16 Westwood Avenue: appeal against refusal

I have received a letter telling me that the applicant has appealed against the refusal of the development at 16 Westwood Avenue.  As I recall, this was recommended for refusal by officers and was duly refused.

The council will, of course, defend its position strongly and there have been previous refusals on this site.

If you wish to make your views known you can do so by writing to The Planning Inspectorate, Room3/09, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN or by writing to the council.  The reference is H1515/A/14/2228457.  Three copies must be sent and the deadline is 23rd January 2015.

I hope the planning inspector holds up all the objections made so far.

Brentwood’s future: The most important consultation ever

 

Today is the launch of the Strategic Growth Options Consultation – it might sound dull but it really is something you should read, consider and engage with by completing THIS response paper.

Listed in this consultation are all the sites to be considered for development because Brentwood Council is required to meet local housing needs. Evidence, from central government, suggests that need is around 360 new homes per year, or 5,500 new homes over a 15 year period. The capacity of brownfield sites in urban areas over 15 years is 2,500, some 3,000 short of total need and we have to find places to build them.

Please be absolutely clear that this is NOT necessarily where we, as the administration, WANT to develop and in some cases it would be good to see them totally and finally disregarded as sites for development.  Although many Tory councillors will say differently as they accuse of us of trying to build in your back yard.

One clear example of this is Hopefield Animal Sanctuary…over my cold, dead body (and those of Cllr Aspinell, Newberry, Carter, Quirk, Mynott, Sapwell and many more) will anyone build anything here but the Tories are now whipping up a storm and saying that that is what we want.  That’s not true.  I will be making my own very strong representations on this one and this site will, I hope, be rejected as a development site.  However, we leave this, or any inappropriate site, off the list for consideration and it is open season for any developer for fifteen years because it is left in a developmental abyss of “no status” and we cannot argue effectively against a housing proposal.

If a site has been considered and rejected as part of our local plan, that has more chance of holding up against a planning permission appeal.

The following sites are listed as Brentwood West, but you may want to look at the list for those near you that are in other wards that adjoin West (namely Brentwood North, Brentwood South, South Weald, Warley) and anything else that might be important to you:

  • Land north of Highwood Close, Brentwood
  • Land north of Highwood Close including St Georges Court, Brentwood
  • Brentwood railway station car park
  • Land at Honeypot Lane, Brentwood
  • Westbury Road Car Park, Westbury Road, Brentwood
  • Site on corner of High Street / Western Road, Brentwood (Former Napier Arms)
  • Land adjacent and rear of 207-217 Crescent Road, Brentwood
  •  18 Westbury Drive, Brentwood
  • Land at Crescent Road (open space), Brentwood
  • Victoria Court, Victoria Road, Brentwood
  • Hubert Road Industrial Estate
  • BT Offices, London Road, Brentwood
  • La Plata Grove, Brentwood
  • 14-16 Westwood Avenue, Brentwood

I also think it is worth pointing out these, in South Weald ward that are near West (but not all of them in that ward):

  • Land rear of The Bull Public House, Brook Street, Brentwood
  •  Land adjacent 50 Spital Lane, Brentwood
  • Brook Street employment area
  • Academy Place, Brook Street/Spital Lane, Brentwood

and these in Warley ward that are near West (but not all of them in that ward):

  • Former Mascalls Hospital, Mascalls Lane, Warley
  • Land adjacent to Carmel, Mascalls Lane, Warley
  • Land adjacent Hill Cottage, Warley Road, and Mill House, Mascalls Lane, Warley

Once again, please be absolutely clear these are not our intended or favoured sites – they are for consideration and we need your input so we can reject those that are just WRONG!

As an example, let’s look at 14-16 Westwood Avenue.  To my knowledge, there have been four recent attempts at putting an inappropriate development here.  There is no way I want this to be a development site so I will ensure that my feelings are known based on the work I have done with residents in Westwood Avenue.  That being done, should it be rejected as a site for development, it makes it much easier to say NO next time a greedy developer tries to build half a dozen houses there.  If it is not included – open season….we stand no chance.

My views on the other sites are varied – some may be appropriate and some certainly aren’t.  I am not here for my personal opinion though – I am here to represent you and to form a view based on weighing up the views of the people I represent.  So please let me know what you think and let me argue for you but, the most important thing you can do is to take part in this consultation and make sure you get the Brentwood you want in the future.

I am here for advice and discussion if you need me – the consultation ends on 17th February 2015.

William Hunter Way consultation – a reminder

whw sign

 

Over the weekend, each household will receive a letter addressed to whoever is on the council tax account about the William Hunter Way consultation and here’s why…

On 1st September 2014, after the failure of the former Tory administration’s town centre development (along with eight wasted years and hundreds of thousands of pounds) the Accord administration launched a very genuine consultation – developed in consultation with local residents – that would go to every household in the borough.  It was initially launched online with a paper consultation planned to go through every door.

All was going to plan until a couple of weeks ago when we started to get calls and emails from residents to say they hadn’t received the consultation paper – what’s worse is that this was in areas very close to the site such as Wellesley Road, Weald Road, Gerrard Crescent and huge areas in Warley.

