So, what is it about “there are no plans for the Paddocks” that Canvey Islanders cannot understand?
Castle Point Council cabinet members and committee chairmen have each spoken out to reassure residents that there are NO plans. All to no avail, so now this rumour appears to have become such a sensitive issue that it has become important enough for none other than the cpbc chief executive to go to the Echo newspaper to also assure the community that “there are no plans for the Paddocks”
So what is behind these concerns that people are getting their knickers in a twist over?
The cpbc cabinet January meeting agreed to “note the opportunities afforded by a careful analysis of the wider site area”.
Also to “note the preparation of a detailed business case for a new community hall on the Paddocks site.”
Definitely NO plans mentioned there then.
The agenda paperwork went onto state; “The conclusion of feasibility work reveals that the Paddocks Community Centre building has reached the end of its design life and is beyond economic repair. Operationally, the facility has limited flexibility, does not meet modern hire requirements, is energy inefficient and costly to run and it suffers from periodic recurrent anti-social behaviour issues.
The feasibility work shows however that it is possible to construct a new community facility immediately to the south-east of the existing building.”
” it would be possible to re-configure the car parking layout across the whole site, to provide an indicative capacity of approximately 380 spaces.
This compares to an existing car parking capacity at the site of approximately 200 spaces.” – “Car parking managed by the Borough Council.”
The last of the “free” car parking spaces in Canvey Town Centre!
Beginning to sound a little more like a plan now though?
The Canvey Comes Alive! Regeneration project with its Masterplan for the Town Centre and surroundings had a different Vision just some 9 years ago;
This area will be a hub for the community, based on the retained health centre and an improved Paddocks community building.
Improve and expand the existing Paddocks community building
Community uses in the Paddocks including arts and culture, and café at the ground floor
Retain and improve the setting of Cisca House
New residential blocks fronting onto Long Road
Green the environment by creating a parkland setting
Retain and enhance the memorial gardens
Improve the children’s play space
Create new green pedestrian connections through to Long Road and Furtherwick Road
It appears that the Paddocks was considered in a maintainable and restorable condition at the turn of the decade. Some will note the aspiration to improve the play area and that the residential Flats have come to fruition since.
However cpbc appear to have a record of failure where maintenance is concerned. The Paddocks is a 70’s building, so not yet 50 years old. And yet considered not economically viable to maintain!
Would a “New” Paddocks be self-maintaining? Or would it be like any other asset, only of value if it receives the upkeep required?
So, perhaps Islanders should investigate the meaning of the word “plan”;*
plan – Noun
a set of decisions about how to do something in the future:
a type of arrangement for financial investment:
a drawing of a building, town, area,
plan – Verb
to think about and decide what you are going to do or how you are going to do something:
to intend to do something or that an event or result should happen:
Possibly then we can deduce that the cabinet members, the committee chairman and the cpbc chief executive officer may have been using “plan” as a Verb rather than a Noun!
If this is to be the case I would have thought they could have insisted that the Echo should use a capital P, as in Planning Application, when we are told that there are no plans for the Paddocks!
We are easily confused and oh so Easily Misled, us Canvey Islanders!
sarcasm – Noun
the use of irony to mock or convey contempt: