Esplanade

Frinton Residents' Association - Current Issues

The Committee works with local Councillors representing Frinton & Walton Town Council, Tendring District Council and Essex County Council, together with other groups to help address local matters which are of concern to residents.

CONTENTS

Further information on issues can be accessed by clicking on the relevant link in the list below.

Some of the serious issues which we have been currently working on are:

Other issues:

If you would like to email your comments, or require further information regarding the issues listed, please contact us.

Improvements to the area of the seafront around the zigzag path

TDC provided a presentation after the FRA AGM on 8 April 2017 and a report is available on our Events page. The ideas put forward were also reported in the FRA Autumn 2017 newsletter, "The Frinton Resident", to which Councillor Nick Turner added a rider stating: "Funding is currently being investigated and then we will be able to submit some concrete proposals".

However, it is now unlikely that the area around the zigzag path on the seafront will be refurbished in the near future. The area where the shelter once stood, now has a tarmac surface and fencing, and the suggestion is that tables and chairs will be placed there. Frinton now has no Councillors representing us on the Tendring District Council Cabinet - we used to have two, one of whom was Councilor Nick Turner. The FRA is hopeful that progress will be made after the local elections, and we will continue to have input to try and ensure that any proposed improvements comply with the views of the majority of residents.

The Tendring Local Plan

It cannot be emphasised enough how important this is to our District. The title somewhat underplays its importance. It is the Local Plan that guides our Officers, Councillors, the Developer and the Public on where and how development can take place. It includes many policies to be adhered to on such issues as agreed development boundaries, conservation areas, green gaps between settlements, acceptable practices, policies on Town Centres and sites for commercial development as well as much more.

The Tendring District Local Plan preparation has been a major task for Tendring District Council (TDC), which has taken many man-years of effort to review, and has needed the input of several external Consultants and Bodies to provide specialist reports. It is important that the new Local Plan is adopted as soon as possible as our 2007 Local Plan is carrying less weight when new developments are being considered.

Local Plans must be consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF has been reviewed and the final version has now been published. We are hopeful that as our new Local Plan has been submitted already, its ratification will be considered against the previous NPPF and there will then be a period of approximately five years before TDC have to incorporate the new NPPF regulations.

It has been a long process to get to this stage, and thanks are due to all those who worked hard to ensure that Tendring has a Local Plan to meet Government requirements, as well as the needs of local people.

However, after the revised Local Plan was with the National Inspector for some months, Tendring District Council were informed that it had been rejected on the grounds that the proposals for garden communities were not sustainable. It has now been revised once again, and is going through the various stages of re-submission.

Full information is available on the Tendring District Council website.

The Dangerous State of Local Pavements and Roads

As the result of the FRA reporting dangerous areas of paving and large potholes on several occasions, pressure by ourselves and others, ECC have now undertaken work on some of the areas reported. Whilst this is encouraging, it has taken a great deal of time and effort to get to this point, and there is still more work to be done. Any residents who wish to report dangerous pavements and potholes can do so by clicking on this link to the Essex County Council Fault Reporting website. Alternatively, telephone 0345 6037631.

New tarmac has been laid on footpaths in Connaught Avenue, and on the road and pavements on The Esplanade, after an FRA Committee member carried out a survey of potholes on The Esplanade and submitted this to ECC. Both now have a patchwork of different finishes, and after only two months, there was an 'eruption' in the tarmac outside Crescent Gardens and the area of tarmac where the lamppost was replaced is already sinking. The FRA are querying if this is sub-standard work.

Our potholed roads have been causing damage to vehicles, and delays to repairs to potholes, particularly at road junctions, could result in accidents. The FRA were appalled to learn that ECC were giving more priority to preventative work rather than dealing with such problems.

Street Lighting

We have been discussing with ECC, residents' requirements for suitable lighting at night in Frinton, including retaining the 'coronet' style of lamps which are unique to the town of Frinton-on-Sea. Agreement has been reached on keeping the 'coronet-style' in the Conservation Area, but a more modern style of lamp is replacing those elsewhere. However, we are continuing to fight for consistency of street lighting within the seaward side of the level crossing. In the meantime, we would like to ask residents to report to ECC and to us, not only lamps that are not working, but also those within the Conservation Area that are not coronet-style.

