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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Coombes Farm 2 - New Application submitted (23rd December)

Iceni have slipped a fresh planning application in to concrete over Coombes Farm today, just as peoples' attentions are focused on more festive matters!

I haven't seen the full details yet, but I have to wonder what their game plan is.

The Core Strategy, Rochford's local development plan, was formally adopted by the Council last week and this should rule out any development at Coombes Farm for at least the next 15 years.

If Iceni wish to pursue their plans to concrete over Coombes Farm they will have to successfully challenge the Core Strategy in the High Court and they have until the 24th January 2012 to lodge an appeal.

However, at the same time, they have to follow the planning process which means the new application will be considered by Rochford's Planning Committee and will, in all likelihood, be refused. This, however, isn't likely to happen for at least a couple of months, passing the deadline to appeal against the Core Strategy.

I guess they may adopt an assault on two fronts and consider High Court action against the Core Strategy simultaneously to following the conventional planning route to try and urbanise Coombes Farm.

Basically, yet another long legal battle commences...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Cherry Tree remains the perfect destination

A year ago Rochford was covered in snow, and The Cherry Tree was the perfect refuge against the winter elements, the ideal destination for a superb meal in warm, historic and friendly surroundings. This year, no snow, but "The Cherry Tree" continues in much the same tradition under new owners Amanda and Dan.

That said, it was explained to me that plans to broaden The Cherry Tree's appeal are afoot. More to follow in this regard, but anyone who is looking for the quintessential English Inn serving extremely high quality food in a comfortable environment will find the answer here.

Click on the title for a copy of their Christmas menu. They also have an a la carte menu and a decent wine list and are now open all day.

Contact number is 01702 544426.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Musings December 2011

Rochford looks set to begin 2012 by building on its burgeoning reputation as South East Essex's new dining and drinking destination.

"Alessandro's" at 64/66 West Street (previously "Arthy's") has applied for a drinks licence and looks set to open as an Italian wine bar/restaurant in January. More details to follow.

In the past six months or so we've seen The Rose Garden Restaurant open above The Miley in Union Lane, followed a month ago by Rochford's first bistro pub, The Grey Goose, and the latest venture,"Baroques" at the bottom of West Street looks virtually ready to open.

This boost to Rochford's night economy will be welcome by many, although there will be concerns about whether there is enough "money to go round" and the impact on Rochford's more established boozers. Judging by the sudden increase in parked up cars along East Street near The Grey Goose, it seems people are driving in from the surrounding area, which can only be good news.

Finally, Coombes Farm or "Land South of Stambridge Road" is currently all quiet. As I write, no planning application has been submitted but when it is, activity will commence. It's obvious the strength of feeling towards this housing scheme remains as strong as before so Iceni can rest assured that Rochford is ready and prepared!