Tag Archives: Petition

Residents almost Total Disengagement with Castle Point Borough Council! Local Plan Consultation a Major Turn Off!

The CPBC Local Plan Consultation formally closed to submissions on the 15th August.

Alarmingly indications are that less than 0.7% of Castle Point residents took part in the process that will shape the future of the Borough!

“The Council invited comments on the contents of a new Local Plan…. Responses are yet to be analysed but initial indications show that more than 1100 comments were received  from over 630 individuals and organisations.”

We say that less than 0.7% of the 89,000+ Castle Point residents made their views known, as the total number of responses included those of neighbouring Councils and Developers!

There can be no doubt, that there is a disengagement with our local authority by residents!

That residents views are ignored, is a view challenged by councillors, but a view that, going by the number of responders, must be recognised!

This disengagement contrasts starkly from the Canvey Green Belt Campaign Referendum that managed to visit and ask residents their thoughts on Green Belt development on Canvey Island, and engaged with over 6,500 residents.

Also the Canvey Ladies who compiled a Petition against development on the Island and achieved over 10,000 signatures.

Not a week goes by without complaints on traffic congestion, and over stacked GP surgery lists. Flats and Houses being developed to more denser and higher designs. Industrial premises taking over important Green Spaces. Flooding becoming more frequent.

With latent feelings running high, why would residents NOT take part in the Local Plan consultation?

0.7% Response is a admittedly a paltry figure considering the number of campaign groups within the Borough.

However, what IS important is the content of the answers given and the documentation in support of what the Local Plan should and should not contain.

Despite this, going by previous experiences, Castle Point council will likely continue to do whatever it suits the current administration.

This is probably why so many attempts to achieve a Local Plan have been forced into withdrawal and fallen by the wayside, and the Government through the Chief Planner, are keeping a very close watch on cpbc’s Local Plan process.

This may be why such a small response was achieved through the Consultation.


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Local Plan – is it “Coming Home”, or Not? Roll up, Roll Up! Two Plans for the Price of just One – Castle Point’s Never had it so Good!

Canvey Island and Castle Point residents are being asked to add their opinions and thoughts to the latest Local Plan 2018 consultation process.

Town Centre
This is despite the fact that the Secretary of State, through the opinion of the Government’s Chief Planner, has yet to decide whether Castle Point council are deemed willing and capable of completing the Local Plan publication process themselves to the point of adoption!

The whole Castle Point Local Plan process is being carried out in a Rush under the threat of Intervention!

This despite the Secretary of State’s own office taking from 18 December 2015, when the Inspector issued his report into the Jotmans Farm housing Appeal inquiry, until the 21st April 2017, 16 whole months, to come to a decision. Apparently no hurry then to come to a planning decision, until an Election was imminent.

Residents entering the LP2018 process will note that there isn’t a Local Plan to actually consider, instead there are 2 !

Two Local Plans, from a single Evidence Base!

This shows, as Canvey Islanders should by now be aware, how “Local Factors” and politics can distort and manipulate the contents of Local Plans!

According to the cpbc Chief Executive officer up to 100,000 consultees are invited to respond, despite the 2011 population of Castle Point being just 88,011 and many of these being young children. this may lead to the Consultation response rate being skewed low! Previous response rates have been around just 12%

These Low response rates can lead to distortions of the “Feed Back” by the cpbc officers and our elected representatives. Previously, through these influences, we have seen Housing Growth directed onto Canvey Island despite Flood Risk being an issue, and the reduction of Housing Numbers, due to the concerns over Green Belt loss.

These influences on the Housing Growth have chiefly been in response to mainland residents concerns, indicated through the previous draft Local Plans consultations.

In recent times we have witnessed the pressure of residents and mainland councillors protest be successful in the prevention of the proposed Essex County Council closure of the Deanes school. This was strengthened by the cpbc chief executive’s supporting statement that there was to be a large Housing development site in the surrounding area, residents of which would be attending the Deanes to bring the attendance numbers nearer ECC expectations.

In contrast Canvey’s Castle View school, serving the most densely urbanised part of Castle Point and South Benfleet, was simply Closed!

A public facility closed, and sold off to a sectarian private enterprise.

The Paddocks, allowed to deteriorate despite money being available some years ago for improvements with a top up from CPBC funds, is now seen as a potential Housing development site.

If Canvey Island residents are tired of being dictated to, they must take the trouble to involve themselves in the Consultation.

This is crucial as, not only will a low response rate allow certain councillors to suggest that he, or she represents the “silent majority”, but will allow a potential disastrous Local Plan to emerge just so that it may appear CPBC are compliant with the 2 new strategic “Quango’s”, the “Association of South Essex Local Authorities” (ASELA) and the “Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission”!

Dalliance with either or both will lead to major growth changes, both in population from the 90,000 dwellings across the area and traffic especially locally, with no infrastructure improvements. Canvey Island, purely due to its situation will always remain an outpost. However many people are managed to be housed here, little infrastructure will be forthcoming simply because we are in Austere times.

Infrastructure requires maintenance, ECC are not looking to spend more on maintenance!

For all of the Canvey Island Petitions and Referendum the past has proved that election words and promises are cheap, we need to accept that due to our location, the area is seen as Developable, whether Housing, Business or Industrial, yet little benefit or financial return is gained by Infrastructure improvements.