We hoped this would right itself but, with a week to go until the consultation ends in the past week we were still hearing this from our residents and a lengthy conversation on www.streetlife.com confirmed our worst fears.

On Saturday Cllr Russell Quirk, chair of the William Hunter Way Working Group (WHWWG), called an urgent meeting of this group tonight (6th October).  Councillors Quirk, Baker, Mynott, Sapwell and I met with officers at 7pm to discuss how this was going to be sorted out.

And sort it we did.

  • The deadline for the consultation is to be extended to 5th November 2014.
  • Every resident on the council tax register will now receive a letter reminding/informing them to complete this important survey
  • They will be able to complete it on line or have a survey sent to them
  • We will ask for further help from the Brentwood Gazette, Brentwood Weekly News and Phoenix FM (which may include taking out advertisements)

 

I am so pleased that we have been able to find a way to promote this consultation further at this late stage.  What’s better is that these “belt and braces” actions still keep us well within budget for the consultation project and assures residents that we have done everything we can to make sure every one of them has an opportunity to give us their views on the future of their town.

Make no mistake – this is important as it is about the long term future of the town which is why we are not taking it lightly.”

However, even with this unfortunate series of – now solved – problems, officers have confirmed that with well over 2,000 responses already this is the best response for a Brentwood resident consultation since records began.

Westwood Avenue – refusal for 12 new houses

Westwood avenue replaced sign

I have just finished doing a lap of honour around my front room upon discovering that the crazy, unpopular and inappropriate application to build 12 houses in the place of 16 Westwood Avenue has been refused.

I say crazy because the developer was trying to make us believe that despite three houses being refused on the same site two years ago that this was entirely appropriate for the area.

Had it not been for the way the community worked together at the time – and I was pleased to offer them advice on planning grounds for refusal – then those refusal reasons would not have been laid down and documented for the future.  So this is a credit to their hard work in 2012 and shows what happens when a community comes together.

We are not out of the woods yet – it won’t be formally refused until 6th October and, of course, they can still appeal.

They can also put in another application but I am already making enquiries about changing the designation of this land as I see it as entirely inappropriate for development due to its proximity to the railway lines for starters.

Planning recommendations week ending 11th July 2014

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there are applications in Kavanaghs Road and Westwood Avenue.

Please note these are NOT yet decisions – I am able to refer to planning committee now.

Kymla, Kavanaghs Road: CONSTRUCTION OF A PART TWO/SINGLE STOREY SIDE EXTENSION
(DEMOLITION OF THE EXISTING DETACHED GARAGE)

Recommended for APPROVAL

56 Westwood Avenue: SINGLE STOREY REAR AND TWO STOREY SIDE EXTENSIONS

Recommended for APPROVAL

If you have any issues with the above officer recommendations then please get in touch with me as soon as possible. The deadline for referral is midday on Monday 21 July 2014 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

For more information on the planning process, please see my advice here.

Not great news for Westwood Avenue…

Westwood avenue replaced sign

Developers and Tory councillors are not being kind to the good folk of Westwood Avenue and the surrounding roads.

8, 14 and 16 Westwood Avenue: back garden planning application

The developers have written to councillors to say they are now ready to submit their application demolish Number 16 and replace it with 12 new dwellings (5 two bed, 5 three bed and 2 three bed detached houses).Remember, we got a development of three four bedroom houses on the same site refused last year and it is incredulous that they are now looking to build TWELVE houses on the same site. It hasn’t, to my knowledge, been submitted just yet and I will let you know as soon as I do.  I can assure you that Cllr John Newberry and I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with residents in objecting to this proposal.A resident consultation will start once it is received, I would suggest some of the reasons to object could be:

  • The quality of life of those occupants living so close to the railway – especially in light of Crossrail.
  • Parking is at a premium in Westwood Avenue, Kavanaghs Road and the adjacent streets.  Twelve additional homes could lead to extra cars – not just from those who live there but from their friends, deliveries etc. leading to significantly increased car movements too.
  • The removal of your view on the evens side of Westwood and the odds side of Kavanaghs
  • Over-development of a small area and the pressure on local services
  • Access and egress and safety concerns of cars pulling out into an already heavily parked road.
  • The fact that Essex County Council have estimated a current rate of 540 car movements along the road each day and this will take it to around 600.
  • It will change the ambience of the area and open up the whole area to similar developments.
Just to clarify the process, once received officers will make a recommendation for approval or refusal.  This will go on a weekly list and councillors are able to refer this to committee and, at that time, the 15 members of that committee will make a majority decision.  If this should be recommended for approval, John or I will be referring it.

