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.

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.

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

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

Traffic lights will be in operation on Fore Street from the 7th November

As many will know, Western Power have over the last few weeks been replacing many of Porthleven’s electricity poles as part of their £800k investment in infrastructure. The company is concentrating on those areas which have had a high number of faults over the last few years. Many of these poles are over 40 years old.

As part of these works, there will be a requirement to install temporary traffic lights between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday from the 7th November for one week. There will also be no-parking cones placed in the parking bays. The traffic lights will be removed at night or when they are not needed. All these measures have been approved by Highways. 

Western Power have asked the community to be patience whilst they carry out these essential works and will carry out the work as quickly as possible to avoid any disruption.

If anything changes, I will keep you updated.

Porthleven’s Pram and Raft Race makes a big splash

Porthleven’s now combined Pram and Raft Race (now called the Ram Race) took place on Sunday in rather pleasant October weather conditions. This year’s theme was Port-Heaven.

The route for this race is from Out of the Blue, and a dash to the harbour and down the slipway into the water. A mad paddle – some more successful than others – out past the gap. Then returning up the slipway and a last dash to the Ship Inn. It is purely coincidental that this race starts and finishes at licensed premises….

Whilst this event is a lot of fun, it is also used to raise a little bit of money for local organisations. This year over £230 was raised. Thanks must go to Suzie Williams of Four Crows who organises this event, all the race marshals (Karen Richards, Sibby Barnes, Julia Scofield and Abbey Hines) and Jeremy Richards who used his fishing boat as water safety. And of course all those who took part in the event.

And now for the images…img_0882

 

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Rod Barnes, Porthleven Town Warden set to retire

I think the majority of Porthleven know of Porthleven’s Town Warden, Rod Barnes – also known as ‘Barney’. Rod has been in this post for over 10 years and has carried out his role in wind, shine, rain and snow.

Sadly, Rod has submitted his notice to Porthleven Town Council as he wants to retire. His retirement date is set for 12th November 2016

I want to pay tribute to Rod for his work over the last 10 years. Rod does more than just empty the bins and tidy-up. He is always willing to step up and help and go that extra mile. Often out of his core hours to carry out his duties. He often gives his time for free to help out during events in Porthleven. He has been a real asset to Porthleven Town Council and Porthleven. I for one will miss seeing Rod around Porthleven with his yellow shirt and hat.

We should all approach Rod, shake his hand and say thank you for all he has done between now and his retirement day. Good luck Rod, enjoy your retirement. I will certainly buy you a pint or two on your retirement!

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Rod ‘Barney’ Barnes, Porthleven’s Town Warden

 

Pre-app for extension to Shrubberies Hill development

There is no easy way to say this, but developers have submitted a pre-application to the Cornwall Council’s planning authority. A pre-app is a way for developers and individuals to see if an idea is supported under the planning system and feedback is given prior to any formal submission. This is a paid for service.

This site in question is easily explained in the following picture.

Shrub pt2In the submitted documents, the agent has indicated this site could take up to 80 dwellings. Due to the location of the site, this would be classed as an exceptional site and therefore, this could be a site of 100% affordable, with a minimum of 50%.

I can see why this pre-application has been submitted now, because the emerging Porthleven Neighbour Plan (PNP) has this area one of the least preferred for development. This is because the working group has done a huge amount of work on a Local Landscape Character Assessment (LLCA), which has prioritised those areas that would be ‘better’ for development. You can read the detailed LLCA HERE

Just to recap, the Local Plan, and the emerging Porthleven Neighbourhood Plan has Porthleven requiring a further 80 dwellings over the next 15 years.

The PNP is also spending a lot of time using the LLCA details to do site allocations. A site allocation is where a plan based on evidence, sets a preferred area to be developed first. This does not guarantee another site is developed, but gives you a strong defence to resist a site that is not one of the preferred. The following picture gives you a clear idea where the preferred sites are.

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In light of the LLRC and the work of the PNP, I do not think this site should be supported for housing. I know it is for affordable, and this is much needed in Porthleven. However, this site could have only a minimum of 50% because of something called viability. If you compare this will with the split of open-market to affordable for Porthleven in the Local Plan – 70/30 –  which would be imposed on all other sites.

The difficulty in resisting this application if a formal plan comes forward is the PNP is an emerging plan; which has not been tested by referendum and therefore, it is given little weight in the planning process, or at an Appeal. This is always a danger with any emerging plan when an area is deemed less suitable for development and the landowner wants to act quickly before they find it is very difficult/impossible to take forward.

As I said before, this is only a pre-app and there is no process for the public, or the town council to give a view. This site should not be supported because there are other more viable areas in Porthleven for future development.

For more information on the PNP, please click HERE

Congestion on the Harbour Head Road.

Over the last few weeks, the Harbour Head Road – an adopted highway – has been getting congested. The most congested day seems to be Thursday when Shearings Coaches park in areas they should not. This brings chaos to the area. I have contacted enforcement to deal with this, and will be writing to the management of the company to highlight the congestion being caused by their coaches.

Another issue has arisen is those with and without Blue Badge permits have started park all along this road. Holders of Blue Badges are allowed to park on double yellow up to three hours as long as they do not cause obstructions. But now other cars are now parking along this stretch of road which adds to the congestions and as a consequences of this people cannot pass those parked cars, this in turn backs-up to Fore Street causing even more congestion -much to the annoyance and anger of those trying to navigate this street.

From this I have been speaking to highways and enforcement to address those issues. Firstly, I have requested more enforcement. Secondly I have been given permission by highways to place the ‘no-waiting’ cones along this stretch of the highway on both sides of the road, apart from the bus stop to see if this limits the parking along this stretch of road over the August period. I plan to place these cones this week.

We have two large car parks in Porthleven. Sadly though, people seem to think they can park anywhere they like no matter the problems it causes.

Cones now in place

Cones now in place

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