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Campaign Update

An update on the current state of affairs with Mill Hall

Currently the hall is officially closed by Rochford District Council but is operating as a vaccination hub for COVID 19.

The hall is currently designated for demolition and redevelopment by RDC with a smaller community centre and multiple flat blocks built on the site instead.

RDC undertakes a public consultation into the Mill Hall site proposals and Civic Suite / Freight House sites. Residents file their responses via a website survey.

In response to the Save Mill Hall campaign and opposition councillor’s mobilisation of public opposition to the proposals and the clear strength of anger in Rayleigh at the council plans, Rayleigh Conservatives state a pre-election promise that they will not support the plan in its current form and that the process will be paused and reviewed with a new plan put forward in the autumn.

Local election results in Rayleigh mean that Rayleigh Conservative District councillors lose significant volumes of votes, lose the majority vote, lose one seat and come very close to losing all the other seats in Rayleigh up for election on the night.

The results of the public consultation, believed to be highly damaging for the Conservative Asset plans are classified as private and confidential and hidden from public scrutiny by RDC.

RDC Managing Director states that no Council vote was taken for the promised pre-election ‘pause’ to the plan and there will be no pause. Opposition councillors call for the resignation of Rayleigh Conservative councillors due to the clear pre-election deception.

RDC Managing Director states that any renovation of Mill Hall will cost between £2.5m and £3.5m but does not provide evidence of this. This is the first time these figures have been published and they are disputed by the opposition.

RDC Leadership states they would like to pause the process to listen to public views. RDC Managing Director says this is not possible. RDC leader Simon Wootton insists on the pause as does his deputy Cheryl Roe who say there WILL be a pause. This is despite there needing to be a full council vote and Conservative councillors do not have the right to arbitrarily order things without consent of full council.

It becomes clear that RDC and/or RDC’s management companies have failed to maintain the Mill Hall for over a decade.

The Save Mill Hall Campaign will update the above regularly and will continue to work to stop the plans to demolish the Mill Hall.

Town councillors, campaigners and local residents are now calling on Rochford District Council to halt the demolition plans once and for all.

Media contacts:

Paul Dunt, press officer, Save Mill Hall Campaign

(07939) 228052

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