Canvey Island “A Special Case”!

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.


Canvey Island, densely urbanised yet always room for more!

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!


4 responses to “Canvey Island “A Special Case”!

  1. As recently as the 23rd of December a Senior Development and Flood Risk Officer from Essex County Council once again considered it necessary to remind CPBC of its responsibilities when considering planning applications.

    He stated in his response to CPBC amongst other comments the following :-

    “Summary of Flood Risk Responsibilities for your Council

    We have not considered the following issues as part of this planning application as they are not within our direct remit; nevertheless these are all very important considerations for managing flood risk for this development, and determining the safety and acceptability of the proposal. Prior to deciding this application you should give due consideration to the issue(s) below. It may be that you need to consult relevant experts outside your planning team.

    • Sequential Test in relation to fluvial flood risk;
    • Safety of people (including the provision and adequacy of an emergency plan, temporary refuge and rescue or evacuation arrangements);
    • Safety of the building;
    • Flood recovery measures (including flood proofing and other building level resistance and resilience measures);
    • Sustainability of the development.

    In all circumstances where warning and emergency response is fundamental to managing flood risk, we advise local planning authorities to formally consider the emergency planning and rescue implications of new development in making their decisions.

    Please see Appendix 1 at the end of this letter with more information on the flood risk responsibilities for your council.

    Appendix 1 – Flood Risk responsibilities for your Council

    The following paragraphs provide guidance to assist you in determining matters which are your responsibility to consider.

    • Safety of People (including the provision and adequacy of an emergency plan, temporary refuge and rescue or evacuation arrangements)

    You need to be satisfied that the proposed procedures will ensure the safety of future occupants of the development. In all circumstances where warning and emergency response is fundamental to managing flood risk, we advise LPAs formally consider the emergency planning and rescue implications of new development in making their decisions. We do not normally comment on or approve the adequacy of flood emergency response procedures accompanying development proposals as we do not carry out these roles during a flood.

    • Flood recovery measures (including flood proofing and other building level resistance and resilience measures) We recommend that consideration is given to the use of flood proofing measures to reduce the impact of flooding when it occurs. Both flood resilience and resistance measures can be used for flood proofing.

    Flood resilient buildings are designed to reduce the consequences of flooding and speed up recovery from the effects of flooding; flood resistant construction can help prevent or minimise the amount of water entering a building. The National Planning Policy Framework confirms that resilient construction is favoured as it can be achieved more consistently and is less likely to encourage occupants to remain in buildings that could be at risk of rapid inundation.

    Flood proofing measures include barriers on ground floor doors, windows and access points and bringing in electrical services into the building at a high level so that plugs are located above possible flood levels. Consultation with your building control department is recommended when determining if flood proofing measures are effective.

    Further information can be found in the Department for Communities and Local Government publications ‘Preparing for Floods’ and ‘Improving the flood performance of new buildings’.

    • Sustainability of the development

    The purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. The NPPF recognises the key role that the planning system plays in helping to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking full account of flood risk and coastal change; this includes minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to these impacts. In making your decision on this planning application we advise you consider the sustainability of the development over its lifetime”.

    It is ironic that the “Preparing For Floods” document highlighted for reference is dated October 2003, Canvey Island has endured 2 major surface water flooding incidents since this date for which CPBC were ill prepared.

  2. Thanks for this input Steve.
    It can be NO Coincidence that the warnings from Essex CC, the Lead local Flood Authority, almost mirror those of the Environment Agency.

    Both organisations point out the limitations of their remit in considering Flood Risk to, not only New developments but the effects of development on existing residents and their properties.

    Both Essex CC and the Environment Agency point out to Castle Point Council officers and councillors that other issues such as residents and properties safety is ultimately CASTLE POINT COUNCIL’s sole responsibility.

    That the EA and Essex CC Continuously feel the Need to Point Out these Responsibilities is likely an indication that the Local Authority may be failing its Duty of Care.

    Their continual reminders suggest that cpbc are failing Canvey Island residents as an Evacuation is impractical, that Tidal Flooding would likely provide No Warning and that the Drainage System is not designed to cope with either Tidal Flooding or the levels of Surface Water Flooding endured during 2013 and again in 2014!

    The Environment Agency and the Essex cc Lead Flood Authority can do no more.
    The continued overlooking and ignorance of these responsibilities by cpbc officers and councillors, under the dismissive “the EA have No Objection”, amounts to abuse of the Planning System for extremely dubious reasons.

    That these points and issues are not discussed and fought over during planning meetings highlights the apathy.

  3. Patricia barrett

    When will enough be enough???

  4. What is meant by the term flood risk mitigation.

    The purpose of flood mitigation is to prevent an overall increase in flood risk as a result of new development and, if possible, to reduce the overall flood risk (to new and existing development).
    It is common to describe risk as a function of the chance of a particular event occurring (probability) and the impact that the event or hazard would have if it occurred (consequences). However, risk can also be expressed as a combination of three generic components:

    1.The nature and probability of the hazard.

    2.The degree of exposure of people, assets or the environment to the hazard, and

    3.The vulnerability of the people, assets or the environment should the hazard be realised.

    For development planning, it is also necessary to distinguish between:

    The flood risk to the proposed development, and

    The change in flood risk to the surrounding area caused by the development.

    What has become clear via statements emanating from the Environment Agency and the Lead Local Flood Authority is that CPBC will be the responsible authority, should the flood risk assessments accepted from development applications not provide the flood mitigating aspects as described

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s