Porthleven Shipyard building turned down for the second time.

For the last two-years Trevor Osborne has tried to build in the Porthleven Shipyard. The first application to be submitted, was rightly refused by the West Planning Committee last October for a variety of reasons.

Fast forward six-plus-months and the latest incarnation of the building was on the agenda for a decision at the same Committee. The footprint of the building is smaller, as is the bulk. The entrance that was proposed along Methleigh Bottoms has also been removed.

However, the same fundamental reasons the town council and myself have objected to is:

  • The proposed development is not in harmony in terms of shape, scale, massing, bulk and proportions with the existing character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed development does not protect or enhance the character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed design does not respond positively to the Porthleven
    Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy.

A further point is the buildings use. Whilst the aim is for some sort of innovation hub, details are not clear of the functions of such a building, especially when many hubs have to diversify to make them financially viable.

To be clear myself or the Town Council are not anti-development. But any development has to be more beneficial to a community than harmful. On balance, this buildings is more the latter.

After a robust debate, two councillors (Councillors Graham Coad and Mike Thomas) proposed approval. However, all was not lost, and a series of Councillors spoke against the applications.

A vote was taken for approval, but it was lost 7-8. Therefore, the motion for approval was lost. The next motion was for refusal put forward by Cllr Joyce Duffin. This motion was carried by 8-7. Which means the application was refused.

The applicant has the right of appeal, but this has to be done within six-months of the decision notice. The previous decision from October has passed the the six-months window, and therefore, my understanding is this application cannot be appealed.

Porthleven Cemetery and its current condition

There is a lot of concern and heartache over the state of Porthleven Cemetery, especially around the issue of it being overgrown and the gravesides looking unkept. I share those concerns as this is not good enough.

In response to those concerns, I have written to the Head of Service to highlight how people feel. Yes, many people who are buried there as long dead, but families who are still in the area (or further afield) expect a certain level of dignity for their departed relatives. More so with recently bereaved families.

I have had a response from the Head of Service who has assured me the area will be cut early next week as a priority. I was also informed this area was cut four-weeks ago. Though from looking at the length of grass, this has grown very quickly!

In days gone by, there was someone who maintained this area, but this hasn’t happen for over a decade – if not longer. Cornwall Council has assured me this area is cut three times a year. Yes, that might not be frequent enough and have asked for more cuts to take place, but I have also asked if Cornwall Council would allow community cuts to take place. This is where a group of volunteers help keep this area more tidy. This is not ideal, but might help solve some of the heartache families are feeling.

There was a group called Pride in Porthleven, but this was superseded by the Porthleven Environmental Group. I will be asking this group to see if they will be willing to take on this project.

Porthleven TC wants to hear your views on parking in Porthleven

Parking especially on-street parking is a problem in Porthleven. There is no one reason for the issues, but the causes include Porthleven wasn’t designed with the motorcar in mind, More car ownership, Porthleven is a popular destination for visitors and people’s bad and inconsiderate parking.

There is no magic bullet to solve all of the issues; and in some cases there will be no solution. However, Porthleven TC is holding a drop in session at the public hall on the 30th June between 10am and 5:30pm. This is so views can be given on where the problems are – yes many are well known – and ideas to solve those problems.

After the session, the Town Council will talk to Cornwall Council about which ideas are possible and can be taken forward.

Hopefully, as many of you will be able to come.

Council Election for two positions on Porthleven Town Council

There will be a Election for two position on Porthleven Town Council. The date of the election is Thursday 19th July.

More details can be found below.

If there are two or less candidates, then there will be no polling day, as those nominated persons will be elected unopposed. If three or more, there will be a poll and the two with the most votes will be elected.

Good luck to all.

Coronation Park transferred to South Kerrier Alliance

The official transfer of Helston’s Coronation Park to South Kerrier Alliance (SKA) has finally happened. I started this project near five-years ago when I felt this area would be better if it was run and managed more locally. It has been a bumpy road, but one that has been worth it.

SKA will take on a 99-year lease of the park from Cornwall Council with the Council contributing £109,000 towards capital works improvements.

This is not the only money has received as the SKA is also be supported by funding from the Helston Downsland Charity and grant monies of £81,447 from West Cornwall Local Action Group through the LEADER programme. With additional money pledged directly by SKA, this will create a £300,000 investment fund for the Park.

 

This £300,000 will be spent on improving the boating lake, paths, play park and general repairs as well as making a significant contribution towards a new skate park. Additional funds will be needed to fully replace the Park’s skate equipment but the SKA team is confident that with help from the community a new skate park could be up and running before the end of 2018.

