Coronation Park transferred to South Kerrier Alliance with over £120k worth of funding

Coronation Park is a much-loved and well used facility not only from residents of Helston, but from the surrounding towns and villages too. For me, my ambition has always been about securing the long term future of this area, including much needed investment to bring it back to its former glory; and giving the community more control over how this area is operated. I cannot convey enough how important the park and facilities are to Helston, and the wider community

Sadly, Cornwall Council is not able to fully fund the restoration of the area due to budget pressures and the difficulty of going to other funding sources as most will not give grants to a local authority such as Cornwall Council.

Members of the SKA, Helston Mayor and me!

This is why for the last few years I have been working on securing the future of this area and the much needed investment. To achieve this, it is about bringing people together for a common goal. Therefore, I am very happy to support South Kerrier Alliance’s aims of taking control of Coronation Park as they have a proven record of delivering and running projects.

South Kerrier Alliance (SKA) has agreed terms with Cornwall Council to take over the running of the entire area with a 99 year lease. This includes the lake, car park (not Fairground), skate park and play park. The cafe will still be run by the current leaseholder, but the landlord will now be the SKA. By transferring the running of Coronation Park brings more local control over this area.

Funding has always been key in bringing this site back to its former glory and therefore, I am very pleased to have helped secure over £120k worth of funding from Cornwall Council as part of the transfer. This large amount of money will be used with other matched funding to do the required work on the area. This is not the only pot of funding that has been secured as the Helston Downsland Trust has agreed to contribute a further £55k.

I believe this is a great result for Coronation Park as the future is secure and has a large amount of funding to start the regeneration of the area. It also allows the SKA to go to funders will a large amount of funding than can be matched to other pots.

Thanks should also be given to Cornwall Council and officers in devolution and open spaces teams who understood the wishes of the community and agreed this devolution deal. Thanks to the support from my fellow Cornwall Councillors in the Community Network Area in bring about this transfer. I look forward to working with this new local partnership.

Just how big is Porthleven’s Shipyard application

When it comes to planning drawings it is sometimes hard to see how big a building is when is comes to size and scale and how it impacts on an area using just the standard 2D planning application drawings. In trying to understand just how big the building would be, and how it would sit in the shipyard, today I paced out the building size using the scale plans. In doing this it really did give me an insight on how big this building is not just on the proposed building footprint, but the ridge-height too.

I took the picture below from near the wall on the entrance to the Shipyard to give a scale of length. The two red lines is the width of the building.  In trying to understand the length of the building you just need to compare the three current blue Shipyard buildings as they are roughly the same length as the proposed building.   As for the ridge-height of the proposed building, it is easy to visualize this by looking at the Kota sign and imagining the height of the proposed building to be between that and the ridge-line of Kota.

When you take into then take into consideration all the measurements, you really see the scale of the proposed building. It is huge. For anyone interesting in seeing the scale of the building, I have marked out the length and width of the building with yellow paint at the key points. These measurements are not inch perfect, but as good a I can get.

Width of the proposed Shipyard building.

 

It is important anyone with a view on this application make their feelings known in writing. Porthleven Town Council will be meeting to discuss this application on Thursday 23rd Feb at the town council offices at 7pm. This is a public meetings, and all are welcome.

Porthleven Town Band moves a step closer to having a permanent Bandroom

Porthleven Town Band has wanted to have its own bandroom for many a year. Its current location in the shipyard is not ideal for their needs. The problem has always been where could bandroom go, as the Band owns no land.

Over the last several years – in my Cornwall Councillor – role I have been trying to help solve their problem. There has been a few options for a permanent home, but until now, those options have not amounted to anything.

This got me thinking as I knew the Porthleven Gig Club wanted a more permanent home for its gigs, but funding was always an issue of how to pay for it, and the Cricket Club wanted electric power to their club house. I thought of one option that would solve everyone’s want. That option is to use the Amenity Area. However, there was another option of using part of Moors which was put forward by the Harbour and Dock Company.

For those who do not know, the vast majority of the Moors playing field is owned (held in Trust) by Porthleven Town Council, with a small part owned by the Harbour and Dock Company (from the river to the upright stones for net drying). The Harbour and Dock Company wanted to use its part of the Moors to build a building for the band, however, it would need the town council’s permission to use its part of the land as the building requires a large area.

My problem with using the Moors to build on is this is a well used play area. Whilst the band do need a home, I think it would be wrong to place a building on this area. It also would totally change the feel of the area as the proposed building for the Moors is rather large.

A further problem with the Moors and placing any type of building in this area is it is in a high-risk floodplain with a high water-table. To mitigate against this would require the building being raised high off the ground. This would result in any proposed building looking more like a three-story building. Again, the size and scale of this would have a negative impact on the playing area. There is also no parking. The following picture is the building concept for the Moors.

