Consultation event for Porthleven Shipyard’s proposed new building

The proposed new building at Porthleven’s Shipyard has certainly got people talking. In a previous blog, I showed the concept of a building and talked about a planned consultation. This consultation was organised by the applicant, Trevor Osborne – owner of the harbour and shipyard.

Just under 40 people attended this event and gave their views on the concept. As with any large-scale planning application, this attracted a series of views both positive and negative. It is always good to hear people’s views as it shows they take an interest in what is going on in Porthleven.

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In an age of social media, people are quick to give their views on these platforms However, having been involved in planning for over 10 years, I would suggest before people start a petition or write to Cornwall Council to lodge their views either for or against, they should wait till the actual planning application is submitted with the final design.

As at the moment this building is a concept and apart from a pre-app, (which is very basic) there has not been any official plans submitted. Time has taught me that many things change in design and layout from a concept stage, to a planning application being submitted to, and if, any plan is approved either by the Local Authority, or at an appeal by the Planning Inspector. During that time there will be plenty of opportunities for people to comment.

When people object or support, the objection/support need to be on planning grounds for those views to carry any weight. Non-planning grounds whilst important to those who make them, carry little weight in the planning process.

Areas like impact, harm, smells and other planning issues will be picked up in the planning process. Design of the building is always difficult in planning terms and is subjective on people’s own aesthetic views.

However, I should point out the area in question is classed as industrial, so in simple planning terms, an industrial building is permitted in this area. People may have forgotten that there was plans to put three or four industrial building behind the current sheds. This from my knowledge did not come forward due issues on the water culvert that runs under this part of the shipyard. So putting new buildings in this area is not a new idea.

I also have been looking (as part of the research for the Porthleven CIC town trail) at pictures of different types of building large and small including just grass land in the area in question to show how this area has changed over the years. When you see these pictures you are amazed at the changes that have actually happened.

The has been comments on who will build the building. This is simple to answer is it will be built by Trevor Osborne and funded by him. Origin Coffee who plan to relocate from Helston are the planned tenants. They are not building it.

Porthleven has seen lots of changes and has grown in the last 50 years will large developments like (to name a few) Wheal Rose, St Peters in the 60’s/70’s; the area around Treza Rd; Penrose Park in the 80’s; Forth Scoul in 2000; Highburrow; Sunny Bank 90’s/00’s; Guissiney Place in the mid-2000; Methleigh Bottoms and Monterey on the site of the former crab factory; and lately Shrubberies in 2014/15.

I know these are houses, but Porthleven adapts and changes with the times. It has to, or else the world moves on and Porthleven is left behind. It is one reason why Porthleven has a buoyant economy and businesses want to move to Porthleven. The fact is for every shop (harbour and dock) that comes vacant, there are at least 5/6 applicants. Not many towns can boast this.

For instance, anyone living or visiting will have seen a lots of open and busy shops in many sectors. People travel to Porthleven to eat, shop and enjoy Porthleven. We have award-winning restaurants and chefs who appear on national cookery programmes. Porthleven has many community events like the Food and Music Festival and RNLI Day to name but a few. Porthleven is the place to live, and people want a slice of that pie.

The question is, will this new building and its proposed tenants Origin Coffee, add to this wonderful environment, or harm it. That question will need to be answered when plans come forward and are submitted to Cornwall Council’s planning dept.


Cornwall Council wants to hear your views in the Special Educational Needs Review

Parents and carers are being asked for their views on the current arrangements for Special Educational Needs provision for children and young people with complex educational needs in Cornwall

More than 2000 children and young people in Cornwall have a statement of special educational needs or an Education, Health and Care (EHCP) plan that set out what is required to enable them to achieve well.  Cornwall Council is seeking the views of parents and carers and young people themselves about what is working well and what would be helpful to change.

High quality SEN provision keeps children and young people safe and enables them to make good or better progress against the outcomes specified in their statements or plans

I am sure you will agree with me that we want to ensure that there is sufficient, high quality Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision to meet the needs of all children and young people with complex educational needs in Cornwall and so are working with partners to carry out a formal review to seek the views of stakeholders on the current amount and type of provision.

