Tag Archives: Morrisons

Castle Point Residents Ill-informed or Gullible? Green Belt Saved or still in Jeopardy?

Be In No Doubt Canvey Island residents stand to be affected by the development of Jotmans Farm, as much as the Jotmans Farm residents do themselves!

Once all phases of the Jotmans Farm proposal is completed there is a plan to construct a Roundabout to allow traffic from the 800 dwelling estate, onto Canvey Way!

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Not only that, but the much Heralded retail extension nearby Morrisons on Canvey Island with the promised Marks and Spencer / Waitrose food, B and M and Sports Direct outlets, will add more Motorists Misery, entering and leaving via the Waterside Farm Roundabout and the local areas!

Recently the Jotmans farm Green Belt campaigners have been left to “discover” that Persimmons have decided to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision in the High Court.

The Secretary of State’s decision, generally portrayed to Residents as being a signal that not only Jotmans Farm, but also Green Belt in General, was Saved from Development, was Released on the 21st April 2017.

And so we headed for the Polling Stations, on the 4th May for the Castle Point Borough Council Elections and the General Election on the 8th June.

Possibly, Unfortunately the Election Period of Purdah may play some legal significance.* See below.

Through an email released by the Jotmans Farm campaign group, we gather that they are being led to believe that none of the Lead Group of Castle Point councillors were aware, or felt it unimportant to make the information known to Residents, that High Court action threatened the Jotmans Farm Decision!

Castle Point Council are an “Interested Party” in the High Court action. One only has to refer to the Glebelands case to be aware that CPBC should be involved:

Case No: CO/10476/201

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION

ADMINISTRATIVE COURT

 Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Date: 17/01/2014

Before :

THE HON MR JUSTICE BLAKE

Between:

 

FOX LAND AND PROPERTY LIMITED

Claimant

 

– and –

 

 

SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

-and-

CASTLE POINT BOROUGH COUNCIL

 

 

 

Defendants

Would the Castle Point officers not have immediately informed the Lead councillors, could the councillors not have been Open and Transparent and informed their Residents, of the Legal move?

In the Echo newspaper it is reported that Jotmans farm residents clutch at the possibility that the Persimmon legal team, left it beyond the 6 weeks to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision. CPBC appear to leave this desperate hope hanging.

In our humble opinion we find it inconceivable, not only that the Persimmon legal team would be so inefficient, surely the challenge would have been dismissed should the 6 week time limit to challenge the decision have elapsed, but that some lead group Castle Point councillors to be unaware cpbc are an Interested Party in the High Court case!

CPBC are quoted in the Echo “As the Appeal is actually against the decision of the Secretary of State it is for the secretary of State to defend.” …..”councillors have been kept informed…”

We fear on behalf of Jotmans Farm and Canvey Island residents, on whom this development will impact upon, that the release date of the Secretary of State’s decision and the dates of the Local Elections may well have had some influence, as well as having some legal impact.

* “The term ‘purdah’ is in use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The terms ‘pre-election period’ and ‘period of sensitivity’ are also used.
The pre-election ‘purdah’ period before general elections is not regulated by statute, but governed by conventions based largely on the Civil Service Code.
The pre-election period for the 8 June General Election will start on midnight on Friday 21 April 2017.
A ministerial statement gave details of the different ‘purdah’ periods for the different elections on 5 May 2016: The period of sensitivity preceding the local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections starts on 14 April”
Source: House of Commons Library Published Friday, April 21, 2017

Canvey Town Centre’s Future – threatened by Out of Town Growth?

CANVEY COMES ALIVE, the strapline of the Canvey Town Centre Regeneration.

Now, the future of the Town Centre will be more than ever reliant on those loyal residents that have supported businesses, in the light of the impending arrivals on the new development sites near Morrisons. Previously commented on HERE.

 

The Canvey Town Centre Regeneration team’s webpage is full of promise stating:

What have we done so far?

