Tag Archives: Somnes Avenue

Canvey Island Air Quality set to Deteriorate following Increased Traffic Congestion, Visitor Numbers to Local Attractions the Sea Front, Shopping and Employment areas?

Now that Easter and Summer are approaching Canvey Island with its revitalised Sea Front attractions, new Shopping and Employment sites and further Housing developments, we can expect to suffer more frequent Traffic Congestion!

Many Islanders, having for years endured the daily commute whether delayed by the piecemeal road works along the A13, the lack of improvement to the A127, the suspect faults with the Sadlers Farm junction, the crawl along Canvey Way before / after being further held up along Somnes Avenue or Canvey Road and Long Road, are now getting used to the regular weekend AS WELL AS the weekday traffic hold ups across the Island!

All this while the Roscommon Way Extension, intended to link the east of Canvey Island with Canvey Road, and the Somnes Avenue widening both appear more distant in being achieved than ever before, whilst the 3rd Access Road across the Sunny Uplands and Unicorn Meadows to Pitsea / Thurrock appears more like an Aspirational Fantasy!

Whether it be through badly phased traffic signals, vehicles breaking down, insufficient infrastructure improvements, or visitors to the local “attractions”, one thing that will deteriorate is the Air Quality!

CPBC claim that there are 34 Air Quality monitoring sites in the Borough, though only one site being permanent, off of the Island at Hadleigh, of course.

Even so, given the nature and whereabouts of the current traffic congestion Hot Spots, maybe the siting of the temporary monitors may be better located. For instance the site at the “Garden Centre” at the Northwick Road junction.

Wouldn’t it be more effectively positioned these days just a few yards south of the “King Canute” traffic signals?

This is where traffic is regularly congested and where the small parade of shops and the residential home are sited, after all air pollution affects peoples health. Why position in a more open less populated area? Unless a Lower Pollution Reading is the preferred finding of course!

Instead CPBC prefer to site the temporary Air Quality monitoring device, when it is being used, tucked tight away behind fencing to the rear of the Garden Centre! See photo Below.

Even, Castle Point Council’s own Public Health Service Officer warned, of the pollution expected from the Business development proposal for “Land opposite Morrisons” stating the department; “objects to this application on the grounds of ‘increase of traffic’, and the effects which this would have upon air quality, a topic which is of Public Health significance.”

“It is the opinion of this Service that if the proposed development was permitted at the current time there would be an adverse impact upon the local air quality, with initial impacts during the construction phase. It is believed that the air quality would deteriorate further following occupation by new businesses, regular delivery vehicles and visitors to the site.”

An Extract from the CPBC Air Monitoring Report for 2018 reads;

“Castle Point Borough Council is taking the following measures to address PM2.5 (Fraction of mortality attributable to particulate):

Working with Essex County Council (highway authority) to deliver Major Transport improvement schemes to improve infrastructure, reduce personal car use  and alleviate congestion. In addition to reduced exhaust emissions, these schemes will reduce non-exhaust emissions from brake and tyre wear by making traffic flows smoother.”

In practise these “Major Transport improvement schemes” amount to singularly, the Fairglen Interchange junction improvement!

“The main source of air pollution in the Borough is road traffic emissions from major roads, notably the A13, A127 and A130. Castle Point Borough Council has not declared any Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA).

Potential transboundary pollution sources include the power stations along the Thames Estuary and the oil refinery in Thurrock, which have the potential to impact on air quality in Castle Point.

Other pollution sources, including commercial, industrial and domestic sources, also make a contribution to background pollution concentrations.We monitor nitrogen dioxide using diffusion tubes at 30 monitoring locations around the district. We also have a continuous analyser site which is currently being installed at the former Hadleigh Fire Station and will provide real-time nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide monitoring information. Prior to the 16th July 2010, the continuous analyser was installed at Furtherwick Park School, Canvey Island and provided real-time nitrogen dioxide monitoring information. The Council has over fourteen years worth of monitoring data from when the continuous analyser was installed at Furtherwick Park School.”

Temporary Air Monitoring Unit Canvey Island

You can Download the Full CPBC Air Quality Report on the Page available via this LINK.

Info on the new London Ultra Low Emission Zone can be found HERE.

Photograph: Glyn Baker

Come 2033, where will there be left to build, on Canvey Island? And the Entrapment of Castle Point Councillors

Residents of Canvey Island and of Castle Point may do well to not get their hopes up too high, where a change to the Local Plan 2018 is concerned.

