Canvey Island long the Dumping Ground of local problematic development issues, has now fallen under the Radar of our “friends” in Thurrock!
The new Thames Crossing scheduled to be located within Thurrock, is proving understandably unpopular. So in an attempt, no doubt, to carry favour with the Thurrock electorate the local councillors, ignoring the financial impacts to the scheme, are seeking to have the Crossing moved further along the Thames to Canvey Island!
In turn, Castle Point Council’s eternal aspirational political golden nugget, the 3rd Canvey Island Relief Road, to Manor Way Thurrock, is kicked into touch!
So much for the Cooperation so highly lauded by CPBC and the other “band” of 6 South Essex Council, under the banner of ASELA, or “The Association of South Essex Local Authorities”!
This group of 7 local authorities, joined to plan a strategic approach to Development and Growth across the region, are also expected to assist each other in producing Local Plan’s.
The Duty to Cooperate being a major contributory factor as to whether a Local Plan may be successful or a failure. CPBC having already fallen at that hurdle may be more sensitive and aware of the Duty to Cooperates importance than most.
If such strategic issues such as the new Thames Crossing and a new access road to Canvey Island can prove to be such pitfalls and failure issues, then the other important issue of seeking assistance for taking some of CPBC’s Housing provision will appear to be likely to receive an absolute rejection from our neighbouring local authorities!
This Cooperation, or the lack of, is not apparent from the CPBC website, where a statement reads:
Councils across South Essex have agreed a common approach to supporting the development of housing and key infrastructure over the next twenty years.
The Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) – which is made up of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, and Thurrock Councils – has drafted a ‘Statement of Common Ground (SCG)’.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, Leader of Brentwood Borough Council and Chair of ASELA, says: “We are working collectively and across our district borders for our vision for South Essex’s future.
“This is not just about providing more housing, it’s about much more than that. It’s looking at developing new and improved transport links and roads, new health, medical and care facilities, schools and creating business and skill opportunities across South Essex to support a growing economy. All of this needs to be part of the proposals very early on.”
“The Government is looking to local authorities to prepare Statements of Common Ground as part of a new Local Plan process, and more specifically, to provide the main evidence to demonstrate that strategic planning matters have been dealt with effectively and the legal provisions of the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ have been met. ASELA have been a national pilot for the new process and are the first collective of local authorities to reach this stage of the new process.“
Reads well, but not so cooperative in practise between our local Thurrock councillors. it appears!
Thurrock councillor Peter Smith has claimed the crossing should be on Canvey instead. “I am not an engineering expert, but when we talk to the public and fellow councillors, they keep saying further east, towards Canvey on the Essex side.
“At that distance on Canvey, it can go straight under in a tunnel. That would alleviate the impact to the (Thurrock) local people.”
A better and more clearer example of a DOGMATIC approach, would be hard to find, and not suggesting the Duty to Cooperate is going too well, is it?
Of course a new Thames Crossing proposal for Canvey Island has been considered, and dismissed I must add, some years before.
Once again the promised, aspirational benefits to be bestowed on Canvey Island, despite the Crossing’s route being the most expensive, were to be beyond local residents dreams.
“Metrotidal Ltd believes that the capital cost of the plan will be £2–4bn, with the tunnelling part of the project thought to cost around £1bn. The tunnel is expected to be formed from concrete tubes immersed in the bed of the estuary along a trench dredged across the Thames.”
“and will give Canvey Island its own railway station for the first time and a third road access off the island.”
It would appear on that note a very good place to end the Blog for this year 2018, and to thank One and All for reading, following, contributing and supporting the Canvey Green Belt Campaign cause.
To everyone of you we Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Links to the previous Thames Crossing, Canvey Island proposal, the press coverage of the Thurrock Councillor’s call for Canvey Island to be used for the new Crossing are below;
Canvey Crossing Link.
Thurrock Councillor’s Rant Link.
Should anybody wish to take part in the Thames Crossing Consultation, time is fast running out to do so as the consultation closes on the 20th December, the link is HERE.
Meanwhile to our Thurrock Councillor friends we extend a friendly: