Canvey Island, more like Fantasy Island! Persimmon put temptation in Castle Point’s way.

Persimmon’s proposal to develop  the Dutch Village fields has recently received added inducements to tempt the Castle Point council Development Committee members to support the scheme.

The inducements come under the guise of additional evidence in support of the Very Special Circumstances required to allow development, and come in the form of;

Safe Vehicle Access to Cornelius Vermuyden School

Additional Leisure services at Waterside Leisure Centre

A Pelican Crossing across Canvey Way (?) to the RSPB reserve

Lack of 5 year housing supply

Surface Water Drainage and Evacuation Zone

Public Open Space and Ecological Mitigation Land

Scheduled Ancient Monument Enhancements

Persimmon’s document draws attention to the existing surface water drainage problems on site and the possibility of “a major flood!”

In the circumstances the identification of the Dutch Village as site high on the list of sites suitable for development, appears questionable.

The offer of vehicular access to the senior school appears to encourage laziness of pupils and obesity due to lack of basic walking to school exercise. The timing of the submission of this latest inducement document is somewhat questionable. The Report refers to a meeting having taken place between Persimmon’s agents and CPBC during October 2015. As we are aware debates on the CPBC Local Plan took place during December 2015 and January 27th 2016, this additional Report was added to the Planning Portal (made public) February 3rd.

It could be questioned by some that if this information had become available just a few days earlier, one of the main supporters of the now rejected draft New Local Plan may have been required to declare an Interest given how strict the Interests consideration had been applied for the meeting, being a Governor of the School likely to benefit from the proposed new road access.

Persimmon’s Report acknowledges that unmet Housing Need is unlikely to constitute a Very Special Circumstance to justify inappropriate development in the Green Belt, as Castle Point residents have learned through recent Planning Inquiries.

Despite this the report’s author then goes onto examine the meaning of the word “unlikely” and how the word suggests that there will be some rare occasions when housing need will constitute a Very Special Circumstance.

It may be reasonable also to suggest that if Green Belt land in the same Borough outside of a Flood Zone did not constitute the necessary Very Special Circumstances (VSC) to allow development, then Green Belt land inside the Flood Zone should also not be considered to constitute the VSC’s necessary!

The little used RSPB Reserve, has a badly sited entrance, likely to become more dangerous with the approval of the Business Development sites off of Roscommon Way. I have pointed out the dangers to officers on more than one occasion. The offer of a Pelican Crossing is inadequate and will remain a danger to youngsters attempting to cross the dual carriageway Canvey Road. Will this encourage more to attend the RSPB reserve, is questionable.

Development Committee members will be aware of the financial difficulties developers have in even providing the agreed level of Affordable Housing, following their agreeing to cut the requirement at the apparently affluent Kiln Road development.

The list of inducements at the Dutch Village may equally be difficult for the developer to supply.

These now include amongst others;

A new Roundabout access on Canvey Road

Sustainable Urban Drainage System

Affordable Housing contribution

A Pelican Crossing to the RSPB Reserve

In an area with lower market House Price Values than elsewhere in the Borough.

Will Persimmon also be expected to contribute to the Sea Defence funding? Something that appears to have gone off of the S106 Agreement Radar of late!



2 responses to “Canvey Island, more like Fantasy Island! Persimmon put temptation in Castle Point’s way.

  1. Quite rightly this applicants flood risk presentation document identifies that a significant part of the Canvey Island Sea defence, in particular that part that acts as a barrier at Hole Haven Creek is in fact made up of an earth and clay embankment. I am unaware that there is any qualification or standard given to this type of protection when considering the appropriateness of a SEA DEFENCE. Never the less Canvey’s defence has been describe by those who support further development of Canvey Island as to be the best in the country.

    The Governments own document identifies that the consequence of a failure of the sea defence to a defended community has the possibility of a catastrophic outcome. If ever there needed to be special circumstances as to why there should be no further housing development within a sea defended area then look no further than Canvey Island.

    Extract from the site specific flood risk assessment :-

    “2.5.1 The site is protected by existing coastal defences around Canvey Island. These defend the island to a standard of protection up to the 0.1% (1 in 1000) annual exceedance probability coastal event. The coastal defences are made up of a number of flood barriers, secondary tidal defences (raised earth embankments), concrete flood defences and sheet pile walls. The maintenance of the tidal defences is carried out by the Environment Agency. Canvey Island is covered in the Thames Estuary 2100 report, with Canvey Island covered under Policy P4, recommending that the current standard of protection is sustained in to the future, responding to the potential increased risks from climate change, land use and urban development”.

    There is no evidence that resources have been set aside following this RECOMMENDATION to secure the sustainability of Canvey Island from the threat from the sea and we now know that there has been a rejection from Government for funding to up grade the drainage system necessary to protect our Island from surface water flooding.
    Infrastructure before development is not an unreasonable request.

  2. I cannot see any advantages to Canvey residents in any of their inducements they have offered.Those issues will only help with their proposed development ,the proposed road to the school will only add to the already congestion on canveys roads .Persimmon proposal to raise the flood area will result in the surrounding housing [DUTCH VILLAGE] flooding from the from that proposed protected site.

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