We are currently in the process of producing Area Action Plans for Hockley, Rochford, and Rayleigh centres and for London Southend Airport and Environs. Here are some answers to common questions we have been asked:
Q: What is an Area Action Plan?
A: An Area Action Plan sets out detailed planning policies for a specific area, including those that will determine how the area will develop in the future. They can be used to achieve a number of things, including:
- Stimulate regeneration or enhancement
- Guide public and private investment within an area
- Protect areas particularly sensitive to change
- Resolve conflicting objectives in an area subject to development pressures
- Provide robust policies determined at a local level to ensure that future development reflects local needs and issues.
Q: Why do we need an Area Action Plan for Hockley, Rochford and Rayleigh centres?
A: These centres all perform important functions for the District’s residents, being the focus of facilities and services. They have their own unique characters and positive attributes which need to be conserved, but there will also be opportunities for improvements and we must recognise that town centres will need to evolve and adapt to change.
Area Action Plans will help manage change in a positive manner that reflects local needs and demands, and will provide a robust framework to demand future private developments reflect local issues. We believe it is much better to prepare a blueprint for these towns, so all issues can be comprehensively addressed, rather than leave issues of development to private developers and for ad-hoc planning applications.
Q: What stage are the Area Action Plans at?
A: Very early. Initial, informal public participation on issues and options for Hockley centre took place earlier this year. Initial consultation on issues and options for Rochford and Rayleigh is scheduled to begin at the end of September and in October, respectively. Wider, formal community involvement on options for all centre Area Action Plans will take place next year. You can follow progress on the preparation of the Area Action Plans on our website at http://www.rochford.gov.uk
Q: Who will pay for any development set out in the final Area Action Plans?
A: The final Area Action Plans will set out details of how the blueprint will be delivered over the plan period. It is envisaged that the majority of any development proposed will be paid for by private developers, with the Area Action Plans setting out what will and will not be permitted. The use of planning obligations – where developers are required to make a financial contribution towards infrastructure improvements – will be explored.
Q: How can I have my say on the Area Action Plans?
A: Each Area Action Plan will undergo several stages of community involvement.
Initial, informal consultation is scheduled to begin on the Rochford and Rayleigh Area Action Plans in September and October, respectively. Initial community consultation on the Hockley Area Action Plan was carried out between February and April 2009.
We advertise consultation opportunities in local media, on our website, through notices etc, but we also operate a mailing list for those who wish to be contacted directly whenever there is an opportunity to participate in the plan-making process. If you wish to be added to this mailing list you can register online at http://rochford.jdi-consult.net/ldf/
Alternatively contact Planning Policy on email@example.com or 01702 318191.
Q: Have I missed my chance to be involved in the Hockley Area Action Plan?
A: No. There will be further, wider community involvement next year, scheduled to start in May 2010.
Q: When will the Area Action Plans be complete?
A: Each Area Action Plan is produced in several stages, each one subject to community involvement and appraisal
development, and require an examination in public before they can be adopted. As such, it is not a short-term process and the anticipated adoption dates are as follows:
Hockley …………… March 2012
Rayleigh …………… June 2012
Rochford …………… June 2012
London Southend Airport & Environs….April 2011
Q: What does it mean if an Area Action Plan allocates land for an alternative use to its current use?
A: If land is allocated for an alternative use the Council will support its redevelopment for such use by working with landowners and through the determination of planning applications.