Lampposts are being changed from concrete to metal (we know not why?), and holes and unsightly stumps are being left. Again, the FRA have complained to ECC. Some action has been taken, but we still have lamps not working and lampposts that are swaying in the wind.

The FRA's aim is to discover who decides what repairs are made, what are the expected standards, and who inspects to ensure that sub-contractors are meeting requirements.

Trees

So many of our trees are disappearing in parks and avenues for various reasons. We would like to see them replaced, and are asking all those concerned (Town, District and County Councils) to take immediate action to replace them. We were pleased to see that some trees were replaced in Spring 2017, but we had to express concern during that summer when these trees were in danger of dying because they were not being watered, especially those replaced in the shopping area of Connaught Avenue.

An FRA Committee Member has carried out a survey of dead/missing trees covering all roads on both sides of the railway line in Frinton, and a report on over 61 occurrences has been passed on to TDC. This has resulted in some success as 22 new trees were planted in the Frinton area in Spring 2018. The latest news is that the Government have allocated funding for urban and street planting of trees, and the FRA is pushing our Councils to apply.

Improvements to the shopping area of Connaught Avenue

On the suggestion of an ECC Officer, the FRA carried out a survey involving over 10,000 Frinton residents in August 2016. A lot of time and effort was involved, including the collation of the results which were passed on to ECC in November 2016. Since that time, FRA representatives have been trying to obtain feedback from ECC, but we have not been allowed even to see the comments made by ECC even though we know they are available. Neither has any action resulted from the information we obtained, as far as we are aware.

For your interest, the Connaught Avenue Consultation Results are available on this website.

The FRA would particularly like to see lorries and delivery vehicles over a certain width banned from Connaught Avenue between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm Monday to Saturday. There are service roads behind the shops that could be used, but currently remain empty for much of the day. This issue is also being discussed with Essex County Council, together with improving the parking regulations.

Finally, in June 2018, after many meetings with and letters to ECC Councillors and Officers, the FRA received a reply regarding proposals for improvements to Connaught Avenue. ECC have now stated that no changes are possible as it is a Priority 2 Route providing an essential traffic management distributary function. Perhaps it would have been a good idea if they had told us this before we wasted time carrying out the survey.

The State of Connaught Avenue

Clutter, pigeon droppings and dirty pavements are regularly reported to the TDC Town Centre Co-ordinator who speaks to business owners in an effort to encourage them to keep the areas outside their premises, clean and tidy. For some time now, we have been promised that the pavements will be cleaned as suitable equipment was being purchased.

Tables and Chairs on the pavement in Connaught Avenue

Despite objections raised by the FRA and others, planning permission was granted for Gregg's to place tables and chairs outside their shop with a barrier around them, which would take up 2 metres of the width of the pavement. This was contrary to ECC and TDC guidelines stating that only 1 metre from the front of stores should be used for 'A' Boards, etc. Although Gregg's now no longer puts out the barriers, other establishments are doing so, and more and more clutter is appearing outside shops. This means that pedestrians, particularly those with impaired eyesight, are experiencing problems where pavements are narrower than they should be. On our suggestion, Tendring District Council are now considering the re-introduction of licensing for street furniture, etc, in order to control the amount of space used and what can be placed on the public highway.

Horses being ridden on the grass on The Greensward and using public footpaths to reach the beach

As a result of the efforts of the FRA, the byelaw stating that horses are not to be ridden on The Greensward has been added to the sign at the bottom of Connaught Avenue, and it will now be possible for members of the public to refer horse riders to this notice. Horses are allowed to be ridden on the beach, but we have asked for information to be placed on horse riders' websites asking that they use the path (which is also suitable for motor vehicles) at the bottom of Third Avenue to get directly to the ramp that leads down onto the sand, and that they avoid riding horses on the beach at busy times.

