RAG - Rayleigh Action Group
Main website: RayleighActionGroup.org
Rayleigh ( and neighbours Hullbridge ) fall under the Rochford District Council Core Plan, which was not well publicized and attained Planning Inspectors approval before most residents were aware of it. At the next stage ( Allocations Plan ) Linda Kendall recognized what was afoot and called a public meeting to outline the plans - Mass Housing / Heavy Ind Estate and a Travellers Site scheduled for West Rayleigh ( Rawreth Ward ).
People stepped forward to offer help and RAG was formally launched via a mass leaflet drop accross the West of Rayleigh ( 15,000 leaflets ) followed by a 2nd public meeting which ran out of room after more than a thousand people attended.
In just 4 weeks a dedicated team put together a 6,000 word objection document which was submitted to the Government Inspector who was to rule on the RDC Allocations Document at a public hearing. Despite an extensive factual objection challenging the lack of Consultation, no committment to a supporting level of Infrastructure, building in a classified Flood Plain Area and above all a hopelessly inadequate local road network - the Inspector approved the document. Which is now locally referred to as the " DONE DEAL ", make of that what you will !!.
However this had the effect of unifying RAG with HAG ( Hullbridge Action Group ) ,both parties recognising they were fighting the same battle against a common foe ( Rochford District Council), and that other like minded people accross SE ESSEX were doing the same , hence our move to join the SEEAGA.
Since then Linda Kendall has challenged the decision via the High Court on the grounds of lack of effective consultation in respect of the initial Core Plan - guess what the Judge did acknowledge her argument had some weight but never the less the 'Establishment' ruled in favour of RDC.............a DONE DEAL indeed!!!!.
Since then the first of many developers has submitted an outline planning application for some 500 houses which was the subject of hundreds of formal objections from the public and the MP ( Mark Francois ) - who had spoken in favour of it at the Inspectors Hearing ( must be an election coming up !!!! ). And lo and behold on the 29/01/15 the Developer was refused outline planning permission ( voting 23 - 10 ) on guess what grounds ? - lack of highways and general Infrastructure ( exactly the points made in the objections report produced by RAG ).
We have won a battle but not the war , they will be back and there are other Developers emerging already , but the fight goes on - if we can help you by passing on our lessons learned then please get in touch ( Flooding / Highways / Health / Education / Sport ).
KEY LESSON - you must employ a constant pressure via the 'Letters Page ' of newspapers, 'Articles' in local magazines , 'Facts & Figures' out on FACEBOOK / TWITTER , 'Lobby' your Local Councillors and MP, attend the relevant Council Meetings on Planning , silence is their friend and your enemy.
Best of luck from RAG ( dated March '15 ).