned mining village in the NorthEast - even if that has a more pleasant environment and much less expensive housing. … and so we need more homes in Essex (and in places near the commuter lines, not in the heart of Dengie)
when you say "we need more homes in essex" who are the 'we' you have in mind ? most of these new builds will be snapped up, with 'london money' and the net result of it all will be more overcrowded trains, roads, schools, hospitals, and ironically, the exact same 'housing shortage' as before, for locals...... as for the 'green belt', "next !"
[quote][p][bold]andyh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: There is plenty of land in much less crowded parts of the UK. No need for more houses in Essex.[/p][/quote]The first part of that is true. But people generally want to live in areas where they can find a job or near friends and (possibly) relatives. Thus many want to live in Essex, not some abandoned mining village in the NorthEast - even if that has a more pleasant environment and much less expensive housing. … and so we need more homes in Essex (and in places near the commuter lines, not in the heart of Dengie)[/p][/quote]when you say "we need more homes in essex" who are the 'we' you have in mind ? most of these new builds will be snapped up, with 'london money' and the net result of it all will be more overcrowded trains, roads, schools, hospitals, and ironically, the exact same 'housing shortage' as before, for locals...... as for the 'green belt', "next !" pembury53
  • Score: 5

11:55pm Mon 14 Apr 14

woolstone says...

Good luck to the Rayleigh Action Group, we need to take on these kind of decisions made by councils. I certainly did not see adequate information about the new houses and travellers site. Just to let Keith Hudson know not every house actually received the quarterly magazine he is referring to. After reading the Rayleigh Conservatives Intouch with the truth Spring edition regarding the real facts about their decision for the reason planning permission was given, I found there was so many holes in their arguments for this to go ahead and some of the promises were a bit vague, I do not have any faith in their ability to make a sensible decision.
Good luck to the Rayleigh Action Group, we need to take on these kind of decisions made by councils. I certainly did not see adequate information about the new houses and travellers site. Just to let Keith Hudson know not every house actually received the quarterly magazine he is referring to. After reading the Rayleigh Conservatives Intouch with the truth Spring edition regarding the real facts about their decision for the reason planning permission was given, I found there was so many holes in their arguments for this to go ahead and some of the promises were a bit vague, I do not have any faith in their ability to make a sensible decision. woolstone
  • Score: 3

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