The FRA have produced a card which our Committee members hand out to those parking horse boxes on The Esplanade, asking for their assistance to help ensure that neither horses, their riders, nor pedestrians are at risk. This refers to the byelaw, and additionally states, "Please do not use the public footpaths to reach the beach as these are often narrow, steep, winding, and dangerous not only for horses and their riders, but also for those pedestrians who meet horses coming down these paths, or are walking on the Promenade. There is an adequate roadway down to the beach, opposite the bottom of Third Avenue, which ends in close proximity to a ramp leading directly onto the sand."

Damage to Grass Verges

Again, information is being passed on to TDC of occurrences where grass verges have been damaged either by developers' vehicles, when street lamps were replaced, or by cars parking on the grass.

Lack of Enforcement

with regard to non-adherence to terms of planning permissions.

We are hopeful that now that TDC has a new Enforcement Officer, when builders do not construct properties in accordance with the terms of the agreed planning permissions that this will come to light early on and the developer will be forced to comply. This was pointed out with regard to the development in Wittonwood Road and we understand that the developer has agreed to fix some of the issues. Fortunately, the road surface was repaired in Autumn 2017, but the question remains "Did the developer contribute to the cost of the repair?".

The FRA have suggested a clause that is being considered for adoption by both ECC and TDC, to ensure that developers take responsibility for reinstating areas such as pavements, grass verges, etc, to their previous condition, and hopefully this will be included in all future planning application permissions.


Other issues:

1. The Beach, Promenade and Esplanade

1.1: Public Toilets

As a result of the efforts of Councillors and Residents, we do have a new toilet block on the Esplanade at the junction with Connaught Avenue. This state of the art facility replaced the previous 70-year-old building. Frinton-on-Sea's new public convenience was given a five-star rating by the British Toilet Association, and a lot of compliments on this facility have been received. The building was designed to be environmentally and user friendly, and provides easy access for the disabled as well as baby-changing facilities.

1.2: Cold Showers

The installation of cold showers by existing water tap points has been the subject of on-going discussion for some time, but now serious consideration is taking place and it is hoped these showers will be installed shortly. However, showers were installed in 2012, at the rear of the thatched toilet block at the Golf Club end of the Greensward.

1.3: Floating Rafts

The Association of Frinton Beach Hut Owners have paid for several rafts to be located off the beach at Frinton-on-Sea, together with covering the cost of maintenance and insurance. The first were installed in 2012, and more have been added in subsequent years. These are all removed at the end of each season and put back in position in the Spring of the following year.

1.4: Resurfacing of promenade

The Promenade between the bottom of Connaught Avenue and Queens Road was resurfaced in 2012. Other areas to be resurfaced are constantly under review as it is only natural that over time deterioration will take place.
NB The Association of Frinton Beach Hut Owners (AFBHO) liaise with the FRA on items 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 above and also look into issues relating to the security and vandalism of beach huts.

1.5: Bye-Laws

Display and enforcement of bye-laws needs to be monitored. Details of those in force in Frinton-on-Sea can be found on the Tendring District Council website, and the Notice Board positioned on The Greensward at the bottom of Connaught Avenue provides details of the bye-laws for the seafront.

1.6: Parking on the Esplanade

The current herring-bone layout appears to work well but there is continuing discussion on whether fees should be charged for parking. See the FAQs page for further information. In addition, consultation has taken place with Officers from Tendring District Council, Essex County Council, the North Essex Parking Partnership and the Local Police on the problems of summer visitors parking close to corners of roads leading onto The Esplanade, and in other illegal locations, together with the increasing number of coaches parking on The Esplanade. It has been agreed that greater action with regard to enforcement of the laws relating to parking will be taken in future, and residents can contact traffic wardens, or the local police in order to report obstructions and dangerous parking situations.

1.7: Graffiti

There have been a number of incidences of graffiti on the sea wall and on a large number of beach huts. The Residents' Association has been in discussion with the Association of Frinton Beach Hut Owners and Tendring District Council with regard to its speedy removal, and we can report that action is always taken as quickly as possible.

