WORK has begun to demolish an historic Canvey jetty which had become a hotspot for children “tombstoning”.

The Chapman Sands Jetty, off Eastern Esplanade, on Canvey, has started to be removed as the Environment Agency continue their works to protect the island from tidal flooding.

The jetty had become a hotspot for children climbing the structure and jumping off it into the water over the years.

This was despite it being closed off to the public and being surrounded by security barriers.

In March 2023, plans were then approved for the Environment Agency to demolish the jetty as part of their £75million project.

Back in August 2023, Dave Blackwell, the leader of Castle Point Council, urged the Environment Agency to act fast in removing it “before someone is injured”.

However, today, he did admit he was sad to see it go.

Mr Blackwell said: “To be honest it is sad to see it go as it was a part of Canvey’s history.

“I did try and see if it could be saved but the Environment Agency insisted that they had no option but to demolish it for the seawall works.

“The previous administration had also given planning permission to demolish it and the Environment Agency said they didn’t have the budget to replace it.

“I must say I did look at it at low tide and would not want my kids diving off that jetty, and we do have a duty of care.

“People’s safety must come first, and the seawall works are my first priority.”

In August 2023, Southend’s coastguard team dashed to the Chapman Sands Jetty after reports of children jumping off it into the water.

While nobody was injured during that incident, crews provided the youngsters with safety advice about the dangers of jumping from a height into water.

The Environment Agency carried out the works to remove it this month as part of their £75million flood defence works.

The island’s 3.2-kilometre tidal defence revetment along the southern shoreline is being replaced having degraded over the years.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The decision to remove Chapman sands jetty was made by Castle Point Borough Council with the Environment Agency offering to do the work on behalf of the council as part of the Southern Shoreline project.

"The jetty is currently being dismantled, and the work is due to be completed by the end of March 2024. This is part of the TEAM2100 Canvey Island Southern Shoreline project to improve the erosion protection by replacing the seaward revetment.”