Rayleigh Centre Area Action Plan: Schedule of Modifications and Sustainability Appraisal

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Proposed Changes to the Rayleigh Centre Area Action Plan Following Pre-Submission Consultation

The changes below are expressed either in the form of DELETED for deletions and INSERTED for additions of text, or by specifying the change in words in italics.

The below proposed minor amendments relate to changes to the Rayleigh Area Action Plan Submission Document (November 2013).

The page numbers and paragraph numbering below refer to the Rayleigh Area Action Plan Submission Document (November 2013), and do not take account of the deletion or addition of text.

Main modifications

Ref Page Policy/Paragraph Main Modifications

(1) MM1

6

Section 1.1 Paragraph 1

Amend paragraph as follows;

Rochford District Council is committed to preparing Area Action Plans (AAP) for its three main centres of Rayleigh, Rochford and Hockley. The AAPs will form part of the statutory development plan for Rochford District. This document focuses on guiding the development of Rayleigh town centre, and also considers its immediate DELETED: surrounds. INSERTED: surroundings, during the current plan period to 2025.

(1) MM2

24

Policy 1

Amend Policy as follows;

4. New and improved INSERTED: pedestrian and cycle routes within the AAP area and linking the centre with the railway station and the surrounding area; and

(1) MM3

24

Policy 1

Amend Policy as follows;

5. New and improved public realm and environmental improvements throughout the centre as identified on the spatial framework. INSERTED: It is expected that significant retail development within Rayleigh centre will contribute financially to these schemes.

(1) MM4

24

Section 3.4 Paragraph3

Amend text as follows;

In terms of delivering public realm improvements to the town centre, the Rayleigh Framework identifies the opportunity for improvements to the central section of High Street, which is currently dominated by the taxi rank. The INSERTED: Council recognises that the DELETED: local taxi services provide shoppers with DELETED: an important INSERTED: a local service, but there is an opportunity to deliver greater pedestrian priority INSERTED: and flexibility for the local market in this central and high profile location INSERTED: as well as recognising the role of the taxi rank. Figure 7 provides an overview of the existing conditions in this central area and Figure 8 DELETED: puts forward a potential framework for improvements INSERTED: identifies sites that would benefit from potential rationalisation. The ideas put forward would, subject to funding being identified, need to be developed and refined with the Highway Authority, local traders and other stakeholders. However, they provide a framework for a major initial phase of environmental improvements - with the potential to continue further improvements of this type within adjacent areas.

MM5

26

Figure 8

Replace Figure 8 with the appended plan (see below)

(2) MM6

28-29

Table 1

Replace Table 1 with the appended plan (see below)

(1) MM7

32

Policy 3

Amend policy as follows;

Within the town centre's primary and secondary shopping frontages, as defined on the Rayleigh AAP Proposals Map (Figure 10), proposals for A1 retail uses will be acceptable. A proposed change of use for non-retail (non-A1) purposes will be permitted where it would:

1. Not have a detrimental impact on, or undermine, the predominance of A1 uses within the centre, both within the centre as a whole and within the primary shopping frontage;

2. Not create a cluster of non-A1 uses within the same use class in a locality that undermines the retail character of the centre; DELETED: and

3. Entail the provision of a non-A1 use which is considered to positively contribute to the overall offer and encourage people into the centre. INSERTED: These may take the form of those non-A1 uses set out in criterion 3 of Policy 1, including A2-5 , leisure, cultural and community uses. The Council will encourage such uses outside of the primary shopping frontage in particular; and

INSERTED:4. Not have a negative effect on the amenity and character of Rayleigh or have adverse consequences for Rayleigh centre.

DELETED: The Council will generally seek to ensure 75% of Rayleigh's primary shopping frontage and 50% of its secondary shopping frontage is in retail (A1) use.

MM8

34

Section 4.2

Replace paragraph 5 with the following;

DELETED:

The target proportions of 75% and 50% of the primary and secondary frontages in A1 retail use respectively are considered appropriate for this principal town centre. These proportions have been carried forward from the Local Plan.

