South East Ashingdon development – Questions and Answers

Response to the emails and letters sent to Cllr. Steptoe regarding the Ashingdon housing development

A response to the letters and emails has been sent to everyone that has contacted Cllr. Steptoe regarding the development in Ashingdon. this response can also be found in the 'Related Content' section of this webpage.

Why is this site being proposed for housing development?

The site called South East Ashingdon (Reference SER8) was first brought forward as a location for development in Policy H3 of the Council’s Core Strategy, adopted in December 2011. Policy H3 proposed a minimum of 500 dwellings for South East Ashingdon to be delivered post-2021.

The policy also stated:

"Development within the above areas will be required to be comprehensively planned. A range of other uses and infrastructure (including off-site infrastructure), having regard to the requirements of the Core Strategy, will be required to be developed and implemented in a timely manner alongside housing. Appendix H1 outlines the infrastructure that will be required for each residential area and should be read in conjunction with Policy CLT1.

The Council will monitor the supply and development of housing in the District and may bring forward development in these locations prior to 2021 if required to meet East of England Plan requirements, but only if infrastructure to serve such developments is also brought forward earlier."

Final details of the South East Ashingdon site can be found in the Council’s Allocations Plan, adopted in February 2014. There is a link in the Related Content section.

Is there any likelihood the site will not be developed?

The South East Ashingdon site has been removed from the Green Belt and allocated for housing development.  That being the case, it will, subject to planning consent, be developed with housing and related supporting infrastructure.

How will the site be accessed?

An initial pre-application proposal has been presented by the developer.  No decisions have been made about the acceptability or otherwise of the proposal.  The adopted Allocations Plan states that:

"At least two vehicular access/egress points onto Ashingdon Road should be provided, and potentially a third to the south of the site should be explored in consultation with the local highway authority. Financial contributions towards local highway capacity and infrastructure improvements will be required."

Will there be any infrastructure contributions arising from the planning application for development of the site?

Yes, there will be a list of requirements for infrastructure and other contributions/improvements from the developer to fully mitigate the impact of a new housing development in this area.

Appendix 1, linked to Policy H3 in the adopted Core Strategy, sets out the following requirements for the site:

  • Local highway capacity and infrastructure improvements, including contribution to traffic management of Ashingdon Road
  • Public transport infrastructure improvements and service enhancements
  • Link and enhancements to local pedestrian/cycling and bridleway network
  • Sustainable drainage systems
  • Public open space
  • Play space
  • Youth facilities and community facilities

Further information about the site development parameters can be found on pages 71 to 76 of the adopted Allocations Plan. There is a link in the Related Content section.

Several organisations will be consulted for their views on the planning application, when this is submitted for consideration.  These organisations will include, for example, Essex County Education and the NHS.  It is anticipated there will be financial and possibly land contributions required from the developer to fulfil the needs identified by these consultees.  For example, on the nearby Hall Road site, substantial financial contributions were required for new school places and to enhance health provision.

What about affordable housing?

The developer of the site will be expected to comply with Core Strategy Policy H4 which requires 35% of the housing units to be affordable. It is anticipated that the affordable housing will be provided on an 80:20 split of affordable housing for rent and shared ownership.  The affordable housing will be owned and managed by a registered social landlord, often called a housing association.  When the affordable housing becomes available for occupation, Rochford District Council will have 100% nomination rights to house families from the council’s waiting list.  

I’m concerned that I can’t make an appointment to see my GP; this development will only make things worse?

The NHS will be consulted for their views on the impact of the new housing on healthcare provision.  It is anticipated the developer will be asked for a financial contribution to go towards healthcare improvements.

The local schools do not have the capacity to accommodate more pupils.

The local education authority, Essex County Council, will be consulted when a planning application is submitted.  A mathematical formula is used to calculate the need for additional pupil spaces and hence the financial contribution required from the developer to ensure those spaces can be provided.

Has a planning application been submitted to the Council?

There is no planning application yet, though it is anticipated a submission will be made soon.  The developer is asking the Council for pre-application information to assist the application process.

Will I be consulted?

The Council will consult widely with residents when the planning application is submitted.  You’ll be able to view the application details through our website and we’ll ensure there is a regularly updated link to useful information in the ‘In Focus’ box on our homepage.