Frequently Asked Questions - Bloor Homes Development, Land East of Ashingdon Road and North of Rochford Garden Way, Rochford

Why is the site being developed?

The site is being developed following approval of planning application 20/00363/OUT via an appeal decided in March 2022. The land, referenced SER8, was allocated for residential development in the adopted Rochford District Local Development Framework Allocations Document 2014. This means that all the relevant scrutiny has been carried out to ascertain suitability of the site for residential development with appropriate open space amongst other provisions.

 

What does the development involve?

The development involves the demolition of two dwellings on Ashingdon Road (Nos. 148 and 150); the removal of a highway tree; formation of an access off Ashingdon Road and a secondary access off Rochford Garden Way/Percy Cottis Road; and the construction of 662 residential dwellings. The access, appearance, scale, landscaping and layout were considered at the outline stage for Phase 1 of the scheme. So far, only the access and layout have been considered for Phases 2 and 3, the appearance, landscaping and scale for these phases will be matters reserved for future applications.  

 

What was the planning process for this development?

The council, as the local planning authority, refused the application at its Development Committee on 24 June 2021 due to concerns about to the impact of additional traffic on the highway network. The applicant (Bloor Homes) appealed this decision. The Planning Inspectorate held a 6-day public inquiry in January/February 2022. In March 2022 appeal was allowed/approved subject to 45 planning conditions.

 

How is the site being developed?

Of the 45 planning conditions imposed on the approved scheme, some require further details to be submitted to the local planning authority for discharge before development starts. Bloor Homes has submitted details for the pre-commencement conditions, and these are currently being reviewed and discharged.

Before the development can start there are some enabling works that need to happen. For example, these enabling works involve carrying out various phases of archaeological and ecology survey work. These works have to be carried out over a period of time and their outcomes inform the relevant reports that support a discharge of a planning condition. Residents may have seen activity on the site over the summer months associated with the enabling works. The last remaining phases of these works have been occurring since August 2022 and are due to be finished towards the end of October 2022.

The enabling works currently being carried out are not the lawful implementation of the development. This has caused some confusion for residents over the past week as Rochford Garden Way has been used for these HGV movements. Residents understood the planning condition specifically restricted HGVs using Rochford Garden Way. Whilst this is correct once the development starts and the planning conditions that restrict vehicle movements come into force, the enabling works are not bound by this planning condition. The enabling works will be temporary and should be completed by the end of October.

 

What are enabling works?

Enabling works are a general description for site preparation. They happen to make a site ready for the first stage of development. Examples include installation of site gates, hoarding/heras fencing, safety signage, ground clearance, installation of tree protection fencing, wildlife boxes, translocating protected species etc. These activities must take place before the start of main works. 

 

When will development start?

Following the discharge/approval of all pre-commencement conditions, Bloor Homes and their contractors will be able to start development of the approved scheme. They will need to keep to the terms of the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) approved on application 22/00547/DOC. This sets out construction traffic access routes, details of complainant procedures, health and safety measures within the site, wheel washing and dust management, amongst other things.

 

How will Bloor Homes ensure local people are not impacted by construction works as the development progresses?

As with any construction project, unfortunately, there is likely to be a period of disruption for residents. However, Bloor Homes and their contractors will be working to a detailed Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) during the construction phase. 

The approved CEMP sets out measures that will be taken to mitigate the impacts of development, such as limited hours of construction, dust management and wheel washing, controlled delivery times and also provides contact details for points of contact.

 

Why is the construction access now from Ashingdon Road and Rochford Garden Way?

Despite an indication on the planning application that construction access would be via Doggetts Chase, the Construction Traffic Management Plan prepared by TPS  for the haulage routes and construction access points were approved as from Ashingdon Road and Rochford Garden Way.

 

What will happen next?

Bloor Homes will need to secure the whole site. This will involve putting up fencing around the site boundary.

Minor works to Rochford Garden Way are scheduled to commence in October 2022 to create the temporary site access. This will involve the delivery of machinery.

The formation of the temporary car park within the site is scheduled to commence in early to mid October 2022 this will provide parking for some identified residents living in Rochford Garden Way.  In addition site compounds will also be set up within the site in accordance with the details approved in the Construction Environment Management Plan.

Works to create the temporary site access from Ashingdon Road are also scheduled to start in October 2022.

Works to the main junction on Ashingdon Road are set to start around April/early May 2023.

 

Removal of the Highway tree outside Holt Farm School

Part of the planning consent for the development involves the removal of a large Oak tree outside Holt Farm School. Bloor Homes has paid compensation of £67,560 for the loss of the tree and a further payment of over £74,000 to enable additional tree planting around the development, with wider opportunities for improvement to existing planting in the area.  

All the required consents have been obtained and road space booked with Essex Highways for the removal works.  The developer (Bloor Homes) need no further approvals from Rochford District Council or Essex Highways.  The removal of the tree is scheduled for the 24 October 2022.

Bloor Homes is speaking to the two nearby schools about projects to use the remains of the Oak tree and a local artist is helping.

 

Keeping you up to date

Bloor Homes have created a website with up to date FAQs. Please visit https://www.bloorhomes-rochford.co.uk/ 

Bloor Homes is producing a monthly newsletter. This is now being hand delivered to properties bordering the site and those opposite on Ashingdon Road. Copies are also circulated to the Parish Council and local Ward Members. 

Any enquiries you may have relating to the development email Bloor, the developers directly at: enquiriesrochford@oliver.agency