There is no doubt that the latest Application for re-develop at The Point, Canvey, or “Canvey Wharf” as it is to be known, remains, at 99 dwellings an over development.
The Canvey Island Independent Party will be under pressure to argue the case, as Castle Point Council will endeavour to approve as many applications as possible, and acceptable, so as to prove a 5 year supply towards the Local Plan.
However some issues are outstanding and require proof that they have been addressed. The Environment Agency originally commented on the original proposal, “The decision as to whether the proposed emergency flood response plan will ensure people will not be exposed to flood hazards is a decision that your authority needs to make. We recommend that your authority seeks advice from emergency planners and emergency services over the issues relating to: the suitability of the advice given in the applicant’s Emergency Flood Response Plan, The potential for emergency responder led evacuation strategies to assist occupants at the site, and the acceptability of refuge as a fall back.
Previously the Essex Emergency Planner has stated in submission on the Core Strategy that flood emergency refuges were not a recognised practicality. This was probably due to safety issues with giving advice that may well in itself be dangerous.
The Officers report on the Canvey Wharf Application goes before the Development Committee on Tuesday 2nd October, with the Emergency Planners response on these outstanding concerns still yet to be received!
On these safety issues it is ironic that a decision will be made by a Group dominated by the majority party, based outside of the Flood Risk Zone 3.
The Castle Point Regenertaion Delivery Manager commented with his concerns that the Application in July 2011 “will result in the loss of jobs at this site. However the current occupants intend to relocate and it can be assumed that the actual job losses will be minimal.”
However in September of this year his concerns have lessened, more likely to suit the urgency of the situation with the Local Plan, as he now states that “since the site is a builders yard, there is a relatively low employment generating use that is capable of relocation.”
Mr Evershed then expands to explain he is more concerned with the potential redevelopment of the remainder of the industrial area at the Point and the loss of employment that would entail.
Surely one of the reasons for the massive investment poured into the Roscommon Way extension was to allow the expansion of Charfleets Industrial Estate allowing the potential relocation of small enterprises.
Surely this extension is not considered to have become a failure so soon after the road’s opening?
This difficulty will be spun come the time of the new Local Plan’s publication, as employment in the area is an issue that must be balanced against the proposed levels of housing growth in the Borough.
A further example of the Authority issuing knee jerk statements to suit current situations they find themselves in, rather than aiming at the desired level of constructive consistency to produce appropriate plans. It is not the quantity of statements made it is only the quality that should matter.