1.8: Dog Control

Initially, dog fouling was just seen to be a problem on The Esplanade during the summer months, but now there are increasing occurrences during the winter and in other parts of the Town. To help alleviate the problem in a specific area, the Association financed the purchase and installation of one additional Dog Litterbin initially, which has been positioned at the junction of Church Walk and Old Road.

To curtail the actions of what is possibly only a few irresponsible dog owners, residents are asked to report any incidents they witness to the Dog Warden on 01255 686766 as dog fouling can be a serious health hazard, especially if it is not cleaned up immediately.

We are also concerned about the number of incidents of dogs not being on leads (bearing in mind the increasing number of incidents of young children being attacked by dogs) and being on areas of the beach where there are restrictions. After discussions with Tendring District Council, new, clearer signage was installed on the Promenade indicating "Dog Free" beaches in 2014. The FRA have also now produced a card that is being distributed to Dog Walkers by Committee members, advising where the "Dog Free" beaches are located.

1.9: Cycling

There are certain parts of The Promenade designated "No Cycling" Areas and as a result of discussions with TDC, new signs were installed in 2013/14, and TDC have agreed that steps will be taken to enforce these bye laws whenever possible.

1.10: Vehicular Access

It has been agreed with TDC that the gates allowing vehicular access to The Promenade will be kept locked at all times, and beach hut owners will only be able to obtain keys to unlock them in order to carry out maintenance work during the hours when it is specifically stated that they can do so, in order to stop the Promenade being used as a shortcut to Walton-on-the-Naze. It was also pointed out to Tendring District Council Officers how important it was that the signs showed the actual times when there was a possibility that the gates would be unlocked so that parents were aware of when cars could be in the vicinity and take steps to protect their children.

1.11: Shoreline Management

At the FRA Half-Yearly Meeting held on 20 November 2010, Councillor Nick Turner reported that although The Shoreline Management Plan prepared by the Environmental Agency originally stated that by 2055 Frinton Golf Club would be flooded by the sea via Holland Haven, this decision was reversed after a meeting was held at the Golf Club, attended by TDC representatives and the Environment Agency. It has now been agreed that this stretch of the shoreline will be held until 2110.


2. The Railway Station and Level Crossing

2.1: Station Maintenance, Security and Operation

This is the responsibility of the new franchisee, Abellio, and Network Rail.

2.2: Level Crossing

The famous 'Frinton Gates' were replaced with a barrier system on 18 April 2009 despite a campaign to retain the Gates mounted by the Frinton Gates Preservation Society (FGPS) during the previous three years. This campaign was supported by The Frinton Residents' Association, District and Town Councillors. Further information on the famous "Gates" is available in a report which covers their history as well as why we believed they should have remained where they were. David Foster is now keeping a record of incidents occurring at the Level Crossing and these can be reported direct to him by email, or Contact us..

Now the famous "Gates" have been brought back to Frinton by the Frinton & Walton Heritage Trust, and can be seen to one side of the car park outside Frinton Railway Station.


3. Connaught Avenue

3.1: Shops

As is the case in many other small towns in this country, shopkeepers in Frinton-on-Sea are experiencing difficulties and many small shops have closed recently. The Frinton Residents' Association feels very strongly that efforts should be made to retain our local shops and, therefore, are asking everyone to shop locally whenever possible. We also now have a new Frinton Businesses Group who are trying to encourage visitors by organising street parties, etc. The one to celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday was a great success.

3.2: Regeneration Project

This was an Essex County Council initiative which again was supported by The Frinton Residents' Association. After public consultation, the first phase of the project was completed in May 2010; this included improvements to underground services where work was undertaken by National Grid, and the replacement of trees. The second phase began at the end of January 2011 and was completed at the end of June 2011. The official Opening Ceremony which included unveiling a stone at the end of Harold Grove, took place on 4 July 2011. This phase included new paving, more effective street lighting, installation of traffic throats to slow traffic and assist pedestrians when crossing the road, new rubbish bins, etc. The final task was the re-surfacing of the road in the shopping area and an additional area at the end of Fourth Avenue (not part of the original project) has now also been achieved.

