Rayleigh: Action Group Fights Major Development

An action group in Rayleigh is raising money to fight a massive development that they say was not properly consulted on.

They need £40,000 to take plans for 1,400 homes in the district of Rochford to the high court.

Planners approved the development but many residents claim they were not aware of a consultation going on as it hadn't been very well advertised.

Linda Kendall is Chair of the Rayleigh Action Group which was set up to represent the high number of people unhappy with the proposals.

As well as the homes, there is going to a new industrial site and a travellers site being built that will hold 44 families eventually.

She told Heart: "It's a massive re-organisation that is going to totally disrupt the area - we've got 2 small roads that run through here which is often gridlocked.

"There is no major re-construction of roads in this neighbourhood, they've even withdrawn the promise of a school - they're actually talking about extending another school.

"10,000 of people in this district have signed objections to this, 98.4% of people in Holbridge signed to object and yet the planning inspector has passed these very flawed plans.

"We've not been listened to, we must be listened to and this consultation process has been totally mismanaged and we want it re-run."

In a statement Rochford District Council said: "Rochford District Council consulted widely before adopting both our Core Strategy and Allocations Document.

"This included public exhibitions and meetings, articles in the Council newspaper, media releases, information on the Council website, posters, a Commuter Consultation with leaflets outside railway stations, and workshops at local schools. 

"The Council listened to responses and as a result the allocation for Rayleigh was reduced from 1,800 to 550 homes. 

"It’s important to stress that no plans would not mean no development. Government policy means that the Council would still be required to allow developers to build in the area but would have little say on how many, where, how, and what infrastructure should accompany development.

"The Council feel it is important to manage development in the District – ensure there is local say on such matters - and not leave such issues to developers or Central Government."

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