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As a resident of West Mersea for over 40 years, I should like to register my objections to the current intention to build a further 350 houses in two open spaces in West Mersea as detailed in the local plan.
There are clearly a number of reasons to believe that West Mersea cannot absorb this increase in population from the point of view of road access, services capacity, pressure on school and medical facilities. In this context it has to be remembered that Mersea's population has already been increased de facto by the decision to allow 12 month residency at certain of the East Mersea caravan sites
1. The proposed areas of new build all require traffic flow on the current East Road,which is very narrow, and could only cope if essentially rebuilt
2. The current provision of sewage services is apparently at capacity now, and if there is more pressure it may result in the water quality round the island deteriorating, hurting both the tourist industry and the oyster fishery
3. School places and doctor appointments are already stretched.
Furthermore there are very strong arguments resulting from Mersea's unique geographical situation as an island. There is only one road on to and off the island, and at peak times particularly in summer at high water the queues to transit the Strood already unacceptably long. Radical redesign of the Strood and its approaches on both sides will be necessary. On top of this the island lies only two miles away from the site of the new Bradwell power station which is currently in planning. Emergency measures in relation to a nuclear incident, for example evacuation of the island, would be practically impossible at high tide with Mersea's current population, let alone with the intended increase.