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Multiple Applications to Extend Rayleigh Town Boundaries

by Paul Addison on October 13, 2015 No comments

Plans to build up to 500 new homes in Rayleigh were given the go ahead this week with the prospect of an additional 100 home development on adjacent land.

Rochford District Council has granted outline planning consent, subject to the signing of a legal agreement, for Countryside’s proposals to create a new neighbourhood to the west of Rayleigh that includes new homes as well as extensive community facilities, infrastructure and public spaces.

The 46-hectare site that lies to the north of London Road and south of Rawreth Lane has been allocated for housing under the local authority’s Adopted Core Strategy and Site Allocations Plans.

Countryside want to establish a distinctive new neighbourhood offering a wide range of high quality new homes, including 35% affordable housing. The masterplan for this landscape led development also includes extensive areas of public open space, including informal and formal recreational areas with parks, sports pitches, children’s play areas and allotments. In addition, land has been set aside for a potential new primary school and possible new healthcare facility should they be required.

The approved plans provided detailed information relating to flood risk, sports pitch provision, education capacity, transport and traffic. Two new access roads and extensive local highways improvements in London Road and a network of new footpaths and cycle paths will provide links within the site and with the town and surrounding area.

image-of-new-street-rayleigh

Huge opposition is no barrier to approval

The scheme has attracted controversy for a number of years and had been originally rejected earlier in 2015 due to failings in its flood risk assessment of the site. At a packed planning decisions meeting in January, a febrile atmosphere saw hundreds of residents and local MP Mark Francois speak out against the scale of the proposals in an already heavily developed area.

However, the application was resubmitted by Countryside with an increase to the size of the balancing ponds to alleviate any potential flooding and to work with Sport England to integrate the proposed sports pitches on the development site with the existing adjoining sports pitch facility. This and a 35% affordable housing quota meant that Rochford District Council were compelled to approve the revised submission this month.

More uncertainty to come

And the story doesn’t stop there. ONE hundred new homes could be added to an adjacent site to that secured by Countryside. The Timber Grove care home, run by national charity FitzRoy, in London Road, wants a new building as its current one is not fit for purpose.

One avenue being explored to fund the new building is getting a developer to build 90-100 new dwellings on land behind the home.

At the meeting with Rayleigh Town Council, a representative from Landmark Town Planning told councillors about the plan for 90 to 100 one and two-bed flats and three and-four bed houses, with access from the unmade road currently used by the Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club.

Jamie Burton, Ukip district councillor for Grange, said: “This latest application for a large-scale housing development in the west of Rayleigh, comes at a time when tensions are already running high over the proposed new homes situated north of the London Road.

“This will inevitably lead to further questions being asked about the adequacy of the surrounding infrastructure, particularly the roads, and the impact further homes in the area will have on school places and GP surgeries, not to mention the issues of flooding and air quality.”

Understanding planning changes needs expert help

Urban extensions on marginal edge of town land, even if it is zoned as green belt are being re-examined in favour of development where there is a local need. It is vital that solicitors and their clients examine how the local planning landscape is changing. This can’t be done through standard local authority questions or traditional planning searches, as demonstrated by the £2M Bird and Bird judgement earlier this year.

DevAssess allows you to see the real risks that lie in wait for the house buyer. It reviews the latest situation with decisions and applications in the context of land use zoning and provides a professional view on the risks or opportunities that may exist.

Better to know now than face the consequences after completion. For more information, call us on 01342 890010 or email info@dev-assist.co.uk

Paul AddisonMultiple Applications to Extend Rayleigh Town Boundaries

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