Shelter, today have released a graph, published by us in February, indicating the reasons for the current housing crisis.
It is clear to see from the graph the indication that the down turn in new housing builds occured a year or so after the Banking crisis.
Locally in the process of the new Local Plan it should also be borne in mind that the current recession will lead to a tightening of purse strings by residents.
In turn this has led to a down turn in the housing market and a likely slow down in population increase. It should also lead to a downturn in nett migration for the Country and Borough.
These figures must be filtered into the housing requirement of the new Local Plan.
Locally we have been informed that the claim that the Borough is being concreted over is causing consternation amongst Mainland residents. The pursuit of Government rewards for new build development is apparent.
Canvey residents are used to the erosion of our Green Belt and we acknowledge that once it is developed it is gone for ever.
The SSSI site at Canvey Wick is a typical case. As valuable as a nature conservation area and yet undermined by the Roscommon Way.
Areas for development are being heavily influenced by developers preferences. Previously the Borough Council held the whip hand and preferred Canvey’s Dutch Village as the single large development.
The Canvey Green Belt Campaign Group managed to provide evidence to place before the Inspector to prove the selection was unsound and rather than alter the Core Strategy was withdrawn.
Now Mainland Green Belt sites, whilst selected, will shelter behind the massive development planned for Thorney Bay, in the meantime Jotmans Farm and Glebelands are under pressure from development probably via the Appeal process.
The power struggle between developers and Council will be played out in front of a Planning Inspector.
Whilst Councillors make statements suggesting Mainland residents are wrong in holding suspicions that the Borough is being concreted over, it will be impossible to go forward with a united approach to the new Local Plan.
Hard decisions will come from the Inspectorate, blame will lie locally. Efforts must be made to rebuild confidence. Only by being open and transparent can this be achieved.
From Canvey Island’s point of view, we would settle for fairness plus a sprinkling of honesty.
An interesting chart indicating housing development in the UK through the years. Comparison is shown against recessionary times.
Those old enough to have been around during the pre- 60’s will realise the reasons explaining the growth in development from the 60’s onwards, probably being explained by an increase in prosperity and immigration.
Market forces control housing growth, investment is controlled by lenders and developers, any artificial injection of funding is a dangerous method of forcing the issue.
The recent stalling of housing development can be explained by the collapse of world economy plus the difficulties of Councils attempting to introduce Local Plans, in response to imposed Regional strategies.