Canvey Deprivation Levels down – Hypocrisy Levels Up! Green Belt available SS8 area only?

It seems strange that Green Belt and Green Fields on Canvey is somehow acceptable for development but “elsewhere” in the Borough is absolutely sacrosanct!

The different attitudes of local politician highlights the double standards that appear to exist.

On Canvey two large tracts of land appear to be being levered through the system with Councillors blessings.

An investment opportunity

An investment opportunity

From the Echo we read of comments on a business park proposal;

“A partner at the Inner London Group, said there was a massive demand for new business units on the island and the development would be a stark contrast to the “tired looking” Charfleets Industrial Estate.”

“There is a shortage of commercial space on the island and this will help deal with the planned growth for Canvey.”

“what we have put forward is what Canvey needs and that’s employment.”

Whilst a local councillor commented;

“That area of land has been designated for industry since 1998 so this has been in the pipeline for a long time. The fact that we are hoping to develop the Northwick Road site for business use, and we have the new Canvey Skills Campus training up the next generation of brick layers and plumbers, it seems like all the pieces of the jigsaw are fitting together.”

“But the sooner we can provide more jobs for local people the better.”

This is despite the recently announced figures showing a vast improvement on the Local Unemployment Figures!

On initial impressions the proposal sounds acceptable, however the proposed development in a flood zone on “virgin” Green Field land.

Contrast the approach and attitude to Housing development on Green Fields elsewhere in the Borough.

A councillor for Victoria ward, said:

“The inspector was speaking generally about the local plan and that we could do it without any houses on green belt, if we can justify it and give reasons why.

“Castle Point is very small and therefore it needs a buffer to separate it from other areas, so we could try to prove we are stuck and ask them to accept a smaller amount of homes.

“This has thrown a spanner in the works, but a good spanner as this is definitely good news.”

Whilst a source close to the council said:

“The inspector said he could accept a local plan that didn’t involve building on green belt whatsoever, which is very interesting.”

“All we have to do is try to meet the housing need, but frankly I don’t think 4,000 homes is what we need. He said we have a responsibility to approach other authorities to see if they are willing to take some of our housing allocation.”

“If they all turn around and say no, it doesn’t matter, we just have to show we tried.”

The question needs to be asked, should more priority be given to employment needs or homes.  Hopefully the answer when offered can be justified.

At the moment the mind boggles at the levels of hypocrisy


8 responses to “Canvey Deprivation Levels down – Hypocrisy Levels Up! Green Belt available SS8 area only?

  1. I do not understand the hypocrisy you mention . Please explain ?

    • Thanks Cllr Sharp.
      Perhaps inconsistancy may be a better word.
      Why one type of development on GB appears acceptable, whilst another is not.
      Why one area of “virgin” GB warrants protection from development, whilst another does not.

  2. Steve Sawkins

    The NPPF is clear on what constitutes sustainable development.:-

    The framework sets out clearly what could make a proposed plan or development unsustainable.

    Should development of the type identified by the editors article be undertaken then it would not be unreasonable to suggest that CPBC are working outside the guide lines set out within the NPPF

    The NLPs evidence documents are clear that large scale development on Canvey Islands Flood Cell would be unsustainable for the following reason.

    “Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report – New Local Plan Post-consultation”

    “Flood risk, particularly as the level of hazard it poses will increase over time, has significant implications for the borough. At present the entire population of Canvey Island live at risk of flooding. Many of these homes are bungalows and therefore residents would be unable to move to a higher level if a flood event was to occur. The Environment Agency has set out plans for managing flood risk in the Thames Estuary in the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan (TE2100). For Canvey Island this proposes a policy of maintaining and improving the flood defences in order to promote the existence of a sustainable population. Alongside a programme of maintenance and improvement, some of which will require local funding, the TE2100 Plan also promotes policies for Canvey Island that will improve flood resilience. These include the establishment of safe havens, better emergency planning and flood plain management.