There are now signs at both ends of the shopping area of Connaught Avenue directing coaches and heavy goods vehicles to use Queens Road to reach the seafront and Old Road to proceed in the other direction.

The aim of the Re-generation Project was to revitalise this shopping street, and although there was some disruption while the works were carried out, the Association believes that the final result has justified the inconvenience involved.

3.3: Bye-laws on pavement selling and delivery vehicles

Again, enforcement of bye-laws needs to be monitored. Details of those in force in Frinton-on-Sea can be found on the Tendring District Council website.

3.4: Ratio of Shops and Office Premises

The ratio of A1 (Retail) to A2 (Office) premises in what is essentially a shopping street is reviewed by the FRA Planning Team whenever planning applications are submitted which relate to this area.


4. Traffic

4.1: Speed Limit

Discussions regarding a speed limit of 20 mph throughout the town are on-going, and there is a proposal to enforce a 20 mph limit in Connaught Avenue.

4.2: Parking Restrictions

For further information on Parking Restrictions, go to our FAQs page. There is currently a proposal that county-wide parking regulations will be enforced throughout all towns in Essex which could mean that Frinton-on-Sea would lose the advantage of the free parking on The Esplanade and in Connaught Avenue. Any revenue from charging for parking will not even go to Essex County Council as this service has been outsourced to N Essex Parking Partnership who will be the only ones to benefit from any profits; neither Local Councils nor local council tax-payers will benefit if charging for parking is introduced in Frinton.

4.3: Traffic Lights

ECC have now decided against the proposal for Traffic Lights to be positioned near the railway bridge at Kirby Cross as a result of objections raised by The Frinton Residents' Association, together with other local residents' associations and the Town Council as this would have resulted in traffic jams at the roundabout at the junction of Frinton Road and the road leading to Great Holland. However, with the proposals for more homes to be built in Halstead Road, there is a suggestion that traffic lights be installed at that junction where there is currently a mini-roundabout. The FRA believes this will cause chaos with traffic building up in all directions from the roundabouts, especially when taking into account the increased number of traffic movements resulting from all the planned housing developments in the area.


5. Environment

5.1: Roads, Pavements, Footpaths and Cycle Paths

An updated report is supplied above, but to report potholes larger than 75mm in any horizontal direction and deeper than 50mm, and paving slabs that are rocking, or more than 2.6 cms out of alignment, go to the Essex County Council Fault Reporting website. Alternatively, telephone 0345 6037631.

5.2: Skips

Skips parked on grass verges or unlit on the streets should also be reported to Essex County Council.

5.3: Mowing of verges


5.4: Flower bed maintenance


5.5: Health of trees

NB: The Frinton in Bloom Group monitor items 3, 4 and 5 above as well carrying out planting in public places.

5.6: Waste & Recycling Collections

As stated above, a fortnightly waste collection service and provision of wheelie bins was introduced to the majority of homes in Tendring in June 2019. The existing recycling arrangements will continue, ie paper and card one week, and plastic bottles and tins on the alternate week, with food waste still collected weekly. With only plastic bottles now being taken for recycling, a lot of other plastic is now included in general waste.

The FRA is also involved in consultation on future Waste Development proposals as although commercial and industrial space is stable, space for domestic waste is running out.

5.7: Garden waste collection

A weekly garden waste collection is now available at a cost of £25 one-off joining fee that includes provision of a brown wheeled bin, and £50 pa thereafter for provision of 25 fortnightly collections a year. To obtain a bin please telephone Tendring District Council on 01255 686877, or email Garden Waste at TDC. Full details are available on the Tendring District Council website.


6. General

6.1: Crime & Public Safety

Anti social behaviour can be reported on 01255 686359. Incidents can still be reported to PCSOs who patrol constantly, but this has to be done by telephoning your local Town Councillor, or by ringing 101. However, 999 should always be used to report a serious crime.

