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Christmas has Come Early to North Ockendon

Yesterday (5th November 2013) Havering Council delivered an early Christmas present to North Ockendon by refusing planning permission for the planning application P0742.13, the full reasons for which can be found here. Although we can all welcome the decision to blow up the application on the anniversary of the Guy Fawkes plot and to not to allow the kennels to be replaced by what amounted to little more than pre-fabricated rabbit hutches, we should not be complacent. Rumours are that the applicant will appeal, although on what grounds it is difficult to imagine and the phrase throwing good money after bad springs to mind. The application was not presented to the planning committee as it failed to even reach that far. We can assume that the grounds for refusal mentioned were sufficient to stop the application without many other points that would have justified refusal having been mentioned.We’ll keep you posted with any further (or lack of) developments.

Prang Lane

To the right of this tree is land that could be potentially built on
‘Prang Lane’

Not many residents of North Ockendon will be aware of where Prang Lane is because it doesn’t actually exist, although the stretch of road between the junction with the B186 (Clay Tye Road) and the Ockendon Road as it runs towards the M25 could be aptly renamed as such. We finally heard back on our Freedom of Information Act re our request from the Police about the number of road traffic accidents within close proximity to ‘Prang Lane’. The figures below show that this stretch of road is particularly accident prone due to it’s windy nature, concealed exits, high historic hedgerows, and excessive used of speed by road users. We are specifically aware of several accidents not shown here involving single vehicles that have have lost control ending up in the fields and hedgerows. As there were no injuries or secondary vehicles involved there is no requirement for these to be reported to the police.

In recent weeks, there have also been two incidents where cars have lost control at the bend just after the greyhound kennels, mounting the pavement and entering the hedgerows, both missing the bus stop by Church Lane by less than 3 feet. The impact of one being severe enough to break the kerb stone in half. The kerb stone is still broken and the skid marks were still visible the last time we looked.

Collisions

Location

Date

Collision type

circumstances

Ockendon road

10/07/2006

Damage only Damage involving 4 vehicles
Ockendon road Junction with Church Lane

26/08/2010

Personal Injury 1 Vehicle involved, Lost control
Ockendon road

21/05/2012

Personal Injury collision involving 5 vehicles
Ockendon road

06/06/2012

Damage only 2 vehicles, wing mirror damage
Ockendon road

30/11/2012

Damage only vehicle 1 hit parked vehicle 3
Ockendon road

06/12/2012

Damage only 1 Vehicle involved, Lost control
Ockendon road

22/04/2013

Personal Injury Vehicle 1 moved out of lane hitting Vehicle 2
Ockendon road Junction with Clay Tye road

09/06/2013

Personal Injury Failed to stop Vehicle 1 collided with Vehicle 2
Ockendon road

09/07/2013

Damage only Failed to stop Vehicle 1 collided with Side of  Vehicle 2
Ockendon road

16/05/2009

Damage only Unknown
Ockendon road

22/03/2009

Personal Injury Vehicle 1 collided with Vehicle 2
Ockendon road

09/06/2009

Serious Personal Injury Vehicle 2 hits post and collides with Vehicle 1
Ockendon road

02/06/2009

Personal Injury Car vs. bus
Ockendon road

29/10/2009

Damage only Failed to stop vehicle collides with Vehicle 1
Ockendon road

25/01/2010

Damage only Vehicle 1 hits vehicle 2 wing mirror
Ockendon road Junction with Clay Tye road

19/01/2010

Personal Injury 1 Vehicle involved, Lost control
Ockendon road

09/09/2010

Personal Injury Vehicle 1 turns into road and into Vehicle 2
Ockendon road Junction with Church Lane

28/11/2010

Personal Injury 1 Vehicle involved, Lost control
Ockendon road

03/03/2011

Personal Injury Vehicle 2 overtakes unknown Vehicle and collides with Vehicle 1
Ockendon road

27/10/2009

Serious Personal Injury Unknown

Fixed Penalty Notices

Location

Date

Offence

Ockendon road

05/04/2009

Excess Speed (30 MPH)
Ockendon road

05/04/2009

Excess Speed (30 MPH)
Ockendon road

20/12/2011

No Insurance
Ockendon road

06/04/2009

Driving not

Viewing the Kennels Application and where to object on line.

So many people are asking me “Where can I object to the planning to build this housing estate?”  Follow this link and click on “Comment on this application” at the top left of the displayed box with the application details in it. You can also email planning@havering.gov.uk or in writing to the planning department at Havering Council quoting reference P0742.13

The other question I’ve been asked a lot is “Where can I view the application?CLICK HERE

Of great interest is the Design and Access Statement – the devil is in the detail READ IT HERE

Before filing your objection it is well worth reading the links below;

HOW TO OBJECT TO A PLANNING APPLICATION

EXAMPLE LETTER OBJECTING TO A PLANNING APPLICATION

A Meeting of Minds.

