Porthleven Shipyard building turned down for the second time.

For the last two-years Trevor Osborne has tried to build in the Porthleven Shipyard. The first application to be submitted, was rightly refused by the West Planning Committee last October for a variety of reasons.

Fast forward six-plus-months and the latest incarnation of the building was on the agenda for a decision at the same Committee. The footprint of the building is smaller, as is the bulk. The entrance that was proposed along Methleigh Bottoms has also been removed.

However, the same fundamental reasons the town council and myself have objected to is:

  • The proposed development is not in harmony in terms of shape, scale, massing, bulk and proportions with the existing character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed development does not protect or enhance the character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed design does not respond positively to the Porthleven
    Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy.

A further point is the buildings use. Whilst the aim is for some sort of innovation hub, details are not clear of the functions of such a building, especially when many hubs have to diversify to make them financially viable.

To be clear myself or the Town Council are not anti-development. But any development has to be more beneficial to a community than harmful. On balance, this buildings is more the latter.

After a robust debate, two councillors (Councillors Graham Coad and Mike Thomas) proposed approval. However, all was not lost, and a series of Councillors spoke against the applications.

A vote was taken for approval, but it was lost 7-8. Therefore, the motion for approval was lost. The next motion was for refusal put forward by Cllr Joyce Duffin. This motion was carried by 8-7. Which means the application was refused.

The applicant has the right of appeal, but this has to be done within six-months of the decision notice. The previous decision from October has passed the the six-months window, and therefore, my understanding is this application cannot be appealed.

Porthleven Cemetery and its current condition

There is a lot of concern and heartache over the state of Porthleven Cemetery, especially around the issue of it being overgrown and the gravesides looking unkept. I share those concerns as this is not good enough.

In response to those concerns, I have written to the Head of Service to highlight how people feel. Yes, many people who are buried there as long dead, but families who are still in the area (or further afield) expect a certain level of dignity for their departed relatives. More so with recently bereaved families.

I have had a response from the Head of Service who has assured me the area will be cut early next week as a priority. I was also informed this area was cut four-weeks ago. Though from looking at the length of grass, this has grown very quickly!

In days gone by, there was someone who maintained this area, but this hasn’t happen for over a decade – if not longer. Cornwall Council has assured me this area is cut three times a year. Yes, that might not be frequent enough and have asked for more cuts to take place, but I have also asked if Cornwall Council would allow community cuts to take place. This is where a group of volunteers help keep this area more tidy. This is not ideal, but might help solve some of the heartache families are feeling.

There was a group called Pride in Porthleven, but this was superseded by the Porthleven Environmental Group. I will be asking this group to see if they will be willing to take on this project.

Porthleven TC wants to hear your views on parking in Porthleven

Parking especially on-street parking is a problem in Porthleven. There is no one reason for the issues, but the causes include Porthleven wasn’t designed with the motorcar in mind, More car ownership, Porthleven is a popular destination for visitors and people’s bad and inconsiderate parking.

There is no magic bullet to solve all of the issues; and in some cases there will be no solution. However, Porthleven TC is holding a drop in session at the public hall on the 30th June between 10am and 5:30pm. This is so views can be given on where the problems are – yes many are well known – and ideas to solve those problems.

After the session, the Town Council will talk to Cornwall Council about which ideas are possible and can be taken forward.

Hopefully, as many of you will be able to come.

Council Election for two positions on Porthleven Town Council

There will be a Election for two position on Porthleven Town Council. The date of the election is Thursday 19th July.

More details can be found below.

If there are two or less candidates, then there will be no polling day, as those nominated persons will be elected unopposed. If three or more, there will be a poll and the two with the most votes will be elected.

Good luck to all.

Coronation Park transferred to South Kerrier Alliance

The official transfer of Helston’s Coronation Park to South Kerrier Alliance (SKA) has finally happened. I started this project near five-years ago when I felt this area would be better if it was run and managed more locally. It has been a bumpy road, but one that has been worth it.

SKA will take on a 99-year lease of the park from Cornwall Council with the Council contributing £109,000 towards capital works improvements.

This is not the only money has received as the SKA is also be supported by funding from the Helston Downsland Charity and grant monies of £81,447 from West Cornwall Local Action Group through the LEADER programme. With additional money pledged directly by SKA, this will create a £300,000 investment fund for the Park.

 

This £300,000 will be spent on improving the boating lake, paths, play park and general repairs as well as making a significant contribution towards a new skate park. Additional funds will be needed to fully replace the Park’s skate equipment but the SKA team is confident that with help from the community a new skate park could be up and running before the end of 2018.

