China Crisis = Answer to Canvey Island issues? Or – Castle Point’s Broken Local Plan Process “the continued development of Canvey Island is necessary”???

“The continued development of Canvey Island is necessary to sustain the local community and prevent the social and economic blight of the settlement.”

So say, Castle Point borough council planning officers in their programmed approach to avoiding objections to each and every proposal for development on Canvey Island.

This programmed response, supporting perpetual development, is in respect of evading opposition and objection to the “Special Case” position the officers are ordered to adopt in consideration of Canvey’s Flood Risk Exception test.

Whilst Constraints on development in other areas of the borough are sited and strictly adhered to, as a matter of policy, similar approach to Canvey Island proposals appear less rigorously imposed.

Given that Canvey development should be constrained by the fact that the Island is a tidal Flood Risk Zone 3a area, is now deemed a Critical Drainage Area following the surface water flooding during 2014 and previously, as well as being the location of 2 Top Tier Comah hazardous industrial sites.

That there is only one access / egress point, that the Island’s dedicated Rapid Response (paramedic) Vehicle is being withdrawn and that, like other areas the Police and the Fire and Rescue service presence has diminished.

These factors, one would think given Canvey Island’s geographical position, may cause outsiders to wonder why castle point borough council planning department should be so manipulative, when they recite such Unsound Drivel as “the continued development of Canvey Island is necessary to sustain the local community and prevent the social and economic blight of the settlement”!

Higher up the local government ladder the planning department superiors have indentified in contrast, that on tidal Flood Risk alone, they consider that the population of Canvey Island should be limited to the level prior to 2011, OR LESS!

However cpbc Cabinet, Councillors, Officers and Planners ALL choose to ignore this apparently sensible and cautious approach to Housing Numbers, one can only assume, so as to limit the levels of apparently necessary, but unpopular, Housing Need elsewhere in the Borough!

Now whilst our local “public servants” propose and impose yet more development, both Housing and Industrial, onto Canvey Island under the pretext that, “the continued development of Canvey Island is necessary to sustain the local community and prevent the social and economic blight of the settlement” they would do well to appreciate what is going on far from here.

Local decision makers, in their desperation to support the Borough’s income stream and limit the perceived Housing Need on the mainland, are willing to overlook potential Hazards and Constraints that should, by Rights, limit the ever-increasing Canvey Island Population Growth, through the means of our broken Local Plan process!

This Blindfolded and Wreckless approach to Development Planning on Canvey Island, has directly led to the flooding of many properties during 2013 / 2014, and is continued unabated, despite the clear warning towards adoption of a more cautious approach following the Calor escape of 163 tonnes of liquified gas forming a  vapour cloud over the Island!

Whilst the efforts of the Essex Fire and Rescue Service to convince cpbc members that their vastly reduced level of cover for Canvey Island would be adequate in the event of a major accident at either of the 2 Hazardous sites, their claim should not serve as supporting evidence for continually increasing the Population of Canvey.

Castle Point, we believe, would be totally justified in adopting a Limited Population Approach to its Housing Supply through its Local Plan Process, especially where Canvey Island is concerned.

This approach would be fully justified and would protect local builders and developers alike.

An ever-increasing population has little or no justification in any of the reasons recited by cpbc in its flimsy evidence to direct the levels of development growth towards Canvey Island, indicated in their various versions of failed Local Plans .

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It is Amazing then to discover that a Far Eastern Country should have adopted a Plan that puts concerns for its Population and Environment first, by recognising the Need to Limit Population Levels.

Whilst we do not compare the population levels of Shanghai and Canvey Island, it does indicate that limiting population, rather than the contrived reasoning behind the proposal for the ever-increasing population numbers policy, as applied by Castle Point Council Strategic and Local Planners!

 “China’s financial hub of Shanghai will limit its population to 25 million people by 2035 as part of a quest to manage “big city disease”, authorities have said.

The State Council said on its website late on Monday the goal to control the size of the city was part of Shanghai’s masterplan for 2017-2035, which the government body had approved.
“By 2035, the resident population in Shanghai will be controlled at around 25 million and the total amount of land made available for construction will not exceed 3,200 square kilometres,” it said.
State media has defined “big city disease” as arising when a megacity becomes plagued with environmental pollution, traffic congestion and a shortage of public services, including education and medical care.

But some experts doubt the feasibility of the plans, with one researcher at a Chinese government thinktank describing the scheme as “unpractical and against the social development trend”.
Migrant workers and the city’s poor would suffer the most, predicted Liang Zhongtang last year in an interview with state media, when Shanghai’s target was being drafted.

The government set a similar limit for Beijing in September, declaring the city’s population should not exceed 23 million by 2020. Beijing had a population of 21.5 million in 2014. Officials also want to reduce the population of six core districts by 15% compared with 2014 levels.
To help achieve this goal authorities said in April some government agencies, state-owned companies and other “non-core” functions of the Chinese capital would be moved to a newly created city about 100 kilometres south of Beijing.
An exact date for when those offices will have to move has not been set, but Beijing officials have already begun reshaping the city’s population.

Tens of thousands of migrant workers were evicted from their homes beginning in November, after authorities launches a 40-day crackdown on unsafe buildings in the wake of a fire.
Many of China’s biggest cities also face surging house prices, stirring fears of a property bubble. Beijing and Shanghai have enacted strict rules on who can purchase property and the two cities are the most vulnerable if prices begin to tumble.
Shanghai had a permanent population of 24.15 million at the end of 2015, the official Xinhua news agency said last year.
The city has also said it would intensify efforts to protect the environment and historic sites as part of its masterplan.” *

As a further reminder, we make no apologies for reminding readers of the devastating effects on households Hazardous Accidents have the potential to cause, as seen in this Video recording.

