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Sea Defences (Essex)

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

The massive petition, supported by thousands of people, shows the strength of feeling of Canvey residents against the Environment Agency plan to flood a large section on the west of Canvey Island. The Environment Agency wants to do that to reduce flood risk along the Thames corridor and provide tidal habitat, as required by the European Union. At least it is now starting to consult Canvey residents, as I demanded, and the consultation commences tomorrow. I think that it will find that sacrificing part of Canvey Island is totally unacceptable, and rejected by Canvey people. If necessary, I will personally stand defiant in front of the diggers to protect Canvey people from the disastrous scheme.

I am delighted that so many people have joined my Stop Canvey Flooding campaign, and I congratulate and thank each one who signed the position. They are all stars.

The petition states:

The Petition of Councillor Dave Blackwell, Canvey Island residents, and others,

Declares that the Environment Agency proposal to abandon to the sea 800 acres of land on the west of Canvey Island is wrong. Sacrificing such a large ecologically and environmentally important area could increase Canvey’s problems. Canvey issues, such as flooding, building 1,000 more houses, an additional Canvey access road, hazardous industrial plants and protecting Canvey’s very special environment, are interlinked. These should be considered together as they affect island people’s future safety and quality of life.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to abandon its plans to flood such a large area of Canvey Island and to meet the hon. Member for Castle Point, Councillor Dave Blackwell and Canvey councillors to discuss their plans.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.