Councillors, giving out signs of rebellion, are on thin ice.

As a Campaign group we took a cautious approach to the offer of involvement in a private meeting, with the cpbc leader and officers. We agreed to a combined meeting only, if it included the other Castle Point resident campaign groups, however this was rejected by the leader and therefore the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group have remained outside of the Community Involvement part of the Local Plan process, for which we have been criticised locally!

The Council members appear not to have been quite so astute!

Unless of course we, the Residents, have been misled.

Councillors have suggested being denied input or influence on the 2018 Local Plan process and yet the Agenda paper indicates quite the opposite:

4.11 Members of the Council have been engaged in the development of the New Local Plan through a series of six Member Briefings commencing in July through to November and publication of this report.

Those Castle Point Residents looking for the councillors to vote to protect the Borough from indiscriminate development of Green Belt and green field land should prepare themselves for possible disappointment.

In the past, when given the opportunity to vote For or Against the adoption of, the Core Strategy, the 2014 draft Local Plan, and the 2016 Local Plan, with feigned deep foreboding and patronising regret, a Majority did so!

Why should we expect them to act any differently this time around?

Where Transport is concerned the CPBC Agenda paperwork indicates:

“it appears that there are likely to be capacity issues at some key junctions in Castle Point, with the Woodman’s Arms junction and the Tarpots junction most affected.”

Once again let’s not suggest there is any comparable issues that might be affecting Canvey Island!

The Local Plan 2018 includes these aspirations on Transport;

the following improvements and alterations to carriageway infrastructure in Castle Point will be delivered during the plan period to 2033:

a. A127 Growth Corridor Strategy;

b. Extension to Roscommon Way Phase 3;

c. Widening of Somnes Avenue;

d. Route improvements along the A129 Rayleigh Road between the RayleighWeir and Victoria House Corner junctions;

e. Dualling of the northern section of the A130 Canvey Way in the vicinity of Sadlers Farm;

f. Minor Junction improvements at both ends of Kenneth Road;

g. Highway improvements in Canvey and Hadleigh Town Centres.

2. During the period to 2033, the Council will also work with partners to secure the investment necessary to deliver a new or improved access to Canvey Island.

Any of these promises sound familiar?

Canvey Island can also look forward, despite the supposed Constraints on Development, to:

Land east of Canvey Road, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 300 new homes by 2033

Land west of Canvey Road, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 253 new homes and a residential care home by 2033

Land at Thorney Bay Road, Canvey Island is expected to deliver up to 600 new homes and a residential care home by 2033.

Land at Point Road, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 100 new homes by 2033.

Land at Walsingham House, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 32 new homes by 2033.

Land at the Admiral Jellicoe, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 40 new homes by 2033

Land south of Haron Close, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 10 new homes by 2033

Land at Haystack car park, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 14 new homes by 2033

Land at Kings Park, Canvey Island, as identified on the Policies Map, is allocated for residential purposes, to deliver up to 50 new homes by 2033.

That is of course not including all of the Business development sites at west Canvey, Flats in the Town Centre, the Haystack car park, the Job Centre, Tower Radio site, the old dairy, 125-127 High Street, Venables Close Out Patients Centre Long Road and Paddocks Community Centre land, Admiral Jellicoe etc that we have heard so much of, of late!

The question is, come 2033, where will there be left on Canvey Island to develop?

This should really bring into question, the morally corrupt method of application of the Sequential Test on Canvey Island development sites, by Castle Point Council!

Add into the mix the concerns of Benfleet residents over the 900 dwellings proposed on Green Belt at Jotmans Farm and you can see the daily commute for those of us in the south of the Borough and, worse still, an Emergency Evacuation of Canvey Island, becoming a real issue!

Screenshot (22)

Canvey Residents – Ignore the Castle Point Local Plan Consultation at your Peril! Changes – Development – Pipe Dreams and Promises are Afoot!

Whether you Bother to Answer, and How you Answer, the CPBC consultation questions, will have a direct bearing on how much Canvey Island changes in the immediate Future! Council Leaders and officers will have appeasement from the Government threat of Intervention in the cpbc Local Plan, uppermost in Mind!


