CAMPAIGNERS say they will pressure insurance companies NOT to cover any new homes built on Canvey.

Environmental group South East Essex Friends of the Earth have said any new homes on the island pose “a severe threat” due to rising sea levels.

The announcement comes after Castle Point Council voted down the proposed local plan last week, which would have seen 1,399 homes built on Canvey across nine sites.

The Government previously advised the council that if a plan didn’t materialise they would be forced to intervene.

Jon Fuller, group co-ordinator for SEEFE, attended a talk by barrister Richard Lord QC in London who represents insurance companies, which detailed threats of climate change to the insurance industry.

Mr Fuller claims great risk faces insurance companies who cover construction companies that do not make climate change resistant buildings.

He said: “If central government overrules Castle Point Council and requires that more homes be built on Canvey, groups like mine will be working with residents to challenge the insurance industry to refuse cover to any builder that tries to build new homes on the island.

“We know that sea levels will rise between around three to six feet this century.

“Everyone in the insurance industry accepts that sea level rise is happening and those people who live in high risk areas are going to have to move or accept no insurance cover.

“That is the brutal reality we face.

“Friends of the Earth argues that there should be no more building anywhere close to sea level and building below sea level, such as Canvey, is criminally irresponsible.

“We should not panic, but Castle Point Council needs to be exploring ways in which it can begin to move people off Canvey.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said every new application for Canvey must have a Flood Risk Assessment.

They said: “Our advice will then inform the local authority’s decision on whether the development is safe, and therefore if it is appropriate to grant planning permission.”