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Fears raised over 3,000 homes planned for Rochford District
CONCERNS have been raised after plans for 2,785 homes across Rochford district were put on show.
The plans, which reveal where the new homes will be built over the next 15 years, are on display at the Mill Arts and Events centre in Rayleigh as well as other venues across the district.
The exhibition takes place throughout this week, but already members of the public have expressed concerns over the impact of the proposed houses and flats.
Brenda O’Brien is in her seventies and has lived in Ely Way, Rayleigh, for 17 years.
She thinks a proposal for 550 new homes in her area will lead to chaos on the roads.
She said: “When we first moved, it took my husband ten minutes to get home from work along Rawreth Lane, now he can sit there for 40 minutes.
“I cannot bear to think what cars for 550 extra homes will do to the roads.”
Caroline Long, of Glebe Drive, Rayleigh, opposes the plans.
She said: “I don’t think it is right – I hate to think about the flooding situation, it is going to be absolute hell.”
An anonymous Rayleigh resident chose to focus on the way the council came to decide on its core strategy and allocation document, which detail the plans.
Both were passed by vote in full council meetings following legal approval by a Government inspector, but the resident does not think that is enough.
He said: “It has been decided by a few people.
“There is a cabinet system in the council now with a party whip and there have been a lot of recent complaints that it is not democratic. I think a lot of the councillors were toeing the party line – they have been hoodwinked.”
Rather than prompting further complaints, Keith Hudson, councillor responsible for planning, hopes the display will give residents a positive view of what is to come.
He said: “This allocations document not only meets Government housing targets for the district, but also gives us the armoury to fight developments in areas that we have not identified for development, or that do not conform to our requirements for appropriate infrastructure improvements.”
The plans are at the Mill Arts and Events centre, Hullbridge Community Centre and at libraries in Hockley, Hullbridge, Rochford, Rayleigh and Great Wakering, until Friday, March 7.
ACTION GROUP TO CHALLENGE COUNCIL SCHEME
Rawreth residents are forming an official action group to challenge Rochford Council on issues arising from planned developments in the area.
Peter Plummer, 65 of Church Road, is helping to set up the Rawreth Flooding Action Group and last night met at Rawreth Village Hall to adopt a constitution and appoint a committee.
Its hope is that by forming an official body with a constitution, the group will be able to force the council to open a dialogue .
Mr Plummer said: “We have got quite a few issues with the council.
“I tried to raise concerns about flooding from planned developments back in 2010 but I was prevented from speaking in front of a Government inspector as I did not have a computer to fill out the right form.
“My issues were not noted in the inspectors report so as far as I am concerned the core strategy is not a legal document.
“If they develop and build more houses what will happen?
Water already backs up under bridges and causes floods.”
Traffic woes and flood risk highlighted by exhibition visitors
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