The Paddocks community centre, Canvey Island

Make no Mistake, Development, both Housing and Business, on the most easily accessible large Green Field sites is the likely outcome of Castle Point’s Local Plan consultation!

Once the Local Plan consultation period is over the “Tricks of the Trade” of those charged with “interpreting” the responses come into play.

Previous consultations have seen many objections against cpbc proposed Local Plans, this has led to cpbc council Leaders suggesting that the “non responders” views mirrored those of the council Leaders, despite them having no evidence to suggest they did!

It is for this reason that Canvey Island residents should not only take part in the Local Plan consultation, but also be very careful how the questions are responded to!

Your responses may well be construed to mean something very much different in the hands of cpbc!

An eagerness for infrastructure, may be construed to indicate that residents are in favour of more large developments on Canvey Island. Whilst the Infrastructure improvements amount to pipe dreams, be sure that, the developments will be forthcoming!

Consultation Question 9, for example asks;

Which approach described below in providing new development is most suitable for the borough?

A Intensify existing built up areas with new development and increased density
B Create new settlements in the borough
C Disperse developments to the edge of the built up areas

Before you Answer A, we should remember that Canvey Island is already the most densely Urbanised part of the Borough!
Answer C flies in the face of the Purposes of the Green Belt, that is, “to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas”
Answer B would appear to have implications for residents elsewhere in the Borough.

Answer Question 11 without an explanation and you will be considered to support large site development on Canvey Island!

11. What type of housing do you feel is best suited to your area? (tick all that apply)
Affordable rents, Buy-to-let, Elderly care homes etc, etc.

None of which can be provided without Private Investment, likely off the back of large scale, market price, private development!

Housing allocations
“The new Local Plan 2018 will revisit all potential sites considered within the 2014 and 2016 Plans and assess their future suitability through technical studies,”

No they will not! All Canvey sites, with the exception of the “Triangle Site”, behind the Dutch Cottage Canvey Road, for some reason, were considered to be developable whether Green Belt or Brownfield, or in a Flood Risk zone or Critical Drainage Area, which incidentally the whole of Canvey is!

The Constraints on development revealed in the Technical Studies are all dismissed by cpbc where Canvey Island is concerned!

13a. Do you support the potential residential development at land at Thorney Bay Caravan Park, Canvey Island?

Absolutely irrelevant Consultation question. The owners have permissions in place for a Park Home site and are successfully developing one. CPBC have no jurisdiction over the likely loss of the Roscommon Way final phase land.

14a. Do you support the potential residential development at land at Point Road, Canvey Island?

The Business site was first proposed as a housing development, then returned with a vastly inflated figure of Housing, drawing many, many objections from local residents not least because of the reliance on the tiny roundabout access area and the Flats proposed. And, where would all of the current businesses be re-housed, well no doubt onto more Canvey Green field land around the Roscommon Way area!

20a. Do you support the potential residential development at land west of Benfleet?

Ask ourselves, can we really take more traffic on Canvey Way? And by the way, this is Jotmans Farm if you didn’t recognise the site name.

22a. Do you support the potential residential development at land east of Canvey Road?

Do they really need to ask? This is the Dutch Village Green Belt site, the one that out of the 6,534 Referendum Votes cast, just 56 Canvey Islanders said they were comfortable with persimmons developing!

23a. Do you support the potential residential development at land fronting Canvey Road?

This is beside the Dutch Cottage, Green Belt site, I am sure the extra traffic filing down from Sadlers Farm to Thorney Bay Road every evening, is something we could do without.

26a. Do you support the extension to Roscommon Way?

Given that there is no funding, and that Essex Highways do not wish to burden themselves with future maintenance costs, and that the Thorney Bay part of the land required may not be available for development anyway, this appears simply an unlikely aspiration.

27a. Do you support widening of Sommes Avenue?

Of course we do, but wouldn’t the installation of the cycle way along the North side of Somnes Avenue by ECC, mean that there is no space for the widening of Somnes Avenue by ECC?

29a. Do you support dualling of the northern section of the A130 Canvey Way in the vicinity of Sadlers Farm?

Or put another way, do you support development of Jotmans Farm with access an access onto Canvey Way.

32a. Do you support improved access to Canvey Island?

Well of course we do, but it will be at the likely expense of much more land released for development. Thurrock Council opposition will not remove their objection and cpbc will have to overturn their own Local Plan Evidence findings that; “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.”

