A Bright Future
Jaywick is on the North East coast of Essex within the Golf Green Ward and is situated to the south west of Clacton-on-Sea. Jaywick is relatively isolated and by not being part of a large inner-city area, it has not had the investment opportunities afforded to other deprived areas in the country.
Jaywick's issues are well known, what is needed is a solution. This Council wants to help create a long term sustainable community in Jaywick with good quality, safe and resilient housing, together with the economic growth and community well-being that people expect in the 21st Century.
Because public sector funding is very limited, we are developing a new approach that will support private investment and development in the area. We will work with different agencies and the community to draw up a planning policy that allows new development but ensures that buildings and infrastructure are safe and sustainable in the face of an existing and increasing flood risk.
We want to give the community and developers a clear message that sustainable development is supported; and give an outline as to how it can be done. The policy will outline the principles that will guide the Council, relevant regulatory authorities, residents and potential developers/investors.
The challenge is not a small one. Jaywick is in a high risk flood zone and largely consists of poorly constructed vulnerable single storey properties. If there was a breach in the defences the area would be flooded very quickly and the water would be deep. The single main road presents a significant issue for safe access and evacuation in the event of a flood. Whilst the existing seawall is of a high standard, able to withstand overtopping from a 1 in 200 year tide for approximately the next 50 years, rising sea levels and coastal erosion mean this risk will increase over time.
Over the last ten years the Environment Agency has invested a significant amount of money in the sea defences, making the area safer and, because of the fantastic beach, potentially the most attractive site in the East of England. This presents an opportunity to regenerate Jaywick if the right planning policy can be found.
Such a policy needs to be innovative and proactive. In November 2011 the Leader, Deputy Leader and Chief Executive of Tendring District Council met with the Secretary of State (Greg Clark), the Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Environment Agency and Clacton's MP to specifically focus on Jaywick's regeneration and flood risk. The aim was to find a way to create a vibrant sustainable community with good quality housing that was also safe and resilient to flooding.
We have identified a way forward, including some basic principles to allow fundamental improvement and lift the perceived blight to development:
- sustainable development should be permitted in Jaywick in order to create a vibrant, sustainable community
- development will have a presumption of approval if:
- it positively reduces the risk of flood damage
- it reduces the risk of death or personal harm from flooding
- it positively contributes to a community led emergency plan
- the resilience of the buildings is appropriate to the risk identified
To ensure these are met, the Council will need to be provided with sufficient information to consider the risk of flooding when determining planning applications.
- The Council will work with the Environment Agency to apply relevant national and local planning policies in an appropriate manner to give proposed development every chance of success.
- The Council will also work with a range of agencies, including the Environment Agency and Essex County Council, to simplify and minimise bureaucracy to achieve innovative sustainable improvements. For example, as part of the process for gaining planning consent, some of the necessary technical information (e.g. baseline flood risk and environmental assessments) may be prepared for all or part of the area.
The principles above will be the basis of a planning policy that we will be consulting on soon, as part of the Local Plan process.
We are also seeking to improve the quality of existing housing. This will be done by a combination of enforcement using our existing powers regarding housing quality and looking to forthcoming legislation which will stop the rental of poor quality accommodation by 2017 at the latest. This includes investigating ways to stop the payment of benefits to residents in poor quality housing.
This is an exciting time with a real window of opportunity. We are working hard to stimulate positive change to housing and the community in Jaywick through a new planning policy, whilst seeking to use powers to stop the historic failings. When we succeed, Jaywick will have a bright future.
Flood Risk Study
As part of the Regeneration plans for Jaywick a Strategic Flood Risk Study has been carried out. The maps that accompany this study are listed individually below.
For further advice on the technical information contained within the study please contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 and ask for Jeremy Bloomfield.