Concept design of a band-room on the Moors

As I said beforehand the solution to everyone’s problem is to use the land which is commonly known as the Amenity Area along Methleigh Bottom. This sits between the Cricket Club and Methleigh Meadow. I had this area transferred from Cornwall Council to the Town Council  a few years ago a for £1. This site fits the bill on many fronts as it is out of the flood plain, it has a footpath leading to it and has ample parking. It is also in the ownership of the Town Council.

Both options were put to the town council as both require council consent for the land to be used in this way. I am very happy to report the Town Council unanimously granted permission for Porthleven Town Band to take their option for the Amenity Area forward and start the process of planning that will enable the plan to move from a concept to a design that can be submitted to the planning authority. It was taken on board that the new building will have something for the Gig Club.

Concept design of the building for Porthleven Band at the Amenity Area

The Town Council did not support the idea to build on the Moors playing field. Therefore, this does not go further than a concept. Even though another party might want this to happen.

It is a good choice to use the Amenity Area as I believe this is the best option as it will not only benefit the Band who find a permanent home, but also Porthleven Gig Club who gets proper storage for their gigs and will be able to use the facilities in the new building (subject to agreements between the parties). The Cricket Club will also benefit, as the band will bring electric power into the site which means the Cricket Club can connect to it. As previous to this, the costs of putting in electricity was several thousands of pounds.

It is a win, win, win for three community groups.

Drivers please watch your speed on Wellington Road, Porthleven

My inbox has a concern about speeding in and around Porthleven. In the past, I have managed to reduce the speed limits on the Porthleven Road and Methleigh Bottoms from 60mph to 40mph. In those calls, I get requests for all sorts of traffic calming measures. However, before any action can be taken, you must have the evidence of a problem; as without that evidence, you cannot get a scheme of works done.

One of the areas of concern is the perceived speed of those travelling along Wellington Road. In response to those concerns, I requested (for obvious reasons I do not tell people) a speed monitoring camera installed to see if there is excess speeding. I have now had the results back.

Whilst there is the perception of speed, when you look at the data the majority of traffic is within the speed limits of the road. As the following two graphs will show.


The westbound levels are higher that the eastbound, but this is from those coming from a 40mph zone to 30mph. When you look at the data further the:

  • Eastbound traffic in the period had 6,882 vehicle movements 73% of all movements were under 30mph and only 1.1% were over 40mph.
  • Westbound traffic had in the period 7,316 vehicle movements with 55.3% under 30mph and 2.2% over 40mph.

What is interesting is the majority of those going near or over the limit are between 2am and 6am for eastbound. Westbound is slightly more even on the under 30mph and between 30/40mph but this is due to the changes from a 40mph to 30mph zone and where the camera would have picked the up.

In summary of the information, and having spoken to highways about the next step, it is with regret there is little formal changes that can be made to the road by means of any traffic calming measures. It really comes down to education and how people need to be more aware when they enter Porthleven from Helston. I will also be talking to the police and see if we can have a little campaign about speed awareness.

Please slow down.

Porthleven to have its own Youth Worker

Back in 2016, I put forward a request to Porthleven Town Council to look into the feasibility of Porthleven having its own Youth Worker to help engage with young people. The principle of this was accepted, but could not be taken forward until the budget had been sorted.

I am now pleased to say, from April, Porthleven will have two Youth Workers initially for one day a week to work with Porthleven’s young people in a variety of ways. This Youth Work will be delivered by the experienced young people organisation Penwith Community Development Trust who are also delivering two days of Youth Work at the Furry Youth Cafe in Helston.

Helston’s Fairground Car Park is being resurfaced.

A month ago, I reported that the Fairground Car Park would be resurfaced in February due to the stage of the area. I am pleased to say work has started on the resurfacing and will take two days to complete.

As you can see from the pictures this is not just filling in the pot and man holes, but putting down a lot of material to make this a better car park. Speaking to the men on site today, they say this resurfacing will use over 100 tonnes of material.

Thank you to Cornwall Council’s Car Parking Services and Cormac for acting so quickly to my request for something to be done. To help Cormac complete the job, can people avoid parking in this area whilst the work is being carried out.

 

Work is underway at Helston’s Fairground Car Park

Planning Application for three timber shelters on ‘Harbour Head Terrace’

After the excitement of the Shipyard application being live and open for comment; brace yourself for another one. This time it is a re-submission of thee timber shelters and kiosks in the location of what is being named at Harbour Head Terrace.

The official planning application number is PA17/00847. The documents can be found HERE.

The plan for Harbour Head Terrace

In the Design, Access and Heritage statement it says:

“At the centre of the proposals is the desire to enhance the communal enjoyment of the Harbour Head, the harbour itself, and the popular views of the harbour and notable buildings. The proposals offer an appropriate and sustainable use of the Harbour Head Terrace for the long-term benefit of the local community and wider area. The Heritage Impact Assessment produced for the purposes of the application outline the conservation principles which are to:

  • Improve views of the inner and outer harbour by providing an appropriate public space;
  • Enhance the communal and aesthetic heritage value of the Harbour Head; • Bring sustainable new uses to the existing Harbour Head.
  • Enhance the Harbour Character Area identified within the Conservation Area.”

