Tag Archives: Canvey Island Independent Party

Mr. Canvey falls foul of Stay-Away Brexiters! Who, will now be better placed – to fight for All Things Canvey?

The loss of Cllr Ray Howard MBE as Canvey Island’s solitary Castle Point Borough Council Cabinet member, for Streets, Waste, Floods and Water Management, appeared to be of little consequence to the borough’s Lead group. For someone as senior as Ray within the local tory party, he appeared not to have received the level of support he deserved during the Election campaign, so as to remain competitive in the prevailing political climate.

In direct comparison, the Emergency Evacuation of Cllr Mumford from his Canvey seat to a very safe mainland ward seat, highlighted how Ray Howard, appeared to have been hung out to dry, along with the Canvey Island residents! Condolences from the Tory Party hierarchy clearly lacked sincerity in the aftermath. 

We are not suggesting an act of duplicity in anyway,  however we ask, who now retains the influence when seeking to restrict the further urbanisation of Canvey Island, having recognised that the over-development of the zone 3 flood plain, with its critical drainage and surface water storage issues, that contributed towards flooding incidents? 

Who will now be better placed to fight for the completion of the deemed essential final phase of the Roscommon Way?

Who will now be better placed to fight for the funding of the essential repairs and upgrade of our sea defences? 

Who will now be better placed to seek, as a matter of urgency, the improvement of the access and egress of Canvey Island so as to provide support for a viable emergency evacuation plan?

Who will now be better placed to fight to stop the systematic development of Sites of Special Scientific Interest, green open spaces and green belt?

And

Who will now be in an influential position to hold CPBC to task for inappropriate developments in and around COMAH sites?

We congratulate Cllr Thomas CIIP on his election success, he will need to hit the ground running to get to grips with all the issues that Ray Howard has had responsibility for in someway or another.

As far as Castle Point Council Cabinet meetings go we should remember, that if we find ourselves being without a seat at the Table not having received an invitation to Dinner, Canvey, is very likely to find itself being on the Menu!

Ray Howard MBE

Photograph: Martin Dalton

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Master-Planning is left in the Paddock, whilst the Local Plan, Stalls! Could Castle Point Council appear anymore Inadequate? Government Chief Planner to eventually let us know!

Two issues have reared their heads locally, One concerning the Paddocks, Canvey Island, the other the whole of Castle Point through its emerging Local Plan and the Government threat of Intervention!

Firstly the Paddocks. It appears that 3 Councillors have visited the Paddocks and engaged with the Hall users.

Now our cllr Leader, cllr smith has enthused over his Local Plan’s promotion of “Master Planning” where development is concerned. During the Special Council meeting arranged to hurry / force through the approval of the Local Plan 2018, much was made of the Master planning initiative, through which local ward councillors would have input, alongside residents and developers on new developments.

So it was surprising to learn that these 3 councillors attending and engaging with the Paddocks users where not the local South Ward representatives.

The Local Plan 2018 reads: “The NPPF also explains that the creation of high quality buildings and places in fundamental to what the planning process should achieve. It goes on to state that design quality should be considered throughout the evolution and assessment of proposals. Early discussion between developers, the local planning authority and the local community is important for clarifying expectations. Proposals that demonstrate early, proactive and effective engagement should be looked on more favourably.” 

So it appears that cllr smith’s preference for Master Planning, maybe somewhat selective!

The Agenda paperwork for the Local Plan 2018 Special Council meeting clearly indicates that the threat of Government Intervention in the Castle Point Local Plan is a dire consequence of not adhering to a strict agreed Timetable;

“Failure to keep to the programme as agreed by Council in the LDS to produce a legally and technically compliant local plan is likely to result in intervention.”

“Failure to make progress with the New Local Plan 2018 at this time will also be noted by the Secretary of State.”

“If the Council wishes to remain in control of the Council’s local plan process for the Borough the Council must make progress with a local plan. The New Local Plan 2018 now before Council has been prepared to an accelerated timetable, agreed in June following consultation with the Ministry.”

On the Local Plan 2018 itself; “The Chief Executive informed Council that the consultants, led by an experienced Planning Inspector had concluded ‘Lit appears that the Council should be able to submit a local plan for examination which meets current national advice’.”

” The decision (for councillors consideration, rather than that of approval of the Local Plan and its Green Belt development) was whether to keep control of the local plan making process for Castle Point or allow Government officials to intervene and take over the process.”

As we all know the Local Plan 2018 was rejected by Full Council despite these warnings!

Councillors found that amongst other reasoning the distribution of Housing Growth was generally Unjustified.

Since then there has been a further Full council meeting. This meeting produced NO  report on works being carried out on furthering or adjusting the Local Plan!

Such is the purported urgency with the Local Plan schedule that it would have been reasonable to expect, by Government Planners and the Secretary of State AND local Residents, that some work would have gone into addressing the concerns of the councillors that were “brave” enough to go against the council leader’s and ceo’s advice and warnings!