The project started in March 2009

Creating a new identity

The Town Centre will have a distinctive identity building on the wider Island’s character and heritage, based on the following principles:

Creating an exciting new destination through architectural quality

Retaining existing buildings with valuable character

Draw on local styles which include buildings from Art Deco and Modernist Eras

A consistent palette of styles, forms, colours and materials that define the Town Centre

Drawing on past connections with the seaside and English Coastal Towns

Reflecting Canvey’s Dutch heritage

Less optimistic are these cherry picked extracts from the Castle Point  Retail and Employment needs Assessment:

“… there may be a qualitative need for some more sites that are readily available and better located to strategic roads and population centres in the north of the Borough.   Such sites might also have better prospects of attracting developers.”

“It would appear difficult to achieve any sizeable reduction in out-commuting in Castle Point. However, various approaches could help avoid the situation worsening and may start to put in place long term steps towards greater self containment of jobs. These would include providing some more immediately available industrial sites in the north of the borough, near strategic roads and adopting measures (as in paragraph 1.28) to encourage their development and occupation”

“In terms of capitalising on major new economic developments in adjoining areas, it is not obvious that a new road access to Canvey Island could enable the area to benefit to a much greater extent from the major port and distribution development at London Gateway in Thurrock.  The cost of such infrastructure would also need to be weighed against the scale of economic benefits likely to accrue to Canvey Island, and the extent of these do not appear likely to be major.”

“Only two sites were assessed as low quality by the study. One lies in rural area of Thundersley and has poor road access, a Green Belt location and poor access to public transport and labour supply; it performs some employment function with limited potential for other uses. The second site is cleared, suffers from poor accessibility and has planning permission for residential uses, so that its release would not harm the local supply situation.”

“The masterplans for Canvey and Hadleigh town centres should be used to accommodate this additional floorspace.”

“Castle Point has a limited selection of large commercial leisure and entertainment facilities….. This reflects its relatively small catchment population and the proximity of larger centres in Basildon and Southend”

“…residents who work in the Borough earn much less, with workplace wages 23% below those in Great Britain as a whole and 23% lower than the East region average. This indicates the types of jobs available locally are much less well paid than elsewhere in the region.”

“Management Horizon Europe’s UK Shopping Index 2008 ranks retail centres across the country. Management Horizon’s ranking for centres in Castle Point and nearby centres outside the Borough are shown in Table 3.1 below.

Canvey Island,   405 Rank    82 MHE Score

Stadium Way Retail Park,  1095 Rank   33 MHE Score

Hadleigh,  1590 Rank   22 MHE Score

South Benfleet,  1660 Rank   21 MHE Score

The index ranks Canvey Island as the main centre in Castle Point and 405th out of all centres in the UK. This is followed by Hadleigh which is ranked 1,590th and South Benfleet at 1,660th, reflecting their relatively local role. The Tarports centre is not ranked within the survey.”

“When planning for growth in their town centres, local planning authorities should allocate a range of suitable sites to meet the scale and type of retail development needed. It is important that needs for retail and other main town centre uses are met in full and not compromised by limited site availability.”

“In terms of capitalising on major new economic developments in adjoining areas, it is not obvious that a new road access to Canvey Island could enable the area to benefit to a much greater extent from the major port and distribution development at London Gateway in Thurrock.  The cost of such infrastructure would also need to be weighed against the scale of economic benefits likely to accrue to Canvey Island, and the extent of these do not appear likely to be major.”

” A specific issue considered was how the borough could achieve economic growth even if the Council plans for a modest rate of housing growth (e.g. 200 dwellings p.a.). This approach would result in a future decline in local labour supply and may constrain growth of local firms. It should still be possible to attract some firms and facilitate growth of others locally by providing good quality, accessible employment sites close to areas of demand within the Borough and taking steps to encourage development on these. However, success may be more difficult to achieve if there are constraints on labour supply and it is likely to result in higher levels of in-commuting to fill any new jobs created.”

At a time of strategic Local Planning it is disappointing to observe delivered what may have been, in the short to medium term, a catastrophic blow to our local Town Centre.

Castle Point’s “Make it Up as you Go Along” approach to development, not shared by the SoS!

Further to our suggestion that perhaps the expansion of the retail “area” around Morrisons at West Canvey may impact negatively on the Canvey Island Town Centre, we learn through planningportal.co.uk of a decision taken by the Secretary of State on a proposal in Devon.