Speeding survey concluded: “does not qualify for speed restrictions” says Essex County Council (we disagree)

A message from County Cllr David Kendall on the recent speeding survey in Westwood Avenue:

“I am informed that the combined average daily 85 percentile speed over the seven days was 24.8mph. The Highways officers have told me that this speed does not warrant any traffic calming or speed reduction measures being introduced in Westwood Avenue as per the County Council’s speeding criteria. 
“I know this news will leave you feeling very frustrated but the County Council will only introduce speed reduction measures on evidence based statistics. On a more positive note Cllr John Newberry does have access to a speed watch camera that can be used by residents to try and deter speeding in residential roads. If you are interested in getting together to use this camera please let John know.
“I know some concerns were expressed by residents regarding where the speed survey wires were placed in Westwood Avenue and these were passed onto officers. If you would like to clarify any points regarding the speed survey please let me know.”A number of residents have elected to contact the Tory councillor, Roger Bass, direct to voice their concerns. Unfortunately, he does have a record of “binning” resident letters, but his contact details are here.

Where’s my polling station?

So, it’s nearly time to vote! If you don’t know where to vote on Thursday 22nd May, here’s my guide:

There are four polling stations in Brentwood West, they will be on your polling card, but just in case, here’s a map for each:

Victoria Court, Victoria Road (Polling card numbers starting CA)
Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way (Polling card numbers starting CB)
South Weald Parish Hall, London Road (Polling card numbers starting CC)
Baptist Church, Kings Chase (Polling card numbers starting CD)

If you are unsure which polling district you are in, need to return a postal vote on the day or have any other queries, just call me on 07774 248362.

I have also listed all the roads in the ward along with the polling station:

ROAD POLLING STATION
Ashford Avenue South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Batemans Mews Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Belvedere Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Brook Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Burntwood Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Chase Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Crescent Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Cromwell Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Deans Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Downsland Drive Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Drover’s Mead Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Elm Way South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Fairfield Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Fantasia Court Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Firsgrove Crescent Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Firsgrove Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Gerrard Crescent Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Greensleeves Drive Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Halfhides Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Hanover Place Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
High Street Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Hill Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Hillside Walk South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Hive Close South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Honeypot Lane South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Hospital Cottages Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Junction Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Kavanaghs Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Kavanaghs Terrace South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Kings Chase Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Kings Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Kipling Close Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
La Plata Grove Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Langley Drive South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Lark Close Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Link Way Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
London Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Lorne Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Manor Way South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Milton Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Oldfields Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Osborne Heights Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Pastoral Way Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Pennyfields Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Potiphar Place Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Railway Square Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Red Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Rhapsody Crescent Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Rollason Way Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Selwood Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Sir Francis Way Baptist Church, Kings Chase
South Weald Road South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Spital Lane (nos 41-51) South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
St. James Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
St. Peter’s Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Sussex Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Talbrook South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Tallis Way Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
The Beeches Baptist Church, Kings Chase
The Chase, Cromwell Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
The Mount Baptist Church, Kings Chase
The Terlings South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Tower Hill Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Vaughan Williams Way Holly Trees School, Vaughan Williams Way
Victoria Road Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Wansford Close South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Warley Hill Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Warleywoods Crescent Victoria Court, Victoria Road
Weald Close South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Weald Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
West Park Hill South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Westbury Drive Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Westbury Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase
Westway South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Westwood Avenue South Weald Parish Hall, London Road
Wharf Road Baptist Church, Kings Chase

8, 14 and 16 Westwood Avenue: back garden planning application

AWestwood avenue replaced sign developer has written to me to advise they are planning 12 2/3 bedroom properties in the back gardens of 8,14 and 16.  They also advise there is a public consultation on 9 May at South Weald Parish Hall from 4pm to 8pm.

This affects people in Westwood Avenue, Elm Way, Manor Way, Westway, West Park Hill and Kavanaghs Road.

I would be grateful if you could let me know your views so I can represent them fully.

I am unable to tell you mine as, by the time this comes to the planning committee there’s a chance I might be a member of it and, if I tell you my views now it is possible I could lose my vote.  That doesn’t stop me giving you advice though so feel free to get in touch on that.

What will happen now is that, once received, officers will make a recommendation for approval or refusal.  This will go on a weekly list and councillors are able to refer this to committee and, at that time, the 15 members of that committee will make a majority decision.  There was another application here last year – click here for my blog post on that one.

Planning recommendations week ending 11 April 2014

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there are applications in London Road and Kavanaghs Road.

Please note these are NOT yet decisions – I am able to refer to planning committee now.

32 London Road  – SINGLE STOREY REAR EXTENSION, DORMER TO REAR AND PITCHED ROOF TO EXISTING SIDE EXTENSION.

Recommended for APPROVAL

Beaulieu, Kavanaghs Road  – CONSTRUCTION OF TWO STOREY SIDE EXTENSION AND SINGLE STOREY REAR EXTENSION, DEMOLITION OF EXISTING GARAGE

Recommended for APPROVAL

If you have any issues with the above officer recommendations then please get in touch with me as soon as possible. The deadline for referral is midday on Tuesday 22 April 2014 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

Additionally, there is an application at 1A Avenue Road, near the border with Warley.  Although I have no power to call this on, I know a man who can!

1A Avenue Road  – DEMOLITION OF EXISTING GARAGE AND CONSTRUCTION OF TWO STOREY SIDE EXTENSION

Recommended for APPROVAL

In other news, there was a complaint about the installation of a security shutter and an unauthorised change of use at 147 Kings Road. This complaint has been upheld and enforcement action will take place.

For more information on the planning process, please see my advice here.