The Petition containing 8,554 Canvey Island Residents signatures is scheduled to be ignored, unless the Castle Point mayor cllr Sheldon, intervenes!
On Wednesday Castle Point Council will discuss the new New Local Plan2016 and its appropriateness for final consultation, with a view to adoption.
Controversy has dogged the CPBC Local Plan process, chiefly concerning housing numbers and site selection. Initially the Lead Group of councillors selected a Plan that included just Canvey Green Belt land for development.
Following this approach, that led to a “red faced” rejection from the Planning Inspector, who sited Local Factors having added a bias to site selection, CPBC set about approving a further Plan with more contentious and unpopular Green Belt sites selected, plus the original Canvey sites.
This time around though, in addition to the Canvey sites Thorney Bay was considered “timely” to be brought forward to support the all important 5 Year Housing Supply.
You will remember the December 2015 council meeting in which only 6 councillors remained content to proceed with the version 2.0 of the New Local Plan, leading to the latest new New Local Plan2016 version, which will be debated on Wednesday 23rd March.
However, many of you will be aware of the group of Canvey residents who, following the old New Local Plan information meeting arranged by Cllr Tucker, became motivated enough to organise a protest Petition against further large scale development.
Compared with the Castle Point Local Plan’s consultation response numbers, the Canvey Petition is impressive.
And yet Castle Point Council, whilst agreeing to allow Cllr Tucker to formally present the Petition, will do so, ONLY AFTER THE LOCAL PLAN2016 DEBATE and VOTE HAS BEEN COMPLETED!
Item 12 Local Plan2016
Item 14 Presentation of Petition
End of Meeting
Whoever arranged the Agenda schedule appears to have planned to deny councillors the knowledge of the level of feeling regarding everyday issues of Canvey folk.
Those CPBC councillors who during the previous council meeting said that they had spoken to some of the Petition signature collectors, and claimed they were ill informed, should learn to respect the voting public.
They were elected to their lofty position to represent those same residents. The reasons residents may have not been well versed in Local Plan and planning issues, might just explain the lack of transparency that allowed said councillors to be elected in the first place.
This we consider disrespectful of residents views and we call upon the council to accept the Petition ahead of the Local Plan2016 debate, so that the debate is held in the full knowledge of the level of concerns the impact further development will have on the environment and infrastructure.
The Petition itself covered the issues affecting Canvey Island.
There are 2 Hazardous Industrial plants, OIKOS and Calor Gas sited on the Island. Most of the population reside within a Hazard Range.
The Drainage network is in urgent need of Repair. Following the Rainstorms of 2013 and 2014, many Hundreds of Homes were Flooded. The projected costs of Improvement to the Drainage System are estimated to be £24,500,000. Funding has not been secured.
Congestion. All access / egress routes converge at Waterside Farm Roundabout. Evacuation in an Emergency may take up to 19 Hours.
Lack of a suitable for purpose Emergency Plan. In the Event of an Emergency; “Go In – Stay In – Tune In” is unsuitable advice for those in single storey accommodation. There is no list to identify those vulnerable or the disabled in the Canvey Island Community.
Green Belt Land is ear-marked for large Housing and Business Developments in the Castle Point draft Local Plan. Canvey Island’s Green Belt serves as valuable amenity space. In the event of a Flood it would serve as a Water Storage Area.
Signing this Petition, led to Canvey Island losing one councillor from the Local Plan debates. Given some of the interests other councillors have declared, yet remain involved with the Local Plan process, should signing a petition with the concerns listed above warrant a council member being excluded?
Government and the insurance industry give clear guidance, it is unsustainable to seek to develop on constrained Flood Risk Zones. The trend of the last 45 years, since Castle Point was formed, to develop-out Canvey has reached a tipping point. Residents health and well being and quality of life will be affected.
We respectfully call upon our mayor Cllr Sheldon to adjust the council meeting running order, and in acknowledgment of the efforts made by the concerned group of Canvey Residents, formally accept their Petition of 8,554 signatures ahead of the Local Plan 2016 debate.
The motivated and determined group of Canvey Island residents that set about collecting the Petition were led by Karina, Frances, Linda, and Sue.
Others assisting were Amelia, John, Colin and Neil plus other residents such as our own friendly milkman and Avon distributor.