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BSc (Hons), PE, CEng, FIET

 
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Archives 2008

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Marks & Spencer
Hospital Services Protest March - August 2006
Election 2007 - Hayle Town and District Council results

News Items

25 December 2008. Season's greetings to all. 

The Hayle Surf Life Saving Club was out at 10:30 having their annual Christmas morning swim.  This year they were joined by stepson Aleksei, a US Marine, just back from his second tour in Iraq - and pleased to be able to cool down a bit.

18 December 2008. ING has just announced that the harbour regeneration project has 'moved a step closer'.  In a press release they state that they have made 'significant changes to the original proposal',  Specifically:

  • A reduction in the scale of the buildings on South Quay to a general height of 3 storeys.
  • The removal of parking from the Triangular Spit and a commitment to contribute to the ecological management of the area.
  • Revisions to the design of the new road bridge to North Quay.
  • Increased mitigation of any impacts on the natural environment, including the creation of new dune grassland and contributions to schemes to manage the dunes and to create new semi-aquatic habitat.
  • Provision of improved pedestrian and cycle links to the railway station.
  • A substantial contribution to public transport including the provision of a new shuttle bus service to serve the development and the rest of Hayle.

Read the full press release and further details here.

04 December 2008. On Wednesday night, at a full meeting of Penwith District Council, overwhelming support was given to a breakthrough agreement on developing the old Hawkins Motor site on Hayle Terrace.  The meeting voted 24 to 3 to agree to lift the original requirement that a minimum of 26 affordable units be built on the site.  The Hawkins family tried extremely hard to meet the terms of this ill-thought-out agreement but it proved impossible to deliver such a high density of housing on this important site.  Buildings would have to have been three storeys high and would have filled the whole site.  The site is now in a conservation area and the World Heritage Site and is adjacent to Copperhouse Pool which is a SSSI.  The final blow was when the Hayle Residents Association called a Parish Poll which voted 9:1 in favour of keeping the land open.

Penwith District Council and Hayle Town Council worked with the Hawkins family to try to break the deadlock and this was achieved when, with the help of suggestions by PDC Chief Executive Jim McKenna, a deal was struck to place 6 houses on the site, make a financial contribution to affordable housing and to give roughly the existing car parking area to the town of Hayle for use as public open space.

This was supported by the Hayle Residents Association, the Hayle and District Chamber of Commerce and overwhelmingly by the people of Hayle that I have spoken to.

It was not an easy decision for the district council to make, but the 24 to 3 vote makes it obvious that it is the right one.

For more information and to read the source documents, click here.

23 October 2008. A presentation was made by the National Marine Aquarium to the Hayle Area Plan Partnership Management Team on a Convergence-funded Green Marine Centre. Linking to the Wave Hub project it would focus on a visitor centre and research related to the marine environment. Although it is still at a pre-feasibility stage it does look interesting. Click here for more information.

Plan view of East Quay

Location of the Centre on South Quay

20 October 2008.  The Guardian had the following article today: "ING, the Dutch savings bank which has more than a million savers in the UK, is to get a €10bn capital injection from the Netherlands authorities, the latest bank to be affected by the global credit crisis...

On Friday, ING warned that it expected to post a €500m loss for the third quarter of the year, its first such loss since being formed in 1991 and one which sent its shares down 27% to a 13-year low." (Full article)

One wonders how the Hayle Harbour Development will be affected by world events - as the De Savary plans were a quarter of a century ago.

19 October 2008.  The Plymouth Coastal Observatory has been conducting detailed topographical surveys of St. Ives Bay and the estuary as part of a general study on coastal processes.  The good news is that the data are freely available (click on the link above) but they do require some GIS tools to be useful.  Over a number of years, the change in beach topography will now be reliably recorded.  Unfortunately, the baseline survey was not done until March 2007.

