Countryside Homes

New outline planning application for Wolsey Park

This website provides an overview of a new outline planning application for Wolsey Park which would make more efficient use of the site, thereby providing the right mix of homes and addressing local housing need, whilst protecting green spaces on-site.

Frequently asked questions


How many new homes are proposed with these plans?

222 additional homes would be delivered, including 78 extra affordable properties. 

Approximately 3.5 hectares of additional land would be used to provide more homes, with increased densities on the development parcels to provide an improved and more balanced mix of homes. 

These will enable an increased number of smaller properties including 1, 2 and 3 bed homes to be provided, as opposed to the larger family homes that would have predominantly been delivered under the existing planning permission. 


Are road improvements being delivered to accommodate additional vehicles movements?

Our original outline planning application included a package of offsite highway improvements, which provide sufficient capacity to accommodate the small increase in traffic at peak times that would be generated by these additional homes. 

A new spine road is being delivered through the development which will provide a link between Rawreth Lane to the north and London Road on the southern side of the site.


How many additional vehicle movements will be generated by these new homes?

New surveys were undertaken (prior to COVID-19) to understand any change in traffic movements on the surrounding road network since the original planning permission was issued. 

These found that that on London Road, there has been a 6% reduction in traffic in the AM peak and a 1.6% increase in traffic in the PM peak. On Rawreth Lane, there has been a 0.3% increase in traffic in the AM peak and an 8.5% reduction in traffic in the PM peak. The highways improvements referenced in question 2 (above) were planned with the expectation of a significant growth in traffic, which has not materialised. As such, the improvements currently being delivered will be able to comfortably accommodate any increase in traffic. 

The Transport Assessment submitted with the planning application has found there would only be a marginal increase in vehicle movements during the AM and PM peak as a result of this planning application. 

Furthermore, these movements would effectively be split four ways with vehicles either travelling east or west on London Road or Rawreth Lane. As such, the increase in vehicle movements is minimal and the road improvements currently being delivered will be able to easily accommodate this increase.

The Transport Assessment will be publicly accessible on Rochford District Council’s website and will be objectively assessed through the normal planning process by Essex County Council as the highways authority.


Why are you proposing an increased number of homes on-site?

This application seeks to provide a more balanced housing mix, with an increased number of smaller and affordable homes, whilst making efficient use of a site that is already being developed and retaining significant areas of green space on-site. 

This will help to contribute towards local housing need and reduce future pressures on Green Belt land in other areas of the District. 


Will there be adequate drainage and will the extra homes cause flooding?

Drainage regulations require new development to ensure that water run-off rates into Rawreth Brook do not exceed the normal run-off rates associated with an agricultural use of the site. 

Our drainage strategy is based around a series of storage ponds into which surface water would drain. Each storage pond is fitted with a hydro-brake which releases the water at a pre-set rate.

This on-site drainage infrastructure will ensure that the water flow released from the ponds remains below that which would occur if the site was used for agricultural purposes, with the flow remaining consistent even during periods of high rainfall. 


Will it impact the quality of the development?

The principles underpinning the original planning permission and the allocation of the site for housing within the Local Development Framework have again guided this application.

Countryside is a leading UK-based housing developer that specialises in place-making. We have a great reputation throughout the industry and have received more housing design awards than any other developer, reflecting our dedication to delivering well-designed new communities. 

We have carefully designed this new planning application so that it would deliver a successful new community, focussed on integration into the wider area, with almost 50% of the site retained as open space.   


How much green/open space will there be at Wolsey Park as a result of this development?

The new homes being built at Wolsey Park are set within substantial areas of parkland. Over 22 hectares of the site (almost 50%) would remain as open, green and amenity space, which is significantly in excess of the council’s policy requirements.


What benefits are there for the local community? 

Our new plans would deliver the best possible mix of homes for local people, by providing an increased number of smaller 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes, rather than the higher percentage of larger houses which would predominantly be provided under the existing planning permission. 

An extra 78 affordable homes would also be provided, making a total of 253 affordable homes across the site, which would mean the Council’s waiting list for affordable housing could be reduced by one third. 

This improved mix of housing on-site will better respond to local housing need, thereby helping first time buyers and younger families in particular to get onto the housing ladder.     

The amended plans also provide space for a new community building which both new residents and the existing community can enjoy.


Are these homes for local people or for people moving out of London?

We have received 1,827 enquiries for the first 192 homes at Wolsey Park. Of the 1,535 people who have provided their post code, 73.9% live within the SS post code area and 63% of those live within Rayleigh, Hockley, Rochford and Wickford post code districts.


How many affordable homes will be provided as part of this development? 

253 affordable homes would be provided in total across Wolsey Park, with 78 of these provided by this new planning application. 


How many homes have you built so far? 

Construction of Wolsey Park began in May 2019, with 312 new homes being built on the northern part of the site. The first new homes are expected to be completed and occupied in Autumn 2020. 


Do we need any more homes in Rayleigh?

Yes. The most recent analysis by Rochford District Council of their housing needs (Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2017) found that housing delivery needs to increase in order to address affordability issues in the District. 

These affordability issues were found to have a disproportionate impact on younger households in the District who were being prevented from getting on the housing ladder. For further information, please see the video on local housing need


Who are Countryside?

We are a leading UK developer specialising in building communities. Having been founded in 1958, we have built a reputation for high quality design and building.

Over the years, our expertise has been recognised with numerous awards and we have received more Housing Design Awards than any other home builder.  With all our developments, we want to create homes and spaces that people want to be part of. 

We realise that choosing a place to live is not just a financial decision but an emotional one too. We want our developments to be a place people are proud to call home and to leave a positive legacy for the local community.

For further information on Countryside, you can visit website.


How can we get more information about Wolsey Park and/or this planning application? 

If you have any queries at all, you can get in touch with our community representatives, DevComms, on 0800 080 3163 or by email at