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The proposal to build 350 houses in West Mersea is unsupportable for severai reasons:
The proposal undercstjmate the nu m b r of house;; already in West Mersea and takes no account of the number of people living on cara van parks. Although the caravan parks are supposed to be purely for holiday use there have already been instances of their being used as principal residences and tbe temptation t use t hem as such must seem to be irresistible to local young families.
The proposal suggests that we may expect: ' new dwellings of a mix and type of housing to be compatible with sun-ounding developrn nt" which is obviously untrue if 200 houses are to be squeezed in behind Seaview A venue hous s which are well spaced.
Local services are alreaoy under excessive pressure -the surgery has recently turned away patients who live just off the island.
The local school is oveFcrowded and could only be extended at the expense of play/exercise space. Although secondary school students are bussed to Colchester, they are often obliged to disembark at Peldon if the bus company fears being delayed by the tide.
Your Policy SS 17a requires, "adequate waste water treatment ...." yet there are regularly problems with drains. Some roads flood several times a year.
Mersea is famous for its oysters. Oyster farming attracts thousands of tourists to the island and provides employment. The introduction of yet more sewage into the rivers threatens this
ij.a. o;str:-.r industry which is the ife blood of the island.
Part of Mersea's attraction is the fact of its being an island and no one wishes to see that changed. However, access to and from the island is via only one road and is regularly interrupted by the tide. At times, especially during peak holiday periods, there can be queues of well over one mile. There is also a serious traffic problem at busy times with a shortage of appropriate parking leading to indiscriminate parking on many roads so that driving along them is dangerous .
The potential problems of access m ust not be underestimated. It is very unlikely that many of the newcomers would e ab l e lo fin L mployment on the island which would greatly increase the t raffic to and from olchester at peak times. There is concern in Mersea at George Osborne's caval ier signing of a contract allowing the Chinese to build a prototype nuclear power plant at Bradwel l. In the event of there being an accident it would be impossible to evacuate the inhabitant s of Mersea.
Whi le the concept of having a percentage of affordable housing seems to be admirable, there is littl e chance of Mersea's young people benefitting from it. It seems that the main benefkiades of such schemes are too often "buy to let" landlords. Ifthese are London boroughs the tenants are not necessarily people who want to be here and there is friction between the newcomers and locals. Mersea no longer has any police presence -not even a PCSO.
(f there were some way i n wh ich local young people could have first chance to buy, it would be fairer. P rhaps a covenant, lim iting sales to local people only, for a period of 7 years,
cou ld prevent t heir selling to make a quick profit. As it stands the proposal offers nothing to the benefi t of Mersea and li ttle opportunity for incomers to find employment and integrate
i n to the com muni ty.
Yours fa thfull y
H A E McMullen