Today, Cornwall Council’s West Planning Committee met to discuss the controversial Shipyard Application. The Planning Officers recommendation was for approval. Yet this does not mean it automatically gets approved.
Speaking and objecting at the meeting were Porthleven Town Council and the Porthleven Fishermen’s Association. I also spoke against too. Mr Osborne was there speaking for the application.In a breath-taking moment of hypocrisy, Mr Osborne open his speech complaining about the use of social media and how that had been used against this application. Yet there was no mention, or more importantly, an apology or acknowledgement of his own staff inventing fake personas and granny on social media. It was like it did not happen.
In addressing the committee I reiterated the objection from the Fishermen’s Association and highlighted this application had 120 objections from the community. The town council also strongly objects.
The people of Porthleven accept change will happen, but this change has to be sympathetic to our history, culture and environment. This building is not sympathetic to those important factors.
There is a statutory duty to preserve and enhance Conservation Areas that are designated under s.69 of the Act. This build does not comply with those documents. This area’s designation has the highest protection in terms of the adopted 2010 Management Appraisal for Porthleven and Local Plan (National Policy).
This application does not uphold those principles; as the building’s location, scale, form and design would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance Conservation Area.
This building does not comply with Cornwall Council’s own Maritime Strategy. From sections A to G, this building undermines this very Strategy. For example:
- Protect the waterfront land
- Maximise the opportunities for supporting and promoting sustainable local fisheries and aquaculture – you have heard from the fishermen and boat owners how this building will harm their operations
- Improve functional connectivity between land and sea. This build blocks this connectivity
- Maintain and enhance the distinctive character and settings of local coastal villages and ports
This building would also adversely impact upon the appreciation of other heritage assets, such as the church and the landscape for future generations from prominent public viewpoints. As my picture of before and after will show
This important part of Porthleven will be eroded by this building, which is designed in a clumsy, bulky mass, will dominate Porthleven and will undermine the historic integrity of historic port forever. It is not like you can remove the building once you find it really harms the area.
During the meeting a committee member, Cllr Coad recommended refusal but then complicated matters by saying he liked the building. The planning officer explained to the Councillor you cannot refuse an application, but like it.
This opened up another round of debate and the committee settled on having a site meeting to look at the impact of this building first-hand. I see this as a positive move as it will show the committee the real impact of this building.
The date for this site meeting has not yet been confirmed. However, as this is a public meeting, member of the public are allowed to attend and give their views to the committee. After the site meeting, this application is reheard at the planning committee where they will make – hopefully – a decision of whether this should be approved or refused.
For those who have yet commented on the application, you can still and if you feel strongly about this, you need to make representation.
Lastly, special thanks should go to Councillors Martin and Duffin who were quite vocal on this application not being good for Porthleven. Thank you.