Time for every single Canvey Island resident to get their head out of the Sand?
This could threaten everything you hold dear, affecting the current Island Residents and the thousands of new Residents CPBC plan Housing for within their Local Plan!
In brief from the CPBC cabinet minutes;
“Oikos Storage Limited is a nationally significant oil, fuel and bulk liquid import and storage facility, located on Canvey Island. The port was first established in 1936 and has grown to include two jetties; over 35 storage tanks; road loading facilities; and connections into national fuel pipelines.
4.2 The facility imports, stores and distributes refined liquid fuels, principally diesel and aviation fuel – including to London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports.
4.3 The port and storage facilities have been expanding, with the last expansion completed in 2018, which included Jetty 2 to take larger ships, and the refurbishment of 12 storage tanks. Old tanks near the seawall have also been removed.
4.4 In order to meet future demand Oikos propose to expand the port and storage facilities. This expansion is by up to 5 million cubic tonnes and is known as the Oikos Marine and South Side Development (OSMSSD)
4.5 The scale of the proposal means that the application must be made using the Development Consent Order process rather than a planning application to the Council as the local planning authority. This requirement is set out in planning law.
4.6 The Development Consent Order (DCO) was introduced in the Planning Act 2008. The Act defines that the Orders can apply to projects ‘within one of the following fields: energy, transport, water, waste water and waste.’
4.7 The purpose of the DCO is to speed up the consenting process for large and complex infrastructure projects. Applications require, by law, that they are considered by the Planning Inspectorate through a Development Consent Order, rather than a planning application to the local planning authority.
Applicants have a statutory duty to undertake consultation on their proposals. This is the best time for stakeholders to seek to influence the application. To date the Oikos project has been launched, but further pre-application consultation is planned for later this year when there are further details on the proposals.
At the pre examination stage an Examining Authority (Inspectors) will be appointed and all Interested Parties will be invited to attend a Preliminary Meeting held by the Examining Authority. Although there are no statutory timescales for this period, it usually takes approximately three months from applicant’s formal notification and publicity of an accepted application.
As the proposed use of the expanded site is for the importation, storage and distribution of hazardous materials (fuels) a Hazardous Substances Consent (HSC) is also required. A HSC is a standalone consent, determined by the hazardous substances authority – Castle Point Borough Council.
The hazardous substances consent process ensures that necessary measures are taken to prevent major accidents and limit their consequences to people and the environment.
This is a key part of the controls for storage and use of hazardous substances which could, in quantities at or above specified limits, present a major off-site risk.
Where the presence of a hazardous substance is directly associated with a proposed development, local planning authorities can exercise control through the decisions on applications for planning permission.
The consent process regulates the storage and use of hazardous substances and enables breaches of control, which may present serious risks, to be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Separate health and safety law ensures measures are in place for the safe use of hazardous substances.
However, even after measures have been taken to prevent major accidents, there will remain the residual risk of an accident which cannot entirely be eliminated.
4.14 The applicant has requested that the HSC is included within the DCO. In doing so, the Council must agree to its inclusion within the DCO and allow for the need for a separate HSC to be removed.
4.15 Planning policy on Hazardous Substances does allow for such a consent to be granted by a DCO to ‘provide a ‘one stop shop’ for consenting for nationally significant infrastructure projects
4.17 The reasonable alternative will be for the Council to determine the HSC as a separate consent. To do so would still involve consultation with the COMAH Authority (the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency), and consultation with a wide range of local stakeholders (such as the police and fire and rescue service) as well as local residents. All of these will be consulted on the DCO.”
4.18 Given that the DCO application will involve widespread engagement and consultation, transparency in terms of the operation and use of the site, with the highest level of scrutiny through the examination process, it is prudent that the Hazardous Substances Consent is included within the DCO.
4.20 It is recommended that the Council agrees to the inclusion of the Hazardous Substances Consent within the Development Control Order for the OMSSD.”
And there you have it, a decision concerning the welfare and safety of 38,000+ Canvey Island Residents, taken by Castle Point cabinet. A Controlling cabinet, with not one member Elected to represent Canvey Island Residents this Approval, for that is what is intended, will Directly Affect.
Now it would not be so bad if the officers and councillors entering into the consultation had our respect for a knowledge or background in such matters, but you can be assured that none of them do! Those in Cabinet and on the Development committee, and we include officers, make Planning decisions ignoring and in spite of warning evidence contained in the Hazardous Industries Safety Reports!
When you go onto consider these controlling councillors eagerness to increase the numbers of residents living within the Hazard Range of the vastly expanded OIKOS site, by means of their disastrous Local Plan 2019, you could be excused for losing any Trust you may have retained in them.
It would be quite remarkable that, with the emerging Local Plan, containing its housing development intended for Canvey Island, just 1 month ahead of OIKOS holding their Paddocks Residents Exhibition, is asking just to much for us to believe in being a coincidence!
These latest intentions by CPBC takes me back to the very first meeting, over a decade ago, between the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group and Lead group members and officers.
I will leave you with two thoughts;
Those co-conspirators, Lead group members and senior officers, conceived a Plan that intended for Canvey Island in isolation would sacrifice Green Belt to Housing Development, whilst, due to an agreement behind closed doors, mainland Green Belt was to be defended! Remember that, Norman, Jeffrey, Simon?
Also during this meeting we were expected to believe that through the power of the then Local Plan, or Core Strategy as it was known, CPBC OIKOS and Calor would be closed and that Canvey Islanders would be blessed with the Port sites would be turned into a sailing and recreational area, alongside river front Flats no doubt!
At the very end of that initial meeting, a CGBC member asked the then CPBC chief planner if he would live on Canvey Island with its 2 Hazardous Industrial sites.
No, I would not! Was his reply.
And there you have it, the Fate of Canvey Island Residents in the Hands of council members and officers, none of whom elected by Islanders, who in turn were, and still are, content to sacrifice Canvey Green Belt, add through development to the number of people living at Risk of a Hazardous Industrial accident and now make the decision to combine the Hazardous Substance Consent within the Development Control Order, without a single representative of Canvey Island having an opportunity to Vote Against!
Anybody unsure of the impact that a Hazardous Incident may have on Property, Residents and their welfare need only click on this LINK.