An example report (7A2-6 Hayle Estuary Baseline Survey, 24/03/2007) is available here (source: Channel Coastal Observatory)

Surveying equipment on Towans

One of the GPS base stations used during the survey

18 September 2008.  At the South West in Bloom awards presentations in Plymouth today, Hayle was awarded a Gold in its category and then received the astounding news that we have taken the SWTA Cup!   Congratulations to the Hayle in Bloom team and to our hard-working professional gardeners.  www.hayleinbloom.org.uk
16 September 2008.  South West Water and their contractors, May Gurney, will be upgrading fresh water pipe work in the main streets of Hayle starting January 2009 according to Clive Dumbleton of SWW. There will inevitably be some disruptions to traffic but the time has been chosen to cause the minimum impact.  Old cast iron pipes, up to 80 years old, are being relined to improve flow and are also being checked for leaks.  They should then last another 80 years, according to Clive.
Map of water pipe project
Click on the map for a more detailed version (800k).
13 September 2008.  The Hayle Area Plan Partnership will only be holding one or two more meetings dedicated to the harbour development for each of the delivery groups prior to the possible consideration of the outline planning application by Penwith District Council.  Please keep an eye on the HAPP web site for details - click on the Hayle Area Plan Partnership logo on the bottom right.  As always, please keep sending your comments and concerns so that I can make sure they are properly considered.
08 September 2008.  Today's Guardian reports that UNESCO's world UNESCO logoheritage committee accuses the UK of breaching WHS guidelines and could add the Tower of London to its 'Sites in Danger' list.  This led me to recall that it was stated in the document inscribing Hayle Harbour into the WHS that "ICOMOS considers that the proposed development at Hayle harbour would not be consistent with the importance of Hayle as the main port of the mining industry and thus a key part of the nominated cultural landscape." (Read it here on page 8 of 11). ICOMOS was, of course, referring to an earlier version of the harbour plans - although the number of dwellings was lower then than now.  I do hope that we see a positive statement from ICOMOS about the current plans before they are considered by PDC.  Read the Guardian article here.

06 September 2008.  Prompted by the success of road closing schemes elsewhere and concerned that growth in Hayle will lead to greatly increased traffic, I put a resolution before the Hayle Town Council:

To examine the ramifications of closing King George V Memorial Walk to motor traffic (except for access), either at weekends, at all times, or at such times as the Council shall direct and to undertake a consultation prior to any such closing.

This was approved by all but one councillor.  There will now be a period of consultation and all views will taken into consideration.

Artists impression of gate on King George V Memorial Walk
The picture above is purely illustrative as the method of closure, the signage and the location of the barrier have yet to be determined - should the scheme go ahead.

22 August 2008.  The model of the harbour development is now available for viewing at John Harvey House in Foundry Square.

Photograph of ING model

16 August 2008.  Unbelievable News from One Cornwall: "The Boundary Committee for England has confirmed today that they are minded to accept the submission from the One Cornwall Implementation Executive that there should be 123 Councillors for the new unitary authority.
Unfortunately, the Committee has announced that it will not be able to complete the work necessary to implement the proposed changes by the elections scheduled for May or June 2009. This means that the elections will have to proceed on the basis of 82 Councillors for the new authority with the same electoral divisions as the current County Council."
Read the full press release here.

15 August 2008.  The Padstow-based bucket dredger Mannin was deployed on the bar today.  It is expected to be operational for about a month to try to reestablish a straighter channel.  The suction dredger Taysand is expected to continue work for a year or longer.

dredger

12 August 2008.  The Hawkins Motors saga continues with Hawkins reporting that the plan proposed by PDC (7 market and 7 affordable units) is not financially viable.  Hawkins now wishes to return to the plan proposed by Hayle Town Council.  Presumably discussions will restart on this issue in the near future.

10 August 2008.  David Clough has reported on the 281 questionnaires received during the consultation on the Hayle Area Action Plan.  Read the documents and a presentation here. David has also produced a presentation summarising the Secretary of State's proposals for the Regional Spatial Strategy.  We still have to have a ridiculous number of houses.  Read it here.

