A “DAVID and Goliath” battle will resume this month when plans for 662 new homes in Rochford go before a public inquiry.

The original application by Bloor Homes was rejected by Rochford District Council in June, despite being recommended by officers. The homes would be on land east of Ashingdon Road, and councillors ruled that it would have “a severe impact on the local highway network”.

But the company has appealed, and a four-day public inquiry will begin on January 25.

Campaigner Christine Austin described the proposals as “the wrong plans in the wrong place”.

She said: “The bottom line is that there’s no more space. The road simply can’t take hundreds of new homes and thousands of extra cars.

“There are already times when ambulances can’t get through, because the roads are so busy and there’s nowhere for the cars in front to pull over.

“We appreciate there’s a need for new homes, but they should go somewhere there’s a relief road, or some sort of escape route.”


Bloor Homes hope to build 662 homes, beginning with an initial application for outline permission for the entire development, and detailed permission for the first 223 properties. This is a reduction of the original proposal for 665 homes.

The development would also see the demolition of 148 and 150 Ashingdon Road and a highway tree being cut down. The site was first earmarked for new homes in 2014, with development expected in 2021.

Mrs Austin added: “It’s a David and Goliath battle. But we have truth and integrity on our side.

“I just hope that’s enough.”

Bloor Homes was approached for comment.

The public inquiry will take place from 10am on Tuesday January 25 at The Jubilee Suite, Saxon Hall, Aviation Way, and will last four days.

Anyone who wishes to attend or speak should call 01702 546366 or email planning.appeals@rochford.gov.uk to register.

Due to Covid restrictions spaces at the venue will be limited and anyone attending will need to follow the Covid measures the council has in place.

The event will also be livestreamed on the council’s YouTube channel.