Local Plan

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Representation 1147 on Preferred Options Local Plan by Antonia Moore-Browne

Support / Object: OBJECT
Document Link: Preferred Options Local Plan - Sustainable Settlements, Mersea Island
Representation: My objections centre on infrastructure but 3,200 dwellings quoted do not include caravan dwellers:-

We only have one access road - what happens if we had to evacuate quickly in an emergency?

The state of our roads is dire with heavy traffic and lack of parking compounded by summer visitors.

The Surgery is de-listing patients, there is a 2 year wait for an NHS dentist and the school is full.

The sewage works are at capacity and East Road floods after heavy rain.

Tesco Express is hardly a 'Supermarket'

Can't you add these houses to your 'garden cities' with their new infrastructure?

Original submission

I grew up in Mersea and chose to return when I retired so I know for a fact how little money has been spent on infrastructure in the intervening years. Despite a huge increase in housing and population there has been no upgrading of the arterial roads on the Island or the two access roads to the Strood, which is the one and only road to enter or leave the Island, and which gets flooded at high tide twice in 24 hours for several days almost every fortnight. What if there were a major Emergency on the scale of, say, the floods of 1953 (in my lifetime) or some catastrophe at the nuclear power plant of Bradwell which faces Mersea Island full on? How could the current population be evacuated, let alone a substantial new influx of people? Only last month an incident on Wellhouse Hill caused traffic to be diverted along Dawes Lane (the other access road from the Strood to West Mersea and site of one of the new housing proposals), a road barely wide enough for two cars to pass. Result: total gridlock!

You state that there are 3200 dwellings on Mersea, but you have not taken into account the number of people in the 6 caravan parks who are here during the warmer months and some all year round. Add to this the day trippers (impossible to count on a hot weekend or school holidays let alone quite a number on a bright winter's day) and this all adds up to traffic jams, nowhere to park, queues of traffic at junctions and navigating residential streets - especially the avenues leading down to the beach - becoming like a slalom course. And this on top of the general frustration of residents with the poor state of the existing roads and pavements.

In addition the infrastructure in other areas is struggling even now: the Surgery is already de-listing patients; there's a 2 year wait for an NHS dentist; the School can only expand at the expense of their playing fields; Anglian Water state that the sewage works are up to capacity and East Road is often underwater at the Waldegraves end after heavy rain. Add to that the difficulty of getting Emergency Services on to the Island when the Strood is flooded and it becomes obvious that we are bursting at the seams already. On a busy day in summer the shops (I don't think one can describe a small Tesco Express as a 'Supermarket') soon run out of fresh food, despite the fact that one can find nowhere to park to do one's shopping!

In short I cannot agree that West Mersea is 'a sustainable location' for any housing growth until major investment in the infrastructure has occurred. I understand the need for more housing in the area, but would it not be better to add this number of houses to one or more of the 'garden cities' already planned with new infrastructure, rather than trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, especially when that pint is an Island which requires different thinking on planning and infrastructure management.


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