Hayle Supermarket Wars – Three Out of Four Survive

Wow, a simple word, but it sums up todays Strategic Planning Committee. This meeting started at 9:30am and continued past 6pm. I always thought it was going to be long, but I never expected how long, or what would transpire during this meeting.

Hayle, a town that has a population of 8000 has certainly been re-placed on the map of Cornwall. It has a proud history, but for the last decade it has been left out of much needed investment. That was until three supermarkets and one international bank decided it wanted to develop various areas.

First to present it’s case was ING, their proposals are for South Quay. I could give a detailed account of what happened, but that would take half the night just to type out. It would be far simpler to say the debate took over four hours, and when it finally came to the vote, four different motions and counter motions were put forward and vigorously debated. At certain times some of the issues got confused, but in the end a decision was made. It was felt that as this application was the preferred option by means of sequential testing, a deferrement for 5 months was passed. This would enable the applicant to address the major concerns that were raised during the debate and highlighted in the report.

Next up was Morrison’s with their proposed plan on the current Jewsons site. This was less controversial on the heritage side than the ING plan, but similarly it had a few concerns needing to be addressed before any application is approved. This debate took slightly less than ING’s but still took around two hours. This was also deferred because this plan was second on the sequential testing and if ING could not, or did not address the concerns, then this would be the new favourite.

It was ASDA’s turn to try and convince the Committee than their plan was best. Unlike the previous two applications this was the first of the out of town proposals. Now this application really did go though the millstone as this was recommended for refusal, but ended up with something different. Lots of the community had turned up to show support, mostly I believe was because of ASDA’s plan for Hayle RFU to be given new grounds. When it came to the vote we started with refusal, then deferment, then approval, and finally deferment. I could go on, as at one stage we could have faced two Judicial Reviews if we had gone down a certain path, but light shone though, and pulled back from the brink (only down to some clever thinking on the consititution).

The last plan to test the metal of the Committee was Sainsbury’s. Again, this was an out of town proposal. This plan was the forth and last on the sequential test. In other words, it would have been a miracle to be suddenly be the front runner as it would have needed the three previous plans to be refused. After a short debate (short by means of the previous three) to motions were presented, deferment and refusal. Refusal won, but I very much doubt the applicants were best pleased with this.

So what happens now? Well, the three remaining plans in the race will need to go away and look at their proposals. They will all need to be improved and the items that need to be addressed will have to be, because as shown today, this Committee will want the best price and deal for Hayle before any permission is granted.

The question now is how far will these three applications will go to secure permission? I hope a very long way, as I believe this will be of benefit to Hayle.

7 comments

  • mellenoweth

    Wow. Sounds like a saga and a half.

    Are the issues ING have to address those in the briefing document or were they revised/changed (and if so will the new ones be published somewhere?)

    Think I understand what happened with ING and Morrisons, but Asda and constitutions is very confusing! Are you permitted to explain? Is there also – in talking about Sainsburys 'a miracle to be suddenly be the front runner' suggest the likelihood is one not two – or none?

  • Anonymous

    Well what a wasted day that was.
    As i see it Asda would be the preferred choice for the residents of Hayle, but it looks like a two horse race to spoil Hayle harbour.
    Well done Cornwall council for sucking up to ING who will spoil the harbour big time.

  • Anonymous

    The harbour needs to be developed but that doesn't mean it must have a supermarket on the site. It would be horrendous and turn Hayle into the supermarket on the sea town. The South Quay is such an opportunity and such a unique site – it needs something that will attract people to visit for more than the hour it takes to do a weekly shop, run businesses and work there, enjoy leisure time there – a supermarket will be a very low end way of doing only a bit of that and will destroy the most visual part of the town. I don't think it would happen in St Ives! ING have already won on the housing front and enough is enough. These are tough decisions.

  • moyra

    Well done to the committee – you obviously thought and debated long and hard – and with Hayle's best interests at heart. Thank you.
    I'm sorry Anonymous (10 Feb 07:19) doesn't see it that way. Perhaps there is a lack of appreciation that the committee is obliged to prioritise the applications in sequential order, i.e. in-town ahead of out-of-town applications.
    None of us want to see the harbour area spoilt. With deferment there is the opportunity for ING (and Morrisons) to go away and improve on what they have offered so far.

  • Anonymous

    Well said Moyra, development of the Harbour will help to revitalise Hayle by bringing investment in to the town and retaining people there longer to benefit others, that's why Central Government has planning policies requiring developers to use in town sites ahead of out of town ones. People also need to consider that ING runs the Harbour at a considerbale loss every year, how long are ING prepared to do this for before they close it down? The investment needed in infrastructure alone on South Quay to repair the quay walls, raise site levels for flooding etc amounts to well over £5m…How can this be paid for by lower value employment uses and residential?. This is a golden opportunity for Hayle in terms of inward investment and if it isn't welcomed then I expect South Quay will remain a derelict quayside for many years to come.

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes people miss the point! Anyone who lives in Hayle is in full agreement that South Quay needs to be developed to improve the visual aspect and encourage people to visit and stay for a while within the town. The resistance within the community is towards the supermarket aspect in the town not a development which is where the World Heritage are coming from.
    The ASDA plan does have support from those at the rugby club but people who have preconceived ideas about smelly beer drinking adults rolling around in mud on a Saturday please consider this. The club also has over 100 children who play the sport. In a three screen world (ie TV,Mobile Phone,Computer)in which we now live we should not discourage sport where children can be active again. An active child is likely to become an active adult. Sport helps children develop all sorts of skills including balance, hand eye co-ordination communication etc. Being part of a team gives children a great sense of belonging. It challenges them to work in a group and ancourages them TO THINK OF OTHERS. Children just need facilities to have fun and the added bonus is that the sport is relatively inexpensive.
    In addition, the Hayle Runners with a membership of aprox.300 use this facility, as it has the luxury of space and in its current state is being outgrown.
    So those who choose to critise the rugby club please consider the community benefits the facility brings at present and the gain it could contribute, for generations, should we ever have the luxury of a new facility. With some lateral thinking perhaps all of the above may be possible!

  • Anonymous

    At the Hayle Town Council Planning meeting held at Bodriggy School, Hayle, tonight, we considered and debated the three supermarket planning applications for Hayle and the application for the re-location of Hayle Rugby Football Club.

    Results.

    North Quay (ING) supermarket "No Objection" (Unanimous)

    Morrisons (Jewsons site) "Objection" (Unanimous)

    ASDA (Hayle RFC site) "Objection" (big majority)

    Rugby Club new site "No Objection" (Unanimous)

    So, the only supermarket proposal supported by Hayle Town Council is ING's for South Quay, Hayle Harbour.

    The matters now go forward to Cornwall Council Strategic Planning Committee for consideration on 6th October 2011.

    Graham Coad

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