Local jobs for local people promise for Canvey folk!

There were we thinking this Blog was being referenced during the Planning Committee meeting, when all along the Castle Point officer was probably referring to the councillor reported in the Echo as saying that the Roscommon Way business development was Green Belt.

One of our recent posts on the subject had made the point of stating similar, but had made the important point of using lower case g’s and s’ !

Whilst the area under consideration is green and has environmental value and neighbours the SSSI area, it is not Green Belt. This should be of some concern to Castle Point residents as it indicates the fragility of the defensive mechanism of Green Belt status.

This status has already been challenged legally in Castle Point as the local authority chose not to save its Green Belt policy, relying on the Local Plan options map to protect the areas status, when re-saving parts of the 1998 Local Plan.

During the development committee meeting we were also treated to other less than correct, precise ramblings of members such as;

On the expected extra traffic congestion the Business Park will cause:

The councillor who has a trouble free commute to his work premises travelling down the hill onto Canvey, claiming right of way over the 4 lanes queuing to get out of Somnes Avenue, and then claiming similar rights of way over those commuters returning home along Canvey Way attempting to enter Waterside Roundabout saying, the development will not add to traffic problems!

Then again the same councillor stated these potential 500 jobs will be local jobs for local people.

Local houses for local people argument doesn’t appear to hold up in practise, but the same old rhetoric continues to be used.

Another councillor who told members that he moved to Canvey when he married and always commuted off the Island for work, as did his children, but now he expects his grandchildren to have the right to expect to work on Canvey.

We must now wonder whether residents in the mainland ward he represents will be interested where his priorities lie, when issues of local housing and local green space for local people are up for consideration.

The route of the two major accident hazard pipelines however, must remain a mystery. The committee, those that showed the slightest interest, were told the maps showing their positions were available, but apparently not for this committee’s viewing.

It was pointed out by the “professional” officers that the Roscommon Way business application sought permission in “principle.”

By approving this proposal we assume that as it approved permission to “Land Raise” the site by 600 mm, the principle of Land Raising was also established on Canvey Island “In Principle.” 

A case of the Development Committee creating Local Plan policies?

On the concerns of drainage at the approved site, there appeared a pre-meeting session between some members, officer and developers had effectively concluded that the proposed drainage model would not add to drainage problems faced by the Island.

Permeable surfaces would be used. The CPBC SFRA states that;

“Permeable paving prevents runoff during low intensity rainfall, however, during intense rainfall events some runoff may occur from these surfaces.”

Attenuation Urban Drainage techniques would be used to control the flow of water from the site into the drainage system. Little reference was made to this being in the form of a Pond.

On Canvey, with its high water table, the introduction of a pond may be of similar effect as lowering a bowl full of water into a bath of water, the overall water table will rise.

“Ponds and wetlands trap silt that may need to be removed periodically”, the recent report into the Canvey Island flooding of 2014 revealed that the lack of maintenance in the Canvey drainage system was a major factor in the level of flood damage caused.

The option of installing the more expensive option of a pumped system, similar to the one employed apparently successfully by Morrisons Supermarket, appears now to have been disregarded.

In conclusion I will reproduce an “opinion” from the CPBC Strategic Flood Risk Assessment copy in our possession;

“The results from the increased scope Level 2 SFRA have confirmed that the southern part of Castle Point, namely Canvey Island and the Hadleigh Marshes area are at significant risk of tidal flooding.

In the event that a breach in the existing flood defences was to occur, or a failure of one of the existing flood barriers (residual risk), significant depths of floodwater would be experienced on Canvey Island and the southern portion of the mainland.  Given the low lying nature of these parts of the borough, floodwaters would propagate rapidly across Canvey Island thereby reducing the time for warning and evacuation of residents.

In addition, it has been identified that parts of Canvey Island are at actual risk of flooding due to the level of protection of the existing defences”

No regard to this Flood Risk was expressed, the decision and responsibility for this Risk is entirely the development committee members concern.

It is clear that if this development realises the levels of employment suggested there will be an extra 1,000+ vehicle movements per day. Business development is of a lower category of flood risk than dwelling houses, however the levels of traffic created, if ever there was to be an emergency incident, would exacerbate the problems in carrying out an evacuation.

In the meantime let us all look forward to the new prosperity and work opportunities for Canvey residents.



4 responses to “Local jobs for local people promise for Canvey folk!

  1. Cllr Simon Hart

    Last nights application was for Out Line planning permission on the principle of development and highways only, the drainage of the site will have to come back to Development Control Committee once detailed plans are submitted and then the drainage will be discussed and agreed on before development can start.
    There are options other than in the current application .
    Cllr Simon Hart
    Chairman of Development Control

  2. Editor
    No one wishes developers any harm, but clearly they have been persuaded to ignore the obvious.

    In particular this site is identified on maps as Canvey Village Marsh. It was for many years the only part of Canvey that had a pumping facility.

    When Cllr Howard owned the pump and the land giving access to and from it he tried desperately to get the Environment Agencies permission to pump water away from this area during the recent serious surface water flooding event of the Island .

    This site is well inside the hazard range of two COMAH sites and should be an issue for Land Use and Emergency Planning.

    It is admirable that the Planning Authority wishes to relieve, as it see it, the deprivation on Canvey Island by providing jobs however the remainder of the Borough continues to be starved of the same opportunities

    This is the second of two large scale industrial developments for Canvey Island with granted planning permission. Poor distribution of employment opportunities’ would have been a concern for the Planning Inspector when examining the New Local plan. Fortunately the issue of employment sites is no longer within the remit of the inspectors control which conveniently relieves him or her from this concern.

  3. Guys I do believe. The principle was something that could not be refused last evening but the main thing about drainage and how it will work ,has to come back to committee for the decision to be agreed . As I understaood it
    This will be a stringent examination of the drainage system which we will require .. Happy to talk to you knowledgable people so we know what is being said or required to be said to make the drainage work to your satisfaction …..
    Please bother to talk to people who can explain what you require In a clear way so other members are able to understand it and project it if agreed !!!

  4. Now wonder why CPBC have been in a hurry to give OUTLINE PLANNING for large scale developments on the Flood Plain Open areas of Canvey Island, knowing that funding for SEA DEFENCE and the URGENT DRAINAGE SYSTEM overhaul has not been secured.
    Sinister to say the least.

    27 January 2016 .
    The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee launches an inquiry into future flood prevention in England following severe flooding this winter.

    Inquiry: Future flood prevention Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
    Flooding has affected many areas this winter, costing communities more than £5 billion to date and disrupting thousands of peoples’ lives and businesses. Record rainfall fell in many areas and the consequent floods overwhelmed defences in some places.
    Chair’s comments
    Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Committee, says:
    “Flood damage of the sort suffered by communities across the UK this winter is becoming all-too-frequent an occurrence. I know from personal experience how flooding can damage not only buildings, land and infrastructure, but how it can also devastate lives.

    Questions need to be answered about whether there are adequate measures in place to plan for frequent, extreme flood events. We want to see how effectively the Environment Agency predicts and prepares for floods in a changing climate. We will also be asking how far Defra policies protect communities in high risk areas from future devastation.”

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