INSERTED:

The Council recognises the dynamic nature of centres and the need for flexibility. Nevertheless, it wishes to ensure that the majority of uses both within the centres as a whole and within the primary shopping frontage are in A1 use. As at March 2015, within the revised primary and secondary shopping frontages, 66% of the primary frontage and 62% of the secondary frontage fall within A1 use. The Council will seek to achieve a target of 75% A1 uses in the primary frontage and 50% A1 uses in the secondary frontage.

MM9

34

Section 4.2 Paragraph 6

Amend paragraph as follows;

Notwithstanding the need to protect A1 uses in the identified shopping frontages, an appropriate balance of uses is necessary to support the health of Rayleigh town centre, and it is essential that retail uses are supported by non-retail uses such as cafés, pubs and banks. INSERTED: Leisure, cultural and community uses will also be accepted in the secondary frontages provided that they meet the criteria set out in Policy 1.

MM10

34

Section 4.2 Paragraph 6

Insert additional paragraph after paragraph 6 as follows;

INSERTED:

With this goal in mind the Council has set several criteria to encourage the appropriate mix of uses within Rayleigh Centre. Under policy 1, criterion 3, the Council states that it will promote appropriate proportions of non-A1 development, particularly outside of the retail core (within the secondary shopping frontage); such development within the retail core is not precluded provided it conforms to the provisions in Policy 1 and Policy 3.

Policy 3, criterion 3 requires non-A1 developments proposed for Rayleigh Centre to positively contribute to the overall offer and encourage people into the centre. In addition to community uses, leisure and cultural uses will be supported in the secondary shopping frontages where they comply with the criteria in policy 3.

(1) MM11

34

Section 4.2 Paragraph 10

Amend Paragraph as follows;

However there are uses of which the provision of additional units in DELETED: Hockley INSERTED: Rayleigh centre would not be considered to positively contribute to the overall offer of the centre. INSERTED: Developments which would have a negative effect on the amenity and character of Rayleigh or which would have adverse consequences for Rayleigh centre would not generally be supported. DELETED: Such uses include hot food takeaways (A5 uses), planning applications for which will not generally be supported.

MM12

38

Policy 5

Amend Policy as follows;

4. Public realm enhancements should be focused on the creation of a new public space at the centre of the High Street and include the INSERTED: potential rationalisation DELETED: and reduction in size of the existing taxi rank; and

MM13

40

Policy 6

Amend Policy as follows;

4. DELETED: The development of building backs INSERTED: Development at the rear of existing properties will be acceptable where this would not have an undue negative impact on the operation of units fronting the High Street;

MM14

44

Policy 8

Amend Policy as follows;

2. DELETED: The development of building backs INSERTED: Development at the rear of existing properties will be acceptable where this would not have an undue negative impact on the operation of units fronting the High Street, the safety and operation of Websters Way or the levels of town centre car parking;

Revised Plans

MM5

Figure 8

Figure 8

MM6

Table 1

Environmental improvement / highways scheme Lead partner Other partners Estimated cost Potential funding stream(s) Comments Justification

High Street Taxi Rank & Market Area

ECC

Rochford District Council / developers

£300,000 - £1,250,000

Pooled financial contributions / ECC budget

Potential rationalisation of taxi stand to allow improved pedestrian environment and to achieve a more versatile use of the taxi rank and market area.

Landscaping and lighting enhancement. Traffic management improvements at key junctions and crossing points aimed at improving existing functionality (including low impact surface treatments and signage improvements).

Following identification of a range of options and their costs for Rayleigh centre through earlier iterations of the Plan, the Local Highways Panel has agreed to fund transport modelling work. This will identify precise measures from the framework for improvements this Plan provides, along with the specific costs of such improvements from the range of costs identified here based on a scalable package of measures.

A significant proportion of public space in the core of town centre is allocated as carriageway for a taxi standing area. Space is required for occasional market use. There is a need to review and seek to improve taxi parking and circulation within this area to meet the needs of the local market and improvements to pedestrian movement. While acknowledging the role played by the taxi services in the town centre there is the potential to rationalise the taxi parking with the market.

The town centre functions as a major traffic thoroughfare in the District. There is an opportunity for enhanced pedestrian safety improvements and better traffic flow around the town centre through making existing junctions perform at a more optimal level. Traffic management improvements can ensure that pedestrians are still able to use these crossings safely while also ensuring that traffic flow is not adversely affected.

