Update on the application for 75 affordable homes at Bulwark

There is a rather substantial update on the application for 75 affordable homes at Bulwark Road which could put the whole site in jeopardy. This is an objection from Secretary of State for Defence. The MoD’s detailed objection can be found HERE.

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It is important to highlight that the MoD does supports the basic principle of new residential development in the local area. However, it wishes to outline its concerns regarding the Planning Application in the following points.

  • The applicant proposes a residential development of 75 houses and flats (and associated development) on the application site, land within close proximity of RNAS Culdrose. In view of the nature of operational and training activity undertaken at RNAS Culdrose, and its close proximity to the application site, the MOD has significant concerns regarding the proposed development and its appropriateness for the application site. These concerns revolve around the issues of the potential noise levels that would be experienced by the future occupants of the proposed dwellings, vibration and public safety.
  • The operational and training activity undertaken at RNAS Culdrose will likely constitute a source of noise disturbance to the local area for a number of reasons. Flight movements of fixed and rotary wing aircraft in/around RNAS Culdrose, helicopters remaining operational (i.e. rotors turning) for extended periods of time pre/post landing, engine ground runs and helicopters hovering above the ground (this is likely to be 30 minutes or more during training activity) would generate noise which would likely result in noise disturbance of some description. It is important to note that these activities produce a significant low frequency noise signature with a distinct dominant tone which can be particularly disturbing. Please be advised that RNAS Culdrose is not subject to planning control with regards to restrictions which limit the nature of the rotary or fixed wing training activity undertaken at the site.

However, the MoD does acknowledge documentation in reference to noise has been submitted, but believes this information is insufficient to fully asses the impact of noise for anyone living in this development.

The MoD also highlights the impact of vibration and makes reference to the impact on the following points:

  • Noise emissions, associated with predominant low frequency sound components, can be transmitted into the structure of buildings causing vibrations of the primary components of the building, e.g. the vibration of floors, walls and windows, which in turn may result in the rattling of internal objects within the building.This effect could lead to an annoyance response in the occupants of the proposed building. This annoyance can be a subjective response, which can be classified as: intrusion, distress, startle, disturbance, loss of control. Please be advised that the annoyance caused by vibration can often result in more disturbance than the noise itself.

If Cornwall Council decides to grant planning permission The MOD want the Council to imposed Planning Condition that will require the Applicant to undertake a vibration survey and assessment, in accordance with BS 6472:2008 (Part 1), post construction but before the occupation of the proposed development.  This assessment would be needed to be approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, in conjunction with the MoD. The risk is you build the homes, but they cannot be lived in because of the failure to address the impact of the previous points on vibration. No developer will take that risk of building if it is not guaranteed to be able to use them.

The last point the MoD raises in its objection is on public safety. This is the weakest objection as you could argue most of Helston is ‘at risk’ from an air accident. However, the MoD makes the following point in its objection to the planning application:

  • At present the application site comprises agricultural land. Should planning permission be granted and the proposed development be built out, it is suggested that the occupants of the proposed dwellings will be at a greater risk of incursion in the event of an aircraft emergency (for example in the case of an aircraft suffering a bird strike or a mechanical fault, etc.) in comparison with the existing land use.

Therefore, in reference to the three main points of concern, the Secretary of State for Defence formally objects to this Planning Application and in doing so respectfully request that the Cornwall Council refuse planning permission for the proposed development.

This objection from the MoD is very serious, but they have given  the planning applicants, Coastline the opportunity to address the concerns by means of more detailed reports on noise and vibration. However, in a recent meeting with the planning officer I had over this, it is clear if the objection from the MoD are not removed, this application will be refused.

It is important to re-highlight this application is here because this is a 100% affordable site and there is a proven need of this type of housing in Helston. I have heard many people say this is just the first stage, but it is not, as the area which is commonly known as HX3 is not in the town frame work plan, and the numbers of housing within Cornwall Council’s Local Plan for the next 15 odd years have already been met. So further mixed-use development is highly unlikely.

Planning application for 75 affordable homes at Bulwark Rd

Coastline housing has now submitted its planning application for 75 homes, with off-street parking for land next to Bulwark Road  and Nansloe in Helston. All the homes will be affordable housing.

Out of the 75 affordable housing, the types of housing will be:

  • 14 x one-bed units – which 12 will be for affordable rent and two for shared ownership;
  • 30 x two-bed units (29 houses and one bungalow) -16 of the houses will be affordable rent and 13 shared ownership. The bungalow will be affordable rent;
  • 25 x three-bed houses – 12 will be affordable rent and 13 shared ownership;
  • 6 x four-bed – 4 x affordable rent and 2 x shared ownership.

Using the Council’s information from Homechoice, there are 563 households are know to be in need which is split between 261 with a one-bed need, 185 with a two-bed needs, 90 with a three-bed need and one with a six-bed need.