The Gang who have all made it possible – Maxine Hardy (Cornwall Council), Me, Vicki Mathews (SKA) Tim Grattan-Kane (Downsland Trust), David Turnball (SKA) and Julian Rand (WLAG Leader).

I am very happy SKA will be running this site from now on. They have some exciting plans for this area that will make this area the jewel is deserves to be. We all know the areas is in need of refurbishment and with the SKA in control, there are more funding opportunities open to them than if it was a Cornwall Council asset.

I have to finish by saying thank you to everyone who has made this happen. It has been a long road from start to finish, but I am glad we are finally here with the official hand-over to SKA.

Public Meeting with Derek Thomas MP

On Saturday, the Derek Thomas MP held a public meeting at Out of the Blue. I was invited as Mayor and Cornwall Councillor.

This was an open meeting with any subject up for grabs. However, the vast majority of the meetings was about parking and traffic in Porthleven. To be clear, there is no silver bullet that will solve all the issues or meet with everyone’s expectation. But some sort of solution needs to be found. And any solution will not happen overnight either.

Any solution has to be holistic; as there is no point in just addressing one or two streets as this just pushes the problem onto another street. Furthermore, it is no good just putting yellow lines down without proper enforcement. As people will soon ignore any restriction like they currently do.

Finally no amount of lines will address people’s inconsiderate attitude of ‘who cares where I park’. In truth many of Porthleven’s parking and traffic problems will be solved by people being more considerate and actually thinking of where and how they park, rather than abandoning their car like they are a get-away-driver.

Moving this issue(s) forward, I will be organising along with my fellow Town Councillors a drop in session at the Public Hall where people can give their views on what they would like to be done, including adding/removal of yellow lines, other parking restrictions and looking into the cost of employing a dedicated parking enforcement officer to name but a few areas. This meeting will take place before the 1st week of July subject to room availability.

From this the views will be collated and the town council will invite officers from Cornwall Council’s Highway Dept to see which options can be taken forward and included in a Traffic Regulation Order.

I would like to thank Derek for his time on Saturday as he has offered all the help he can do in solving these issues. Thanks also to my fellow town Councillors for attending (and the mountain of work this will entail) and for the 25 or so residents who took the time to attend this meeting.

Details on this meeting including the location will be published once they are finalised.

Ducks take to the water in the annual Porthleven Duck Race

The Porthleven Duck Race now in its 4th year is firmly in the calendar of events that takes place in Porthleven. The aim is to have lots of fun seeing homemade ducks take to the water in both children and adult races and raise a little money for a worthy cause.

It starts a week before the race where people come to the public hall to make their ducks. There is one rule, the duck has to be homemade. The rest is up to a persons imagination and artistic skill.

From construction it is off to the races the following week.

Not only are there prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the children’s and adults races, but for the best dressed duck. The latter is always hard as being Mayor too, you have to pick one out of so many!

As a reward for this, and by tradition, the Mayor gets their own personal duck to race. A highlight in your term of office.

This year’s charity for the event was Cornwall Air Ambulance. The event is free to enter, but people can also buy a little plastic duck for the charity race as well as bid in an auction for a couple of specially made ducks for the event. This year a whopping £220 was raised for the Air Ambulance.

Well done to all who took part. Huge thanks to the Porthleven Community Group for organising this event.

Parking enforcement set to be introduced by Harbour and Dock on land behind Commercial Rd and land near the Moors

A letter has been sent to the Town Council informing of a private enforcement company being employed to enforce certain areas in Porthleven.

The land in question is the area between Costcutters and the Moors; and the land behind Commercial Rd.

As follows:

A landowner is well with their rights to take action on land they own or is in their control. However, both areas have some interesting points to them.

Firstly, the land behind Commercial Rd is not wholly in the ownership of H&D; as St Austell Brewery own parts (as I have seen these documents) and therefore, enforcing on land not within your control is not possible unless permission has been granted.

The other land in question is owned by H&D, but restricting use brings in the issue of fishermen having rights to use this land ‘for the drying of nets’ etc. and storage which I believe includes boats.

I am sure there will be some interesting dialogue in the next week or so on both practical and legal points of enforcement.

As it say’s in the letter, I am making people aware.

And I am sure it is a typo where it says ‘Penalties for Authorised Parking’. Or I hope it is…

Porthleven Town Council supports industrial units along Methleigh Bottoms

The Harbour and Dock Company has in the last year submitted a series of Pre-apps or planning applications for certain areas to be developed. The latest is the planning application for a series of industrial units and parking spaces along the Methleigh Bottom road.

