Whilst monitoring the lengths of effort being made by Persimmon to develop 275 houses on what is left of the Canvey Island, Dutch Village Green Belt, we came across an article from 2010, that puts these efforts into perspective.
It refers to Flood Risk within the strategic planning of the Castle Point Council’s Core Strategy and reads;
At a special meeting called to give councillors (cpbc) a chance to scrutinise work on the document, Steve Rogers, head of regeneration and homes, said: “The ultimate decision will be with the inspector.
“We have asked him to acknowledge that Canvey is a special case.”
“The Environment Agency have acknowledged that the council has a point on that.”
He said the Environment Agency has acknowledged its negative position created a difficult situation of “preventing development on Canvey when we already have a population of 40,000 living there”.
Dave Blackwell, leader of the opposition Canvey Island Independent Party, questioned the council’s position.
He said: “It worries me that we are pressurising the Environment Agency to ease up on health and safety rules when it comes to flood risk, just to put more houses on Canvey.”
Mr Blackwell also asked if some of the caravans on Canvey’s Thorney Bay Caravan Park could be knocked off the borough’s 5,000 housing target after the Government’s Valuation Office Agency ruled last week 292 of the caravans are eligible for council tax.
But Mr Rogers said Health and Safety Executive rules about the proximity of the mobile homes to Oikos and Calor Gas meant it was not possible.
He said: “The reason is the nature of the dwellings and the location close to hazardous installations where normally residential development would not be permitted.”
Since this time the Dutch Village has been removed from the Local Plan2016 Housing Supply, despite this Persimmon’s persist in coercing the Environment Agency. Essex County Council the Lead Local Flood Authority, cpbc officers and councillors into allowing the development.
The site is within Green Belt and the 3A Flood Zone.
The Government state that the Green Belt is “absolutely sacrosanct”!
The Environment Agency comment; “Although Canvey Island is defended to a high standard of protection, it is at risk should there be a flood defence failure. This residual flood risk should be considered, as although the likelihood of it occurring is low, the consequences should it happen would be very high.”
The apparent determination of the developers and the latent support, from some quarters, for the continued planning of large scale development on Canvey Island is morally questionable in the very least!