It would be interesting to learn from the Canvey Island Independent Leader and cllr A.Sheldon, possibly the most active Green Belt campaigning mainland councillor, whether officers and / or council leader have engaged with them in a seemingly important effort to continue a process of adjusting the Local Plan, to make it acceptable for councillors approval. Or are the leadership simply sitting and waiting to hear our Fate?

If nothing is being done, you can be sure Castle Point Borough Council will look even more inadequate than it did following the Duty to Cooperate debacle, in which the leadership and officers can be viewed as being seriously negligent!

 

Watch this Space! Castle Point agree to cut corners on a Local Plan, Green Belt in the Mix + 90,000 houses for South Essex coming to an area near you soon!

Castle Point council, last evening agreed a strict timetable to put in place a Local Plan that would be both legally compliant and Sound.

The new Local Plan will be based around the withdrawn 2014 version and will include taking consideration of previous consultation responses, thereby eliminating the need to alter and delay the Plan following a further consultation period.

local plan.jpg-pwrt3

Like a bad Smell, this just will not Go Away!

The previously objectionable Regional Spatial Strategy appears to have been replaced by the Joint Strategic Plan (see below) which appears to impose a similar intense high level of Housing Delivery onto south Essex, and which Castle Point will be pressured to provide its share, whether constraints exist or ot.

The Canvey Island independent party abstained on the grounds that the intended use of Green Belt for Housing Development went against their principles and policies.

As far as Canvey Island is concerned we have now entered a situation of doubt, surrounding the distribution of Housing Growth.

What is clear is that this Plan serves the delivery of Housing Growth over the immediate, and upto the 15 year term.

The “promised” infrastructure will remain as it has previously, reliant on Government and County releasing funds.

The Big Question will remain unanswered, following last evening’s decision.

That is, would the Government’s Chief Planner have applied the existing and unique Constraints on Canvey Island Housing growth in a fairer method than those emerging from the Castle Point council controlled Local Plan?

For better or worse, we may never know, or do we?

That is if cpbc keep to schedule and can satisfy the Secretary of State on the Local Development Plan’s timetable and delivery!

“The Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) consists of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, and Thurrock Councils.” – “along with preparing a Joint Strategic Plan for South Essex would assist future plans for development to ensure new transport links, health and social infrastructure, business and skill opportunities are all included and will ensure that the 90,000 homes that have been identified as being need across south Essex over the next twenty years are built.” 

Treading on Eggshells ! Castle Point welcomes a new Council administration, already under the Green Belt microscope!

The Canvey Green Belt Campaign usually attempt to steer clear of politics. On this occasion due to the major disruption to the local Council administration, it warrants some acknowledgment from us.

Tonight should see the inauguration of the “new” Castle Point Borough Council.

The democratic means of electing our Councillors, one member per ward per election, is intended to allow for the gradual change in political balance, rather than a sudden clear out, or swing from one political “side” to another.

Mainland residents have shown unrest with the previous administration, chiefly with the housing growth intentions and loss of Green Belt contained in the draft Local Plan, and indicated this at the polling station, as is their right.

Canvey residents are as equally uncomfortable with the present new draft Local Plan,  as they were with the Core Strategy,  and likewise showed little inclination to back the previous CPBC administration at election time.

Obviously there is likely to be a rocky ride for the new administration, especially with a 20 : 20 Lead group / opposition balance.

One of the first pieces of work expected of the newly formed administration will be the review of the Local Plan consultation responses.

Remembering the failed Core Strategy consultation of 2009 that resulted in the 87% of non-responding residents being grouped together as being in support of the Council’s plan! The following years of unrest have clearly identified this claim as having been a clear breach of authority and democracy.

This must not be allowed to occur again, especially after the residents action at  the ballot box in May 2014.

Whether or not some of the Green Belt allocated for housing in the Local Plan can be “saved” from development, or whether the housing need numbers can be re-assessed as some councillors are calling for, is the main issue.

Either way, any changes will need to be clearly evidenced which may bring tensions between councillors and officers, as the Local Plan has so far been a long time in the production.

As a background, we have development proposals at Appeal stages.

Whether these Appeals will progress prior to the Local Plan, or whether it is fair to expect the Secretary of State’s office to again intervene allowing time for the Local Plan consultation results to be assessed and possibly a new Plan produced if necessary, will be interesting to observe.

The potential for further changes in administration should the current one falter is a distinct possibility with an upcoming bi-election that will lead to a possible majority of 1 vote to one of the local councillor Groups, and may further interrupt the Plan process.

What with developers having lodged applications for Green Belt development and residents determined that Green Belt should be protected, means that not only will this evening’s Council meeting, but the whole of the next year’s council business will be very interesting.

Whilst it will be interesting to hear what other Green Belt campaign groups feel, this post will be closed to comments.