Another plan for SE England's wilderness


Another outbreak of marina pox has broken out this time the patient is the wetlands of south Essex and north Kent. With oil peaking some ‘Gulf magnates’ want to ‘reclaim’ two three-mile long stretches of Thames Estuary sandbank to create a twin resort on both sides of the river.

Their tasteful work with island creation can be seen in Dubai with Palm Jumeirah a filigree of desert sand concreted into the Persian Gulf. Google-earthed it looks like a cockroach crushed beneath the sole of a Bedouin slipper.

The estuary version will include ‘yacht marinas’ for an area where a converted lifeboat on a piece of bog chain is as close as many locals can get to where the other half lives; an opera house – in the heart of Chavland – theatres (plural) for a populace continually threatened with the closure of its existing Palace Theatre at Westcliff-on-Sea and housing for an area where humans live in closer proximity to one another than ants.

So I will add Sir Tel Farrell, the architect who drew up the plan, to my list of folks for whom a pair of concrete overshoes awaits on the sands he wants to cover.