The information about the SEN Provision Review is being shared widely, for example: in the press; directly with schools and settings; at conferences; and at training events. It is important for the review’s effectiveness that as many different groups and individuals as possible have the opportunity to contribute their views about what is working well, what we need more of and what needs changing.

It is important to highlight that the project group is very open to receiving suggestions for innovative developments. The project group for this activity includes parent representatives and health colleagues and is working with a linked group of young people with additional needs.

The three-phase SEN Review will run from October 2015 to April 2016, with the first phase seeking the views of key stakeholders, including young people and providers, as well as parents and carers running until 25 October.

We want people to tell us what they think about the provision which is currently available and their ideas for improving things. We will then use the comments and ideas put forward during the consultation process to develop proposals to change the service in the future.

The stages of the review are:

Stage 1 Seeking views                                          Oct/Nov

Stage 2 Identifying priorities                                 Dec/Jan

Stage 3 Feedback and consultation on priorities    Jan/Feb

Stage 4 Development plan prepared                      Feb/March

Following the end of this phase, which will take place between December 2015 and January 2016, we will then seek people‘s views on the proposals which have been out forward, with the final plan expected to be available in April 2016.

For more information and to take part in the survey please click on this link  

There will also be three consultation events that will enable people to hear details of the SEN Provision Review face to face and contribute ideas in a group setting. Details of the events are listed below:

Tuesday 20 October 11.30am -12.30pm                       

Council Chamber, Carrick House, Pydar Street, Truro. TR1 1EB.

Please note the nearest car park is the Viaduct which is pay & display. Details can be accessed here

Tuesday 20 October 5pm – 6pm                         

The Lescudjack Centre, Penmere Close, Penzance TR18 3PE

Details can be accessed here

Thursday 22 October 5pm – 6pm

Chy Trevail, Beacon Technology Park, Bodmin PL31 2FR

Details can be accessed here

Please take part in the review, as it is so important we provide a service that young people, their parents and carers need.

The Leader and Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council to hold a series of public events to hear your views

The Leader and Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council, John Pollard and Adam Paynter are holding a series of public meetings at key locations in Cornwall.

The aim of the sessions are intended to give details of current issues such as the Budget and the Devolution agenda, but most importantly, allow the resident to contribute to the discussion and give their views.

The dates and locations of the events are:

Open Doors public events – all begin at 6.30pm

12 October Newquay Sports Centre,
13 October Bude, Carriage Room, Falcon Hotel
20 October Falmouth Town Council offices
3 November Helston Community College
4 November Echo Centre, Liskeard
9 November Camborne Room, Pool Innovation Centre
10 November The Guildhall, Launceston
23 November The Gallery, Humphry Davy Community College
25 November Council Chamber, St Austell One Stop Shop
30 November Town Hall, Wadebridge
1 December Bodmin Community College
7 December The Guildhall, St Ives
8 December Council Chamber, New County Hall, Truro
9 December The Guildhall, Saltash Town Council offices

It would be good for as many people to come to the events. As it is important to hear your views on what the Council does well, areas where the Council can improve that are within the powers of Cornwall Council.

Furthermore, in an age of social media, the Leader John Pollard, will be hosting a webchat on Wednesday 21 October between 1pm and 2pm.

You can submit your questions in advance by emailing or on the day at or using #askJohnPollard on Twitter or Facebook.

Cornwall Council’s pots, tubs and trays recycling trial scheme to launch on the 30th November

On the 30 November 2015 Cornwall Council will be launching the new pots, tubs and trays trial recycling scheme. I really welcome this as I pointed out in a previous post. I believe if we want to increase recycling in Cornwall, we need to stop the confusion of what plastic can and cannot be recycled. As this confusion tends to make people just throw it into the black bag.

The trial will consist of approximately 46,000 properties across parts of the previous Kerrier and Carrick Districts. These properties were chosen as they are all on the same collection route and the rounds all take place out of the Newham Depot in Truro.

Those properties included in the trial will receive a leaflet in the post which will be sent out between 5 October 2015 and 23 October 2015 explaining about the scheme. This does mean that unfortunately, in some cases, only part of a town or village will be included in the Pots, Tubs and Trays Trial. To check if your house is part of the trail click HERE.

