Below are some questions and answers about the plans for West of Rayleigh. If you have any further questions, please get in touch.

What has been approved?

We were granted ‘outline’ planning permission in 2016. The approved outline planning application included an illustrative masterplan showing how the development could be accessed and laid out on the land that Countryside controls within SER1. Approved ‘Parameter Plans’ defined the land use arrangements and key design and development criteria such as density, building heights and the strategy for movement and access. These Parameter Plans will form the basis for drawing up detailed design and layout proposals (future ‘Reserved Matters’ or detailed planning applications) for the development.

What has been submitted now?

We have submitted a detailed planning application (referred to as ‘reserved matters’) for the first phase of new homes (192 units), as well as a detailed planning application for the landscaping around the homes. These applications have been submitted to Rochford District Council.

How do I have my say on the Phase 1 plans?

The Phase 1 planning application has been submitted to the Council and can be viewed on their website. If you would like to comment on the application, you can do so to the Council via their website (using planning application reference 17/00578/REM). We are currently awaiting the planning application reference for the application regarding the landscaping around the homes.

Will the development make it harder to get around Rayleigh?

We carried out a Transport Assessment as part of the approved outline planning application that considered the current operation of key junctions on London Road and Rawreth Lane, and their future operation with the development, taking in to account both a natural background increase in traffic, and traffic associated with other proposed developments in the area, to provide a robust assessments of effects.

The Transport Assessment recognised that there is existing queuing on London Road and at the Rawreth Lane/Hullbridge Road mini-roundabout, and it identified a range of highway measures that could improve traffic flows and reduce queuing in these areas. Not all of the improvements identified in the Transport Assessment will be needed as a result of the traffic generation from the development. We will either implement appropriate highway improvements, or contribute financially to allow the Highway Authority to implement appropriate improvements, with the actual works selected from the range of possible improvements identified in the Transport Assessment, following further discussion with the Highway Authority and District Council.

When will the site access onto Rawreth Lane be built and how will you reduce disruption on this road?

Subject to planning, the access may be constructed in 2018. No diversions or road closures will be required, although there may be short times where traffic lights are used to manage traffic for short durations while making the connection from the new road to the existing road, for the safety of the work force.

Why do we need more new houses?

To meet current housing needs in the district 3,790 more houses need to be built by 2021. The need for new homes arises from a series of factors including birth rates exceeding death rates, people living longer, more smaller households, and migration. The Government requires all Local Authorities to find homes to meet the need for housing arising within their areas. The development of this land will make a valuable contribution towards this.

Isn’t the land Green Belt?

The Rochford District Allocations Plan was formally adopted by the Council on 25th February 2014 and has removed the land from the Green Belt. No housing is proposed to the west of the pylons.

Will road improvements be made before the construction starts?

Conditions attached to the approved outline planning permission and clauses within the Legal Agreement set out triggers when highway works need to be completed. The majority of these will have to be completed prior to the occupation of 50 dwellings on the site, so very early in the build process. The link road (estate road) within the site will be completed in its entirety prior to 150 occupations.

Won’t a road between London Road and Rawreth Lane become a rat run?

The road has been designed as an ‘estate road’ and will be traffic calmed to ensure that the speed limit is adhered to, linking London Road and Rawreth Lane, which provides access to the various areas of the development rather than being a fast, straight road used as a quick route. This road is designed to best serve the development in terms of getting around the town and to the wider road networks. It has been redesigned since the earlier public consultation, to reduce traffic speeds and ‘rat running’.

Will this mean flooding will get worse elsewhere?

No. By leaving the existing flood plain areas undeveloped and incorporating large attenuation ponds and flood control measures, the drainage strategy proposals will provide increased capacity to take surface water flows from the developed land, for various flood scenarios, and there will be reduced water flows into Rawreth Brook than experienced at the moment. For the new development areas, new drainage systems will be put in place to ensure that surface water run off rates downstream are reduced from present rates, with water being held back in specially designated attenuation ponds, which only release water back in to the Brook at a controlled rate. There will therefore be no risk of increased flooding either upstream or downstream. In fact, instead of the unregulated flows that currently occur from the existing field system, the development has the potential to hold back water to reduce downstream flows in extreme conditions.

What measures will be put in place to deal with flooding?

To manage drainage of the land, the proposals include surface water attenuation ponds, ditches, swales and permeable surfacing to ensure that there is a decrease in the rate of surface water run-off from the development site. These Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDs) features have been incorporated into the development layout and will store surface water run-off so that land downstream is not affected. The main surface water storage areas will be located in the area of open space.

Can you put improvements in place to protect against flooding elsewhere?

The new drainage systems that will be put in place at the development will ensure there will be no risk of increased flooding either upstream or downstream. Therefore, the development has the potential to hold back water to reduce down stream flows in extreme conditions.

Is the Rawreth Brook crossing the site tidal?

The brook is not tidal. The Brook flows into the River Crouch at Battlesbridge and is only tidal as far as Burrells Farm, west of the A1245.

Is there capacity to cope with additional sewerage?

We have consulted with Anglian Water and they have confirmed there is available capacity at the sewerage treatment works downstream of the site.

What about construction noise and disturbance?

All large new developments are subject to ‘Construction Management Plans’ which are documents submitted to the Council for approval, and which deal with the practical issues of construction, such as routing of large vehicles to the site; working days and hours; contractor parking; machinery to be used; wheel washing facilities; protection of the environment during construction; any temporary drainage; and similar matters.

Will there be a new primary school?

An area of land adjacent to Phase 1 of the development has been reserved so that it could be used by Essex County Council (ECC) for a new one-form entry primary school should it be required. ECC may ultimately decide however to meet the pupil needs generated from the development at existing primary schools (expansion of those schools).

What about secondary schools?

In terms of secondary schools it is standard practice for the developer to make a financial contribution to the Education Authority who will use that funding to increase the capacity of existing schools.

What is the ‘site for possible non-residential uses’ for?

We have also identified an area of land (0.38 ha or 0.74 acres) where a variety of non-residential uses could be accommodated. The uses that could be provided for are small-scale retail (including possible small convenience store), public house or restaurant, care home or care facility or crèche. The various options for this site will be looked at in detail now that outline planning permission has been granted.

What about doctors’ / dentists’ surgeries?

During the public consultation on the outline planning application, you told us that new local healthcare facilities are needed. Therefore, the approved plans include an area of land adjacent to Phase 1 that could be used for healthcare provision, such as a doctors’ surgery.  A site of 0.15ha (0.37 acres) will be marketed for health facilities for a period of time to be agreed with Rochford District Council.

What happens next?

We have submitted a detailed planning application to Rochford District Council for Phase 1 and, should planning permission be granted, construction of new homes could begin in 2018, with the first new residents potentially moving in during 2019. Comments on the Phase 1 planning application, and the application for the landscaping around the new homes, can be submitted to the Council via their website (using planning application reference 17/00578/REM. Please note, we are currently awaiting the planning application reference for the application regarding the landscaping around the homes).

How can I register my interest in a new home (open market or affordable)?

If you would like to register your interest in one of the new homes, you can do so here.

The Council or a local housing association will manage allocation of the affordable homes, but we will pass on the details of potential occupiers to them at the appropriate time, which they can consider alongside existing housing registers/waiting lists.