Is Investment and Regeneration being distributed evenly across Castle Point?

Something of a “charm” offensive appears to be emerging in the area.
The issue of the “Third Road” off of Canvey Island.
Three of the Borough’s big hitters, MP Rebecca Harris, cllr Ray Howard and CPBC Chief Executive D.Marchant have taken the lead on this subject.

The land for sale opposite Morrison’s supermarket has apparently attracted the interest of developers and there is a real possibility that a deal will be done as early as next year..

According to the Echo it appears we are soon to see a new Business Park and associated employment opportunities.

The benefit of this is that it is suggested that this may be the contributing factor that swings the balance into committing funding for the long awaited Third Road off of Canvey.

However, looking at this realistically the Borough will have received more than it’s fair share of recent Highways investment.
£63,000,000 was the budget at Sadlers Farm plus £18,000,000 the budget for the Roscommon Way.

Whilst our local representatives have made a ministerial approach, I assume that the funding would eventually be decided upon at County level.

Issues have already been identified to suggest that a road linking Canvey west with Thurrock, has little likely benefit. This was made apparent within CPBC’s procured research as part of the Local Plan’s evidence base and covered in an earlier Post on this blog:

A road linking Canvey and Pitsea and serving commuter traffic, Charfleets Industrial area and the proposed Business Park, would likely have to comply with the restrictions raised by Flood Risk and be raised to a similar height to the sea defences and would presumably invite the associated expense.

There may also be the possibility that there are fuel pipes running under this land and if the proposed road were to cross over these, the assumption is that there would be a restriction imposed limiting it to single lane carriageways, as is the case along some of Roscommon Way.

The same report, referred to in the link above, indicates that the real need and most strategic areas to site new business in Castle Point is in the Northern part of the Borough.

The issues behind the “discussions” over the future of Deanes School
highlight that spatial shortcomings, whether budgetary or with infrastructure, are apparent within Castle Point and require addressing.

On the face of it, according to County, there is a school struggling to survive with pupil numbers decreasing in one part of the Borough, whilst the Local Authority concentrates its regeneration in a totally different part of the Borough. It appears a disservice is being done to Benfleet, Thundersley and Hadleigh and it is this type of concentration of budgetary allocation that will cause unrest.

However the Local Plan appears to be being made up on the “hoof” as a Spatial Strategy has yet to emerge.
A Spatial Strategy would address issues emerging from the Local Plan Evidence base and “should” react accordingly to the needs of the different areas within the Borough.

Castle Point Council have already committed themselves to realising a requirement to limit the population on Canvey Island to the current levels or less.

However siting a new Business Park at Canvey Island would no doubt be accompanied by the suggestion that employees should be drawn from the local vicinity, and assuming Canvey remains an area of deprivation, new housing development and the destruction of our Green Belt is justified!

Obviously dubious reasoning so as to allow the suggestion to a Planning Inspector, that sound argument would then exist, to propose more housing development to support new employment levels, and thereby support an excuse to alter Canvey’s Green Belt boundaries!
Already included within the Local Plan’s 5 Year Housing Supply list is the old Castle View site. Now it emerges that not only the Dutch Village Fields is back under consideration for development by the Council, but also the Triangle site west of Canvey Road!

Whilst there is usually a price to be paid for new local infrastructure, we can only hope that in this instance, the combined political weight of our MP, Borough and County Councillor and the Borough’s Chief Executive is enough to convince those responsible that the improvements at Sadlers Farm are inadequate in solving the problems facing Canvey Island, and that the new access road should soon be allocated and delivered.


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