The loss of the Canvey Island Admiral Jellicoe public house is unsurprising.
Indecisive governance in the borough leaves the area unprotected by a Local Plan, and Canvey Island, in particular, almost defenceless against unrestricted development.The Jellicoe site will be re-developed, quite probably with Flats.
But the viability of an affordable housing allocation will be strongly contested! Allowances to be made for Flood Alleviation and the cost allegedly paid for the site will be points of contention. The apparent sale of the Crown public house in Hadleigh Town Centre, a far more attractive proposition for a developer, went for £400,000.
Whilst newspaper reports suggest the Admiral Jellicoe was purchased for £1,000,000.
With a Plan, Local or otherwise, there may have been the potential to insist that a community facility should be built on part of the site alongside a level of affordable housing.
This potential has been lost as the developer would have purchased the site in the knowledge that no restriction exists where cpbc planning control is concerned.
Those concerned at the loss of yet another Canvey Island iconic building should be asking questions of the local authority.
The King Canute is also in danger of destruction, should the contractors accidentally damage the building’s structure! There is a condition imposed by cpbc that states efforts must be made to protect the front and side elevations of the King Canute throughout the re-development, but this was not part of any planning conditions imposed by cpbc officers!
It was only following enquiries by the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group to the development committee chairman and the last minute suggestion during the committee’s consideration that led to the protection condition to be imposed. Officers previously showed NO Concern on the retention of the King Canute “shell”!
And yet cpbc are quick and keen to Harness the “Canvey Community Spirit” when there is gain to be made.
Following the grand work undertaken by two community groups the Canvey beach area is now unrecognisable to its previously unkept state. This has not only advantaged the Sandy Bay development but also opened the door of opportunity for cpbc.
The Canvey, Coastal Communities Alliance is another cpbc scheme seeking to dip into the Coastal Communities Fund dclg general fund. It could be suggested that if not for the excellent, tireless and selfless commitment to the sea front by the Canvey volunteer groups, the potential to chase some of these funds, would not have even occurred to cpbc! We wonder whether these grants, when distributed, are ring-fenced.
Similar to the 6 point plan seeking £24,500,000 government funding for drainage improvements on Canvey Island, which appear to be being less determinedly sought following the government asking for detailed expenditures of work required!
But we digress.
The topic was the continued loss of iconic and important local buildings to development with no public amenity to compensate.
CAMRA’s position in relation to the loss of Pubs states;
“debt-ridden pub property companies (Pubco’s) anxious to sell off pubs; often these are deliberately run down beforehand to make them less commercially attractive to those wishing to take them on as pubs.”
Suggestions have been made by locals that indeed this is what appears to have happened during the final period of the Admiral Jellicoe’s days as a public house.
Castle Point Council is the licencing authority, it could be suggested that they should have taken action once it became apparent that the deliberate Running Down of the business may have been being carried out.
Alongside the lack of a Local Plan for the area this inactivity, or ineptitude, will see more locally important buildings succumb to development with little advantage for residents.
Castle Point council appear more determined where the Crown ex public house, due to be part of the Hadleigh regeneration plan, is concerned.
According to an Echo report in 2011, cpbc were very close to settling a deal for the Crown with the aid of a £175,000 grant from Essex County Council, which had been sold by the brewery to MCC developments following its closure in 2009.
The obvious question arising is what might be the current value of the Crown site, given the apparent £1,000,000 sale of the Admiral Jellicoe, and, should it occur, is this appropriate use of the borough’s funds?
Photograph Copyright: Luke Baker
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