Below is I hope an easy guide of what will be included in the trial.


It is a shame black plastics – often used in ready meals – cannot be recycled. This is because of the processing machine which uses an optical sorter and cannot detect black plastics, therefore, this cannot be sorted from the other materials, and is treated as a contaminant. So if you are part of the trail, please do not place black plastics out for the recycling collection.

The new materials can be placed into the same bags as tins and plastic bottles. If you need more bags and boxes, please order them from the Council’s website.

Once the trail is completed, and everything goes to plan, then the recycling of plastics will be rolled out to the whole of Cornwall.


Porthleven’s ‘Jurassic-Port’ pram and raft race makes a splash

This year’s raft and pram race were combined into one ‘monster’ event. The theme: Jurassic-Port. This event is held for two reasons. The first, for fun. The second to raise a little bit of money for a worthy cause. This year’s cause was the Porthleven Skate Park project.

Update: this event raised £470 for the skate park project! An amazing figure.

Like previous years, the turn out was great and there was almost as many dinosaurs as you would see in the film Jurassic Park.

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The route for the race was from Out of the Blue, along the bottoms and down the slip into the harbour. The competitors then had to paddle out of the inner-harbour and back to the slip. From the slip is was a dash to the Ship Inn.

This race was watched by a couple hundred  people who cheered on everyone, even the ones whose pram turned out not to be a very good raft.

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Thanks should go to Suzie Williams who as ever was the organiser and ‘race’ official, the marshals, those who took part and everyone who cheered.

finally, no dinosaur was hurt during the event….

Portfolio Holder for Transport upholds decision on parking tickets issued for Helston funeral

Last week at least 25 cars were issued parking tickets for parking on grass verges. The reason so many parked on the verges was because the car park was full due to high number of people attended a funeral of a well-known resident.

As one of the local Cornwall Councillors for Helston, I was contacted by residents from both Porthleven and Helston upset and angry at being issued a ticket.  By parking on the verges and out-of-the-way, the owners thought they would be ok. However, that proved to be far from the case.

After all, most people understand you cannot park on single or double yellow lines, but how many actually know the Traffic Regulation Order – makes yellow lines legal – includes the verges and pathways that run along side of the road? I did not, and I bet everyone else who parked on this date didn’t either.

Since being contacted, I have been trying to get the Council (as have other Councillors both near and far) to take a more understanding view on the situation; take into consideration why people parked on the verges; and as an act of good faith, cancel the tickets. This would have gone a long way in turning this public relations disaster into something more positive.

Sadly, this has not happened, as the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Cllr Bert Biscoe – which parking enforcement sits in – has released the following statement on this issue.

Dear Colleague

I have received a number of representations regarding the issue of Penalty Charge Notices at Helston last week. A number of vehicles were parked in contravention of clearly visible and legally enforceable yellow lines, on the footway, and on the verge. A Council Civil Parking Enforcement Officer witnessed the parking and adjudged that the vehicles on the footway posed a risk to pedestrians, requiring them to pass by stepping into the road. The ‘No Parking at any Time’ Traffic Regulation Order applies as much to the verge as it does to the footway and the verge. The vehicles on the verge would have affected the sightlines of approaching vehicles and therefore, in the estimation of the Civil Parking Enforcement Officer, posed a safety risk to road users.

Having been made aware that a funeral was taking place and as so many vehicles were involved the Enforcement Officer decided to report to his Manager before acting. He reported the nature of the infringements and his assessment of the risks and provided photographs (see attached). His manager agreed that Penalty Charge Notices should be issued. Such notices can, as you know, be appealed by the recipients. The duty of the Enforcement Team is to protect the public by enforcing the regulation through issuance of a penalty notice.

The Parking Manager judged, from the situation report and risks reported to him, that it was the correct course to issue notices and he instructed the Enforcement Officer to proceed. He did so in the knowledge that no enquiries had been received by the Council in advance of the funeral in the nearby chapel. If an enquiry had been received in advance then the Parking Manager would have advised about car parks in the vicinity which would have been able to accommodate the expected vehicles.