Dateline 15th July 19:30pm: The Reading Room Church Lane, North Ockendon.

An interesting thing happens when people with common causes get together, the total strength is greater the sum of the individuals.

The residents of North Ockendon had arranged a meeting at The Reading Room, a building held in trust for the residents’ use, although sadly under used as of late, but hopefully that will change.

Even before the scheduled start, it was clear the meeting was going to be packed even on this very hot evening, with groups of people gathering around outside at least half an hour before (and after too). The doors of the Reading Room were opened and the people flooded in, the subjects for the meeting being the discussion of the plan to build 30 pre-fabricated terrace houses on green belt land namely on the Ockendon Kennels site, the Lower Thames Crossing and any other business.

The meeting started with an introduction to Brian Young, one of the trustees and a mainstay of the Reading Room as well as being one of the longest residents of the area. Brian was thanked and then three Residents Association Councillors were introduced, Ron Ower, Linda Hawthorn and Linda Van Den Hende.

The Ockendon Kennels application was discussed at length with many pertinent questions being raised on the procedure of the application and the current delays due the applicant failing to file certain documents. If you have already posted your objection this will still count we will keep you posted on this – you can also comment again on any changes that may be made.

Concern was expressed as to the availability of the links to object to the application on the Havering Planning Department website as there are problems with the application number and viewing the application generally.  Please do use the links on this page as they go straight through to the Design and Access Statement, the application and give you the opportunity to object/comment. Several complaints have been made to Havering Council due to the problems with the website – if in doubt please do post your objection a receipt will be issued to you from the council that they have received the same.  Your comment is important do not think that it does not count and please file any objection you have as soon as you can.  If anyone has a problem re postage to object please let us know we can help. Use the contacts available on this site. Please note, you can use the “comment” on this website as any private comment will not be published or be visible to other people.

It was stressed that a petition type objection is not appropriate as it counts as one objection – all adult members of your family should object individually.

Some clarity was also given over some of the statements made by the applicant to the few who attended her “open day”.  The point here is that if you disagree with what the applicant is saying you need to ensure that your voice is heard and file your objection.

If you were unable to attend the meeting which we know from responses we had may have been the case for some and you have any queries you wish to raise of the councillors please do email them on their email addresses which are listed in The Bulletin or alternatively contact us here by any of the means listed.

If you are objecting please see our links page which gives guidance on the type of matters that the planning department will consider and give weight to when considering/rejecting the application – it is not enough to say that you just do not like it.

After some time and many interesting and useful ideas being proposed and supported, discussion then changed to Option C and the possible impact on the village of the new proposed Lower Thames Crossing.  Although the projected time scales are perhaps 8 yrs down the line Option C, which appears to be the Department For Transport (DfT) favoured option, could devastate huge swathes of the green belt across Kent and Essex including potentially our village.  This may of course affect any planning applications and sales of properties in the area. Strangely Essex County Council and Kent County Council have thrown the gauntlet down by supporting Option C.  Thurrock Council to boot backs Option C, although there seems some descent within the ranks of the ruling Conservatives. Has anyone got the time to cross-check the councillors interests in tarmac and cement companies? The date for submission of your responses to the consultation has now passed, but please try the DfT website, and submit if it is still open.

There were several views that the decision had already been made, and on alternative variations such as the route going along the A128 to Brentwood Brook Street roundabout. However, despite the DfT saying there were no detailed plans we have published on this site some very detailed plans – although there is still doubt as to the exact route. One person attending the meeting indicated that tenders were already being put out and he works for a company that has been asked to quote for a crossing that was understood to be Option C.

The point was made that after an option had been chosen, further consultation would take place. We would ask people to watch what happens with HS2 which is now being fought using article 8 of the European laws on human rights.

Discussion then moved on to local issues of heavy goods vehicles using the Ockendon Road and the current speed limits.  This again is a point that has not been brought to the fore – many of the residents not being aware of the problems experienced by their neighbours. This stresses the point that we are stronger by sticking together and talking to each other – the current threats to North Ockendon should help us to be a community again, and put the communication back in to community.

Finally Brian was thanked again and means and methods of funding the maintenance of the Reading Room was briefly touched upon with conversations continuing after the meeting broke up as groups of individuals gathered and talked some more.

A constructive and useful evening that has focused the minds of many of the residents.