    (It has been stated by DEFRA that there will be a short fall in the funding to secure future flood defence)

    The Scoping reports goes on to state.

    “Given the risk to the population, various measures are required to deal with the concerns to human health and wellbeing. These include:

    The need for an emergency plan to be in place;

    The need for sea defences to be maintained and improved;

    The need to maintain the population living in the flood risk zone at current levels or lower;

    The need for existing homes to be made more flood resilient, and include areas where people can remain safe in the event of a flood;

    The need for new development to incorporate design elements that make them safe in the event of a flood for occupiers;

    The need for building techniques to be used that enable easy restoration in the event of a flood”.

    • Thanks Steve,
      You have reproduced an important area of sustainability that this blog feels is fundamentaly being over looked by the councillors and Task and Finish group members.
      The issue of flooding is supposedly given great emphasis by the Government at planning level, as well as the issue of Insurance against Flood.
      The issue of Flooding in itself warranting a 12 page Technical Guidance to accompany the 60 page National Planning Policy Framework!
      And the issue of Flood Insurance being more or less un-examined at a local authority level.

  3. Steve Sawkins

    Editor I am sure that the community of Canvey Island would not take kindly of the Councils opinion of them, as documented within their scoping reports.

    The argument that deprivation as identified within the councils evidence documentation (exampled below) is made as justification for large scale industrial development in the West Canvey area of the Borough. and large scale housing provisions throughout Canvey Island.

    “Implications for the Local Plan:-
    In order to address the disparity between deprivation levels at West Canvey compared to elsewhere in the borough, it is necessary to reduce deprivation at West Canvey by improving health and education services in this area, and also by improving access to a range of employment opportunities.

    There is also a need to tackle the issues associated with living conditions and barriers to housing at Thorney Bay.

    Implications of not addressing Deprivation in the Local Plan:-
    Deprivation levels at West Canvey may increase further. This may trigger deprivation issues to spread more widely across Canvey Island to the detriment of the whole community. Deprived areas often struggle to attract the inward investment needed to drive improvements, such as the regeneration of the town centre”.

    The strategy to further develop Canvey Island will have a direct impact on what the Authority considers to be deprivation, its proposal will in-fact cause significant harm. The notion that deprivation can be cured by placing more people within it, is preposterous.
    Making the case that Canvey Islanders are poorly educated is not only insulting but incorrect. Local job consistently provide low incomes, and a policy directed at reducing car movements on and off the Island by providing low paid employment is fundamentally flawed.
    Gerrymandering comes to mind.

    • Thank you Steve for your further input.
      From your decription an attempt at “social engineering” is being attempted by our local authority.
      By casting blight on an area by suggesting the inhabitants are poorly educated, poorly housed and lacking a range of employment provision is not cured by the level of extra development proposed by CPBC.
      Two new state of the art schools should provide education levels second to none, which I am sure they do. If not this is a staffing issue. More development means more pupils, which will stretch resources.
      The Thorney Bay provides a certain level of housing that some are appreciative of, I note the Echo report of the homeless Southend ex-serviceman grateful of being re-housed in static accomodation there.
      As I mentioned in the Blog post, the un-employment figures for Castle Point have continued to fall, a good news story we should embrace. Most of the employed, commute out of the area for work, the actual need for new employment premises in Canvey is disputed by CPBC’s consultants Nathaniel Litchfield who believe Canvey is not best placed to accomodate business development.
      “More” does not mean better, resources are stretched and , more importantly limited.
      The Local Plan should be drawn up to recognise this.

  4. Dear editor . I do not know which area of Green belt on Canvey is being treated differently to areas of green belt on the mainland ,?hence my
    Lack of understanding of your editorial . Look forward to clarification which will allow me to to respond .

  5. Dear Bill, we were attempting to show the apparent different approaches in the Post towards the business development opposite Morrisons and the proposal known as Land South of Roscommon Way, compared with the general approach to GB land.

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