I acknowledge that it is very often difficult to estimate in advance the attendance at a funeral, but the roadside in the immediate vicinity of the chapel is subject to a Regulation Order, and, when infringements occur, perpetrators are consistently issued with notices – it is not a safe location to leave unattended vehicles, which put other road users, including pedestrians, at risk. Funerals are organised events and both the Parking Section and the Highways Authority are available to provide appropriate advice in advance to assist organisers to run things safely and carefully.

There has been a consequent expression of concern by various people, including many members, that the action sanctioned by the Parking Manager was disproportionate and unwise. Some have asked for the refund or cancellation of fines due to the exceptional circumstances.

I fully support the decision made by the Parking Manager and I fully acknowledge that the Civil Parking Enforcement Officer gave a factual report and provided his manager with a reasonable assessment of risk. I do not consider that the Penalty Notices should be withdrawn or cancelled, and I would request that you consider the extent to which the authority and reputation of the Civil Enforcement team would be undermined and weakened if such a course was pursued.

Along with everybody else who has commented upon this incident, I feel great sympathy for the relatives of the person whose funeral was taking place in the chapel whilst the Notices were being issued, who now find that the immediate aftermath of what is an emotionally charged and stressful situation is one of political and rhetorical turmoil rather than a period of mourning, remembrance and comforting. That many who chose to attend and support them at the funeral and to pay respects to the deceased should have also chosen to infringe a regulation made to reduce risk and improve safety on a busy road is not their fault, and begs the question whether it would be more appropriate to quietly accept the penalties and, if they choose to appeal, to follow the process without causing unnecessary distress to grieving relatives and close friends.

I am writing to let you know that I fully support both the Civil Parking Enforcement Officer, his colleagues (many of whom have been subjected to comments for the past few days), and the managers in the judgements made and decisions taken in this case. I will not sanction rescission or refund of penalties. Together will all the staff and Cabinet Members of the Council, I am sorry that the family of the deceased has had the aftermath of the funeral of a much loved and respected family member disrupted by a controversy caused by the correct issue of Penalty Charge Notices.

I am sure that lessons will be learned as a result but I would ask that you support the staff who work for you in the public interest, and the family in mourning, by advising that appeals can be made if perpetrators feel thus inclined, and that their process be allowed to take its course without further undue comment.

With best wishes

Cllr Bert Biscoe

Cabinet Member for Transport


I am bitterly disappointed on the way this has ended. I really believed a solution could have been found. However, with this statement, the only way now for the tickets to be cancelled is via the appeals process and if that appeal is not upheld, then the traffic and transport ombudsman.

Not a good day for the Council’s reputation.

Public Consultation for Origin Coffee new building in the Shipyard, Porthleven

Just over six-weeks ago, the media covered a pre-application plan for a new mixed-used building to house Origin’s business operation. The area this business is planned tobe located is in the Porthleven Shipyard. From the responses I have had, ranged from WTF, OMG to Wow, this is good.

Now the pre-application process is out-of-the-way, the Harbour and Dock Company want to proceed to the next stage of the planning process and submit a full planning application. However, before they do, the company will be holding a public consultation event to gather all views before a full planning application is submitted.

This event will take place on Friday October 9th between 16:00 – 18:00pm at The Brew House on the Harbour Head.

The plan is ambitious, and includes (taken from the pre-app document):

A drum at the pavement edge contains the café, training and office uses. It addresses the public space, the harbour and the views with its curved façade. The rear rectangular form is a simple large industrial volume with private access at the rear of the site away from public interaction.

The design is bold, but has a strong relationship with Porthleven: the materials are “of the place”; the massing and organisation relate well to the site, the built context and the public space; the building use/typology is symptomatic of Porthleven’s new/ emerging positive identity – a centre of food culture and high quality tourism. 

The existing bus stop is a standard stand-alone plastic and steel shelter of poor quality. The approximate location of the new shelter will remain unchanged but is now integrated into the new building. Its glass roof links the existing single storey Brew House building (once the harbour master’s office) with the drum of the new Origin building. The choice and quality of materials will match those of the new building.

