As the dust settles on a surprising UK Election result we must congratulate Rebecca Harris on retaining her Westminster position, as we must all successful Borough and Town Councillors.
Whilst the Green Belt issue in Castle Point can be seen as a reason for residents voting as they did, it may also be possible that our MP’s ability to bear influence at Government level, regarding the disastrous Canvey flooding, may have positively impacted the Canvey vote.
It is imperative that Rebecca continues to ensure the findings of the Essex Lead Flood Authority’s Report and the review of the Government Office of Science’s Review are implemented.
The ability to insure New Homes, those built since 2009, against flood, challenges the sustainability of new development and is a threat to Canvey home owners and buyers investment in housing.
The Insurance Industry are adamant that the Flood Re home insurance scheme, that aims to keep premiums affordable, is intended to direct new housing development away from Flood Risk Areas.
The balance of power at Borough level is now firmly in the hands of the Castle Point Council Leader and Deputy Leader, cllr Colin Riley and cllr Bill Sharp.
They have a clear mandate, following this latest Election result, and the pre-Election visits of Government Ministers and the councillor training session from Planning Inspector K.Holland to apply the reasonable constraints that exist locally on housing development.
Councillor Sharp has expressed a hope that the Blinking Owl site H18 may be achievable in a time frame allowing protection to many of the Borough’s threatened Green Belt sites. He has also expressed a view that Canvey’s Dutch Village site may be defendable.
With the Lead Group’s working majority a Local Plan acceptable to Castle Point residents should be achievable.
However the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group, from it’s early conception, have accepted “We Are Where We Are” as a standpoint.
Should we find once again that Canvey has been identified as an expendable area of Green Belt we are prepared to fight our case at Examination of the Local Plan, of course we hope that is not adopted as policy.
We invite cllrs Riley and Sharp to update Canvey Island residents with the current position, through this Blog.