Tag Archives: Coastal Communities Fund

Aspirations, Fairy Tales and Disappointments, the Joys of Being a Canvey Island Resident! “Good News” delivered, conveniently, ahead of Local Plan!

Canvey “Good News” Stories

Canvey Town Centre Regeneration!

Canvey Paddocks Redevelopment!

Canvey Seafront Regeneration!

It can be no coincidence that Canvey’s Paddocks, Seafront and Town Centre were the focus of the Castle Point council’s cabinet’s discussions, available to view either in  the public gallery, on cpbc webcast or read, faithfully recorded in the Echo newspaper.

Ably presented as “good news” items by our leader cllr smith and supported by words of appreciation by doting cabinet members and lead group attendees alike.

For those more gullible, let us remember that the cpbc Local Plan is due for agreement for publication ahead of consultation during an upcoming council meeting scheduled for late November!

There is no doubt that these “good news” stories will make for an uplifting “Vision for the Future” chapter to the (hopefully?) new Local Plan2018, and even form some half convincing Policies.

What were we told during October’s cabinet meeting? 

The Town Centre Regeneration, that aspired, within the 2016 withdrawn Local Plan, to;

“Increasing the proportion of local comparison spend retained within Canvey and Hadleigh Town Centres by delivering 8,350m2 of additional comparison floorspace in these locations; and Increasing the range of other economic and community activities in town centres”

Even though in the meantime cpbc have encouraged and permitted out of town centre, greenfield growth, on the Island that threatens the whole existence of our High Street and Town Centre businesses!

Canvey Seafront, reference was made within the 2016 withdrawn Local Plan to; 

” the Government’s Tourism Strategy 2011 highlights the importance of tourism to the economy and is clear that good planning policies can support growth in the tourism sector.”

” the seafront area on Canvey is in need of regeneration. Despite some investment from the public sector and redevelopment of a key piece of vacant previously developed land, the area requires further improvements to the quality of the private and public realms, and the range of leisure services on offer.  Due to the decline in these a front area, there are pressures emerging from convenience retailers to occupy units within the seafront parade. This would undermine the seafront area as a leisure and tourism destination and prevent its rejuvenation.”

The biggest regeneration of the seafront has been at the hands of local Canvey residents. Cleaning of the beaches and footpaths, decoration of the Sea Wall, supply and fitting of benches have transformed the seafront, thereby encouraging more visitors, allowing Castle Point council to identify the possibility of boosting its income from car parking charges!

Latching onto this new income stream prompted further investigation by cpbc into attempting to secure a proportion of the £40,000,000 “prize” money on offer via the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

Castle Point council set up a committee, naturally, to engage with Bell Phillips, architects “to undertake a master planning exercise to ensure the future vitality of Canvey Seafront.”

Whilst Canvey Island will never become a holiday resort, those days are long gone, it can hope to be a day-out attraction for many.

The problem with the seafront masterplan was that it appears to sketchy and lightweight without indicating hard evidence that employment would be created, which appears to be the main driver, reasonably enough, of the Government’s Coastal Communities funding scheme.

Perhaps cpbc identified the opportunity of securing funds that could bolster their finances whilst they planned and consulted on ideas that might slowly come to fruition.  

As cllr cole queried, how long can it take and how expensive can it be, to install some toilets at the seafront?

What more needs saying about the Paddocks?

It appears that cpbc leader cllr smith has now become a tad reticent, having driven through the cabinet decision to demolish the community’s hall, but now less willing to reveal the Actual size of new hall, costings and sources of finances (Flats or Houses?) needed to produce a new building! 

Canvey residents can store the Paddocks, Seafront and Town Centre issues, alongside those of the 3rd Access Road and Roscommon Way, as Aspirations, Fairy Tales and Disappointments perhaps.

However, these dreams will be enough to form a few policies and fill a few pages of the Castle Point Local Plan 2018 to help fool an Inspector that Canvey Island is the sustainable growth area to distribute Housing to help fulfil the Borough’s needs.

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cpbc Coastal Communities Seafront Subgroup and Bell Phillips reps.

Echo Newspaper recent coverage of these issues can be read via the Links below;

Canvey Town Centre Regeneration

Canvey Paddocks Redevelopment

Canvey Seafront Regeneration

Photograph: Castle Point Borough Council

 

 

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The Admiral Jellicoe, the Loss of Canvey’s Buildings of Local Interest, and the apparent disinterest of Castle Point Council.

The loss of the Canvey Island Admiral Jellicoe public house is unsurprising.

Admiral Jellicoe

Admiral Jellicoe. Luke Baker Photography.

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

See more at; http://www.facebook.com/LukeBakerPhotography2017/