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

 

Pre-application submitted for Hotel on ‘Breageside’ of Porthleven Harbour

The proposal for a hotel on the Breageside area of the harbour has been mooted for as long as I can remember. Yet despite the rumours of it happening, nothing materialised. Until now.

The owner of the harbour has submitted a pre-application proposal for a 14 bed ‘arts hotel’ with a café/bar and restaurant, exhibition gallery and workshop. The pre-app number is PA17/03203/PREAPP. The documentation can be found HERE via the Cornwall Council planning portal and therefore in the public domain.

Like all pre-applications, there will be advice given in planning terms and from that advice the applicant can either take or ignore that advice and submit a full planning application. In any full application the public can give their comment.

As with most pre-apps, much of the detail is confidential. Therefore, apart from the information contained within the pre-app documentation, I have no further information.

The only information I have is contained within the associated documentation. In that documentation, there is no on-site parking for guests. Any guest will have to park in the yet to be built – or planning application submitted – car park and other building along Methleigh Bottoms. Guest will be chauffeured between the hotel and car park (in practical terms I am not sure this will work).

Public Meeting for the Shipyard building amended plans

It might not come as a surprise, but there has been an amended plan submitted for the proposed building in the Shipyard. Details of the amended plans can be found HERE. The planning reference number is: PA17/03371/PREAPP

This application is slightly smaller to the previous application, but what sets this apart from the previous is the applicant has entered into a Pre-application Community Engagement Forum (PACE) for the public to have their say at a public meeting.

In liaising with planning officers on this and the previous application, I welcome this PACE meeting as this way the public have a forum to give their views – whether for or against – prior to this application going through the planning process. Rather than having to request a site meeting at the planning committee meeting.

This PACE meeting will take place on the 5th Feb at 6pm at the Porthleven Public Hall. No matter what your stance is on this application, I urge as many people to attend to give their views.

However, just because there is a new application in, the original plan which was refused by Cornwall Council can still be appealed. As the applicant has the right of appeal for up to six-months from the date of the decision. As yet, no appeal has been submitted.

 

 

Porthleven Torchlight Procession 2017

No matter how many times I see Torchlight, it fills me with the same pleasure and delight as I did when I first saw it take place. It is truly a great community event that is shared by both residents and visitors alike.

Getting ready for the off

The procession heading down from Gibson Way

This event is organised by the Porthleven Community Group and its small committee. However, the event would not be the success it is without the fine support from Porthleven Town Band, the Town Warden, volunteer marshals from the town council, residents and Cober Valley Rotary Club. Thanks also must go to Porthleven Town Council and Coastline Housing for their grants to keep this event running. 

A massive thanks goes to those who took part, either in the procession or turned out to watch the procession weave its way through Porthleven.

For me it was great being involved as one of the committee members, but leading the procession as the Mayor. A great honour.

Action to be taken against yellow lines on Commercial Road, Porthleven

Let’s be clear, this is not about whether there should or should not be yellow lines on Commercial Road, Porthleven. This issue is about the a lawful process of placing parking restriction and a proper consultation via a Traffic Regulation Order. Here is the previous blog HERE

This would have given the public and official bodies such as Highways the ability of discussing the merits and disadvantages of placing lines along this stretch of road. From this, if there was a requirement of placing parking restrictions along this stretch of road, it would have been done legally and with the proper process and then enforceable.

No-matter who you are, you have to follow the law and people do not have the right to just paint yellow lines wherever they think they can. We have rules for a reason.

In discussing this issue with Highways and Cornwall Council’s legal department and because there has been a clear breach of the law, Cornwall Council is taking action against the Harbour and Dock Company. This is something I welcome.

Cornwall Council has written to Harbour and Dock clearly pointing out the legal breach under Section 132 of the Highways Act 1980. It has given Harbour and Dock two options.

The first is make a formal application for a TRO to regulate, if appropriate, the yellow lines currently in place. This application will ensure that all the relevant aspects of traffic management are considered and provide the opportunity for the public to make representations. The Harbour and Dock Company has one month to comply and submit an application.

The second option is if the Harbour and Dock fails to submit an application for a TRO, then the Highways Authority will remove the unauthorised lines and recover the costs of doing so from Harbour and Dock.

I believe this is a sensible way forward and one that I very much welcome. This could all have been avoided if the proper process was followed…

It should be noted that placing parking restrictions on a stretch of highways doesn’t necessarily stop parking for a couple of reasons.

