Tag Archives: Master Planning

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!

 

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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

 

 

Castle Point Master Planning blown out of the water over Jotmans Farm?

So the Developers line up to bulldoze their intentions onto Castle Point’s Local Plan, it’s surroundings and residents!
Persimmon Homes made their submission on the Local Plan consultation on the 25th March, interestingly one day prior to the Council meeting to discuss the motion to further research the “Blinking Owl” development area, on the 26th March.
Essex County Council completed their report on the 12th March and concluded “It is recommended that ECC objects to the allocation of the proposed development site H18 in the Plan.
Policy H18 – Area of Search and Safeguarded Land – North West Thundersley – Safeguarded Land and Broad Location (400 homes).
ECC report in full can be viewed here.

Would these submissions have affected the Councillors decision making, we will never know.
What it would have done is given residents food for thought as they listened to the Council debate!
Sadly, yet again residents are kept in the dark.

Jotmans farm residents need to prepare themselves for a shock as cllr Smith’s Master Planning is blown apart, as Persimmons propose 1200 dwellings for the site!

Persimmons Jotmans Farm submission makes a great deal of what they consider an irrelevance, the Local Plan’s “hope” for the widening of Somnes Avenue, Canvey Island.
Something ECC believe could not be justified in support of the proposed 50 residential homes at the old Castle View School site.
Are Essex County reading the same Local Plan document as Persimmons?

Persimmon consider Somnes Avenue widening has nothing to do with any decision making on Jotmans Farm development.
Quite clearly the traffic congestion arising from the configuration of Waterside Farm roundabout and Somnes Avenue in its present capacity would, if Jotmans Farm was developed with access onto Canvey Way would cause traffic to tailback even further along the A13 and A130 during the evening rush hours.
Interestingly Essex County Council cast doubt over guaranteeing funding streams for improvement work to Somnes Avenue and the new junction onto the A130 Canvey Way. I wonder how far the NPPF’s duty to co-operate extends.
Persimmons consider the new junction onto Canvey Way is unnecessary ahead of 400 dwellings being finished at Jotmans Farm!

Persimmons submit:
•Remove the reference to the need to widen Somnes Avenue unless evidence can be presented to justify the works;
•Confirm the scale of the works required to widen Somnes Avenue (if retained as a requirement) to allow for developers to identify the costs involved and the ability to deliver works;
•Remove the requirement to deliver the new junction to the A130 and the widening of the Somnes Avenue (if retained) before development commences and identify as a requirement for after 400 units have been occupied;
•Increase the potential capacity of the site. A range of 800-1,200 is recommended for inclusion in the supporting text with an amendment to the policy to confirm that a minimum of 800 new homes will be required instead of ‘up to 800’
The wording of the site allocation identifies that it will deliver up to 800 units along with other land uses and significant highway works. It is noted that the highway works required have yet to be costed. It is further noted for example that the Whole Plan Viability report suggests that the new access onto the A130 cannot be supported by the site in isolation and alternative sources will be required – sources that have yet to be identified. In the absence of confirmed costs and funding sources it is not possible to confirm that 800 units could represent a viable scheme for this site. As such, a figure in excess of 800 may be required to ensure the delivery of this allocation.