Can’t Plan – Won’t Plan! Is there a Pride of Place in Canvey Island?

Rather like some Brexit “Remainers”, the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group continue, despite the Unanimous decision by the Town Council, to believe a Neighbourhood Plan would be beneficial to Canvey Island.

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In a ResPublica report it is considered that more deprived areas are unlikely to have a Neighbourhood Plan in place, likewise people living in areas they consider unappealing!

Looking at social media sites, which some TC members shy away from, it is easy to find evidence of Canvey residents displaying great community spirit and volunteer involvement. This suggests that Canvey, residents at least, do not consider themselves to be living in a deprived or unappealing area. And yet there was no sign that the town council committee would find a Neighbourhood Plan to be of any  Asset.

Disappointingly only the mayor contacted us to enquire why we felt so adamant that a Neighbourhood Plan would be beneficial, no other committee member made enquiries.

This despite the majority of committee members feeling the Castle Point Local Plan doomed to failure.

We feel that the CPBC evidence base suggests that Canvey could devise a Neighbourhood Plan, alongside an emerging Borough Local Plan, that would benefit Canvey Island.

The Canvey Green Belt Campaign have submitted a 75 page CPBC Local Plan Consultation document. We would have been far happier if a positive Canvey Island Neighbourhood Plan document would have been entered into the Castle Point consultation instead!

As an example was the cpbc development committee consideration of the King Canute redevelopment, in which only at the 11th hour was a request for preservation measures to be added as a Condition for the redevelopment!

A Neighbourhood plan would have given the Canute site more protection.

Likewise the Canvey Supply site, Flats development. Criticisms were raised by certain cpbc development committee members to the visual design of the development. The Canvey Town Centre regeneration scheme proposed a Dutch style look to new buildings. A Canvey Neighbourhood Plan would have incorporated this design as a policy, meaning the architects could have made their initial drawings suitable from the start. Now we have  flats being approved for development with no Canvey residents preference in mind, that is no way to leave a legacy for future residents.

A Town with the population of Canvey Island’s, 38,459 (2011) deserves and should seek to be the Corner Stone of the Borough, proposing its own local policies and visions, rather than responding to representatives plans from elsewhere.

With the newly adopted position of a Mayorship, what better legacy than a challenging Canvey Island Neighbourhood Plan could have evolved?

Far from being deluded, we are aware that a Neighbourhood Plan will not be easy, will involve hard work and some expense, but to not consult the residents views, we believe, was a mistake.

We remain available to privately share our beliefs on the matter with Town Council members.

Poorer communities are missing out on a government scheme to improve neighbourhoods, according to new research published by a think tank.

ResPublica found that although more than 200 Neighbourhood Plans have been created – with a further 1,900 being prepared – the vast majority are in more affluent areas.

The ten local authority areas that have the highest proportion of neighbourhoods among the 10% most deprived areas in England, had five or fewer designated neighbourhood plan areas in their district.

However, local authority areas with more than 20 designated neighbourhood plan areas tended to be in the more affluent areas such as Cheshire East, East Devon, South Hams, Wiltshire and Chichester.

Caroline Julian, deputy director of ResPublica, said: ‘Deprived communities across Britain are missing out on the chance to improve their surroundings which we know has a range of knock on benefits, including to health.

‘Our research shows that how people perceive the beauty of their local area and the quality of their local community – in terms of crime rates and maintenance of the area – are closely linked. People in areas they find unappealing are less likely to see themselves as positively as they could do – harming their ability to find good jobs and live productive lives. Politicians must reach out to people in these areas and empower them to take action through Neighbourhood Plans.’

Also;

The Secretary of State considers that neighbourhood plans, once made part of the development plan, should be upheld as an effective means to shape and direct development in the neighbourhood planning area in question. Consequently, in view of Framework paragraphs 198 and 185, and his guidance on neighbourhood planning that this is the case even in the absence of a 5 year housing land supply.

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3 responses to “Can’t Plan – Won’t Plan! Is there a Pride of Place in Canvey Island?

  1. should the headline say TC does not support plan?

  2. Editor I thought this might help as to how and why the CANVEY ISLAND TOWN COUNCIL (CASTLE POINT, ESSEX) came about and why the community of Canvey Island should have had a say on the issue of Neighbourhood Planning :-

    Background
    Canvey Island Town Council was created in 2007, after a public petition which precipitated a decision by the Government to agree the designation of this new parish within the borough of Castle Point.
    The campaign for a new town council for Canvey Island had been running for many years. Local campaigners saw the area as a distinct geographic entity, because the island is physically divided from mainland Essex by a channel of the Thames Estuary. Many people remembered when Canvey Island Urban District Council had been the local government body, before the major re-organisation of local government in 1974, and the campaign drew on the feeling that Castle Point Borough Council did not represent well the concerns of local residents.
    Castle Point was opposed to its creation, partly because it would move forty per cent of the borough’s electors into a single local council. This was unprecedented at the time and Essex Association of Local Councils had to establish with the relevant Whitehall department (then the Office of the Deputy-Prime Minister) that such a move would be constitutionally lawful. The order was made to create Canvey Island Town Council in 2006 and the first elections were contested on 3rd May 2007 for its eleven seats.
    Canvey Island Town Council represents a population of over 40,000. The area has been extensively developed since the early part of the 20th Century and the majority of the island is urbanised. However, the western side is dominated by gas storage facilities and oil refineries. Conservation and flood defences are two significant concerns for the Council. The whole island sits within the large-scale Thames Gateway regeneration initiative.

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