Residents Association Ward Meeting

Wednesday 3rd July

An interesting night, we hadn’t attended one of these before and we left wondering if they were usually so colourful.  We were attending to hear the councillors discuss the planning application for 30 houses on the Ockendon Kennels site and the proposals for the new Lower Thames Crossing.  These two matters, of course, being of interest to residents not only because of Option Cs massive destruction of the green belt land but additionally because the extremely negative effect it will have on all housing within the North Ockendon location – we are being attacked on all sides.. Unfortunately there wasn’t too much the councillors could say about the crossing as this was not anything under local control so far as they have not been invited to have any input on this by the Department of Transport despite the fact that land in Havering namely in North Ockendon will be effected.  The councillors can, just as we can, comment as individuals and will be sending in their responses to the Department for Transport.

A reminder appropriate here then that anyone with any interest in protecting the green belt or preserving the value or indeed maybe existence of their homes in the North Ockendon area should submit their response before the 16th July 2013 either proposing option A or B and opposing option C. Details and documentation can be found here.

The meeting was valiantly chaired by Linda Hawthorn, who decided as a large number of the attendees main interest was the planning application for the Ockendon Kennels, that it would be dealt with first. The applicant had arrived before the start of the meeting with one other for support, who was presumably a relative.

Linda Hawthorn started by stating her position and saying that Linda Van Den Hende and Ron Ower would not be passing comment on the planning application as they were on the planning committee, although they would be able to answers questions on matters of the planning application process. However Linda Hawthorn was under no such restriction and talked openly of her objection to any development on Green Belt land and that this was the overriding attitude of all 52 councillors in Havering whatever political persuasion.

The applicant, Linda Jeffries of Jeffries Steel, was then given the opportunity to speak.  Linda was occasionally and understandably interrupted by Romford Grey Hound Owners Association – they have been given, very publicly by her, one month to find a new home for the charity’s 150 greyhounds – she wants to develop the site.  Ms Jeffries stoically attempted to defend this only for self profit venture project saying the neglect of the site by her justified development of the green belt land- the kennel girls confirming that they were no longer allowed to weed and maintain it on her orders.  Asked whether Ms Jeffries would appreciate such a similar development in Blind Lane, West Hanningfield, to those who do not know the area very rural and pretty, where she lives she said “That’s too personal”.  It is obviously something very “personal” too to those who will be impacted in North Ockendon by her inappropriate development. Vainly she tried to attempt to persuade us all that the terraced cheap per-fabricated constructions she plans to build were in harmony with buildings in the area and would not blight the area – repeatedly standing up whilst others were speaking to distribute leaflets we have all had delivered through our letterboxes or had posted/stuck around our village.

Don’t forget, when you right in to object to the planning application, everyone in your household can do so as an individual, sending in separate objection letters will have a bigger impact.

On the Images page new photographs have been added showing some the green open spaces that will be ruined.

Kennels Development Plans Incomplete and to be resubmitted.

July 17th, 2013

This information above from Havering council when a neighbour phoned to discuss matters. New notifications will be sent out,when they have been resubmitted and presumably with a new date when objections have to be submitted by. It should be interesting to note the changes.

At the ward meeting the applicant stated this was because the forgot the tree survey!

Kennels Planning Application – Ward Meeting URGENT

25th June, 2013

Further to the below it has be brought to our attention that some flyers have been put up claiming that the Kennels is a brown field site. This is not true, although the applicant has stated that in their opinion it should be considered as such, the land is within the area designated by Havering as being green belt land. The presence of poorly maintained structures on the land in no way alters this fact. Additionally the flyer also claims that the proposal is for 30 affordable homes, however the supporting documentation with the application clearly states “This proposal exceeds the threshold of 10 or more dwellings therefore a requirement for affordable housing will apply. …this and other planning obligations will be negotiated and agreed during the determination period of this application.”. We are seeking legal advice, whoever the author of the flyer is, is guilty of  misrepresentation.

There is a Residents Association Ward meeting Wednesday 3rd July 2013 St Josephs Hall St Mary’s Lane. As many people as possible should attend this meeting of the like-minded people.

(Please note the link below was pointing to the wrong application – this has now been updated to the correct one)

Click this link to view the planning documents

objection

Summer Fete

18th June, 2013

Despite being gusty and not particularly sunny, the fete had a good attendance from local residents as well as those who regularly attend the church. We were handing out the Department for Transport Consultation document as well as a ‘calling card’ with the North Ockendon website, email address and phone number (yes our own dedicated phone number). Over wafts of the smells of food cooking on the barbeque the most frequently asked question was “Why haven’t we heard about this before?” A good question I want to pursue with the DfT. 80 consultation documents were handed out and everyone said they thought option C was a bad idea. Most people didn’t want any additional crossing, although 2 people expressed concern over the congestion but in both cases the statement made was” Why don’t they remove those bloody tolls?” All said they would be filing a response.