30 July 2008.  The Hayle Estuary Management Plan has been released and public comments are welcome.  The estuary is an area which has a rich and diverse wildlife, landscape and historic heritage and is recognized both nationally and internationally. Estuaries provide recreational opportunities and employment for local people. The challenge set by the Hayle Estuary Management Plan (Hayle EMP) is to conserve the natural and historic heritage of the estuary, but at the same time encourage appropriate opportunities and give full recognition to the important needs of commerce, tourism and leisure interests. The Hayle EMP seeks to identify and bring together these key interests and incorporate them in a single document.  Get the Hayle EMP here.

28 July 2008.  After £1.7M of investment, the SITA St. Erth household waste recycling centre (HWRC) and refuse transfer station (RTS) opened today. It is hoped that a recycling rate of 60 per cent will be achieved at the HWRC.  Shown at the opening are Hayle Mayor John Coombe, Phil Rudin (SITA Cornwall Ops Manager), M. Louis de Ponchville (STA Cornwall Manager) and Andrew George MP.

mayor at St. Erth opening

Photo: John Bennett

Hayle in Bloom logo in flowers

Hayle's Gardeners show off the new Hayle logo

12 July 2008.  I have received an analysis of the harbour development from a group called CoSERG (Cornish Social & Economic Research Group, www.cornwallcoserg.org.uk).  I don't know much about the skills of the group but their report is worth a look since we need to address the issues raised, which include: traffic, over-development, small number of jobs created, lack of affordable housing and development on greenfield sites.  Click here to download it.

12 July 2008.  The large environmental statements of the harbour application are now split into chapters making it is easier to focus on items of specific interest.  You may, for example, find Technical Annex 1A - Scoping Responses worth a look. This contains some of the early observations of PDC and other consultees about the project.  Section 15 Socio-Economics is the section covering employment, schools, and demand for other services.  Section 07 Landscape and Visual assesses how the development will look from different parts of the town - let me know if you agree.  Click here.

02 July 2008.  SWERDA has announced that it is seeking the appointment of a company to manage the procurement and installation of Wave Hub.  Read more here. Although delayed, it appears that the project is back on track.

30 June 2008.  The Cornwall Seal Group has issued an Environmental Impact Assessment for Hayle Harbour Development in relation to Grey Seals.  It seems to have relevance to dredging too.  Read it here.

19 June 2008.  The University of the Third Age programme is now hosted on this site.  Click on the U3A logo at the bottom right of this page.

18 June 2008.  Hayle-based aerial photographer, Peter Channon has sent me photographs comparing the entrance to the harbour over a 10-month period.  Take a look here.

aerial view of estuary

20 May 2008.  At the Hayle Town Council's annual mayor choosing on May 15th, John Coombe was elected mayor and I was elected deputy mayor for 2008-9.

Donna Anton, John Bennett (Deputy Mayor), John Coombe (Mayor) and Lorna Coombe.  Photo from the Cornishman

Donna Anton, John Bennett, John Coombe (mayor) & Lorna Coombe

Photo: The Cornishman

19 July 2008.  The One Cornwall Joint Implementation Executive is now homing in on the the boundaries of the Community Network Areas (CNA).

Hayle will be part of the St. Ives and Hayle CNA which is made up of the folowing wards:

  • St. Ives North and St. Ives South
  • Lelant and Carbis Bay
  • Hayle North and Hayle South
  • Gwinear-Gwithian and St. Erth

A CNA is an administrative area for the delivery of services and will be governed by a committee containing six unitary councillors and six town/parish councillors.

The Boundary Commission has indicated that, if the Implementation Executive agrees to a council size of 120 to 140, there is a good chance that it can report in time for elections next May or June. After much debate, Penwith District Council agreed to support Kerrier District Council by voting for a council size of 123 members. If approved, this would give Hayle and district three Unitary Council members: Hayle North, Hayle South and Gwinear-Gwithian/St. Erth. If there is not unanimity, the Boundary Commission will require more time and the elections in 2009 will default to 82 members (two for Hayle and district) with further elections perhaps two years later.

The new Hayle North and South wards will look something like the above.

