From an article in the Echo dated November 1992.
Tory councillors picketed an exhibition of the Castle Point local plan which includes a relief road through Canvey. The 12 handed leaflets to people visiting Knightswick Centre to encourage them to reject the proposals.
Coun. Jack King said: “We are saying the southern relief road made people think it’s the relief road off Canvey but it’s a development road.
“We are protesting about more development on Canvey without an alternative route off the island.” Apart from overloading the island with building, Coun King and his colleagues are concerned the route could pose a hazard. They say it would run through the safety zone which restricts new building near the methane terminal and London and Coastal Oil Wharves. Coun King is worried there may be problems with evacuation. He said: “We live on the island and experience all the traumas. No-one on Canvey wants any more development. With around 37,000 people, it’s already overcrowded.”
But a representative for Peter de Savary, whose plans for a retail park on Canvey could be affected if the road is refused, said the councillors had taken a U-turn. Mr John Cunningham-Reid said: “We are amazed that councillors who supported the local plan and who voted for it in the planning committee, are demonstrating against it when the officers of the council are mounting an exhibition to promote the local plan and relief route.
“Surely the best place to debate these issues is in the council chamber. We have not seen anything like this before. Mr de Savary would fund that stretch of the southern relief road running through his proposed retail development.
Coun Edna Bowden said her ward would be worst hit, as the suggested route would run straight through bringing with it the threat of hundreds of new homes. She said: “My residents would be most affected by this road through the safety zone — the methane terminal and London and Coastal.
“No development is allowed near it. That’s considered our most vulnerable point.” Coun Bowden also feared Cleveland Road and Leigh Road would become rat runs with traffic refusing to follow the proposed route to the seafront and travel along the esplanade.