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The proposal to build an additional 350 houses on the Island in the areas shown on the recent plan, are not acceptable for the following reasons.
An additional 350 homes would bring in the region of 500 more cars onto the Island.
There is only one way off the Island and that is via the Strood which is accessible by only two roads on the island, one from East Mersea and one from West Mersea.
The sighting of the new developments means that traffic either has to get off the Island via Dawes Lane/East Mersea Road or East Road/Mill Road/Colchester Road.
Dawes Lane is a narrow road with just enough room for two cars to pass. Its junction with East Mersea Road is a blind junction with East Mersea Road itself being a narrow road.
East Road is a road with a busy junction at Queens Corner where traffic both to and from Colchester has priority over traffic from East Road.
Mill Road itself is a busy road with no parking restrictions halfway down which causes traffic hold-ups when there are legally parked cars.
Mersea Island is, as the name would suggest, and island and is cut off from the mainland anything up to 40 times a month sometimes for as long as 3 hours.
When the Strood is covered there are often tailbacks almost as far as Abberton in one direction and Mill Lane and Dawes Lane in the other. Regularly people try to get across the Strood when the tide covers it and get stuck, resulting in even longer delays whilst they wait for their cars to be pulled of the now blocked road.
There are already long tailbacks on the East Mersea Road where it meets the Colchester Road at the junction with the Strood. These tailbacks are exasperated during the summer months by traffic, including caravans, coming from the various holiday parks to the south and east of the Island. Colchester Road has priority which means at times it can take up to 15 minutes to get from East Mersea Road onto the Strood.
Moving on to amenities, an additional 350 houses would mean in the region of an additional 1000 people becoming Island residents.
We have one doctors surgery which is already working at full capacity in what are cramped outdated accommodation. Whilst there is talk of a new surgery, this is still unlikely to be able to deal with a population increase of around 12.5%.
Traffic congestion on the Island is already a problem with roads such as Yorrick Road regularly being reduced to only one lane. The area around Coast Road is also heavily congested during the summer months as is the Victoria Esplanade, despite parking restrictions, and the Avenues off of it.
In increase of 12.5% in the population together with the influx of additional visitors will mean around 16000 people being in residence over the summer months causing a strain on already overstretched services on the island.
We have no permanent police on the island and it takes around 15 minutes for emergency services from Colchester to reach the us.
Having this many new inhabitants would be an additional strain on the utilities.
I have not mentioned the school as I have no first-hand experience of it, but an increase as is being produced would obviously mean additional children having to be accommodated at an already full school.
In addition the prospect of having a new nuclear power station at Bradwell makes the situation even worse. Should there be an emergency and the island have to be evacuated, there would be chaos and a great danger of loss of life should an evacuation be necessary.
All in all to expect the island to cope with an additional 350 houses, 500 vehicles and up to 1000 inhabitants is being unrealistic.