15 June 2008.  On Tuesday 8th July, 10am-3pm, there will be a Penwith Senior Lifeskills Exhibition with 'Information & Inspiration for the Over 60's' at St. John's Hall in Penzance.  Click here for the brochure.

13 June 2008.  The Keep Cancer Care in Cornwall campaign is opposing the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust's plan to move some cancer treatment out of Cornwall.  Please read Sheena Cox's well-researched and informative response and support the campaign.

Cover letterDetailed rebuttal of the Trust's plan.

11 June 2008.  The NHS is offering some free cooking courses at the Passmore Edwards Institutefrom the 16th June - 7th of July.

See the poster here.

23 May 2008.  The Director of the Boundary Committee for England has stated that it is unlikely that they will be able to rule on new ward boundaries in time for the April 2009 elections.  Consequently, elections for the new Unitary Council will probably be for 82 councillors as per the current county council.  Read the full text here.

21 May 2008.  The Listed Building Applications for the harbour are now available for download.  Click here.

19 May 2008.  Details of the phasing of the harbour development added to the harbour page.

17 May 2008.  Save Our Sand was out again today doing what they have done so well for over two decades, protesting the removal of sand from the harbour for sale.

Save Our Sand on the side of a parked van

The licence issued by PDC allows the sale of 80% of the dredged sand to cover the cost of the work.  Councillors were not consulted on the terms of the licence although statutory consultees, including the Environment Agency, were.  Councillors recognised the need to dredge for the sake of safety for harbour users.  They pressed for more sand to be returned to the 'cell' but were told that the 80/20 split was 'approved by the 'statutory consultees'.

15 May 2008.  The Harbour documents are now available on-line.

14 May 2008.  The Hawkins 'action meeting' (see below) was well-attended and strongly supported the town council's position.  Bob Mims drew up sketches of the two alternate proposals.  Click here to see them.

12 May 2008.  The harbour dredging license has been issued.  Read a copy here.

07 May 2008.  The harbour planning application is now in the Hayle Town Clerk's office and will be available for public examination from Thursday 15th of May. Click here for documents as they become available.

Hayle.net: aerial view of the Hayle harbour with ING development superimposed

Courtesy of LDA Design and ING RE. 

Aerial photo copyright Peter Channon

04 May 2008.  Rose Woodward of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Cancer Patient & Carer Group has placed the following petition on the Prime Minister's web site: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow Cornwall to have its own Centre of Excellence for cancer surgery. In November 2007 Cornwall County Council approved the transfer of some cancer services out of Cornwall, thereby removing the choice from cancer patients to get cancer treatment close to their home, families & friends. This means that Upper Gastro Intestinal cancer surgery, Head & Neck cancer surgery and Complex Gynae cancer surgery can be withdrawn and moved to Exeter or Plymouth. Please sign this before 7 August at:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Cornwall-cancer and tell your friends.

29 April 2008. The Hayle Residents Association has called an 'Action Meeting' on May 12th at 7-30pm in the Foundry Bar to discuss the Hawkins site on Hayle Terrace.  The Residents Association was successful in getting an excellent turnout to the first Parish Poll in Penwith for many years (if not the first) resulting in a 90% vote in favour of keeping the land open.

25 April 2008. The Harbour Development planning application was received this afternoon at PDC's offices.  It will probably be a week or so before details start to emerge.  A public exhibition will be held at John Harvey House on Thursday, 15th May, 1330-1830 and Friday 16th and Saturday 17th, 1030-1830.

20 April 2008. At a briefing for town and district councillors on Friday, ING RE and their architects LDA Design of Exeter announced that an outline planning application for the harbour development would be submitted within 'two or three days'.  Although there was little new to announce over the previous briefing (see it here), a good deal of work has been done on the studies necessary for a planning submission.  Once, the documents are officially submitted we will get to see the detail - and I will report further.

14 April 2008. The Montgomery Group made a presentation to the HAPP Business & Enterprise group on their proposals for Loggans Mill.  The group was generally excited by the jobs-related focus of the proposals.  The full presentation is available here.