The Gang who have all made it possible – Maxine Hardy (Cornwall Council), Me, Vicki Mathews (SKA) Tim Grattan-Kane (Downsland Trust), David Turnball (SKA) and Julian Rand (WLAG Leader).

I am very happy SKA will be running this site from now on. They have some exciting plans for this area that will make this area the jewel is deserves to be. We all know the areas is in need of refurbishment and with the SKA in control, there are more funding opportunities open to them than if it was a Cornwall Council asset.

I have to finish by saying thank you to everyone who has made this happen. It has been a long road from start to finish, but I am glad we are finally here with the official hand-over to SKA.

Ducks take to the water in the annual Porthleven Duck Race

The Porthleven Duck Race now in its 4th year is firmly in the calendar of events that takes place in Porthleven. The aim is to have lots of fun seeing homemade ducks take to the water in both children and adult races and raise a little money for a worthy cause.

It starts a week before the race where people come to the public hall to make their ducks. There is one rule, the duck has to be homemade. The rest is up to a persons imagination and artistic skill.

From construction it is off to the races the following week.

Not only are there prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the children’s and adults races, but for the best dressed duck. The latter is always hard as being Mayor too, you have to pick one out of so many!

As a reward for this, and by tradition, the Mayor gets their own personal duck to race. A highlight in your term of office.

This year’s charity for the event was Cornwall Air Ambulance. The event is free to enter, but people can also buy a little plastic duck for the charity race as well as bid in an auction for a couple of specially made ducks for the event. This year a whopping £220 was raised for the Air Ambulance.

Well done to all who took part. Huge thanks to the Porthleven Community Group for organising this event.

Parking enforcement set to be introduced by Harbour and Dock on land behind Commercial Rd and land near the Moors

A letter has been sent to the Town Council informing of a private enforcement company being employed to enforce certain areas in Porthleven.

The land in question is the area between Costcutters and the Moors; and the land behind Commercial Rd.

As follows:

A landowner is well with their rights to take action on land they own or is in their control. However, both areas have some interesting points to them.

Firstly, the land behind Commercial Rd is not wholly in the ownership of H&D; as St Austell Brewery own parts (as I have seen these documents) and therefore, enforcing on land not within your control is not possible unless permission has been granted.

The other land in question is owned by H&D, but restricting use brings in the issue of fishermen having rights to use this land ‘for the drying of nets’ etc. and storage which I believe includes boats.

I am sure there will be some interesting dialogue in the next week or so on both practical and legal points of enforcement.

As it say’s in the letter, I am making people aware.

And I am sure it is a typo where it says ‘Penalties for Authorised Parking’. Or I hope it is…

Award of Town plaque to clock-winder of 40 years

As Mayor, you get to do some great things. Sometimes you had to make tough choices too. But the greatest honour is to award a Town plaque to deserving individuals or organisations.

For those who do not know, Porthleven has an official clock-winder. There has been a clock-winder for maybe 100+ years.

On Thursday I invited the current title holder, Jeremy Mitchell to the Town Council meeting to give a history lesson about this role. But really, I wanted to award a Jeremy a Town plaque for his long and dedicated service. He didn’t know this was happening.

You see, Jeremy has been the official clock-winder for 42 years. Yes, for 42 years Jeremy has been on hand to not only wind the clock weekly, but to make sure it keeps to time and works. Before the presentation, Jeremy gave an insight and history lesson to those gathered.

Jeremy talk was really fascinating with stories like back in the day, there were no ladders to get to the machinery. It was just small steps attached to this tower walls with a sheer drop in the middle. Not for the faint-hearted. In days before Health and Safety, Jeremy used to be sent up as a boy by his grandfather. Jeremy also told how he was stopped as a young man by the police asking where he was going with the two clock-face arms. Luckily, he was just sent on his way by the police.

Jeremy is not the first in his family to carry out the duties as the clock-winder His grandfather held this office too. And Jeremy’s son steps in to cover if he is away and it’s probably being lined-up to take over the role if and when Jeremy wants to stop.

The institute is an iconic building, but the social history of the building is equally important. People like Jeremy really add to the rich tapestry that makes Porthleven so special.

It was a great honour to present Jeremy with his Town plaque. It was thoroughly deserved.

Reminder for the Public Meeting for the Shipyard Application

On Monday, at the Porthleven Public Hall, there is going to be a public meeting where those attending will have the chance to give their views on the amended plans for the Shipyard building. This meeting starts at 6pm.

Details about the application can be found HERE on a previous blog post.

It is very important those interested in this application not only attend, but give their views too. As this meeting will very much influence any planning application that may come forward.

You can also read more detail about this meeting HERE.

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.

 

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