Amended Plans in for the Shipyard building

In light of the comments made by Porthleven Town Council, Cornwall Council and objectors, the applicant for the Shipyard building has submitted amended plans.

The first question most will ask is ‘what has changed?’ According to the plans the building footprint has been reduced in size by 10% (from 855m2 to 770m2).  This has resulted in the rear elevation reducing to 14.4m in width and the length to 33.4m (for reference, the current blue building are 31m in length).

Amended plans

old plans

The building has also been moved nearer to the existing Origin Coffee building enabling the covered walkway and bus stop roof to be attached to the coffee house.  This has resulted in a larger gap between the river fence and the building from 7m to 7.9m. This is to address the issue of manoeuvring boats in and out of the shipyard.

The “look out” or staircase top has been removed from the top of the building.  Access will still exist using a sliding glass top to the stairs. Yet there is still no disabled wheelchair access to the roof.

Old position

I think the previous colour of Blue was universally disliked by commentators and in addressing that the colour of the building has been changed to silver grey.

There is a dedicated bus shelter as the previous scheme did not show clearly the enclosed dedicated space in the current bus shelter location. There will be a defined area with bench seats and a glass weather protective screen with the canopy roof covering the bus shelter.

The public toilets are still there and will be free to Porthleven people and the facilities will be cleaned and maintained by the owner.

The entrance shown on Methleigh Bottoms will be increased to 8.0m in width to ensure boats trailers, cars and HGVs will have improved manoeuvring. In a change to the access to the site the only entrance/exit to the site will be via the new entrance on Methleigh Bottoms. Only boats will be allowed to exit the current site

The lack of sufficient dedicated parking bays has also been addresses with 10 spaces dedicated to the new building

The proposed use of this building is to create jobs or potential work space.  At present almost no office space exists in Porthleven to provide small business with incubator work space / workshops.

These plans will again be discussed by Porthleven TC (date to be confirmed) where anyone for or against can make representations. I would also suggest people who have previously commented to update their view, or want to comment again due to the changes to the application.

Previous blogs can be found HERE

 

Shipyard application turned down by Porthleven Town Council

Thursday’s Porthleven Town Council planning meeting was likely to be a busy one, and it was, with standing room only. The item residents came to voice their concern over as you can expect was the shipyard application.

These public objections were on the size and impact of the building; not in keeping with the historic fabric of Porthleven; highways; loss of boat yard facilities; parking and access on and from the slipway. The Porthleven Fishermen’s Association also made comment at the meeting about the negative impact on the boat owner and fishing community this building would have.

This application was never going to be an easy-one, as changes to an area on this scale never run smoothly. But change can and does happen. It just not at the expensive of other important areas.

For me, I very much welcome jobs in Porthleven and those which are different to the tourism sector. However it is important to understand how many job, the type of jobs and will they be new jobs or jobs that have been relocated from existing buildings. In answering my question, Trevor Osborne and his architect suggested between 50 and 100 jobs. Though there was no confirmation as to whether these were new jobs or relocated.

I am sure many would agree there could be much more use made out of the shipyard, but this has to be in balance with other aspects of Porthleven and this building should not harm those other important aspects of Porthleven including heritage, the landscape and existing jobs.

This application comes down to need against harm. Yes we need jobs in Porthleven and it is good someone actually wants to invest in Porthleven. However, as the plans stand, I am not yet satisfied this proposal would in fact be totally positive for Porthleven.

This size, scale and impact on the area is of huge importance as this building would in effect dominate this area and would also impact on the surrounding area, including many important historical views. You only have to look at this site from different position like Peverell Terrace, Breageside, Fore Street corner and Church Row to see this building would fundamentally change those views.

There is a total lack of parking provision for the building of this size and for the number of jobs. It is no more than 10 from the plans. Parking is important, and adequate parking must be provided. Without decent levels of parking, this building would just create problems elsewhere. It was suggested by the application that parking could be provided past Tolponds. This option is flawed as the site is far away and there is no footpath. The area is also in a 60 mph zone, and you really cannot have people walking on this road without a footpath. Of course a footpath could be built, but this is not simple due to the sheer costs of putting in a footpath and this footpath would have to cross land in multiple ownerships.

A really important issue is the loss of the bus stop as this current plan removes the well used bus stop and has not been replaced with any dedicated provision in the plans for a bus stop. There is  somewhat of a ‘waiting area’ but this is not a protective shelter. It would also conflict with possible use as a café as this space would leave people confused, and unsure if they could use it whilst waiting for a bus. This current bus stop is well-used, and therefore, it would have a negative effect on those using public transport if it was removed and not replaced.

This application raises some really serious highways concerns I do raise serious concerns. There is no turning space not only for large vehicles, but those with trailers/and boats. The road on Methleigh bottoms is narrow in this location, and the field of vision looking towards the harbour with a sharp bend is not clear. If large goods vehicles, boat trailers cannot access the yard, then there would be a temptation to back on the harbour head road. If this happens, this would cause congestion in the area and will have a knock-on up Fore Street. The proposed access in and out of the shipyard is also of major concern.

The impact to the boat owners and fishermen has to be taken into serious consideration; this includes access on to and from the slip. There will also be a lack of boat repair and storage facilities if this plan was approved in its current format. Porthleven is a harbour and ‘safe haven’ and it would be totally unacceptable for a harbour not to have these facilities.

I also very much dislike the ‘company blue’

The matter is this application has to be decided on what are the current plan, and not any further amendments which may come forward. As there is no guarantee any of these changes will be made if support is given. Therefore, in light of the concerns raised, Porthleven Town Council felt it could not support this application and voted unanimously to refuse the application.

From the town council’s decision, the application can be decided by Cornwall Council as it stands, or as I am hopeful, updated plans will be submitted for the town council and the public to make further comment on.

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.

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

Consultation for Shipyard building in Porthleven

Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company are holding two periods of public consultation in reference to two planning applications they have submitted. The first is a building in the Shipyard and the second is three structures on what is being called Harbour Head Terrace.

I am sure people will remember a previous pre-application for the Shipyard building and how there was concern about the use of this building. This pre-app never progressed to a full planning application. This time a planning application has been submitted (not yet validated yet) for a shop/cafe and office space.

The second application is for is for a re-submission of three structures on Harbour Head Terrace. This was previously withdrawn by the application due to concerns from the Conservation Officer.

 

This public consultation is arranged by the applicant. The applications will still be subject to the official consultation by Cornwall Council and Porthleven Town Council. This will be where anyone who wants to support or object to these applications can make their views know.

This event is listed on What’s on in Porthleven – HERE

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.

FullSizeRender (2)

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.

There 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.

 

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.

Pre-app for a building complex for Harbour Rd and Shute Lane

Ok, I hope you are sitting when you see this, but following on from the Shipyard application, there is another application for another large building that will fundamentally change the harbour area. The pre-app plan is for a merchant hall, shops, artist lofts, restaurant, 10 flats, a tower and what looks like a ‘gate house’.

This is not a full application, but a pre-application which aims to establish the principle of development and what could be accepted in an area. The development of this area is nothing new, as there was plans for this site back in 2000.

For those who do not know what a pre-app is, basically, an applicant puts in their plans (have to pay for it) and they are given advice on whether it would be acceptable in planning terms. From this advice, the applicant can then submit a plan with any changes (or not) that have been suggested. It is important to note, there are no public comments, but I wanted to let residents know.

Pre-apps are generally public documents to view, and details on this pre-app can be found HERE

Harbour Rd view


The floor plan


The view along Shute Lane

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.

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