As it stands your Local plan consultation response, in the first instance, will be weighed against mainland responses.

If you  as a Canvey resident consider;

that Canvey Island has become over developed to the point that New Large Housing development sites are unviable,

that the Traffic Issues mean the potential congestion is unreasonable,

that Tidal Flood Risk is not taken seriously enough when distributing Housing Growth,

that the whole of the increasing Urbanised area of Canvey Island is a Critical Drainage Area and the ever increasing development is putting too greater strain on the drainage system,

that the Road Access is inadequate for the current population, many of whom commute, and unsuitable and especially inadequate in the event of an Emergency Evacuation,

that in a severe Emergency, whether Flood Risk or Industrial, the sheer number of Residents on Canvey Island and the island’s location, mean that any response by the Emergency Services will be inadequate and a Danger to Life, despite responders best efforts,

that our Green Spaces and Green Belt are important to our well-being and should NOT be developed,

that our Town Centre is badly in need of Regeneration and Re-development and under serious threat from out of town shopping areas,

then you really should make the effort to Log onto the Castle Point council website and respond to the Consultation.

Otherwise it will be left to the Government, Council officers and the majority mainland representatives to impose on us “their” Local Plan.

To add your thoughts and concerns to the cpbc Local plan Consultation, log on HERE.

To view the documentation, log on HERE.

Oh the Irony! Councillors Propose a Referendum!

Canvey Islanders feel they are Not Listened to!

Hence they held a Referendum to Protect what is left of the Island’s Green Belt, then a Petition was completed objecting to large scale development.

All to No Avail.

Both Referendum and Petition were Ignored by castle point borough council!


Now we learn that it is the intention of Rochford councillors to carry out a Referendum over the district’s Local Plan.

Councillor John Mason, leader of the Green and Rochford District Residents Group said that during the early stages of the new housing plan, residents have complained “they feel that they will not be listened to” about their council and councillors.

No doubt Rochford council will spot the opportunity of the “Tick Box” exercise, as have castle point council, in suggesting this fills the community involvement requisite!

You may well remember that the Canvey Green Belt Campaign supporters went out in 16 groups of 2, over a two week period seeking the views of residents about cpbc plans to develop Canvey Island Green Belt.

Over 6,500 votes were cast and under MP Rebecca Harris, cllrs Ray Howard and Dave Blackwell’s observation an objection via 99.13% of voters was recorded!

Typically the daft Local Plan 2014 ignored these views!

Following this a Petition was raised by a group of 6 Canvey Ladies and a total of 12,000 names were added to their Petition list. The Petition was against large scale development on Canvey, whilst the opportunity to protect the local builders could remain.

The Petition has also had No Impact with those controlling cpbc!

This despite the constraints that would normally be applied to development in areas such as Canvey!

Whilst Rochford does not have constraining issues, such as 2 Hazardous Industrial sites, being in a Flood Risk Zone 3 area, having the access issues that Canvey is restricted by nor the whole of the town being a Critical Drainage Area, we do wish the Rochford councillors success in their Referendum.

Far greater success and acknowledgement than Canvey Island residents received by the controlling group of our local authority!

The Echo article on the Rochford Referendum news is available via this LINK HERE.

Canvey Residents Petition disrespected – Mayor to act ahead of LocalPlan2016 debate?

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.



Calling Canvey Residents – sign the Petition and Shop Local!

The Canvey Island community Petition initiative, that emerged from the residents CPBC Local Plan information, meeting arranged by Castle Point councillor Martin Tucker, continues to gain momentum.

Concerned at the level of proposed housing development on an Island with well known infrastructure issues led to both an on-line Petition and a Paper version.

Signing the petition did lead to Cllr Tucker losing some of his voting rights at Castle Point Council where Canvey Green Belt issues are concerned, however this reflects worse on the Borough Council than Cllr Tucker as the focus of the petition is on large scale development rather than Green Belt in particular.

It could be suggested that for Castle Point Council to adopt their approach against a Canvey councillor protects the balance of power that the mainland enjoy.

A similar approach has not been taken towards certain senior councillors who have made public their particular Green Belt interests.

The response on Canvey to the petition has not been confined to residents, even businesses have actively shown support by displaying petition forms for shoppers to sign.

Well done to those residents collecting signatures, the Petition will sit nicely alongside the Canvey Green Belt Campaign’s Referendum in reminding our Borough and Town councillors that more should be done through the Planning process to protect residents in a vulnerable area.

Businesses supporting the Petition include:                                                                                     DISCOUNT PET SUPERSTORE
WELL PHARMACY                                                                                                                                     FORTUNA STORES


Petition launched against Castle Point Local Plan!

Following on from Castle Point Borough Council member Martin Tuckers information meeting on the Castle Point Local Plan and its potential impact upon Canvey Island last evening, a call for a Petition to be launched was made.

We are glad to say that we are able to launch the online version.

This online version below will send an email notification directly to the CPBC Head of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods office!

A paper version will be available shortly.

It is imperative that residents sign just one version, and once only.

Any more would diminish the Integrity of the Petition.

This is intended to be a back up to the Referendum Poll that was held back in 2009 in which over 6,500 responses were received.


To date less than 24 following the meeting, a report on Facebook by Mr THollingsworth, has seen over 700 comments and 340 Likes. We need that and more from the Petition!

Thank you for your continued Support.