Canvey Island the Business development hub of the Thames Gateway?

The likely approval of the business development proposal at Roscommon Way by the Castle Point Council Development Committee indicates a remarkable upturn in the employment and prosperity prospects for the locality.

Senior committee members have expressed their views that the importance of this business proposal is almost crucial to the local economy, to the point that outstanding concerns over loss of green belt, flooding issues and the possibility that the extra vehicle movements are tolerable.

The conclusions to the planning process should be creating excitement rather than concern from residents.

Perhaps therefore, it may be appropriate to take time to reflect on the situation. There is a Local Plan emerging, albeit with some difficulty; There is improvement in the UK’s employment figures; Castle Point desires to remain linked to the Thames Gateway development catchment.

However, there is a further more practical test of the local economy’s fortunes, rather than the assumptions of our local decision makers.

Nearby, the area known as “Land opposite Morrisons, Northwick Road, Canvey” also has a proposal before the Castle Point Planners.

This additional site is also being proposed by the same developers, Inner London Developments Limited.

The planning documents for this proposal reveal a cautionary note, the proposal appears to be a further renewal of an Outline consent previously renewed during 2005.

This raises obvious questions; if the local economy is in such a reasonable state and Canvey is a desirable business development location, why hasn’t this development shown any progression over the previous 10 years, and why would a developer seek to add to its land portfolio rather than making some development progress on land already approved for development?

Is this a case of land banking, is this a case of adding aspirational “good news” support to the troubled Castle Point Local Plan?

It has already been considered by Castle Point consultants within the Retail and Employment assessment, that Canvey may not be the area in most urgent need of the Borough’s business development.

Why then would it be considered that special circumstances exist to warrant releasing green belt land outside of the developed area at Roscommon Way, whilst land with outline permission situated almost opposite, remains undeveloped?

There appears to exist the potential to fast track land with business development permission over to approval for Housing development.

Whilst there is no foundation in thinking that this is an ulterior motive, the possibility exists that a future change of use might occur.

After all how many car showrooms, storage and distribution units does Canvey Island require?



3 responses to “Canvey Island the Business development hub of the Thames Gateway?

  1. Build business park on Canvey, move Manor Road Industrial Park to Canvey, include Manor Road in local plan as brownfield site for housing – hmm

  2. I thought outline planning expired after 3 years so how can a 2005 approval be renewed?
    Just because the business premises are on Canvey it does not automatically follow that all of the employment opportunities will go to Canvey residents.

  3. Editor
    With regards to the proposed industrial site opposite Morrisons the Councils own planning officer recognised amongst other issues the following :-

    “The NPPF is quite clear that the presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply in certain instances as set out in footnote 9. This includes sites in locations at risk of flooding.

    The 1998 Adopted Local Plan is silent on matters of flood risk.

    As such regard should be had to paragraphs 100 to 103 of the NPPF.
    The South Essex Surface Water Management Plan 2012 identifies Canvey Island as Critical Drainage Area. Given its low lying nature, land on Canvey is subject to surface water flooding and any development proposals at this site need to be designed to achieve resilience and resistance to flood risk.

    They also need to be designed to manage surface water drainage issues on or adjacent to the site and prevent an increased risk of flooding by surface water to other properties nearby.

    The site is immediately adjacent to the Canvey Wick SSSI. The development must limit its impact on the SSSI and provide mitigation and compensation for any biodiversity that is present on the site. Regard should be had to paragraphs 109 and 118 of the NPPF”

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