Article 4 Directive, what is it? It’s an added level of protection of Conservation that is given to a Conservation Area that helps safeguard the important heritage of an area.
It does not stop development, but makes sure that all future development is sympathetic to an area. It also removes automatic Permitted Development in the area. In future most changes will have to have Planning Permission. For what was handled under PD, these applications will be free.
The Town Council has worked hard to achieve Article 4 for Porthleven. This is now nearing the end stages and it’s hoped that this Directive will be in place by July 2010. Yesterday at Environment and Economy Scrutiny this was recommended to Cabinet for final approval. This will now be presented to Cabinet in April.
I have been given assurances from the Lead Officer that this Directive is a living Document and can be altered at future dates. They have also offered to come and speak to the Town Council if they want to make any changes to this Document.
Last night was the first Community Network Panel of the Helston and Lizard Area. This is a Network where Cornwall Council, The Town and Parish Council’s, Police, NCH meet to discuss issues in this area, and then make (hopefully) positive changes.
No Police or NHS were invited to this one due to the fact it was mainly going setting up the whole Panel and it’s Constitution. There are seven Cornwall Councillors and 18 Town and Parish Councils involved in this Network. Sadly only half of the Town and Parish Councils did attend. I hope they don’t feel ‘what’s the point’ in this and we will see them at future meetings.
I facilitated a small group exercise where the Town and Parish Councils gave 3 pressing concerns that are there areas and how the Network can help them to achieve them. Porthleven and Helston were grouped together and they came up with a pretty united front on what would be of benefit to both areas.
Transport, including better road and bus links was agreed. It was also pointed out that the bus services must be cheaper and more frequent if you want more people to use them. Small Micro Business Units were also listed. Be nice to have some more small Units to encourage people to work in their own areas without the need to travel so far.
It was felt that due to the size and nature of Porthleven and Helston, they felt there was no dedicated sports complex that was fit for the 21st Century. Finally Environmentally Sustainability was mentioned. This included more protection to Conservation Areas, Renewable Energy and other like environmental issues. Those four issues that were listed are not just about Porthleven and Helston, but all would benefit the whole area if they did indeed happen.
I am not sure if these Networks will be able to wave a magic wand and solve these and other issues, but what they can do its be a large and loud collective to bring pressure to those issues. Early days, but a lot of those who did attend did seems keen for it to work.
Most of my morning was taken up in a meeting of the Loe Pool Management Forum. This is a non Council body that I attend in my role as the Local Member (this whole area is in my ward).
It was so refreshing to see some high powered people attend this meeting from the EA, National Trust (whose land it is), South West Water, Cornwall College, Natural England. These weren’t just the soldiers, but the experts of the relevant agencies in Cornwall (throw in two doctors to boot). Helston and Porthleven Town Councils were also present, but if they were like me, they were a little lost when they started to speak in more technical terms of micro-bio-what-not’s. (Ihad to ask a few times for certain elements to be placed in English.)
I was really pleased to see all these agencies working together to improve this area so people now, and future generations, will enjoy this area. The plans they propose will be a fantastic for this area. Other areas might get the “green eyed monster” effect. Did you know this area has a small Hydro-Generator powering equipment in this area, I didn’t. I learnt of ways of harnessing power from small water courses. Inspiring!
I look forward to more of these meeting and hope I learn a great deal more.