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.

image

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

The new Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Porthleven 

Porthleven Town Council has elected its Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the 2016/17 civic year. The new Mayor of Porthleven is Barbara Powell (who was deputy for the last two years, and yours truly has the honour to be the Deputy Mayor of Porthleven.

The new Mayor said on her election to office: I feel very privileged to have been elected mayor of Porthleven. It all seems rather unreal but I will work hard for our little town. I want to include everyone in caring and improving where we live making it the thriving community that it is, a wonderful place to live.

Furthermore, Barbara said she will rely on Daniel William’s good sense and support and experience of being mayor.  Having Andrew Wallis as my deputy will be a great asset as he also brings being a County Councillor to the job. Thank you to the town Councillors who elected me, for their wide range of skills and good humour they bring to the monthly council meetings.

I am very grateful to Members of Porthleven Town Council for having faith in me and electing me to the office of Deputy Mayor of Porthleven. I very much look forward to supporting Barbara Powell, as Mayor of Porthleven in the coming year. I must pay tribute to Daniel Williams who has led Porthleven Town Council for the last two years. He has carried out this role brilliantly, and has raised the profile of Porthleven both near and far during his term of office.

 

Cones for Porthleven

Ok, this is not the most exciting subject, but on Friday, I took delivery of 150 cones from Cornwall Council for use in Porthleven.

The simple reason for this is Cornwall Council gets many a request from communities for cones, and therefore, it becomes costly for the Council to keep delivering and picking up cones from various locations. The logic is therefore to give a community to use as they see fit.

Lovely cones…

The cones will be free to use, but to make sure those who borrow them, bring them back, there will likely be a small deposit required to make sure all the cones come back. As Cornwall Council will not be replacing the cones if they go missing/lost.

If interested in using these cones, please contact the town clerk.

Update –  I think I need to clarify that these cones are for use for community events etc. with the right traffic management approvals in place.

They cannot be used to ‘cone off’ certain parts of the highway. 
For cones to be in this way, you need to apply for permission to highways, and then cones can be placed on the highways. Furthermore, cones can only be placed on the highways only for a certain period of time. 
If you do not have official permission to place cones on the highway, you are in fact falling foul of the law. 

The 2016 Porthleven Food Festival tops 30,000 visitors!

A view of the festival

Yet again, the Porthleven Food Festival was a huge success. This festival now in its eight year has become one of the major festivals in Cornwall. This year saw the event being held over two full days. And boy it was busy. Initial estimates on the number of people attending this year’s festival is looking at 30,000 plus. An amazing number of people for a relatively new festival in Cornwall.

This festival is made possible by the dedication of the band of volunteers who are part of the festival committee. On top of those hard-working committee members who start to be involved with the planning starting at least eight-months before the event itself; an equally important group is the  band of volunteers who help out on the days. This festival is a truly community led festival. Well done to all who make this happen.

This years festival kicked off on Friday night with the newly created Golden Oyster Awards. The Golden Oyster Awards’ were formed to celebrate and recognise the wealth of all things food that Cornwall has to offer. I had the privilege to welcome Daphne Skinnard from BBC Radio Cornwall and Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall to present the awards. The Ship Inn and Kota were two of the award winners which are based in Porthleven.

Though-out the weekend there was so much fantastic food on offer to sample and to buy. Also in the Shipyard Marquee, you had two days of talented chefs from Cornwall showcasing their culinary skills to large audiences. And then in both evenings, you could be entertained with music from a wide variety of musical tastes.

This year also saw the return of  the food festivals floating mascot.

Like previous year’s this festival was not just about food and music. The Moors field hosted the first Porthleven Literary Festival, as well as the young persons area which was hosted by Swamp Circus.

On Saturday evening, the festival goers were treated to a fantastic firework display that seemed to go on for ages.

Finally on Sunday saw the eagerly awaited Porthleven Food Festival Auction. This years auction had 46 lots, which had been kindly donated by businesses and individuals. The auction raised a massive £3,800 which will be shared between the festival itself and the Porthleven Lights Committee. Huge thanks have to go to my fellow auctioneer, Tom William and the glamorous ladies Suzie Williams and Ness Wellz!

img_9463

Ness, Tom, me and Suzie, the auction team!