6.2: Youth Issues

Discussion on these issues take place regularly during meetings with Town, District and County Councillors. The Association do also liaise with the Police on Youth Issues.

A new Youth Centre officially opened in Walton in 2012 and this will be available for use by young people from Frinton and Walton.

6.3: Planning Applications

Applications affecting Frinton-on-Sea are reviewed by the FRA Planning Team.

6.4: Health Issues

The Residents' Association has been involved in discussions regarding an additional surgery to be located in Elm Tree Avenue, but in the current economic climate, it is unlikely that this will be materialise in the near future. The Association continues to pursue the issue that the nearest Cardiac Unit is based in Basildon and now we have the added controversy with the reduction in the number of ambulances serving our area. The Chairman of the NE Essex Clinical Commissioning Group attended our public meetings on 20 October 2012 and 20 April 2013 where these subjects were raised, and representatives of the Ambulance Service provided presentations at our public meetings on 20 April 2013 and 16 November 2013. In addition, after it was reported that problems were being experienced at Colchester Hospital, the Medical Director spoke at our public meeting on 16 November 2013. Full reports on all these discussions are available on our Events page.

We have also been working with Caradoc Surgery to set up a local Patient Participation Group which is now up and running. Anyone interested in joining this group can obtain forms from the surgery. An update on PPG activities now appears in each issue of the FRA newsletter, now named 'The Frinton Resident'.

6.5: Bus Routes

In response to a request from a member, the Residents' Association has been corresponding with First Eastern Counties Buses Limited in an effort to persuade them to extend the No 8 Bus Route into Frinton Town Centre. The FRA have also been having discussions with ECC regarding whether this extension to the route could be subsidised. However, in the light of budget cuts, it is unlikely that ECC will subsidise a bus route into Frinton Town Centre and First have not indicated that they are prepared to do so.

However, we do now have a revised No 13 bus route run by Horizon that we hope is meeting needs. We would stress that people need to use the nos 9, 13 and 14 bus services otherwise there is the danger that they will be removed.

6.6: Libraries

There is now a strong possibility that our local library will be closed, and a consultation is currently taking place. This is despite the fact that opening hours have been cut from 48 hours a week to 35 hours a week. The Frinton Library in Old Road is currently open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.00 am until 6.00 pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm. It is closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

6.7: Frinton & Walton Swimming Pool

The refurbishment of this pool was completed in 2016, and we hope that there will no future issues.

6.8: High Speed Broadband

Frinton was successful in achieving the required percentage of votes in the BT 'Race to Infinity' initiative to enable HighSpeed Broadband to be installed in the area. In fact, this achievement was reported in the Wall Street Journal.

As a result, BT have been increasing the Broadband speed since June 2011, and residents have been approached by BT with regard to upgrading their internet connections. To check your line speed, access the website (www.bt.com) and enter your postcode.

6.9: Local Listings of Houses of Architectural Importance

Local organisations were represented at a half-day workshop in March 2011. This was arranged by the Heritage & Conservation Manager at Tendring District Council, and provided an opportunity for further discussion on the feasibility of this proposal. However, no further developments have been reported.

6.10: Frinton Ward to become a Conservation Area

The Committee of the Association believe that it is now more important than ever to protect Frinton.

Residing in a Conservation Area will not cause significant hardship to homeowners; in fact just the opposite could be the case. It will only mean that planning permission will be required before improvements can be made, and these will only be refused if they are not in keeping with the area. As a result, the value of homes will increase rather than run the risk of decreasing if an ugly extension was built overlooking the property.

Local decisions need to be in the hands of local people in order to preserve and enhance Frinton, and that is why residents should say 'Yes' to Frinton Ward becoming a Conservation Area.

We are always happy to receive communications from Residents, whether it is to give us good news or to express your concerns on local issues. We would also like to hear from you regarding national issues as we have the opportunity to air our views on such matters via our membership of the National Organisation of Residents' Associations. Therefore, do please contact us.