It goes on to say:

“Alongside this, there are clear objectives regarding benefits to the local economy which are to:

  • Promote permeability, activity in the local and wider area;
  • Promote local arts, crafts and trades to exhibit and trade in the local area;
  • Support local events, markets, concerts, and festivals;
  • Promote regeneration in the local and wider area.”

All the document information can be read HERE. You can also make comment online, or like the Shipyard application at one of the applicants consultation events, If you cannot make either of those events, you can officially comment to Cornwall Council and/or Porthleven TC.

The proposed design of the sheds

Planning application for Shipyard building is now live

Drum-roll….

The planning application for the new building located in what is commonly known as the Shipyard is now live after it has been validated and has an official planning reference number. I am sure this application will be of interest to those near and far; as it is quite a fundamental change to what is currently located in the Shipyard.

The planning reference number is PA17/00573 and all the detail on the application can be found HERE.

There has been a pre-application on this proposal and Cornwall Council gave advice and whilst “there is support in principle from a planning perspective for development within this area of the Shipyard”. However, the Council’s advice raised a number of issues that needed to addressed

  • There is potential conflict in views from the harbour towards the town between the building proposed and the Grade II* Methodist Chapel.
  • The loss of the historic wall to the West of the site to facilitate access by service and good vehicles has potential to result in the loss of significant element of historic fabric”
  • The site lies within Flood Zone 3” The proposed finish floor level of the ground floor is raised to 7.00m which is similar to the adjacent building to the west.

In the Design, Access and Heritage Statement (Click HERE), it says these concerns have been addressed.

My advice would be for everyone to read the planning documents, attend the public consultation arranged by the applicant, and take part in the official public consultation (which is live now) making your views know to both Cornwall Council and Porthleven Town Council.

The building elevations

Layout of the Shipyard Building

Porthleven hit by ‘Storm’ Doris but still raises funds for The Fishermen’s Mission

Three-years ago, Porthleven was hit by a series of storms that did serious damage to the harbour infrastructure, including smashing the baulks that protect the inner-harbour. The loss of the baulks resulted in boats being at the mercy of the raging sea and several were sunk on their moorings (blog posts HERE).

Roll-on almost three-years to the day, Porthleven was again hit by ‘Storm’ Doris, which whilst not the same intensity as previous storms, it was still powerful with huge swells and waves hitting the coastline. Damage was limited, but one of the baulks that protect the inner-harbour was split.

However, this weekend was the start of a series of fund-raisers for The Fishermen’s Mission. In a stroke of genius, the smashed baulks from three-years ago, are being painted, carved, printed etc. by various local and nationally celebrated artists and craft persons. These pieces of work, will be auctioned at a special event on the 18th March. More details can be found on Facebook HERE and on the Fishermen’s Mission site HERE.

The first fund-raiser was an evening of entertainment by the Cornish comic Kernow King. He entertained over 150 people in Porthleven’s Public Hall. In an amazing token of generosity, Kernow King waved his fee, and therefore, over £1000 was raised from this one event alone.

Getting ready for Kernow King

The second event was to showcase work from many of those who have created something on the damaged baulks, prior to the auction. In a very creative way, the artists work was projected onto the iconic Bickford-Smith Institute at dusk.

One of the artists work being projected onto the Bickford-Smith Institute

Cornwall Council’s City of Culture bid is under further scrutiny

This Friday, the Monitoring Officer (top legal bod) has sent an email to all Cornwall Councillors informing them that the decision made by Cornwall Council’s Cabinet on allocating £536k to the EU Capital of Culture bid has been ‘called in’ as follows:

I am writing to formally advise you that I have agreed to the Request For Call-In in respect of the Cabinet decision regarding the EU Capital of Culture Bid on 25 January.

The Grounds for call-in were that:

  • That there has been inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision being made; and
  • That there was inadequate evidence on which to base a decision and that not all relevant matters were taken into account.

It is anticipated that the Call-in will be considered at the Scrutiny Management Committee which is already scheduled for 14 February.

This Call-in power is one all Councillors can exercise if they disagree with a decision. This power is not lightly used, and therefore, this is a serious challenge to the decision. Any Call-in has to have strong ground, which also have to meet certain legal requirements.

The points of the Call-in will be discussed at the Scrutiny Management Committee who will examine all the points surrounding this decision. From this, the committee can recommend either to uphold the original decision or to vary it in some way. If there is a change it will be referred back to Cabinet with a recommendation which the Cabinet can ignore or accept. If no change, the original decision is acted upon. I can imagine this committee meeting will be one of the most well attended…

This Call-in puts the short timescale for the Capital of Culture bid under even more pressure, as nothing official can happen with the bid until such times as the Cabinet has dealt with the Call-in.

My views on the bid are exactly the same as when I voted against the recommendation at the last Cabinet HERE.

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