This development presents an opportunity for a huge improvement of this focal public space. A newly paved shared surface with re-aligned kerb edges could be provided, giving greater space for and priority to, pedestrians. With views onto both sides of the harbour this is an important orientation point for visitors to Porthleven.

It connects pedestrian routes from the public car parks and to the green space further up the valley. Some information/signage might be appropriate as well as seating. A large baulk timber screen wall is also shown which conceals parked cars within the Shipyard and the trash screen from the public space and provides a new backdrop suggestive of the former uses and materials associated with the shipyard.


The pictures below will illustrate the plan and give you an idea how the building would like if it was approved (in the current form). I should point out a lot can and does change from a concept to planning permission being granted. Including taking onboard the public view.

FullSizeRender (1) FullSizeRender (2) FullSizeRender (3) FullSizeRenderoriginAs I said before, the plan is ambitious, and will be discussed on its merits and benefits to Porthleven. One of those merits or disadvantaged (depending on your view-point) is this will bring more (abet some relocated) employment to Porthleven. I am often told Porthleven needs more job opportunities. So could this plan be one of those opportunities?

The answer to that question will be up to you, the residents of Porthleven. Therefore, I urge you to take the time to see the plans in full and ask any questions you may have.

Cornwall Council and the LEP delivers on Cornwall Expo 2015

Over the last two days, Cornwall Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have jointly staged Cornwall Expo 2015 at the Aero Hub, Newquay Airport. This showcase event has highlighted some of the key projects which are currently being delivered and to outline plans for the future.


The fact is Cornwall will see up to a billion pounds due to be invested in growing the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly over the next five years

The two-day event has been split into the economy on the first day and tourism on the second. I attended the first day and was mighty impressed with the set-up. There was a real buzz that Cornwall is going places.

Transport in Cornwall was one of the key themes on display, whether that was road, rail, plane or sea. With this key theme is was welcoming to see Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport stay for most of the day, which gave key players from the transport industry that are operating in Cornwall the chance to talk.

The Chief Executive of FirstGroup, Tim O’Toole talked about improvements to his companies rail franchise like offering free WiFi at all train stations in Cornwall within 6 months; solving the WiFi connection on the trains; and building new lounge facilities at the following three stations of Penzance, Truro and Paddington which will offer shower and changing facilities. On display at the event was Great Western Railways (formally First Great Western) new Night Riviera Sleeper Carriage which included carriage improvements to both first and standard class.

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The was a strong message about Cornwall’s Devolution Deal and the £8m of Growth Deal funding awarded to the Council in March 2014. This money will help will help deliver new and refurbished vehicles and a network of smaller, more appropriately sized vehicles in Cornwall.

There is also plans for better Infrastructure with high quality and accessible interchange and waiting facilities improve the waiting experience and connections between services and Smart ticketing with contactless/cashless ticketing across bus, rail and ferry with a flexible range of projects better suited to the way we travel.


One of the new buses in operation (free Wifi too)

Other themes included:

Culture Zone: Cornwall’s creative industries employ 12,000 people and are worth £500 million to the local economy.

Cycling Zone: The case for investing in cycling is clear. For every pound invested in cycling in the UK in 2010 there was an economic benefit of £19.

A 10% increase in people cycling to work could save the Cornish economy £16.9m a year in Cornwall from NHS savings and reduced mortality. It could also save £4.7m from reduced traffic congestion and lower pollution levels.

Digital and Superfast Broadband Zone: This included the pioneering £132m superfast broadband partnership, funded by the EU, BT and Cornwall Council, and managed by Cornwall Development Company, has built a fibre based network that now covers 95% of premises, with nearly 90% able to connect with superfast speeds of over 24Mbps – making Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly some of the best connected places in the world.

Electric Vehicle Zone: Cornwall Council received £1 million in Government funding in 2013 to provide electric vehicle charging points across Cornwall.

The aim is to create a reliable charging network to allow drivers of electric vehicles to travel throughout Cornwall and encourage more people to consider owning an electric vehicle; helping to reduce vehicle noise and combat air pollution.