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Photo Courtesy: canveycomesalive

Published: Thursday, 7th July 2016

Plans for the 17,000 square metre Moor Exchange development have been refused by the Secretary of State, largely because of its impact on Exeter’s city centre…

Proposals for a new district shopping centre at an out-of-centre location near Sowton off Exeter’s Honiton Road on the outskirts of the city have been rejected by Communities Secretary Greg Clark.

Developer CPG’s Moor Exchange scheme involved some 17,000 square metres of retail floor space and included a garden centre and drive-through restaurants. One retail unit was potentially 5,800 square metres in size.

The city council had refused the project largely on the grounds of its impact on the city centre. Both the inspector who held the recovered appeal and the SoS noted that Exeter’s bus and coach station site (BCS) which is currently earmarked for development was highly accessible and well connected to the city centre and was “sequentially preferable, suitable and available”.

Clark’s decision letter said that although the 3.2-hectare appeal site was generally well-located for public transport it was in a “less accessible location than the sequentially preferable BCS site. The appeal scheme would include a large new car park and ‘drive-through’ restaurants which would be likely to encourage rather than deter the use of the private car”.

He concluded that the benefits of the scheme did not outweigh the conflict with the development plan and the environmental harm. The proposals also failed the town centre first sequential test provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Obviously Canvey Island is “small fry” in comparison, however it warrants both of our local authorities adopting a Position, any Position.

The majority of Canvey residents would like a regenerated Town Centre with a wider range of stores and good parking facilities. The likelihood of this diminishes with every expansion made by the out of town option.

Canvey stores have a limited number of population to attract, shoppers do not travel to Canvey due to it being off the beaten track and the larger shopping attractions nearby.

Surely everything should be done to support the existing Retailers.

With and out of date Local Plan and no Neighbourhood Plan, Canvey is like a ship without a rudder. Castle Point council are in the dire position of needing to encourage and seek development of any kind on Canvey Island to support the Local Plan 2016.

The position could be fast approaching where, if the current situation is not addressed soon, the Out of Town centre may in the future raise objections to proposals to Regenerate our Town Centre!

Canvey Island the Business development hub of the Thames Gateway?

The likely approval of the business development proposal at Roscommon Way by the Castle Point Council Development Committee indicates a remarkable upturn in the employment and prosperity prospects for the locality.

Senior committee members have expressed their views that the importance of this business proposal is almost crucial to the local economy, to the point that outstanding concerns over loss of green belt, flooding issues and the possibility that the extra vehicle movements are tolerable.

The conclusions to the planning process should be creating excitement rather than concern from residents.

Perhaps therefore, it may be appropriate to take time to reflect on the situation. There is a Local Plan emerging, albeit with some difficulty; There is improvement in the UK’s employment figures; Castle Point desires to remain linked to the Thames Gateway development catchment.

However, there is a further more practical test of the local economy’s fortunes, rather than the assumptions of our local decision makers.

Nearby, the area known as “Land opposite Morrisons, Northwick Road, Canvey” also has a proposal before the Castle Point Planners.

This additional site is also being proposed by the same developers, Inner London Developments Limited.

The planning documents for this proposal reveal a cautionary note, the proposal appears to be a further renewal of an Outline consent previously renewed during 2005.

This raises obvious questions; if the local economy is in such a reasonable state and Canvey is a desirable business development location, why hasn’t this development shown any progression over the previous 10 years, and why would a developer seek to add to its land portfolio rather than making some development progress on land already approved for development?

Is this a case of land banking, is this a case of adding aspirational “good news” support to the troubled Castle Point Local Plan?

It has already been considered by Castle Point consultants within the Retail and Employment assessment, that Canvey may not be the area in most urgent need of the Borough’s business development.

Why then would it be considered that special circumstances exist to warrant releasing green belt land outside of the developed area at Roscommon Way, whilst land with outline permission situated almost opposite, remains undeveloped?

There appears to exist the potential to fast track land with business development permission over to approval for Housing development.

Whilst there is no foundation in thinking that this is an ulterior motive, the possibility exists that a future change of use might occur.

After all how many car showrooms, storage and distribution units does Canvey Island require?