Local Plan information event – Today. Canvey Green Belt at stake – 4,000 new builds planned.

You will all be aware, or will you, of the information event regarding the new Local Plan will be taking place TODAY at Waterside Farm Sports Centre between 4 – 7pm.

Castle Point Council ‏@CastlePointBC 2h
Want to find out about the draft New Local Plan? Come to Waterside Leisure Centre, Canvey from 4pm – 7pm today to talk to officers.

There you will be able to question Castle Point officers on the Plan and the consultation process that you all will have received brochure and questionnaire forms.

The Local Plan indicates intention to develop 200 new dwellings per year within Castle Point. The Dutch Village fields, the old Castle View site, Northwick Garden Centre all Green Belt sites plus Thorney Bay Caravan Park and the Point have all been selected by our local authority as sites worthy of development on Canvey Island. This will be as well as the smaller development to infill and regenerate the Island. Officers should be able to reassure you that there is ample Green Belt left untouched within the Borough, infrastructure is adequate, roads capable of coping with the extra traffic and that safety of residents will remain unaffected.

Key note messages officers will be expected to get over to residents include:
The imperative need to have a Local Plan in place.
Without this you will be told that TWICE as many houses will be imposed on the Borough.

Councillor N.Smith assured councillors and residents that the 5 year housing supply, 1000 dwellings, that had been identified would protect the Borough from speculative developers and met the requirement of the Borough, 200 dwelling per annum.
Now officers are instructed to suggest to you, that of that 5 year Castle Point has only 6 months worth identified. The Glebelands Inspector considered 7 months worth valid.

You will be comforted to learn that master planning will limit the density of housing on each site. This may cause some puzzlement as Canvey, being on a flood plain, has certain building requirements that add to building costs. The Council are suggesting that regardless of these costs, dwellings will not be too densely cramped together so as to allow green amenity spaces for new residents and wildlife to enjoy. Unlikely, as the cost of development means that Canvey’s affordable housing allocation will be just 15 dwelling per 100 and the market value of Canvey property is lower than elsewhere in the Borough.
Developers will seek a maximum density for property as elsewhere on the Island, to suggest otherwise is misleading.

The new Local Plan seeks to protect 92% of the Borough’s Green Belt, just not necessarily Canvey’s. Green Belt will not be protected by under developing the GB sites given over to development, it will simply mean more land has to be released.

A further information event is planned for the Canvey regeneration shop in the Knightswick Centre on Thursday February 27th from 10am – 4pm.
The consultation runs until the 21st March 2014.

Do you feel that Castle Point Borough Council have made adequate effort to inform residents of this event/
Do you feel that the timing 4 – 7pm, and location is the best choice in the circumstances?

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6 responses to “Local Plan information event – Today. Canvey Green Belt at stake – 4,000 new builds planned.

  1. I do not feel this is an adequate time for discussion as many people do not get home until after 7.00 p.m. Please re-think. Also with regard to the recent flooding all over the country, I think building on Canvey should be re-thought; we are in danger of being overwhelmed. We do not have suitable drainage or pumping facilities, which have only just been redressed after years of neglect. I am also concerned about the lack of policing on Canvey Island as more people with inevitably bring its own problems. Think again.

  2. I don’t trust CPBC at all. It’s the same old story to put everything on Canvey Island and swallow up the only piece of Green Belt land , the Dutch Village fields which are group 3 flood plain. Inadequate infrastructure and as for the promise of a third rood off the island, it’s just a joke.

  3. David Eastabrook

    I went to the event at Waterside today and spoke to Steve Rogers voicing my concern over the 50 houses that are to built on the Green belt on the old Castle View school site.

    I told him I had raised concerns two years ago when they wanted to build the skills college on the Castle View green belt. My concern being that the plans supplied were ambiguous, one plan said the old Castle View school would revert back to green field status and another plan said that it might be used for possible redevelopment. The Canvey councillors were shouted down at the time by the chairman councillor Bill Dick where he said this possible new housing wasn’t up for discussion. I actually have the video of this which I obtained under the freedom of information act.
    We allowed the new skills college to be built on green belt feeling that the old footprint of the school would not be built on.

    I highlighted the fact that Canvey has flood zone 3 status so why are houses being built here. Basically, was told that Canvey’s sea defences are good for 100 years in terms of overtopping by the sea therefore the council considers it alright to build here.

    I asked why the localism plan doesn’t seem to be working I.e. I thought that local residents could oppose or agree where housing went. He said that localism meant that you had to agree where the housing went, you couldn’t really oppose the council’s plans.

    I then asked why in a democracy if there was enough opposition to building houses on |Canvey and particularly on the green belt, why aren’t the councillor’s listening to us and stop building houses. He said that if the Council didn’t have a housing plan then the planning inspector could allow builders to submit their plans and then without a plan the government housing inspectorate could ride roughshod and build where they liked.

    There was no information on what type of housing they were to build, exactly on the Castle View site nor how many would be low cost housing which should be 15% and what the ingress/egress would be used to and from the new houses to the roads in the area.

    I feel the event was a bit of a sham really, whatever you say about local issues with new house building on Canvey, the council simply does not want to know.

  4. This is the first I had heard of any such meeting (I live opposite the Dutch village site as well), and the timing is poor. Due to work I do not have the time myself to get there.

    Another thing to note: after receiving the local plan pack in the post (got it this time, never got it last time) I polled my street on who else got it. Just 2 out of 6. So two 3rds of my street would have been none the wiser…again.

    They do like repeating the same old tactics don’t they?

  5. The event information was included within the Local Plan consultation “brochure” that should have been delivered by now to all residents. This may highlight the limitation of the process, have you received your pack? Is the Council’s presentation set out in a way that encourages residents to a) take notice b) want to participate? There have been reports that some Benfleet residents have failed to receive their packs, the Council’s response is that packs were sent out to all addresses. remembering the Core Strategy process Castle Point Council were able to produce proof of mailing in all cases. They will claim and prove they have fulfilled their obligation to the Local Plan process.

  6. Re: David Eastabrook
    I think the CPBC’s desperation to produce a ‘local plan’ is solely to protect the mainland’s greenbelt. They have set aside a lot of tax payers money to fight future cases (nearly half of their coffers are filled with Canvey residents taxes…), but I do not believe for one minute any of that money will be spent on defending Canvey from any property developers plans.

    Thing is, especially with the recent flooding across the country we have thankfully avoided (the worst of that weather did not hit us) any government inspector would not likely be too willing to approve any major development here, with our flood zone 3 status.

    But on the mainland? Different story there, and the mainland majority councillors pushing for this local plan under the brazen pretence they are trying to protect Canvey as well know it.

    As for the 100 year weather proof thing? Possible flood projections indicate that under similar circumstances that flooded the island before, as sea levels are significantly higher now now, the sea wall would not be sufficient as while over -tipping might be minimal there, the water would just come in from behind (Benfleet creek) which is NOT as well protected. Basically we are a sink bowl that is exposed at the rear.

    If the recent storms flossing much of the west had blown down from the north east, rather than having the worst of their sting taken out of them by coming in from the west (we’d have seen estuary water levels elevated substantially from a surge there), we might well be seeing similar scenes of devastated communities here.

    The sad thing is that if (and when) we do get eventually hit those responsible for excessive building here will all wash their hands of it and blame everyone but themselves.

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