The April Castle Point Council Cabinet meeting contained some important topics.
The new build at Long Road Canvey Island carries a “requisite” to realise 10 affordable housing units. It appears that CPBC will be using council property funds, from previous right to buy” sales, to purchase the 10 properties.
In the light of affordable properties being “proven” to be unviably expensive for developers to produce (as in the renegotiation at Kiln Road and the proposal at Felstead / Catherine Road Benfleet) the onus appears to be on Castle Point to step into the breach.
Other “good news” stories included the regurgitated news that talks over the Canvey Island and Hadleigh Town Centres were progressing, as ever.
Whilst the Cabinet members afforded congratulations on the hard work of their fellow councillors and professional (?) officers, the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group would also like to offer our respect for the resilience of members and officers for their commitment in seeking to attract employment to Canvey Island.
The loss of Green belt is an issue, but it seems the “way to go” if the much needed employment is to be encouraged. We heard that hardly any of the units at Charfleets Industrial Estate are vacant and with the new North Thames Access road between Canvey Island and Thurrock imminent, the new business park will be eagerly anticipated.
Reproduced below is a map showing the proposed areas that are set aside for the new Business Park and employment areas that hopefully will not only see “high tech” businesses opening up, but also employment opportunities for the students and apprentices being trained at the new skills campus.
A little word of caution though. Whilst the Cabinet member for Economic Development and Business Liaison announced talks were at advanced stages over the Town Centres and employment issues, we should point out that the map reproduced above is in fact the 1998 Local Plan Proposals Map!
Unfortunately it appears that these talks have been going on for some time.
Hopefully the “good news” stories materialise faster than they have up until now, otherwise residents may be forgiven for thinking that the May elections may have been foremost in Cabinet members minds.
Given the timescale involved, as with other land in the Borough under threat from house development, we suggest leaving the Green Belt boundaries in place so that development sites can be considered on merit alone.