How often have we heard “put infrastructure in place, ahead of planned housing and industrial development”?
This is how the “promise” of the extra lane / dualling of Canvey Way will appear and appeal to developers.
The “draft” New Local Plan purported to be an “officers plan” proposes a large industrial development alongside the existing Charfleets Estate, the Dutch Village Green Belt development, development on Green Belt at the old Castle View School site, regeneration including Flats at the Canvey town centre, new dwellings at Thorney Bay plus the re-development at The Point!
Further to the Canvey Way widening is a short stretch of dualling from Waterside farm to just past the Sports Centre along Somnes Avenue.
Money is not set aside, but that may be another matter. A new road off of the Island is desirable, but according to Castle Point appointed consultants is unlikely to be supported by “value for money” evidence in support of it proceeding.
Roscommon Way remains incomplete and in all probability any improvement of Canvey Way will only speed traffic up to the next congestion point, going south, onto Canvey’s poorly laid out and narrow road network, or northwards to the Sadlers Farm junction.
That appears a lot of overdue infrastructure for little or no return.
However added to the mix is the Jotmans Farm proposal. “Officers” have proposed that in the region of 800 dwellings could be realised in the Local Plan.
Access to this site is of course limited, however should the initial phase of 265 dwellings be approved either at Appeal or through the New Local Plan, a new access road filtering onto Canvey way makes the remaining phase up to the 800 dwelling capacity far more achievable.
A new access point onto the publically funded widened Canvey Way would become economically viable to Persimmons as all that would be required for access onto Jotmans is a slip road entering the south bound lane of Canvey Way! Jotmans traffic would then join the flow onto Canvey, and using Waterside roundabout for either the journey to Sadlers farm or Benfleet station and beyond. The extra lane would help cope with the current Canvey traffic as well.
In future years we are likely to see far more lorry movements from the two hazardous sites, Calor and OIKOS as the pipelines age and deteriorate. The existing pipework already beneath Roscommon Way will likely prove impossible to gain access to.
Together this makes a compelling argument to achieve the widening of Canvey Way. In return the aspiration of the National Planning Policy framework for sustainable development could be achieved. At what cost to the residents of the south of the Borough is open to conjecture.
A balance on the potential returns will be made by decision makers, whether the potential that a new access road would bring in releasing Canvey land to the west, for industrial purpose, over the less costly Canvey Way widening which is claimed would ease congestion with the “bonus” of making the whole of the Jotmans proposal feasible.
My money, for what little it is worth, says that mid Local Plan there may be a widening of Canvey Way and then possibly 25 -50 years onwards, once the potential of the inner Thames Gateway area especially Thurrock and Basildon have reached their full potential, then west Canvey will become an economically viable proposition to business to warrant a new access road.
Something for us all to think carefully about.
The link to the Echo article announcing the Canvey way proposal can be located HERE.