1. Zebra Crossing at the top of Crown Hill

2. Pelican Crossing before the junction of Bellingham Lane and the High Street

3. Pelican Crossing of, Eastwood Road, before the High Road and Eastwood Road roundabout; and Pelican Crossing of High Road to the north east of the High Road and Eastwood Road roundabout.

4. Zebra Crossing, High Street to the North of the Police Station.

5. Zebra Crossing of Websters Way at Eastwood Road junction.

ECC

Rochford District Council / developers

£500,000 -£3,000,000

Pooled financial contributions / ECC budget

There is potential for the inclusion of traffic management measures to improve the effectiveness of key crossing points, subject to further investigation of traffic and pedestrian movements. Rochford District Council will work in conjunction with Essex County Council to assess appropriate measures to be taken.

Following identification of a range of options and their costs for Rayleigh centre through earlier iterations of the Plan, the Local Highways Panel has agreed to fund transport modelling work. This will identify precise measures from the framework for improvements this Plan provides, along with the specific costs of such improvements. Whilst the potential costs of these range of improvements have the potential to total up to £3,000,000, it could be that the most effective measures will cost considerably less.

The extension of the High Street improvement scheme along Eastwood Road, including the junction with Websters Way.

The town centre functions as a major traffic thoroughfare in the District. There is the opportunity for greater pedestrian safety improvements and better traffic flow around the town centre through making existing junctions perform at the most optimal level. Traffic management improvements can ensure that pedestrians are still able to use these crossings safely while also ensuring that traffic flow is not adversely affected.

Traffic management improvements can involve significantly less material disruption to the structure of existing roads. The extent of the improvements to be applied to the area will be determined in relation to further investigation of pedestrian and motorist behaviours and with the assistance of Essex County Council as Highways Authority.

New and enhanced pedestrian / cycle links

ECC

Rochford District Council / developers

£150,000 - £200,000

Pooled financial contributions / ECC budget

The enhancement of pedestrian and cycle links across the town centre, for example improved mid-block links between High Street and Websters Way, between Eastwood Road and Castle Road car park, and to the station via Crown Hill and Rayleigh Mount.

To improve environmental quality and safety, and encourage walking and cycling for local journeys around the town.

Additional Modifications

Ref Page Policy/Paragraph Additional Modifications

AM1

Document Title

Change name of document

Change name of document to Rayleigh INSERTED: Centre Area Action Plan

AM2

16

Section 2.8 Paragraph 4

Amend paragraph 4 of 2.8 as follows

A range of short and long term parking is provided in and near to the town centre. The railway station has approximately 610 long-stay parking spaces spread over two connected car parking areas, and a 38 space short-stay car park adjacent to the station building. There are a number of short (less than four hours) and mixed-stay car parks spread around the town core, of which the most substantial and anecdotally well used is the Websters Way car park with 347 spaces. Castle Road Car Park (behind the DELETED: Somerfield INSERTED:Co-op store) has 148 mixed-stay spaces. At the Windmill and The Mill Arts and Events Centre there is a 53 space short-stay car park and another 68 space mixed-stay car park. To the INSERTED: North East of the town adjacent to the Council Civic Suite is a 65 space mixed-stay car park.

AM3

18

Section 2.8 Paragraph 6

Insert additional paragraph after paragraph 6 of 2.8 as follows;

INSERTED:

The development of the AAP offers an excellent opportunity to enhance the accessibility of the town centre for the elderly and those with disabilities. Such improvements can be achieved by the removal of street clutter along main routes of pedestrian movement, the inclusion of appropriately designed crossing facilities and there is also potential to provide additional disabled only spaces. Dropped curbs can be designed sympathetically so as not to impede people with vision or mobility issues. Design and access statements provided as part of the planning applications stage will be required to demonstrate appropriate consideration for the movement issues affecting the elderly and those with disabilities.

AM4

20

Section 3.1 Paragraph 5

Amend paragraph as follows;

A high quality natural environment - Rayleigh benefits from being surrounded by the Metropolitan Green Belt, which prevents urban sprawl, but also allows local people access to significant areas of high quality, open space. This open space should be safeguarded through the efficient use of previously developed sites within the INSERTED: town's DELETED: settlement's existing boundaries.

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