The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his attempt to reverse the impact of Covid-19, promised massive funding for Road Infrastructure development and a Stamp Duty holiday to kick start the economy.
This could have implications for the Castle Point Local Plan, with the area’s requirement for new Highway Infrastructure to support CPBC’s desire to release strategic Green Belt sites for Housing Development.
Canvey Island and its Residents are in a particularly vulnerable position, not only is the intention to greatly increase the Island’s population, remove Acres of land from the Green Belt for development, but also to develop housing at Jotmans Farm which will vastly increase traffic congestion at the South of the borough!
Castle Point Council’s draft Local Plan, quite rightly, draws criticism from Essex County Council! It notes; “A total of 24 Strategic Housing Site Allocations (HO9 – HO32) provide 3,719 new homes supported by infrastructure. The key sites requiring master plans, or to be phased to secure key infrastructure are listed below:
HO9 Land West of Benfleet, Benfleet (850);
HO13 Land West of Benfleet, Hadleigh (455);
HO20 The Chase Thundersley (340);
HO23 Land east of Canvey Road (300)
HO24 Land West of Canvey Road (196)
HO25 Land at Thorney Bay Caravan Park (510)*”
Essex County Council, “as the Highways and Transportation Authority maintain objections in principle to two site allocations in the Draft Plan – HO9 (land west of Benfleet) and HO13 (land east of Rayleigh Road, Hadleigh)”!
Note that 3 of the CPBC Local Plan “KEY” Development Sites are on Canvey Island, an area that should be protected by 4 different forms of Development Constraints!
The CPBC Local Plan “suggests” that sites will only be developed should there be no 5 Year supply of Housing Land available, thereby allowing the Island’s Flood Risk Sequential Test to be considered as Passed.
The Local Authority know Full Well that development is well underway at Thorney / Sandy Bay, and that ALL other small Canvey development sites are Sequentially approved on the “Nod”!
The mainland residents are equally unhappy with their Ward Representatives for giving their backing to this Local Plan, and all of the Borough’s Residents need wake up to the Essex County Council’s position regarding New Road and Highway infrastructure improvements.
“Whilst ECC supports the concept new transport infrastructure and a third access to Canvey Island and Roscommon Way Phase 3, there is no ECC funding for these schemes. It needs to be understood that these schemes will require external funding from Government and developers rather than an assumption these unknown cost pressures will be addressed by ECC.”
On Castle Point’s Green Belt, Essex County Council note; “The Draft Plan states that the Green Belt evidence was updated in 2018 and reviewed in 2019, resulting in changes to the green belt boundary, including the release land for 14 sites for development and the removal of specific schools from the green belt.”
Taking advantage of the Government’s changes to Planning Guidance, CPBC are happy to weaken the Green Belt Boundaries protection across the Borough. Did we really Elect this Council to do this?
CPBC have steadfastly refused to take an active position where land requisition is concerned, rather than buying into the mainlanders desire to see the area known as the Blinking Owl brought forward, Canvey Islanders desire to see a Regenerated High Street, they have instead purchased the Canvey Island Knightswick Centre!
Despite this Local Plan saga stretching into 3 decades, we are likely to end up with a Local Plan intended to degenerate our Borough.
Of the CPBC Local Plan, Essex County Council state on the subject of the “Blinking Owl” site; “– amongst improvements and alterations to be delivered: the A127 Growth Corridor Strategy; “The Draft Plan notes that some landowners have promoted the above site but, as there are multiple landowners in this area, there are currently no comprehensive development plans that are deliverable. Additionally, there would be a commitment and significant investment in infrastructure given the site is significantly constrained by a lack of appropriate access and risks to the strategic network, as well as other infrastructure requirements to support growth in this location”.
3 decades of negative “inactivity” by CPBC!
Will Residents sit by as these 3 important large Canvey Island sites, jump to the Front of the “6 Key Site” List for Development, whilst ECC have indicated Highway infrastructure flaws with 2 of the mainland sites ?
The Castle Point Borough Council Councillors, who have put their name to this Local Plan, need to examine their conscience and reason for support, as this Plan is Sequentially and Soundly Inadequate and Harmful to our Borough!