Castle Point

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For the UK Parliament constituency, see Castle Point (UK Parliament constituency).
Castle Point
Borough
Borough of Castle Point
Castle Point within Essex
Castle Point within Essex
Coordinates: 51°32′N 0°35′E / 51.54°N 0.58°E / 51.54; 0.58Coordinates: 51°32′N 0°35′E / 51.54°N 0.58°E / 51.54; 0.58
Country United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East of England
County Essex
Established 1 April 1974
Admin HQ Thundersley
Government
 • Type Alternative s.31
 • MP Rebecca Harris (Conservatives)
Area
 • Land 45.08 km2 (17.41 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 • Total 86,608
 • Estimate (2007) 89,200
 • Density 1,921.2/km2 (4,976/sq mi)
Ethnicity
 • White 96.0%
 • South Asian 1.5%
 • Black 1.1%
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Website Castle Point

Castle Point is a local government district and borough in south Essex, 35 miles (56 km) from Central London. The borough comprises the districts of Canvey Island, Hadleigh, South Benfleet, and Thundersley, the site of the council headquarters.

History[edit]

The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the Benfleet Urban District and the Canvey Island Urban District. The name of the new district contains references to the principal landmarks of the two combined urban districts: Hadleigh Castle and Canvey Point. The district was granted borough status in 1992.

Twinning[edit]

Castle Point is twinned[1] with three towns and counties:

  • Romainville, a northeastern Paris suburb, since 30 March 1962.
  • Cologne District, Germany. Formally since 19 June 1971 when Lövenich (now part of Cologne) was an independent town.
  • County Roscommon, Republic of Ireland. Twinned with Castle Point council in April 1998.

Places of interest[edit]

Dutch Cottage Museum

Hadleigh Castle is preserved as an ancient monument from the 13th century, forming the most important historic site in the borough and the most important late medieval castle in Essex. The Dutch Cottage Museum contains a variety of exhibits that illustrate the history of Canvey Island, and the Castle Point Transport Museum, also situated on Canvey in the retired District bus depot, features a display of over thirty old buses, coaches and commercial vehicles.

Transport[edit]

The A13 crosses Castle Point and the A127 skirts it to the north, providing direct links to both Southend and London. The M25 is 20 minutes drive away.

Frequent train services run through Benfleet on the London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness line, operated by c2c In September 2007, Benfleet station had a £115,000 improvement programme to make the station more accessible for people with disabilities and those using pushchairs.

Southend Airport is a few miles from the border of Castle Point and currently offers private flights and summer trips to Jersey through low-cost operator Flybe. A £35 million development scheme – including a new control tower, terminal building and hotel - is currently under way to extend the passenger services available from the airport.

London Stansted Airport is 35 miles (56 km) from the borough and offers a full range of national and international flights. Stansted is the third busiest airport in the UK and serves 160 destinations across 34 countries.

Castle Point has an extensive bus network operated by the First Group and Arriva, with services across the borough and to Southend, Basildon, Lakeside Shopping Centre and Rayleigh. Weekday services by Stephensons of Essex also travel to London, Southend and Thurrock College and Regal Busways offers a six-day-a-week service to Chelmsford.

Sport and community facilities[edit]

Waterside Farm Sports Centre, on Canvey Island, is one of the most comprehensive centres in Essex. It is set in 88 acres (36 ha) of parkland and offers a wide variety of facilities indoors and out. It has a 25-metre swimming pool, a learner pool and facilities for badminton, squash, netball, basketball, trampolining and gymnastics. The centre also includes an outdoor 6 lane, 400 m Athletics track.

Opposite the Sports Centre is the Castle Point Golf Course, an 18-hole par 71 public pay-and-play course with a 17-bay floodlit driving range. The course is open seven days a week during daylight hours, 364 days a year. There is a PGA-qualified professional on site offering lessons for all abilities, both individually and as a group.

Runnymede Pool is situated behind the Council Offices in Kiln Road, South Benfleet. There is a 25 metre pool and a learner pool. It is also home to Runnymede Swimming Club. The club is extremely popular and offers competitive swimming for children as young as 7 through to masters level. It also has an excellent swimability squad and recently started a disability water polo squad. The club also holds asa accredited Swim 21 status.

Regeneration[edit]

Castle Point forms part of the Thames Gateway, making it the focus for regeneration projects. Castle Point Borough Council has been working with other key local agencies through the Castle Point Regeneration Partnership to look at long-term improvements to the borough.

The first phase of improvements focuses on Canvey seafront. Investment here is designed to make the area more attractive for residents and visitors and also to encourage additional business investment.

Other regeneration projects in Castle Point have included:

  • £350,000 from EEDA, enabling Castle Point Borough Council to create Canvey Heights Country Park from a former landfill site.
  • The RSPB purchase of land at West Canvey Marsh to create a nature reserve
  • The revamp of Thorney Bay, Canvey, by Castle Point Borough Council's street scene partner Pinnacle

The partnership brings together all local organisations working to improve Castle Point through long term regeneration. It includes Castle Point Borough Council, Essex County Council, East of England Development Agency (EEDA), Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, the Greengrid partnership, the RSPB and many more. They work together to make local improvements in a co-ordinated way and champion the area's interests regionally and nationally.

The partnership has also been:

  • Studying ways to support existing businesses at Charfleets Industrial Estate
  • Looking at ways to create additional employment
  • Consulting about improvements to Canvey Town Centre with a view to making it the heart of the community and to encourage local shopping
  • Researching opportunities for the Paddocks area, so it supports the town centre and offers greater community provision.
  • Working closely with Essex County Council for improvements to the traffic capacity on the A13 to relieve congestion on Canvey Island.
  • Carrying out a study into how Hadleigh Town Centre can be made a more attractive community shopping area

There are long term plans for improvements to Manor Trading Estate in Thundersley and the Benfleet and Thundersley shopping centres.

Culture[edit]

Castle Point's biggest event of the year is the Castle Point Show – the summer spectacular held at Waterside Farm Showground, Canvey. With live music, arena acts, crafts, competitions, stalls and a funfair, the show provides fun for the whole family. Held on the last Sunday in July, the show attracts thousands of people each year.

The annual firework fiesta, held on the nearest Friday to 5 November, is also a popular event for residents and visitors from further afield. A spectacular display with background music wows the crowds each year at Waterside Farm Showground, Canvey.

Each year the Mayor of Castle Point holds a carol service at Runnymede Hall, Thundersley. Open to the public, this event is free to attend and is supported by the Salvation Army band and songsters.

Now an annual event is The Noise Arts Festival, which was established in 2011 and takes place during the October half term, it is a mixture of comedy, music, workshops, and art across a number of venues mainly in the Thundersley area. The festival is organized by Thundersley Congregational Church with the support of local business, schools and community groups.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[2]

Climate data for Castle Point
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
(46)
8
(46)
11
(52)
13
(55)
17
(63)
20
(68)
22
(72)
22
(72)
19
(66)
15
(59)
11
(52)
8
(46)
14.5
(58.1)
Average low °C (°F) 3
(37)
3
(37)
4
(39)
5
(41)
8
(46)
11
(52)
14
(57)
14
(57)
11
(52)
9
(48)
5
(41)
3
(37)
7.5
(45.3)
Precipitation cm (inches) 46
(18)
36
(14)
41
(16)
38
(15)
33
(13)
33
(13)
30
(12)
30
(12)
36
(14)
41
(16)
41
(16)
41
(16)
446
(175)
Source: Weatherbase [3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]