Castle Point Council housing families in Thorney Bay caravans? A means of convincing the EA and HSE to not advise against development?

During this weeks Castle Point Council meeting (Dec 2014) it was interesting to note cllr Smith managing to turn a most serious debate on child welfare into a promotion to support the new proposal to develop yet another part of Thorney Bay (see below)!

Whilst other councillors were concentrating on making positive efforts to protect family members on Thorney Bay from coming under similar influences and dangers that befell children living in Rochdale, cllr Smith introduced housing.

He rose to state “we are actually housing families in caravans, … which are not insulated have gas fires and have condensation dripping off the ceiling.”

Firstly this statement is in direct opposition to the CPBC regeneration officer who has previously assured councillors and residents that Castle Point Council DO NOT house families in caravans at Thorney Bay.

Secondly, of course people deserve proper living accommodation rather than the box type dwellings on offer to those unable to provide themselves with better dwellings.

However cllr Smith appears to chose not to take heed of the warning of the Environment Agency who are concerned that residents in Flood Zones may in future be unable to obtain house insurance nor remember the words of  the then Sir Bernard Braine reproduced here.

For those with little time to read the full transcript here are some snippets that give reasoning that whilst people in Castle Point should not be forced to live in accommodation of this type they should also not be allowed to be in a position that they unknowingly purchase property close to a hazardous industrial site within a Flood Zone.

“ I asked the Under-Secretary of State If in the light of the known hazard posed by the terminal … and the risk of spillages of liquefied gas leading to the release of a gas cloud, he will set out the scientific justification for the Health and Safety Executive to recommend … the establishment of a cordon sanitaire around the installation limited to only 1 kilometre. The hon. Gentleman’s reply was astonishing. No doubt it was drafted by the Executive. It volunteered the information that Experience shows that the worst effects of a flammable gas cloud explosion would be unlikely to extend beyond a radius of 1 kilometre.”—[Official Report, 22 January 1979; Vol. 961, cc. 37–38.] The House will appreciate that the worst effects of that sort of disaster are death and destruction by fire on a catastrophic scale.”

I feel that the councillor must surely have been mistaken in what he said and the officer’s previous confirmation, that CPBC do not house people in inappropriate living accomodation,  as this could be construed as a justification for a housing development in a less sustainable area.

Residential development comprising of 89 detached dwellings and 24 flats, including access, landscaping and associated facilities                                      Thorney Bay Park Ltd Thorney Bay Road Canvey Island

Outline application for residential development comprising dwellinghouses (C3 Use) and residential institutions (C2 Use) and access including additional flood risk and highway information.                                                                                                   Up to 600 dwellings plus Residential Accomodation.                                               Thorney Bay Caravan Park Canvey Island


One response to “Castle Point Council housing families in Thorney Bay caravans? A means of convincing the EA and HSE to not advise against development?

  1. The issue of Thorney Bay was succinctly covered at Agenda Item No 7 (b) presented by Councillor Smith at the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday 15th October 2014.

    At 6.7 (inter-alia) Annual Monitoring Report 2013/14 :- he informs us that there are 498 caravans in residential use at Thorney Bay ( increase of 165 units -50%). This section states:

    “An increasing proportion of residents living in caravans has implications for the overall health and wellbeing of the community and for service provisions; particularly during very cold and very hot weather.”

    At 7.3 (inter-alia) Greater Demographic Forecast Phase 5 :- he refers to these residents as UPCs Unattributed Population Change- when stating:-

    “It is likely that the transient population at Thorney Bay Park is the cause of “UPC in Castle Point. Such a population is likely to remain unless or until the park is cleared of caravans and as such remains a component of the population change within Castle Point.”

    At the Task and Finish Group meeting held on the 29th October 2014 in the New Local Plan- Housing Supply statement at 8.7 it states.

    “Meanwhile, insufficient supply of housing is affecting affordability and the choices that people are making in terms of housing provisions, with people living in accommodation such as the previously “holiday style” caravans at Thorney Bay Park. The choice and quality of housing is therefore diminishing, particularly for those in low incomes”.

    I strongly suggest that those, mindful to do so, read all the documents produced by the Authority, paying particular effort to ensure that you revisit those that provide evidence that prior knowledge of a situations is clearly previously documented.

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