Two months after the closure of the public consultation, RDC has now released a summary of results and the underlying data from the public responses. The consultation was for the planned redevelopment of sites at Rayleigh Mill Hall, Civic Suite and Rochford Freight house and South Street.
The Save Mill Hall Campaign is encouraged to see that RDC have released this information. Clearly the results are highly critical of the Council’s plans but RDC has done the right thing and revealed this to the public even if the results are not favourable.
You can view the Consultation Public Feedback document here in a PDF:
As regards the response to the Mill Hall: The data shows that of respondents -
83% oppose the principle of redevelopment of Rayleigh Mill Hall.
12% have concerns.
91% oppose the council’s proposals for the Rayleigh Mill Hall site. 6% have concerns.
On both questions, only 1% support outright.
Just as important:
87% oppose the building of housing on the Mill Site
79% oppose the building of housing on the Civic Suite site.
At the same time, written responses from stakeholders, residents and associated parties have been published.
The results are pretty definitive and clearly show that residents of Rayleigh and the wider district have spoken loudly. Hands off our Mill Hall and Civic Suite. No flats on the Mill Hall site or Civic Suite site. We sincerely hope that RDC will listen to the strong rejection of these plans and abandon the project before any more money is wasted.
There were 1,133 responses in total. However we believe if RDC had publicised the consultation wider the responses would have been even higher in number. We believe the Consultation as a whole should have been publicised to every resident in the district by post, especially during multiple Covid lockdowns.
RDC claim their consultation was thorough and wide ranging, however their means of publicising this was through social media, website and newspaper. As we all know many people do not use social media or read local newspapers.
There are some significant omissions in the council’s published material. We could not see responses from the consultee bodies like The Theatre’s Trust and National Trust. If RDC are being transparent as Deputy Leader Cllr Roe says in her statement, then these responses must be released to the public too.
We look forward to the Council’s next step. As a campaign we will not stop our efforts until RDC commits to retaining Mill Hall with a plan for refurbishment and reinvigoration through better management and commits to protecting the Mill Hall site from any residential development. The people of Rayleigh and Rochford District have spoken loud and clear and it’s time for RDC to listen.
Paul Dunt, press officer, Save Mill Hall Campaign