And Finally, as they say:

34. Do you have any additional comments on the new Local Plan 2018?

Not unless you feel the fact that Canvey Island, the whole of which, is a Critical Drainage Area, is also a tidal Flood Zone 3a area, and has 2 Top Tier Comah sites, meaning should there ever be a need to evacuate the Island, the Emergency Services would be unable to cope with the current levels of Canvey’s population, has some bearing on the Consultation that castle point officers appear to be overlooking or ignoring!

Entrapment for Canvey? Castle Point Local Plan 2016 consultation health warning!

Amidst threats, encouragement and plain suspicion residents ponder responding to the Castle Point Local Plan 2016 Consultation.

The 8 page full colour brochure sent to residents as part of the information pack is in itself “interesting.”

Councillors voted to sign-off the latest version  of the Local Plan under the “veiled” threat from the council chief executive that;

“Any attempt to remove sites that is not supported by evidence will result in the Council’s approach to meeting its housing needs being found unsustainable.
This in turn could put the entire plan at significant risk with the Council being faced with the prospect of either a finding of unsoundness or having to withdraw yet another development plan document after examination.”

” Failure to produce a statutory development plan places the Council at risk of intervention by the Secretary of State. Where the Secretary of State thinks that a local planning authority are failing or omitting to do anything it is necessary for them to do in connection with the preparation, revision or adoption of a development plan document, he or she could intervene and produce a statutory development plan for the authority.”

The literature sent to residents contains clear indication of the rift between councillors and officers.

Officers have a duty to assist and guide councillors towards a Local Plan that reflects the achievable aspirations of residents. Of course they must have regard of National policy, housing need and constraints.

Councillors believed the constraints did not receive true weight, officers have a duty to use evidence to apply policy AND physical constraining factors into the Plan and evidence base.

The ambiguities in the Residents Consultation brochure, if nothing else, indicate a lack of commitment to the cause.

For instance;

Retention and protection of 2,734ha of Green Belt. The maps indicate just 2,687ha.

Housing, 2,000 new homes. The maps identify just 1,720 new homes!

Transport, proposals that improve the east-west connections on Canvey Island. Is this reference to the cycle path alongside Somnes Avenue?

If not then added to the aspired-to provision of a new road between Northwick Road and Corringham, the completion of the Roscommon Way, and the widening of Somnes Avenue, we are entering the realms of Fantasy Island!

Canvey Islanders and those residents bordering Jotmans Farm need also beware entrapment as they respond to the Local Plan 2016 consultation!

The “proposal” to dual the northern section of Canvey Way!

The scheming, because that is what it appears, to include this “carrot” was to be supported by the potential delivery of 800 new dwellings at Jotmans Farm.

A glance at the mainland map reveals no such Housing Development proposal! The proposal for a 265 dwelling development at Jotmans is currently awaiting the decision of the Secretary of State. There is no such, part-dualling of Canvey Way included as a condition in this current proposal, AND the housing proposal does not form part of the Local Plan 2016.

The delivery of infrastructure comes at a price. Jotmans residents may be tempted, indeed this brochure actually encourages them, to respond through the consultation, to agree the idea of the part-dualling of Canvey Way. Why else would the dualling be included as part of the Local Plan brochure’s aspirations for the mainland, rather than for Canvey?

We would suggest you would be signing Jotmans Farm’s “death warrant” as Green Field land!

Likewise Canvey residents responding demanding the illusive 3rd Road, a £ multi million investment.

Are we honestly expected to believe that a 3rd Road, plus Roscommon Way, plus Somnes Avenue AND Canvey Way widening will all be delivered within the 15 year lifetime of this Local Plan?

Perhaps Canvey Island’s (Para 4.7) “wider issues associated with the education and skills of residents” will prevent consultation responders from seeing the direction that aspirational responses may potentially allow officers to view the opinions of residents!

Respond to the consultation by stating no development unless better access to the Island, and you can be sure that large scale housing development is what you are supporting. Highway improvements are outside of Castle Point Council’s control!


The Canvey Green Belt Campaign encourages all Castle Point residents to respond to the Local Plan 2016 consultation, just be aware as to how a Planning Inspector may interpret your responses!

Following week 1 of the consultation, 7 persons have responded.

To view the full consultation evidence, responses and Local Plan2016 click on this link HERE.

Pic copyright: http://www.123rf.com

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.