Monthly digest

December

At the beginning of the month it was announced that “a scheme to transform scrubland into a community garden at Falmouth Hospital has been highly commended at an awards ceremony.”   Not sure about the environmental validity of this – scrubland can be an important habitat.

Vince Cable raised the issue of a mansion tax – though how this would reduce inequality is questionable.  Well-paid footballers and bankers would not notice the extra cost!

The Duchy came to the rescue of those in housing need in Newquay arguing that more housing would help.  How this would help is open to debate as two-thirds would not be affordable so would not assist those in need.

There was uproar in St Ives as a number of trees were cut down on council owned land near the Porthminster.   This was stopped much to local residents relief.

People living near the railway station in Camborne complained about rail users parking on street to save money.

The row over proposed dredging in Falmouth bay continued – “The GMB and Unite unions have joined Chancellor George Osborne and Cornwall’s Euro MP Sir Graham Watson in calling for a solution to deadlock between conservationists and developers over proposed dredging. The scheme has stalled over European habitat regulations guarding against potential damage to underwater algae which acts as a nursery for fish.”

A meeting to discuss housing issues in the south west was spoilt when attendees resorted to looking for easy targets rather than holding a real debate.  “The South West has become the “Nimby capital of England” as incomers fight to preserve the views they bought into at the expense of affordable homes, an inquiry has been told.”

Following outline planning permission for a development on a green field site, stadium supporters hope to get full permission in 2012.

Eden Project co-founder Tim Smit has rounded on the “appalling crop” of current politicians and admitted he is considering taking British citizenship to start a new political party.  Difficult to see what sort of policies would emerge from a party run by Tim Smit – in that he fully supports car use and population growth, which is similar to the policies supported by existing parties.

“Lodges planned for Falmouth Golf Club will be allowed to be permanent homes rather than just be for holiday use”.   Although it might make sense for the club, how this ties in with providing affordable housing and planning policy is debatable.

Plans for a new road (Newquay Strategic Route) could have significant impact on wildlife a report revealed.  Would also impact on greenhouse gas emissions?

Another example of brown vision when green fields outside Tuckingmill were suddenly revealed to be brown!

Residents of St Austell found that their victory over Wainhomes was short-lived when “they confirmed it is to appeal to the High Court against Secretary of State Eric Pickles’ decision to reject the massive housing development at St Austell.”

The Planning Brief for land at Threemilestone was accepted despite a row over lack of support from local councils.

November

News emerged that Prince Charles has a veto over legislation that might impact on the Duchy.  Something of a leftover from the middle ages that still exists in Britain!

A NEW park and ride facility in Penzance is needed to reduce the current “adverse impact” created by employees commuting into Penzance, Cornwall Council said.  This was one of the benefits of Sainsburys getting permission for a supermarket.

MPS were asked to block the designation of areas in the Fal as conservation areas on the grounds this would impact upon the ports future.

The owners of the heliport argued their case for a new location at St Erth, only to pull out at a later date.

St Agnes parish council was concerned at plans to develop Perranporth airfield on the grounds it would impact on an AONB.

The Stadium proposed for Threemilestone was granted outline planning permission. Rod Lyon from the Stadium for Cornwall campaign group made an impassioned speech at the meeting to get councillors on side.

He said: “This is a community project for Cornwall, a landmark in its history and will be a centre of pride which has received unprecedented grass-roots support.”  Mr Lyon said that a petition in favour of the stadium had been signed by more than 15,600 people.   Mr Lyon might have noted that despite all the media attention, the overwhelming majority of the population have not signed the petition! Underwhelming support perhaps?

The proposal for a park and ride, Waitrose store and up market homes continued to move forward.

Mixed messages from events held about the proposal for a recycling plant at Hallenbeagle with Cory Environmental suggesting support while the local populace decided to disagree.

Plans were outlined to develop an important green area between Redruth and Illogan.  The developers boldly stated it would provide a gateway to Redruth!

The residents of Camelford were told of the latest plans by Tesco for a new store in the town, complete with the usual offers and ‘bribes’.

A new website was heralded as providing important information on road casualties area by area.  A fundamental flaw though is that it does not differentiate between the causes of casualties, implying that it is the nature of the road that is at fault rather than the nature of the driver.

September

September saw a wide range of planning and economic related news items in Cornwall.  The ongoing stadium saga continued with the latest news that concerns over potential/probable extra traffic arising from the stadium and the 2500 proposed houses, had led to a six month delay.  News that Truro City was facing a large tax bill and could be wound up added to the questions about its economic viability.  There was further news about the transfer of the heliport from Long Rock to St. Erth.  The old chestnut of using empty homes came up again at the Lib Dem conference and an announcement that Cornwall Council would put aside £2 million for purchasing empty homes.   As we have stated before there are issues about using empty homes – overestimating the numbers and little analysis of the cause of emptyness.

Callington heard of news for a traffic survey which might result in a bypass for the town.  Whether a bypass is the solution residents believe it to be is debatable.  Bypasses have a habit of encouraging traffic rather than reducing it.  A short term reduction is followed by more traffic!  What is needed are traffic reduction targets to cut congestion and the other associated issues arising from more traffic.

News emerged of a funding bid for the rest of the East-West Highway running across land between Camborne and Redruth.  The rationale is that it will provide 5,500 new jobs and 7,500 homes, although these will accommodate more people moving into the area rather than meeting local needs (which are rather less than 7,500 homes).  Locals expecting less congestion with the new road will find their hopes dashed as traffic levels on all roads in the area will just go on rising!.

News also came of possible new gypsy pitches, bound to result in local disquiet though the numbers are low and sites are needed.

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