Grateful thanks go to Ian Silverstein for use of his video.

*Report filed for the Guardian by; Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong and agencies
@haasbenjamin
Tue 26 Dec ‘17
Reuters contributed to this report

And for those who have read this far, here is a link to some music – China Crisis’ recording of “Wishful Thinking”.

We thought the title appropriate!

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3 responses to “China Crisis = Answer to Canvey Island issues? Or – Castle Point’s Broken Local Plan Process “the continued development of Canvey Island is necessary”???

  1. Editor why should the general public have confidence that their safety and wellbeing are in good hands when the HSE has no control over some vital aspects of Local Planning and Local Planners, Planning Committees via the Hazardous Substance Authority have no concept of risk evaluation.

    The Concept of SOCIETAL RISK
    Societal risk is defined as the relationship between frequency and the number of people suffering from a specified level of harm in a given population from the realisation of specified hazards Societal risk evaluation is concerned with estimation of the chances of more than one individual being harmed simultaneously by an incident. The likelihood of the primary event (an accident at a major hazard plant) is still a factor, but the consequences are assessed in terms of level of harm and the numbers affected (severity), to provide an idea of the scale of an accident in terms of numbers killed or harmed. Societal risk is dependent on the risks from the substances and processes located on a major hazard installation. A key factor in estimating societal risk is the population around the site, in particular its location and density.
    Examples of sites that could present significant societal risk include, large liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facilities. The hazard range emanating from a total tank failure, as identified within site safety reports are intrinsically linked to those numbers of society at risk.

    Failure of the HSE practice
    For proposed developments near major hazards, HSE provides its advice case-by-case on the basis of individual risk (which in combination with sensitivity levels attends to ‘case societal risk’), so that advice is blind to the cumulative effects of separate developments over time, or from a ‘legacy’ of development, on societal risk around a site. As a result, ‘local’ societal risk around the site plays no part in the formulation of HSE’s advice or therefore in planning authorities’ decision-making.
    This particular aspect of the failure to benefit from expert advice can be seen to be open to abuse of planning authorities, allowing for incremental development, so as to maximise its Land Use Planning potential.

    Developments outside the Consultation Distance of a Major Hazardous Site.
    The HSE does not currently advise on any proposed development outside its notified CD. Whilst the level of risk to individuals falls with distance away from a site, developments beyond the CD can increase societal risk. The perceived failure of current LUP control to prevent incremental development (and so incremental growth of societal risk) and to prevent any development outside the CD (including potentially significant contributors to societal risk growth) is the driver for proposed change in LUP advice, to give more explicit attention to societal risk control. It follows that the policy (built on technical decisions about the basis of societal risk estimation) should be judged on whether it is satisfactory in controlling incremental developments within existing CDs and (some) developments beyond some of the current CDs.
    This decision is solely the responsibility of the Planning Authority and would be justified should it be based upon the information on the Risk Outcome and Hazard Range details provided by the relative Hazardous Installation SAFETY REPORT criteria.

    Ultimately, decisions on the levels of risk that should be considered acceptable are for society to decide. Estimating major hazard risks is an inexact science and calculations can only be used as an aid to decision-making. This applies both to decisions by site operators about investment in additional onsite safety measures, and by planning authorities about land use around such sites. There will almost certainly be other factors in addition to safety considerations in any particular case – for example, the effect of new onsite technical measures on business viability or the benefits that new development would bring to a community.

    The Government’s view therefore is that informed public opinion, and not solely professional judgement, should guide decisions on where societal risk might be considered either so low that it can be ignored, high enough to be considered with other factors, or indeed so high that they might override other factors.

    In conclusion the HSE relinquishes all responsibility for incremental development within a COMAH site Consultation Distance. The HSE have not concluded that the Hazard Range outcome beyond a hazardous site consultation distance is a matter for their consideration even though the Hazard Range and Societal Risk are intrinsically linked.

    There is no evidence that CPBC relates to COMAH site Safety Reports when considering it planning policy.
    The HSE will not intervene on retrospective planning consent even though this could place a considerable number of people within the middle zone of a major accident potential.

    Information made available to the public with regards to a major industrial accident emanating from the COMAH sites at Canvey Island, is less than satisfactory with regards to possible accident outcome, with the public expected to take comfort in an emergency plan that is solely reliant on a stay put approach.

    The HSE stance has been that if there are any further issues with regards to the Land Use Planning policy for Canvey Island then they should be directed to those with the ultimate responsibility, that being CPBC.

  2. I am the group coordinator of the S E Essex Friends of the Earth group and have been concerned for many years by the pace of building on the island. The UK government, at all levels, knows full well that climate change is causing sea levels to rise and the pace of ice melting will accelerate as our planet continues to warm.
    Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that warming in the Arctic and Antarctic is happening faster than modelling predicted just 10 years ago. It appears that humanity is in real trouble !
    The implications of all this are far reaching, including the fact that we need to start reducing the population on Canvey and moving people away from low lying areas. Given the fact that we expect homes to last at least 100 years it makes sense to ensure that all new homes are built at least 20 feet above the current high water mark.
    Given the fact that we will all be crammed into a small living space it makes sense to build more apartments instead of so many houses, and to build those houses around public transport hubs and along public transport corridors. We don’t have the space for a car dependent culture today – let alone in 30 years time when sea level rise will become more rapid and demand a more dynamic response.
    I post regularly on Facebook about the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise. I post as: Jonathan N Fuller

  3. David Robert Gibson

    Well said. The primary cause of Government pressure on CPBC for more housing is *mass immigration*. We should press CPBC to join with other councils to stop and reverse it, pressing Rebecca Harris too.

    David

    David Robert Gibson Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

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