The notion that Canvey Island should be treated as a special case with regard to building on the flood plain that is strongly endorsed by Castle Point Councillors and developers because of our sea defences needs serious consideration. The benefit of these defences (which need continual maintainance) I would suggest have already been exhausted by the mass over development and population of the Island having been allowed by the very planners that seek additional development under the heading of social economic and physical regeneration requirements. Attempts have been made to persuade the Environment Agency and Sir Michael Pitt (Author of Lessons to be Learned from the Summer floods of 2007) that the decision of the Agency to prevent and restrict development of flood plains should be overturned with regard to Canvey Island because of the provision of our sea defences. The removal of this policy is in danger of doing Canvey Island a huge dis-service. It will give comfort to the COMAH sites of Calor and OIKOS that reapplication for LNG Storage and bio-diesel plants will not have to overcome these planning restrictions imposed by the Environment Agency at this moment in time. The new Planning Act and the provisions presented to them by the extension of the Roscommon Way proposal will make re-newed applications difficult to oppose, and therefore allowing them to gather momentum. The Environment Agency will of course need to reflect that their own document The Understanding of the Flood Map states that even with the benefit of sea flood defences, the chance of flooding remains at 0.5% (1 in 200) happening each year. It states that the flood defences do not completely remove the risk of flooding. Most risk management assessments rely on historical information when formulating the likelihood and consequence of risk, and it is appropriate to estimate that the risk of Canvey flooding at this moment in time should be seen as being low (global warming needs to be added into the calculation the rate of which is not clearly identified) The consequences are however measureable. The North Sea flood of 1958 devastated the Island costing the lives of 58 Islanders and led to the temporary evacuation of 1300 residents. Unfortunately the over-population of Canvey Island has not been matched with the social economic, physical requirements and infrastructure that would accommodate an evacuation of Canvey Island in an emergency today. If the 1953 figures were reflected, the present occupancy of 40.000 people would indicate a casualty rate that would run into thousands, irrespective of the consequental damage to the environment and property. Those endorsing the notion of removing the protection of the Environment Agency’s policy of not building of flood plain, seriously need to consider their motives and respect the wishes of Canvey Islanders that the priority should in fact be given to a third road off the Island or at the very least the Dual carriaging of Canvey Way before any further development that increases the occupancy of the Island is undertaken. The argument that the planning authority and the Council are complying with Governmental requirements in order to prevent development being imposed upon us by indiscriminate developers amounts to capitulation. The Local Authority Planners (and their choice of Developers) are in danger of making poor planning decisions as a consequence of this.
As an old Islander for 58 years I am dismayed to hear that the Council are thinking about Building 400 or so new Houses on Green belt land. There must be enough Brown belt land in Castle Point with out lumping it on Canvey. The Road System just will not take that many extra houses and vehicles that come with it without massive holdups, as all traffic goes through Waterside. The sea Wall is one of the best in the country, but we must be vigilant as sea levels are rising and it is predicted that by the turn of the century the sea will have risen by approx 1 metre. Then maybe the sea wall would be at risk PS: Also, If they can’t sell the houses that are already on the Island under the present climate why build more? It would devalue the Homes already there !
Sebastian Gwyn-Williams. Brook Natural Health Centre
As a resident of Canvey Island and a father of three young daughters, I am well aware of not only the importance of exercise for children but also the lack of open space left on the island. I feel it is a great shame that this last pocket of greenbelt land could be lost for the sake of more houses on our already overcrowded island.Canvey’s infrastructure is already struggling to cope with the current population and more housing can only add to this problem.
As a Canvey boy for more than 31 years I have seen many changes to our Island, some good, some bad, and I’m struggling to see the benefits for the proposed houses on an already over populated Island. Not only will it be adding to our already congested roads, I wonder what the generations to come will have as recreational fields if we continually build on them. With the misconception of the youths of today being troublemakers, surly restricting their playing areas will only fuel the fire. 2xOlympian (2000/04) 1999 World Championship Silver Medallist. 2001 World Championship Bronze Medallist. 2006 Commonwealth Games Decathlon Champion!
Having been a football coach for the last 15 years, and a professional football & conditioning coach for the last 5-10 years I feel I have a very good eye view of the situation regarding exercise, over the past 5 years especially on Canvey, because they have nothing to do or nowhere to go, they sit on their backsides, this is where obesity starts. Playing stupid computer games instead of outside playing games, whether it be football/basketball/athletics or just hanging out. We are already banging our heads against a brick wall with this self-inflicted disease (Obesity) but lets give kids a chance to play as kids, and leave obesity behind, by keeping the green belt land. By keeping this land, hopefully, we will see an increase in participants at various keep active sessions, instead of on their backsides.
I would just like to wish you success with your campaign to save your green belt land. I was born and lived my early life in a plotlands bungalow at Pitsea surrounded by open fields. Our bungalow was compulsory purchased to make way for a bypass. The bypass went elsewhere but a housing estate now exists on the site of my home and all the fields I enjoyed in my child hood. Fortunately I have my memories. What will future generations memories be of, if all our open spaces are covered with concrete and views of the sky are only glimpsed between chimney pots? There needs to be room for both housing and countryside to maintain the ingredients for a balanced society. Some of our members come from Canvey and I share their concerns over the proposed loss of this area. People need places to be able to walk their dogs. It is much nicer to walk across fields whilst enjoying nature, far better than inhaling traffic fumes walking the streets. One of the health benefits of owning a dog is that regardless of how you feel you have to take your pet for daily exercise .It is far more beneficial to walk in pleasant surroundings. Open spaces are where communities come together and learn to interact with one another. All age groups and from all walks of life. By learning to interact together communities becomes more tolerant and respectful towards each other. What chance of this if the outdoors is nothing but busy streets and alleyways. Good luck with your campaign and I hope common sense will prevail and your piece of green space will develop into something that will benefit the whole community.
SAYING “NO” IS EASY Canvey Island is very different to any other area; it is a community of people with the fighting spirit like London had during the Second World War Once again our way of life is under attack by a bully, this time not by a threat of invasion by a foreign party but by a much more sinister animal, greed and profit for the few In a rush to get on the gravy train of greed, and feed in the trough of profit at the expense of the many, the developers see “Canvey Island” as “Canvey is Land” therefore “Land is Money” They rely on your apathy, and they rely on you falsely believing you can’t do anything to stop them, as they creep across the land destroying your way of life like a malignant cancer You can stop them, by just saying “NO” and meaning it, fighting on a united front by binding together like a bundle of twigs, one twig they can snap very easily but a bundle of twigs bound together no matter how powerful they are cannot be broken Look at your family and ask yourself am I prepared to fight for them and our way of life? Ask yourself why have you put your roots down where you are? Is it for you and your loved ones to have a better life? Or are you going to let some money making bully push you and your family around so they can ruin your way of life for their profit By many people doing a little bit it makes a big difference you can make that difference by saying “NO” SO SAY “NO” NOW I have stood and been counted against the building of 2 Oil Refineries in the 70s and 80s, and recently a Bio-diesel Plant at OIKOS, and the building of a Methane Terminal at the Calor Gas site on Canvey Island all have been stopped by the people being counted and standing together saying “NO”
NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND AND BE COUNTED