The Town Council as part of the planning process has studied this site and it the plans for it to see whether it should be supported in full, supported subject to conditions, or refused.

The plan for the two cleared fields.

As you can see from the three pictures, the first being the site layout, the second and third the design of the buildings, this is a large development of an area which has been used a fields for the last 80 plus years.

Whilst people might wish for this area to remain in its natural state, the Town Council has looked at this site on whether changing its use will be of a benefit to Porthleven in terms of employability without an undue harm to the environment.

For any settlement to be successful it needs to have an economy that is varied and can weather any change. Porthleven is well-known as a great place to live and visit, has amazing shops, eateries and a stunning environment. But this is mostly within one sector. With this in mind, this proposed site strengthening another sector of light industrial. Which means more opportunities for employment outside the current sectors.

The Town Council has spent a lot of time looking at the proposed plans, it has looked at the evidence for both positive and negative impact to the area, listened to the reason why this is being built and has to come to a conclusion to support this application in principle, subject to a series of conditions.

These conditions are:

  • Screening – conditions set to ensure adequate screening is put in place, screening of deciduous trees preferred. Request that the mature trees on site are protected. This includes the rear of the site to enable the residents of the area to soften the impact of buildings;
  • Boat storage – adequate secure provision for boat storage / repair facilities, including water and electrics, offered all year round. In the current plan, the applicant has only offered this in the winter months);
  • Health & Safety – sprinkler system to be installed (at requested by the Fire Brigade);
  • Traffic Road Order entered into to reduce speed limit from 40mph to 30mph from sewage works towards Porthleven on the B3304. To include ‘dragon teeth’ markings to further identify the new speed limit;
  • Detailed travel plan to be submitted, including more details on the exit/entrance points – request that the Town Council are a consultee;
  • Footpath installed for approximately 20m towards Mill Lane to allow for safe pedestrian crossing on the B3304;
  • Design / building materials sympathetic to the area using traditional materials so that the proposed has a positive impact on the area;
  • Details of bike storage facilities in Porthleven required (to avoid bikes be abandoned around the main settlement area).

If these conditions are not met to the satisfaction of the Town Council, the Council has the right to change its support to one of not supporting and seeking the planning authority to refuse this application. It should be noted, this application subject to the aforementioned conditions was supported unanimously by the Council.

The issue of drainage and flooding has been identified by the Town Council, but other than the use of SUP within the site and the details contained within the proposed plan, this will be covered by the statutory bodies such as the EA, SWW etc. in the planning process. In the submitted documents, there is a substantial flood risk assessment that has been undertaken.

I know some people has raised the issue of costs of units. This is something that the Town Council has no control over or has the power to ask for conditions to be placed on the units. Likewise for the type of business there. The applicant has made some suggestions of what type of business go there, but again the type of use outside of the building classifications cannot be conditioned and is at the end-of-the-day up to the applicant to fill.

For more details on the application, or to give your viewpoint, click HERE

 

Loe Bar footpath – update

The official footpath that connects Porthleven and Loe Bar suffered a major collapse recently which resulted in the footpath being closed. Since this collapse there has been a lot of planning of what to do next. It is also not the first-time a collapse has happened as large scale erosion was part of the reason why the new footpaths at Highborrow were constructed.

In speaking to the National Trust and the trust updating the town council, it is clear this area of the footpath will not be repaired. As any repair to this area would be futile due to this area being prone to large-scale erosion. Any repair could disappear the following day.

The plan is for the footpath to be re-routed. Work is underway to establish the best route for this new footpath. At this stage, it is looking like the footpath will come behind Bar Lodge. This will give the footpath the best chance of longevity. The new route hasn’t been confirmed as there is a lot of work to be undertaken prior to a new route being established.

There will be some changes to the status of the footpath. Currently, the ‘old’ footpath is a bridleway. The plans for this new access is for it to be a footpath only. Fear not horse and bike riders, as the other parts of the connecting footpaths are bridleways and you will still be able to access the area. Just not on this new stretch.

As these fields are in use for cattle, the farmer will be involved. Speaking to the farmer he asks people not to just wander around any field as they see fit. Which is happening. I know you might think I will just take this shortcut, but you will be surprised how quick a heifer can move.

The issue of money will come into play as putting in a new permanent footpath is not a cheap endeavour and money will have to be found. I know the NT are seeking out the required funding.

The NT are planning a series of updates as and when they have more details. As soon as I have more details, I will update you too.

The Penrose NT has a great website for information HERE.

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