Yet MORE Flats for Canvey Island can be expected for Approval during next Tuesday’s, March 2017 meeting of the cpbc Development Committee.
The rights and wrongs will be the subject of some probably pointless discussion as flats and town centres seem to go together, yet some of the officer’s ramblings within the agenda paperwork are flimsy to say the least!
Using extracts lifted from the officers agenda paperwork, in italics:-
“Government’s clear expectation is that the answer to development and growth should wherever possible be ‘yes’, except where this would compromise the key sustainable development principles set out in national planning policy.”
Concerns around National Planning Policy are generally discounted where development and constraints of the type affecting Canvey are concerned.
“There is a clear and recognised need for additional housing provision within the borough and as such a presumption in favour of the development of the site for residential purposes exists”
This makes a mockery of the Canvey being a “special case” argument. If it were truly to be treated as a “special case” the levels of development and population would have been examined, taking into account the Flood Risk, the location of the 2 Comah sites and the access / egress issues!
What “special case” means in Canvey’s respect is that development will be approved regardless of Constraints!
“The site is within the town centre but not located within a primary shopping frontage. It is isolated from the nearby core retail area by reason of the busy one way road system of the town”
I am sorry I must be missing something here; I thought the site adjoined the High Street parade of retail premises, agreed it is a former dairy but since then has more laterly a DIY outlet.
“However, whilst the Canvey Town Centre Master Plan is an adopted policy document it is at an embryonic stage and something of an aspirational document with limited commercial commitment. The proposals within the plan will not be delivered in the short or medium term and are unlikely to come to fruition in their current form”
This statement is quite some admittance from Castle Point council! After, what many residents claimed, many wasted years of council taxpayers money on maintaining a “Regeneration” shop in the Knightswick centre, it appears the Canvey Town Centre scheme is no further forward.
Used to support an ailing Core Strategy and Local Plan it is now accepted as an Aspirational, Long Term dream!
As pie in the sky as this scheme was, should not excuse the desire to improve the visual aspect of the Town Centre, contained within the Regeneration scheme.
Developers should be tied to providing a building design matching those contained within the regeneration scheme, before any development plans are accepted for consideration! A Plan of any Sort, in this case, would be better than None.
“The development, along with the rest of Canvey Island, is located in Flood Zone 3 which has the highest probability of flooding. Whilst sequential testing aims to steer new development to the area with the lowest possible probability of flooding, it is an established principle that Canvey has development needs which need to be met on Canvey if the settlement is not to be economically blighted, therefore the sequential test is considered to be passed.”
The use of the term “accepted principle” as in the sentence above, is a Castle Point council preference used as a means to locate “additional housing provision within the borough” on Canvey Island rather than in more politically sensitive locations, it is not even a Policy!
“19 spaces are therefore required but only 12 are provided on site. However in town centre locations where there is good access to public transport and other facilities it would be appropriate for the planning authority to accept lower levels of parking provision.”
Records indicate that, whether in a Town Centre, or not, cpbc are content and consistent especially on Canvey Island, in permitting the under-supply of parking spaces.
This 3 storey development that could and should provide the perfect opportunity in a Flood Risk Zone, to use the Ground Floor as secure parking and utility space!
Canvey Island is indeed a “Special Case”!
Oh and by the way before you get too excited, an application for 10 dwellings need supply 0 (Zero) Affordable Dwellings.