Canvey Island Urban District was an urban district in the county of Essex, England. It was created in 1926 out of the civil parish of Canvey Island (see below), previously in the Rochford Rural District. Its population rose from 1,795 in the UK census of 1921 to 26,608 in the census of 1971.
Since April 1, 1974 its former area has formed part of the Borough of Castle Point.
Canvey Island is a civil parish and reclaimed island in the Thames estuary in England. It has an area of 18.45 square kilometres (7.12 sq mi) and a population of 38,170 (according to an estimate of 2013). It is separated from the mainland of south Essex by a network of creeks. Lying only just above sea level it is prone to flooding at exceptional tides, but has nevertheless been inhabited since the Roman invasion of Britain in 55 B.C.
The island was mainly agricultural land until the 20th century when it became the fastest growing seaside resort in Britain between 1911 and 1951. The North Sea flood of 1953 devastated the island, killing 58 islanders and leading to the temporary evacuation of the 13,000 residents of the time. Canvey is consequently protected by modern sea defences comprising 2 miles (3.2 km) of concrete sea walls.
Canvey is also notable for its relationship to the petrochemical industry. The island was the site of the first delivery in the world of liquefied natural gas by container ship, and later became the subject of an influential assessment on the risks to a population living within the vicinity of petrochemical shipping and storage facilities.
Canvey Island coalesced into a separate civil parish and ecclesiastical parish in 1881. These with separate remits replaced the 17 divisions of the land split largely into grazing meadowland since the Norman era by the neighbouring parishes of North Benfleet, South Benfleet, Bowers Gifford, Prittlewell, Southchurch, Hadleigh, Laindon, Pitsea, and Vange. In 1926, the parish was converted to the Canvey Island Urban District, then dissolved along with the Benfleet Urban District in the Local Government Act 1972 to form the parliamentary constituency and local government district and borough of Castle Point.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Canvey Island. This is an extensive review of Canvey Island from the time of the Romans up to the present day.