Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Work seems to be progressing, albeit slowly, to refurbish the New Ship and restore the facade to its original 19th century glory when there was a central front entrance, and none of the strips of timber along the edges. The plan is for it reopen as a pub with a restaurant on the first floor, surely a welcome addition to the food and drink offerings in central Rochford.
More controversially, however, are plans by the New Ship owners to build flats on the former car park adjoining the pub, Old Ship Lane and East Street. You can view the planning application by inputting 10/00412/FUL into the planning application database on the Council's wesbite (clicking on the the Title to this post, and you will then be able to post comments about the application, etc.)
It does seem odd for a new business trying to attract new custom to sacrifice valuable parking places in this way. It's also a conservation area, whilst there has been new build on the south side there has been no precedent on this, west, side. I guess the Council will consider this application at Development Control Committee in September so watch this space.
UPDATE 20th August - Council recommending refusal of application.
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Work is taking place by the Environment Agency to shore up the sea defences at Stambridge Mill. At the same time, a formal planning application is due to be submitted shortly for approx 200 homes on this site. Whilst this will no doubt cause controversy, not least because of the added strain it will add to the ancient road system, something does need to happen at Stambridge Mill. The buildings are dilapidated and appear to be attracting vandalism. Whilst never exactly a beauty spot, there was something to appreciate in this post industrial landscape. Now it's just an eye sore. Inner London Group, who own the land, claim that they will invest in this river side location, improving public access and spending money to make it an atractive place for all to vist. I sincerely hope this is the case. A local resident told me she would like the area to become something akin to Battlesbridge. This is a wonderful idea, but harsh economic realities indicate this will not happen, though I wonder if it could be possible for the developers to set aside a couple of units for local artists or where antiques could be traded. I suspect any planning application will get an easier ride than Coombes Farm. After all the developers are contributing to essential sea defence work, and the land is not on green belt. But it should be possible to influence the final outcome...
UPDATE 19th August - Inner London Group are submitting an application for 163 units, a mix of flats and Exec houses. They plan to invest money in repairing the flood defences and generally upgrading the landscape for both future residents and visitors. My understanding is that the boundaries of the development will not stretch further than the existing site occupies but tbc - the full application is ready to view on the Council's website, which you can access by clicking on the title to this post and entering planning application reference 10/00553/FUL
UPDATE 15th September
It looks as though the EARLIEST this will be voted upon by Rochford Council is October and it may be later.
UPDATE 23rd October
Well it didn't go before the Council's Development Control Committee this month. I'll update as soon as I have a clearer idea of timing.
I really don't want this blog to be a place for me to vent my spleen and act as evidence of me drifting into whingy miserable moany middle age. Perhaps it's too late for that! Anyhow, regardless, I will push on. What a mess Rochford station is, particularly the area of land adjacent to the west end of the Southend bound platform. Several times I've spotted rats there having a good munch. Anyhow, rather than simply moan about there is a terrific website where you can report problems such as this. It's called Fix My Street, and you can link to it by clicking the Title of this post. I'll let you know if it works!
UPDATE 5th August - Rochford District Council and National Express have both confirmed that Network Rail have responsibility for the land in question (I notice a mountain bike has been "left" there if anyone's interested) so I'll see if Network Rail will fulfill their responsibilities under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990!
UPDATE 8th October - I attended Rochford District Council's East Area Commitee meeting concerning the litter at Rochford, and recieved a lack lustre response. More successful has been my letters to Iain Coucher, Chief Executive of Network Rail. I have received a letter from Network Rail and a phone call confirming that a full scale litter clearance will take place, hopefully w/c 11th October 2010 or shortly thereafter.