Employment and Skills Zone: This area included the LEP Employment and Skills strategy and sets out the priorities for developing the employment opportunities and the skills of our people, bringing together the needs of businesses across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. One of the key principles is to provide great careers here by nurturing and developing the talents of our young people to gain the right skills and ensuring they have access to great career opportunities

Environment Zone: This zone encompassed Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership and Cornwall Sustainability Awards (CSA) with the overall focus being on Environmental Growth. Key facts include 80% of Cornwall’s land is in agricultural use – with just 5% of Cornwall’s land developed. There are 48,000 km of Cornish hedges. The South West Coast Path contributes £177m to the economy of Cornwall each year. And Surfing contributes around £153m to the Cornish economy each year.

Highways Zone: As well as working in partnership with Highways England and the Department of Transport to deliver strategic transport schemes, including improvements to the A30 and A38.

In the evening guest were treated to an excellent presentation by Richard Noble, the genius behind the UK’s attempt at breaking the land speed record (which we currently hold) and his teams plan to reach a speed of 1000 mph. The presentation was not just about the marvelous engineering feat that is Bloodhound, but how we must have more engineers, especially female, in the UK if we are going to be able to compete in the word of engineering and technology.


The Bloodhound


For me, it was a great event and you not only got to listen to some excellent speakers during the day, talk to those who are delivering improvements in Cornwall, and see what sort of investment Cornwall will see over the next five-years.

Huge credit must go to those who organised the two-day event. I certainly got a lot out of the event from my day there.


Porthleven delivers a fantastic benefit concert in aid of Syrian refugees

In a short space of time, a benefit concert in aid of the Syrian crisis was thought of, organised and delivered. Residents of both Porthleven and Cornwall, businesses and organisations, including the town council, rallied to make this event happen.

However, two people should be singled out for the most credit in getting this from an idea to reality. The two are, Alec Short and Kelvin Batt. For those who do not know, they are also the people behind the Masked Ball events. These two individuals were the driving force behind the event, and without them, this event really would not have happened.

The refugee benefit concert was held on Saturday on the Moors, Porthleven It all kicked off at midday and finished promptly at 11pm. The event was a sell-out and was very much family event. For £10, you got to see and listen to 14 bands, with entertainment provided by Swamp Circus for the younger audience.

The entrance to the event

The entrance to the event



The feedback from the event was all positive, and there are even calls for more events like this in Porthleven. Even the weather Gods delivered too, with an almost clear and sunny day and warm evening.

This event was not about having a good time, as the event was about raising money for those in need in Syria. Porthleven has a good record for helping those in need. Not only on its own doorstep, like in the case of the storms of two years ago, but for other causes too.


So it was again to see Porthleven rise to the challenge and raise nearly £7000 (final total not confirmed) in 11 hours. A truly staggering achievement and amount in anyones book. This money will be donated to Save the Children Syrian appeal. A very worthy cause.

As I said in the opening paragraph, on thanking both Al and Kelvin, a huge thank you should go to all who helped by giving up their time to help during the event, those who donated equipment and services, the bands and entertainers, and lastly, everyone who turned up to make this a day to remember.

Porthleven can be proud it has done its bit in helping those caught-up with the crisis in Syria.

Cornwall Council’s Scrutiny Committee recommends not to refer the ADF decision back to Cabinet

Yesterday, the Council’s Scrutiny Committee discussed a 11 point call-in submitted by Cllr Fiona Ferguson and supported by nine other councillors on the recent decision by Cabinet to remove the Airport Development Fee (ADF). The removal would only happen If and only if certain conditions were met.

This call-in was discussed in closed session due to the commercial sensitivity of the original Cabinet item . Though, most of the detail has been reported by the printed media.

What I can say – without breaking any rule – is there was a debate on each of the 11 points, followed by a response on each point from the Portfolio Holder, and various officers.

After everyone who wanted to have a say on this matter did, the chairman called for a vote by members of the committee. The choices, do not refer it back to Cabinet, or refer it back to Cabinet. Simple.

The members of the committee voted and reported in open session, they would not refer it back to Cabinet. Therefore, the original Cabinet decision stands.


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