The site layout is:

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Putting aside the need for affordable homes in Helston, key to this application is the highway access to and from the proposed site, especially as the the entrance is close to Nansloe School. The applicants have submitted a detailed travel plan in reference to the site. This can be accessed HERE. As the local member, the access is the most critical part of this application.

As the planning application is now live, it is important people give their views. It is important the views come from both for and against the plan. You can make representation either by filling your comments online, by letter or email to the planning dept. at Cornwall Council. You can also email me with your comments and/or questions to awallis@cornwall.gov.uk

The planning application number for this plan is PA16/07813. You will need to use this when submitting your comments.

For the detailed planning application details, please click HERE. Make yourself a drink and sit down and read the documentation as there is quite a bit to digest.

This application will go through the democratic process with Helston Town Council discussing this first, where the public also have chance to give comment. It will also be discussed at Cornwall Council and their planning committee before any decision is made. Cornwall Council has to give a decision on this application by the end of November. Unless there are valid reasons for an extension.

 

 

Sanctuary Housing will not be granted permission to change a public residential car park into a private one.

Following on from my previous blog about the application by Sanctuary Housing to apply for a Stopping-up Order for the car park in Albion Rd which would turn the car park from a public car park to a private one, I can officially confirm that Cornwall Council will not be taking forward this application to the magistrate courts. Therefore, this car park will remain accessible to all residents.

I would like to thank the residents of the area, the town council and my fellow two Cornwall Councillors for the Helston area, Judith Haycock and Phil Martin for lodging their objections to this proposal. A real team effort.

This is the second time Sanctuary Housing has attempted to change this car park into a private one. I hope with this second refusal, Sanctuary Housing will get the message this change of use is not wanted.

Sanctuary Housing attempts again to turn car park at Albion Road into private car park

Sanctuary Housing have formally requested Cornwall Council for a Stopping Up Order under the Highways Act 1980 – Section 116. You can learn more about this order HERE. The simple aim of this request is to turn this car park from a public car park, to a private one.

Readers of this blog will remember the last time this was (illegally) attempted and how a private car park enforcement company was hired to enforce the restrictions. This cause a lot of distress to people. Luckily as the actions by Sanctuary Housing were illegal, I got all the tickets cancelled and the car park reverted by to a public one.

As part of the process for stopping up orders, I have been asked for my views. However, I want to hear Bulwark and Albion Road residents views. Like last time, I have objected to the proposed changes because losing such a public large car park will add to the parking issues in this area. I would also be very concerned with the use of a private car park enforcement company to make sure the rules are enforced.

Therefore, I am asking residents to contact me at: awallis@cornwall.gov.uk to give their views. If there is a limited response, then it might be harder to resist the changes. We have till the 22nd February to express those views.

The proposed changes to the public car park

The proposed changes to the public car park

Bulwark car park fines cancelled and enforcement stopped

Following on from my Blog on Monday and in a breakthrough on the saga of the Bulwark car park, I am really pleased that the enforcement of the car park at Bulwark has stopped, and all the fines issued to date have been cancelled. I was informed of this by the enforcement company today by email. Credit should go to the enforcement company who have acted quickly and have cancelled all parking tickets. They also have informed me that they have reimbursed those fines that had been paid. Thank you.

This is good news, as the implementation of this car parking regime has not gone down with the majority of residents. It is disappointing Sanctuary Housing failed to understand the impact of turning this car park in to a permit only car park without taking into consideration of how it would have on the surrounding streets and all the residents of the area. The irony of it all, the car park remained rather empty as residents feared getting a ticket.

Helston Carnival 2014

Saturday saw the annual Helston Carnival take place. That means the Friends and Residents of Bulwark Association gets to dress me up in a costume. Their rule is, they make it, I have to wear it. And believe me, I have worn some very interesting costumes.

The association’s float theme this year was Helston 10 million years BC. When I found out the theme I did fear I would be made to dress like Raquel Welch…. and I would have to wear the costume, which would have resulted in a lot of therapy for those who had the misfortune to witness it. However, and to great relief,  my fears were averted when I found out I was to be a caveman.

Cllr Caveman?

Cllr Caveman?

Now you have got over the shock of my outfit, it is  time to see the fantastic float which the association put together. It is not just the float which is fantastic, but all the costumes too. These were made – yes made – by the association. Special thanks should go to the National Trust at Penrose Estate who kindly supplied the trailer and tow vehicle.

The Bulwark carnival float 2014

The Bulwark carnival float 2014

This years carnival saw an increased turnout of floats, so competition for best of class and over all carnival winners would be tight. The Bulwark float still did well, as they came second in the small float category and were beaten by an excellent Alice in Wonderland float. So well done to all who took part.