A great festival organised by great people. Thank you and well done.

Launch of Porthleven’s ‘pick up your dogs poo’ campaign starts with free dog chipping

Wednesday, saw the launch of Porthleven’s fight-back against those irresponsible dog owners who fail to pick up their dogs mess. Everyone say’s it is not me, I always pick-up, however, dog poo that’s not picked up blights our open spaces and pavements. It is also a health hazard. 

The campaign has been made possible by a small working group being form that is made up of residents and Porthleven Town Council who worked with the children at Porthleven School to deliver a simple campaign message: you know what to do, please pick up my poo.

 

The campaign logo

 
At the official launch,  the working group arranged for the dog chipping team from Cornwall Council to give any unchipped dog, a free micro chip. As from April 6th, it is illegal for any dog to be unchipped. Owners of unchipped dogs could face a £500 fine if caught. 

During the course of the day, over 200 dogs were chipped. In fact, before the event officially started, people were queuing. The dog chipping team said it was one of their busiest days. 

  
     

Thanks must go to Cornwall Council’s dog chipping team who worked virtually non-stop throughout the day (they were supplied with one of Porthleven’s fantastic pasties). 

Huge thanks has to go to the working party of Dick, Barbara, Lesley and Philippa and all the others who helped start this campaign. Well done. Let’s hope people listen, and pick up their dogs mess! 

Just so you know, all public rubbish bins in Porthleven can be used to deposit dog mess. Not just the dedicated dog waste bins. 

Porthleven Community Interest Company launches its new website

PCIC_Logo_STANDARD_RGBThe Directors of Porthleven Community Interest Company are very pleased to announce the official launch of Porthleven CIC website. The website will host the company’s marquee hire business, information about its car park, a what’s on in Porthleven guide and the forthcoming Porthleven Town Trail.

The website address is: www.porthlevencic.co.uk

The aim of the ‘What’s on in Porthleven guide and calendar is to have one location to record and find all events taking place in Porthleven. Anyone can search the guide and it means residents and visitors never have to miss a key date, and local groups and individuals can avoid organising an event at the same time as something else.

I am really pleased with this new website that explains our core purpose, advertises the CIC’s businesses, and allows residents and visitors to find out what is going on in Porthleven. With so much happening in Porthleven, it is easy to miss something.

The Porthleven Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed in late 2012 to look at how to mitigate the impacts of being a Coastal community. In 2013, the CIC was one of 20 projects nationally to be awarded funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. The total amount awarded to the CIC was £99,950.

This funding is being used to deliver five key projects:

  • launching a community marquee hire business
  • creating and opening Withy Field car park, bringing an additional 72 parking spaces to Porthleven and putting profits back into the community
  • up-lighting the Bickford-Smith Institute and so showcasing Porthleven’s most iconic building
  • launching the CIC website.

These projects have all been completed and the last project, which is hoped to launch in May 2016, will be the Porthleven Town Trail ‑ working with local historians, writers and photographers to create a tour around Porthleven’s historic harbour. This will be available as a leaflet, an app and on the CIC website. It will enable locals and visitors to discover more about the story of Porthleven, from humble beginnings to the present day.

Appeal for Shepherd Huts in Porthleven dismissed by Planning Inspector

The Planning Inspector has dismissed two appeals made by Saracen House Estates Ltd (Harbour and Dock) in reference to placing several shepherds’ huts between Beacon Rd and Mount Pleasant Rd:

  • Ref PA15/03264; the proposed is siting of four shepherds huts for holiday use, formation of car parking spaces, widening of access (including removal of part of existing stone-hedge), together with associated works, and;
  • Ref PA15/06091, the development proposed is siting of two shepherds huts for holiday use, formation of car parking spaces, widening of access (including removal of part of existing stone-hedge) together with associated works.

In the refusal of the appeal, the inspector applied significant weight to the AONB Management Plan which is due to its fairly up-to-date adopted status in protecting the setting of the AONB, including that of the Conversation Area. And, the Cornwall Design Guide (the Design Guide) which is also a fairly recently adopted document to which significant weight can therefore be applied in respect of its role in, amongst other things, supporting development that relates to, respects, and sits well in its local context.