Those with Blue Badges can park on double yellow lines for up to three hours (so you just replace parked cars with another type of parked car). If you ‘double clip’ a yellow line which means no parking at any time, you do stop parking, but you also stop any delivery vehicle stopping to unload/load as it is an offence and will result in an instant parking ticket. To overcome this, you then need a loading bay. As you can see, placing parking restrictions without proper thought, just causes more problems.

 

The legality of the Yellow Lines on Commercial Rd, Porthleven

The recent changes and the introduction of Yellow Lines to Commercial Rd, Porthleven are leaving residents and visitors confused and annoyed. Therefore, I want to clarify the legality of those lines.

In simple terms, the Yellow Lines on Commercial Rd are not legal, and have no legal standing and no enforcement can take place by official Civil Enforcement Officers, the Police, or anyone else.

To make Yellow Line legal, a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) has to be undertaken. This is subject to a full public consultation, and only after that, and the work has been deemed necessary, a TRO can be made law and enforceable.

Commercial Rd is a private road, but under Highways legislation, it has full public access both pedestrian and vehicular. Therefore, the owner of the said land cannot just do anything and any changes like adding Yellow Lines have to follow legislation.

Harbour and Dock have been advised by myself and Cornwall Council of the correct procedures; with the latter saying no such work should take place until the proper processes have been undertaken. In fact, Highways wrote to the Harbour and Dock asking for all work to stop until this matter had been resolved legally. The Harbour and Dock ignored this advice.

I have been speaking to Highways on this matter for several weeks and only last Friday, they still were not happy with the work that has been undertaken. If the Harbour and Dock had engaged with the statutory highways agency, they would have advised the best course of action which would have avoided the chaos that is now happening along this road. Pedestrian and vehicle safety could have been improved by doing this properly.

Of course, the Council can take legal action against the Harbour and Dock, but this would cost tax-payers a considerable amount of money.

Summing this up, a person can park their vehicle on this stretch of road and no enforcement will be undertaken. Of course all other Yellow Lines in Porthleven are legal – just to stop anyone thinking it invalidates all other lines. Enforcement officers has been informed too.

Porthleven has a new Town Warden

Porthleven has been without a Town Warden since Rod Barnes retired. This is a hugely important role and therefore, Porthleven Town Council was very keen to replace Rod.

From an advert placed, five candidates applied and all were interviewed. The field of candidates was strong, but the three person panel of the Mayor, Cllr Bev Plunkett and myself appointed Carol Jewell to the post.

I would like to congratulate Carol on her appointment to this position. Carol will be an excellent Town Warden. I would also like to thank all who applied and made the panel’s decision a tough one to make.

Carol Jewell – The Porthleven Town Warden

Porthleven’s Great Baulk Auction raises over £40k for the Fishermen’s Mission

Back in 2014, Porthleven was subjected to a series of storms that few will forget. Porthleven seemed to face the brunt of these storms that resulted in substantial damage not only to the harbour, but to the moored boats in the inner-harbour when the baulks that protected them gave-way, and allowed the seas to wreak havoc in the now unprotected inner-harbour.

In a stroke of genius, Julian Waring, who works for the Fishermen’s Mission, came up with the ideal of using the broken baulks to raise funds for the Mission. Artists and craft people both near and far turned the baulk wood into items that included paintings, drawings, benches, candle holders and other wonderful items. In total, over 160 pieces of work were made from the baulks.

The huge crowds gathered.

From this, Julian and his small committee put a plan in place to auction all this work off in one big charity auction. This auction took place this past Saturday on the harbour head. The auction was led by the excellent David Lay – David for near five-hours entertained the hundreds of people gathered in Porthleven CIC’s marquee with a bar and food by the Atlantic Inn and staging and lighting provided by Impact.

Back stage

It was amazing to be part of this auction and see how generous people were in not only having a bit of Porthleven history, but more importantly raising a staggering £40,315 from the 163 lots in the auction for the Fishermen’s Mission. The huge amount of money raised is still sinking in.

Julian and his committee have done an amazing job in pulling this off. They should be very proud of this work, as should Porthleven be proud of them. Whilst the committee deserve our praise, this fundraiser could not have been achieved without the generosity of all those artists and crafts people who turned a bit of wood in to art and gave their time for free. Thanks everyone else who was involved in doing their bit – like helping to set up the marquee and provide internet etc. Huge thanks must go to David Lay and his team for running the auction, especially the online part of it.

Saturday 18th of March 2017 will be one of those days long remembered in Porthleven for doing something great. A proud day for Porthleven, its residents and visitors.

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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