Britains worst Nimbys Claim Empty Mersea Island is Full

Colchester Gazette

COLCHESTER Council is “not listening” to the strong opposition to building 350 homes on Mersea Island, campaigners say.

About 130 protestors from the island’s STOP 350 group made their voices heard at a Colchester Local Plan committee meeting last night.

The meeting was the first since the total number of objections to, and comments in support of, the borough’s new draft local plan were published.

In total the figures show 1,884 objections were lodged, compared to 286 supportive representations and 825 general comments.

John Akker MBE, chairman of the STOP 350 group, said: “The impression I want to leave you with is, the borough is not listening.

“The proposals are flawed and fly in the face of everything.

“The big issue is that Mersea is already full.”

Speaking directly to the committee, he added: “Why can’t you see the proposals will damage the tourist industry and employment?”

“The Government information is drawn up by people a long, long way by Colchester.”

Mr Akker also claimed the island’s oyster fishermen fear their industry will be under threat of the 350 planned homes go ahead.

He said: “The local plan is not fit for purpose. It’s not fit for any purpose.”

Mr Akker, whose group has about 900 members, said an extra 350 homes would mean more than 1,000 extra residents on an island, which has a population of about 7,500.

Developments for Mersea Island in the Local Plan include 150 homes off Dawes Lanes and 200 at Brierley Paddocks.

Speakers also criticised plans for a new town, dubbed West Tey, on the border of Colchester and Braintree.

Some 235 people officially lodged concerns to the plans, compared to just six being in favour.

Rosie Pearson, secretary for Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex, said her members believed the plan to be a “done deal” and urged members to “listen to local people”.

Tim Young, deputy leader of Colchester Council, warned anyone who believes the garden communities, such as West Tey and one planned to the east of Greenstead, will not go ahead are “not being realistic”.

All that Emptiness

With the local plan proposing less than 1% loss of Mersea countryside protect because it will take till around 4500AD till this field is threatened.

Horses fight to the death for food on horrifically overcrowded Mersea Island


9 thoughts on “Britains worst Nimbys Claim Empty Mersea Island is Full

  1. Reblogged this on Roger Gambba-Jones and commented:
    This is a very good example of the sort of anti-housing hysteria that is gripping the south east of England and that has impacted the planning as a whole nationally. Eric Pickles started the rot by pandering to this NIMBYism when he became the minister, by his botched scrapping of regional plans. This meant housing numbers were now determined and set locally, making local police and the supposed villains of the piece. If those same politicians had done their jobs properly in the first place, they would have made sure that their electorate better understood the evidence base upon which the housing numbers were based and that this hadn’t changed just because regional plans had been scrapped.
    The island referred to in this report, is a perfect example of what is happening in many affluent residential locations across the south east and beyond.

  2. You sir, are a total idiot and clearly have no clue about the real issues involved in this case.
    350 houses will probably equate to a population increase of at least 1,000! Do you consider that a reasonable percentage increase on the existing population of around 7,500? I certainly don’t consider a 13.5% increase reasonable at all, especially given the following:
    We have no Police prescence on Mersea Island.
    There is only one road onto the Island and that is covered by the tide twice a day for up to two weeks a month.
    The doctors surgery cannot cope with the current population.
    The school is already at capacity.
    The road and transport infrastructure is already overstretched.
    During the summer months, tourists considerably increase the numbers on Mersea Island.
    Two of the caravan sites have been granted 12 month residency so we already have an unplanned for, increase in the population.
    Sewage treatment is at capacity.
    Colchester Councils figures on the level of housing on the Island are significantly lower than reality – a fact recently proved by an action group.
    Finally we have Bradwell Power Station just across the water which is earmarked to redeveloped with a new, Chinese built, nuclear power station. With a single road off the Island sometimes covered by the tide, how would we evacuate an even bigger population in the event of a nuclear accident?
    NIMBYism? Oh no, I don’t think so!

  3. Have you actually ever been here? Crossed our tidal causeway that gets flooded for hours on end with more and more regularity? Worked out how 10,000+ people would get across that in the event that Bradwell Nuclear Power station gets built and there is a need to evacuate? Tried to get a doctors appointment in the small and only surgery on the island? Put your child in the only and filled to bursting primary school? Tried to drive down Yorick Road, one of the “main” roads that lead to the small town on a normal day? Tried to drive down any of the roads around the town or the beach or the anchorage on a hot day when the island is swamped with day trippers and those on holiday here or own a caravan here – conservatively another 1000 odd people? Tried to find a parking space in the one and only public car park in town? Tried to get the police out to you from Colchester as there is no police presence on the island? Watched visitors almost kill locals and other visitors by not obeying the laws of the sea and be powerless to do anything about it as there is no water bailiff anymore? Those empty spaces grow food; you do know it just doesn’t appear by magic on supermarket shelves, don’t you? The proposed development may only be 1% of the countryside but it represents an 11% increase in the population – in one hit with no corresponding development of infrastructure. So before you accuse us of NIMBYISM, please understand that our concerns are not without foundation.

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