A typical shepherd hut design.

A typical shepherd hut design.

The appeal site is one such area of key open space in Porthleven, identified as such in the (Porthleven) Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy to which the inspector have applied significant weight, again due to its fairly recent endorsement by Cornwall Council, following a consultation process.

In summing up, the inspector found that the settings of the listed harbour walls and the boundary stone would be preserved. However, this does not lessen the harm that the inspector otherwise found would be caused in respect of the character and appearance of the Conversation Area and the setting of the Ship Inn.

Looking at the bigger picture, there needs to be consistency in appeals. As if you used the same decision for refusing this appeal, then the large building on Frankie’s Allotment that was given planning permission at a appeal last year, should never have been given permission because of its impact to the ‘green wedge’ in this area.

With the inspectors decision, it stops any further application for shepherd huts in this area.

 

 

Porthleven Town Council wants to hear your views on how the Bickford Smith Institute should be used.

Porthleven Town Council is seeking views from the community on the future use of the Bickford Smith Institute. Currently, the town council use the former institute cottage as their administration office and meeting place, with the main hall being used as the snooker club.

This is a public building and the town council therefore believe this building should be accessible and used by the whole community in a variety of uses.

image

Furthermore, the building itself needs a lot of work to its structure. The building is getting old and has faced the full force of the elements for over 134 years. This has taken its toll on the building and the material state of the building needs to be addressed sooner than later.

The work required is not going to be cheap, » Read more

Post Office will go ahead with changes to Porthleven Post Office despite public objections.

It is with regret I have to write this blog post about our Post Office in Porthleven. As you know, without prior knowledge, the powers-that-be at the Post Office decided to change our Post Office in Porthleven.

The simple fact is the Post Office has not consulted with the public over the changes. It has done a communication. This basically means they sent a few letters and put posters up in the affected shop. However from this, over 70 residents and businesses wrote to the Post Office expressing concern about the changes.

Did the Post Office listen and at least put on hold the final decision until a proper consultation could take place? In simple words, no they did not. The Post Office is carrying on with its original plan with a few small tweaks.

It should not be a surprise, as the Post Office sent new opening time leaflets to the Post Office in Porthleven before the final decision was made. The Post Office has apologised for this ‘error’. However, it shows no matter what the public, or the operators of Porthleven Post Office have said, the Post Office had no intention of changing its mind.

I remained concerned that the changes will not be positive for Porthleven. More importantly, the changes are not good for the operators of the Post Office, Paul and Sharon. The impact of losing the sub-postmaster pay is a blow to Paul and Sharon. When the Post Office head of External Relations visited Porthleven, he said the changes would result in an uplift of 6% in trade.

I really cannot see how this would happen, but more importantly, this 6% does not offset the loss of the sub-postmaster’s pay. I also asked for proof of this magical figure of 6%. As yet, this has not been forthcoming. A small consultation to Paul and Sharon is the Post Office will pay a year’s sub-postermaster’s salary as part of the transition.

For many the Post Office in Porthleven is treated as a bank in Porthleven. These changes will impact on how businesses do their banking in Porthleven. The new Local Plus operation prohibits paying in more than £1000 in cash without a fortress facility. Many businesses in Porthleven pay more than this and therefore, these changes could potentially impact on businesses.

When I challenged this the response I received by letter is that: ‘(the) Postmaster will speak to business banking customers about any alternatives available for larger deposits’. I am not sure what this actually means. Is the alternative meaning bank elsewhere?

Many objections talked about additional queuing and the level of security. The Post Office responded by saying the new counter will have a separate till for the Post Office functions. However, this really does not solve the issue, more so if you must have two staff on at the same time, but without the income to fund this. Nothing about the security concerns.

I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to the ‘communication’.

The Porthleven Post Office is set to close on the 10th March and reopen on the 14th March. Paul and Sharon need our support, and therefore, please where possible support them in this difficult time.

1 2 3 4 5 20