Save North Ockendon

18th June, 2013

Recently the Lower Thames Crossing came to the attention of several residents who had heard of a consultation document outlining options for congestion relief of the Dartford Crossing.  There are three options – Option C appears to be a potential threat to the existence of the village.

A flyer was designed to catch attention of residents it was quite emotive because the next Information Event was the next day i.e. last Saturday 15th June – no notice had been given to anyone in the area of the fact that we all need to respond by 16th July ( before if by post) to try and protect our village. It is imperative that we all respond we cannot be complacent about this the Government believe the option incorporating North Ockendon is a viable.      Please take this very seriously other information days are:-

  • Thursday 20 June, Bluewater (Thames Walk at the entrance to the plaza), Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9ST, from 10am to 9pm
  • Friday 21 June, Lakeside (level two near the customer service desk), West Thurrock Way, Grays, Essex, RM20 2ZP, from 10am to 10pm
  • Saturday 22 June, Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BE, from 9am to 5pm
  • Monday 24 June, Basildon District Council, Basildon Centre (reception), St Martin’s Square, Basildon, Essex. SS14 1DL, from 11am to 5pm

We spoke at length to a Ministry of Transport official (Tony Potter) at the Information Day  and he confirmed that  the minister says that “something must be done” re the Dartford Crossing so something will definitely happen.  The minister will make a decision – answering the consultation questionnaire to the effect  of saying “no second Dartford Crossing” will not work. An alternative to Option C must be suggested by residents otherwise Option C may well may happen – the consultation paper suggests it might have the highest economic reasons to do so. “All options are viable” Tony Potter said.

The planned path of Option C according to government plans is right down the main road of our village (contrary to previous plans posted) although some small variations from the proposed broad brush approach can be considered it will result in most of the houses from the Church to the top of the road being compulsory purchased to make way for the motorway; this according to the report question 3 is the “smaller forecast on environmentally sensitive areas..”.  apparently.  The remainder of what is left would be totally blighted.

According to the consultation paper approximately 2,000 people and green belt land across Kent including ancient woodland and of course green belt and conservation area of North Ockendon will be lost to Option C.  We have contacted our local councillors and MP Angela Watkinson who says that they will be opposing Option C. “I shall object to Option C as unacceptable, it is far too intrusive into local land and communities” she said.  Is this enough? – no its not; we need you all to confirm that you will not be in favour of Option C.

Option A seems the most economical and has less impact on the environment than Option C – it widens the existing area around the Dartford crossing affecting 254 people and instead of £5bn cost for Option C it will cost £1.6bn.  Option C will need additional government funding and will encounter difficult engineering problems whereas Option A and B are both self funding from the tolls they will generate.  Don’t think this will work to stop the Government justifying undertaking Plan C it won’t we need to fill in those forms and will be visiting house to house prior to the decision date to make sure everyone is aware of the consequences of the consultation.

Prior to the local residents rallying together, only one person we have spoken to has known of the Lower Thames congestion easing scheme which should have been communicated to the local residents by the Department of Transport.  We will be pursuing why this was not done with the Department of Transport themselves.
Tony Potter of the Department of Transport was asked on the best approach to take by residents of North Ockendon opposed to option C, this is a summary of what he said;

1) It is important to get as many people as possible to respond to the communication document before the 16th July 2013.
2)The response should reinforce the positives of one option and the negatives of the oppposed option (Option C) based on the content of the consultation.
3)The response should be succinct using bullet points and summaries.
4) It should be targeted at the audience, a member of the Department of Transport, and therefore should not be emotive.
5) It is very important to act at the consultation stage and not after the consultation has closed as after this point objection would have less impact.

Tony said that he had no opinion of which option would be favoured and said specifically “each option had it’s own merits” . He asked “Do you like apples or Pears?” to make the point that it depends on your point of view as to which option was the best.
Some of the impact of  Option C appear highly attractive from the  Minister of Transport’s point of view. It provides the greatest savings to business users, the greatest economic benefit to the wider community, and up to 1100 more jobs than option B, 2700 jobs more than Option A. It also has the greatest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, all these currently “political hot potatoes”. It is important to bear in mind the development of the Tilbury Docks which will potentially greatly increase the number of HGVs which, on the majority, will wish to travel North. Option C and specifically Option C with Option C variant provide the most direct route north. (Tony emphasized this).
We had a list of specific questions that could not be answered at the Information Event and were advised to contact the DfT with them, stating a date when we needed a response by so that we may respond to the consultation document.

So to finish off we must state again that it is important that as many people as possible respond to the consultation document by the 16th July 2013

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One thought on “Previous Posts…

  1. Pingback: FIGHT THE KENNELS PLANNING APPEAL | North Ockendon

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