This event would not be the success it is without the people organising the event and the marshalls. So a huge round of thanks should go to these volunteers for giving up their time to make this carnival such a success.

 

Official opening of the Bulwark play area

Saturday saw the official opening of the Bulwark play park. This event has been four years in the making, and now finally, the area has its own play park. And it is a fantastic play park too. The play park was official opened by the Chair of the Bulwark Association, Julia Eddy and the Deputy Mayor of Helston, Cllr Mike Thomas. It was also good to see so many people attend the opening. It shows the areas has a real community spirit.

To give you the scale of the change, I have added a picture of what  was there, or to be correct, what was not there before to show have good this new play area is:

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And now the Bulwark area has this very impressive play area:

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The new Bulwark play park

This park is even more impressive as the project has been community lead from the start. I have always been very impressed with the residents and the Bulwark Association attitude, drive and determination of achieving their dreams of a park. They did this by fund-raising at every opportunity.

Special thanks should go to SITA Trust who saw the need and awarded £30,000 worth of funding. As should the local Downsland Trust and Helston Town Council who also agreed an element of funding. Helston Town Council should also be congratulated for agreeing to take on the management of the park.

The official opening of the Bulwark play park

The official opening of the Bulwark play park

In fact, it is not just those organisations I have just thanked, there are other organisations who have supported the residents to achieve their aims. These include  the National Trust at Penrose, C4L, the police, Helston Town Warden and Sanctuary Housing. These people and organisations should also be congratulated for their support. Cornwall Council played its part too. With the procurement, legal, devolution teams; as well as the Community Network all helping. This really has been a joint effort.

Just shows what can be done when everyone works for a common cause.

 

Bulwark Residents Group and the Helston Carnival

Helston Carnival was held on Saturday 7th September. This event has seen a steady increase in participating floats, and this was the best for many years with so many entrants.

The Bulwark Residents Group has been entering the carnival for the last three years. And impressively been rather successful by winning the best small float for the last few years. Last year the group won best over all float of the carnival. This year the group decided to enter as recycling heroes. This was to raise awareness of recycling.

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As you can see from the previous picture the group looked fantastic. A lot of effort went into the groups float and the costumes. This is down to the hard work of the group who spend hours if not days on making sure the float and the participants look the best they can.

The next picture is my costume, and the rules the group make – which I have to adhere to – is they make it and I have to wear it. This always has me worried until I see the costume and see the effort they put into it.

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Congratulations should go to the organisers of the Helston Carnival for all the hard work they put into this event. Without this work, the event would have disappeared like so many community other events have. A well done should also go to all the other participants in the carnival, who make this a great day for all. The best float of the carnival went to The Blue Anchor, for their summer holiday float.

Lastly, a special thank you should go to the National Trust at Penrose Estate, who kindly supplied the trailer and transport to pull it, and a one of its rangers to drive the float around Helston. Without this support, the group would not be able to enter a float.

Bulwarks soon to be new Play Park

Finally after two years of fundraising by the residents of Bulwark (and surrounding roads) the residents had the chance to pick their preferred park.  Two proposals out of the seven who submitted bids were put to the residents of the area to pick the favoured park. This event before took place last week at the Helston Children’s Centre.

Both the final two bids were great, so it was always going to be difficult to pick a winner. And a winner was selected by the residents voting for their favourite plan. It was great to see seventy-one adults and children turn up and vote. It was close, with the winning bid from Proludic having 39 votes, with the runner-up Hags having 32 votes.

The equipment will be ordered very soon, and as soon as the equipment arrives work will start on the new park. Thanks should go to Cornwall Council’s  procurement team, Cormac and the environment dept for helping the residents in the process. Of course none of this would have been possible without the fundraising from the residents and grant funding from SITA, Helston TC and the Downsland Trust.

The artists impression of the park with the selected equipment:

The new park

 

Bulwark Residents Association in the Helston Carnival

The Bulwark (and friends) Residents Association again entered the Helston Carnival. This year, the association picked the theme of the Olympics. I was again was volunteered by the group to be part of it. Though I love taking part, however I think they like making me dress up in something  ridiculous.

There was a good number of floats this year, so competition was going to be tough to win one of the trophies. Last year the group won the best small float and best overall float. So, it was going to be a tough act to follow. The judging was undertaken by the Leader of Cornwall Council, Alec Roberson, who really entered into the spirit.

To the groups credit, and hard work in getting the float together, they won best small float AND best overall float in the carnival. It was fantastic to win not just one, but two trophies! The group is a credit to their neighborhood for all the hard work in putting the float together. Well done to Julie Eddy, the Chairman of the group. All the committee, parents and children who took part.

Special thanks must go to the local National Trust; who provided the Land Rover, driver and trailer for the float.

Now for the pictures:

The Float

The Mayor and Mayoress of Helston award the two trophies

Guess who?!

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