Despite officer reassurances that a Precedent had not been set, when a small grass “walkway” on Canvey Island was handed over to a “developer”, CPBC planning portal reveals that a similar proposal, adjacent to 96 Smallgains Avenue, Applic. No. 18/0475/FUL, has also been approved, this time via a delegated decision by Castle Point officers.
Why this never came before the development committee to discuss we can only wonder, especially as the proposal is for a miserably small 3 bedroomed dwelling!
The officer report describes the land, “The application site is a ‘green road’, examples of which are found across Canvey Island. These are former roads which have been closed to vehicular traffic, usually in the 60s and 70s.
Although long since closed to vehicular traffic, the land provides a pedestrian link between Giffhorn Road and Smallgains Avenue.”
This delegated decision is based on the “precedent” that all similar plots on Canvey Island are now available for Land Grabbing, first in gets First Dibs. What a wonderful Freebie for potential developers.
The officer report also discloses another anomaly, that of the way that Castle Point council “apply” the Sequential Test, in regard to Flood Risk, within the Borough.
I use the terms “apply” and “test” in the most loosest sense of the word!
In reality Castle point council’s approach to the application of the Sequential Test on Canvey Island development proposals, really does warrant some close examination.
The local authority’s position on the application of the Sequential Test is clearly politically motivated. The position was adopted, not by Full Council, but as a small item during a Development Committee meeting.
This meeting and the adoption of the approach to Sequential Testing for Flood Risk, was also, prior to the Strategic Flood risk Assessment 2010, the 2013 and 2014 Summer Floods, and has not been reviewed since!
History now indicates that NO DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS FOR CANVEY ISLAND HAVE BEEN REJECTED ON FLOOD RISK GROUNDS.
DESPITE THE WHOLE ISLAND BEING A CRITICAL DRAINAGE AREA AND A FLOOD RISK ZONE, 3A
In fact even more development is considered to be required, to actually sustain Canvey Island from so called “social and economic blight”.
This approach leads to carte blanche development approval by officers and the Lead Group on the development committee, whether the development proposal is for a single dwelling, a medium sized development or a large development!
Let’s consider what the NPPF and Government Guidance informs and instructs:
Applying the Sequential Test in the preparation of a Local Plan.
As some areas at lower flood risk may not be suitable for development for various reasons and therefore out of consideration, the Sequential Test should be applied to the whole local planning authority area to increase the possibilities of accommodating development which is not exposed to flood risk.
More than one local planning authority may jointly review development options over a wider area where this could potentially broaden the scope for opportunities to reduce flood risk and put the most vulnerable development in lower flood risk areas.
Paragraph 158. The aim of the sequential test is to steer new development to areas with the lowest risk of flooding. Development should not be allocated or permitted if there are reasonably available sites appropriate for the proposed development in areas with a lower risk of flooding. The strategic flood risk assessment will provide the basis for applying this test. The sequential approach should be used in areas known to be at risk now or in the future from any form of flooding.
And yet whether an application for development is Miniscule or Large, Sequential Testing on Flood Risk grounds on Canvey Island by Castle Point council reveals the same Approval Result!
Take these Applications as examples of the decidedly unscrupulous means that development on Canvey Island is promoted, pursued and decided!
Land Adjacent 96 Smallgains Avenue 18/0475/FUL 1 Dwelling House
8.29. The whole of Canvey Island is located in Flood Zone 3A. As Canvey Island is a self contained community with continued development needs, it is considered that there are no sequentially preferable sites available, and the proposal passes the sequential test
Application for 27 Dwellings, Canvey Island
“Since the settlement of Canvey Island is located entirely within Flood Zone 3 it is not considered that there are reasonably available sites within the area with a lower probability of flooding that could accommodate the proposed development. Under the circumstances it is considered that the proposal passes the sequential test.”
Application for 600 Dwellings and Residential Institution, Canvey Island
Regarding the Sequential Test, “The wider sustainability benefits to the community of Canvey Island have been discussed, as part of the Sequential Test. Its continued development is necessary to sustain the local community and prevent the social and economic blight of this settlement.”
With regard to Sequential Testing of Business premises across the Roscommon Way area, in support of the expansion of Charfleets estate and Morrisons and the new Business Park sites etc, despite the unknown effects of built development on the drainage issues in this and across the rest of Canvey Island, the Sequential Test is considered to have been passed.
Despite the identification, through cpbc’s own Local Plan report evidence, of Business premises need and the better siting of such facilities being in the northern parts of the Borough.
The cpbc Sequential Test methodology is leading to population “Growth” for “Growths” sake, and Housing to offset the Borough’s Needs.
There is absolutely no evidence, nor remote chance, that cpbc and local Responders would be able to tend to the current population of Canvey Island in an Emergency. Proof of which was exposed during the 2014 Summer Floods failure to respond by the local authority and their “agencies”!