A recent addition to the Castle Point Borough council’s Local Plan Evidence Base is the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment 2018 Update covering South Essex.
The document, apparently is too large to be downloaded from the cpbc Local Plan website, so we downloaded from the Rochford council website instead!
Of note, and the Canvey Green Belt Campaign did make it known to councillors, Canvey Island had no Historic Flood Events, up until 2011, recorded by Castle Point council except the 1953 Tidal Flood. This despite local knowledge confirmed that there is a Surface Water Drainage issue across Canvey Island!
This information we made available whilst the cpbc cabinet discussed and adopted the Surface Water Management Plan during 2012. Little wonder then that cpbc and their partners, were totally unprepared for the Canvey Island Floods of 2013 and, worse still, 2014!
Those living on Canvey Island at the time would have been well aware of a serious Surface Water Flooding Event during 1968. Previous localised Flooding causing more regular problems had also taken place on the Island on more frequent occasions.
None of this was recorded, nor recollections sought, when cpbc gave information to URS Scott Wilson as they compiled the 2011 Surface Water Management Plan for South Essex.
Now it is evident that cpbc have allowed, one can only think for convenience sake, the South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment to be published and adopted for inclusion in the cpbc 2018 Local Plan evidence base, with the same Flooding Event omitted!
The South Essex SWMP (2012) states that there are 26 recorded flood events from Castle Point Borough Council, the Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Parish Councils and the Highways Agency. The source of flooding is unknown and these records are shown in Appendix A Figure 5.3. Where available, updated flood incident records held by the project stakeholders, including Castle Point Borough Council, ECC, the Environment Agency and AWS, have been provided to support this Level 1 SFRA update.
Records of Flooding included within the document indicate:
1968 “Fluvial flooding from the Benfleet Sewer” Following this event, structural flood mitigation measures were undertaken along the watercourse to improve the standard of protection against flooding including the construction of the bunded washlands area.
Again in 1987 Flood recorded in Hadleigh
For Canvey Island, during these decades, Nothing Recorded!
So despite the Canvey Green Belt Campaign making it known to cpbc that Canvey Island had suffered Flooding incidents and that the 2011 Surface Water Management Plan incorrectly omitted a record of these events, Castle Point Borough council have allowed a new Assessment to be undertaken without correcting these errors!
Not only that, but the Canvey Island Integrated Urban Drainage Study, undertaken following Government departmental advice, was not used as an informative for the South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, despite being signed off in April 2018!
5.4.2 Canvey Island Integrated Urban Drainage Study
The Canvey Island Integrated Urban Drainage Study (IUD) has been undertaken setting out how surface water drainage should be managed and maintained on the island. The study was not available for inclusion in the Level 1 SFRA; however, the study should be used to inform the Level 2 SFRA and site specific FRAs.
We can only conclude that these omissions and flaws can only be explained by them being deliberate to support the desires of Castle Point Borough Council to distribute a large level of Housing Development onto the Flood Risk Zone and Critical Drainage Area of Canvey Island within their latest 2018 Local Plan process!
The 1968 Canvey Island flooding was not an insignificant event as much as cpbc may wish it was. These photographs act as proof:
More information on the 1968 Flooding has been collected, along with many interesting photographs that can be found on the Canvey Island Community Archive. Their website can be found via this LINK.