Loggans Mill development, Hayle

01 April 2008. It may be April Fools Day but the SW Regional Development Agency was not joking when it announced today that the Wave Hub project was delayed for up to a year.  Read more here.

31 March 2008. For the latest on the One Cornwall unitary council reorganisation, click on the logo on the right.

22 March 2008. On March 11th, the PDC Planning Committee ignored the position of Hayle Town Council and voted to send a design brief for the Hawkins Motors Site on Hayle Terrace for consultation.  Hayle Town Council wanted to restrict development to the current footprint but the design brief covers about double that area.  Read more here.

 

04 March 2008. You now pay more council tax for Policing than you pay for the services provided by the District Council.  The Chief Constable of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary has written to councillors to explain why their precept is increasing.  Read the letter here.

22 February 2008. The Gypsy and Traveller issue was discussed at the Hayle Town Council meeting last night.  Matt Barton from PDC sent a letter to the council just before the meeting offering some suggestions on how to proceed.  Councillors were outraged at the way the whole process had been handled.  Read more here.

20 February 2008. The consultation period for the Hayle Area Action Plan will be extended until the 25th of March.

16 February 2008. In addition to the Hayle Area Action Plan there is also a consultation period under way for the Core Strategy. The consultation ends on the 25th March 2008.  This document is senior to the action plan and contains big picture issues such as the number of homes that should be built in Hayle and the other major cities.  The Preferred Option allocates 3,250 homes to Hayle and Alternate 1 allocates 3,900.  Take a very close look at this document.  Click here for the PDC site or here to download from my site.

08 February 2008. I have spoken with the section at County Hall responsible for Gypsy and Traveller issues.  I was told that their forecasts gave a need for 2 transit sites in Penwith with one of those in Hayle.  There was also a need for a small residential site to be located near to Penzance.  Transit sites are designed for a maximum of five caravans and do not need to be located near to services.  I have requested copies of the source document and will post further details when I have them.

08 February 2008. The Hayle Area Plan Partnership has invited David Clough, PDC's point man for the Hayle Area Action Plan, to the following meetings:

  • Heritage, Culture and Environment, Tuesday, 19 February at 7-30pm at the Passmore Edwards Institute
  • Community Well-Being, Tuesday, 26 February at 7-30pm at the Day Care Centre. 
  • Traffic and Transport, Wednesday, 27 February at 7-30pm at the Passmore Edwards Institute

He has asked for feedback - here's your chance to give it to him.

06 February 2008. The Hayle Area Action Plan has identified a number of sites in the Hayle area for Gypsies and Travellers.  Based on the number of letters, emails and calls I have received on this subject it is proving highly controversial.  For more information click here.

24 January 2008. ING RE has finally submitted plans for the harbour development to PDC planning for an initial review.  The total number of dwellings now tops the 1,000 mark and comes in at 1,039.  The package in total is not yet complete but it does give PDC a chance to check the submitted parts for completeness.  Early information indicates that the bridge at the end of Copperhouse Pool is still there and that no new ideas for handling the issues of traffic and access have been submitted.  I will keep this site updated with the latest information.

23 January 2008. The Hayle Area Action Plan 2006-2026 is now out for review and comment. This is an important part of the planning process which sets land use priorities and policies for the next 20 years. You have a chance to give your input to this process and the deadline for comments is 29th February 2008 (it looks like and extension until the end of March is likely) . You can download the complete package from PDC’s web site. Follow the links from www.penwith.gov.uk.

19 January 2008. The Convergence Programme 2007-13 details have now been published.  They provide for €458 million with some extra money for training.  Read the details here.

11 January 2008. Following the Examination in Public of the Draft Regional Spatial Strategy, the panel has now produced a report which makes some substantial changes.  Hayle has been upgraded somewhat and at least gets a mention (pp 154 and 159).  They have now increased the housing provision for Penwith from 4,800 to 7,800 - a substantial increase.  There are still no Strategically Significant Cities and Towns (SSCT) in Penwith. Read it here.

 

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jb@john-bennett.com

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