FAMILIES on Canvey are celebrating after the Environment Agency “back-tracked” on plans to close the “only safe place for kids to swim” over the summer.

This week, residents were told the popular tidal swimming pool on the seafront, near Concord Cafe, on Eastern Esplanade, would have to close for the major seawall improvement project from July 15.

Residents were left devastated by the news after claiming the pool is the only safe place for children to swim without having to venture out into the sea.

Now, the Environment Agency has confirmed they will delay starting work until September, so the pool can stay open.

Canvey resident, Alan Tibbit, believes the “back-track” demonstrates “people power” on the island, but also believes it should never have come to this.

He said: “People on social media were really upset about the entire situation and that has forced the agency to back-track - it shows the power people have to make changes if they started using it.

“I also commented on the situation, people really kicked-off and there was no real consultation on this.

“This shouldn’t have to be how it happens, anyone if asked would have said ‘yes’ to delaying the work, but it was not asked.

“There was no consultation, despite the splash park being closed where all the kids go in the summer, it leaves them with nothing.”

The project is a multi-million pound scheme to improve the flood defences on Canvey.

And the Environment Agency has thanked residents for their feedback, and confirmed that the eastern and western tidal pools will remain open to be enjoyed throughout the summer.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “In response to community feedback, the planned closure of the tidal pool east of Concord Cafe has been postponed.

“Initially set to be closed from July 15 to early June 2025, the revised schedule now sets the closure for early September 2024 to Spring 2025.

“This change reflects the community’s value of the tidal pools over the summer period, and the commitment to public safety during the construction period.”