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Cornwall Council elections take place on Thursday, June 4th

I am a candidate and would welcome your vote



John Bennett


Cornwall Council, Hayle South Ward
...Working Hard For Hayle
24 December 2009.Two accidents involving black ice at exactly the same location on Churchtown Road occurred this week on Tuesday and Thursday. Both cars were moving slowly and both turned over - the first one blocking the road for about two hours. Ironically, a gritter arrived just after the second accident and couldn't get through! Luckily, no one was seriously hurt in either accident.
Overturned car tuesday
overtutned car thursday
22 December 2009. I have heard that the drilling under the Towans for the Wave Hub has hit something solid. Drilling has been suspended until after Christmas while options are considered.
wave hub drilling machine

21 December 2009. Dismayed by the idea of a supermarket on the South Quay (hardly what you would expect in a World Heritage Site) and buoyed by the success of the Friends of Penzance Harbour, I have sent the following letter to the Cornishman:

Harbour Issues Solved?
Poorly thought-out harbour development. Damage to a historic conservation area. Major traffic problems. Opposition from the public. Strong support from Cornwall Council officers and the RDA against all advice. Penzance Harbour? No, Hayle Harbour!
Hayle faces the same issues that the Friends of Penzance Harbour faced, and Hayle’s harbour development (and supermarket) will be forced through - just as was attempted in Penzance.
ING has spent millions of pounds on consultants and now needs to claw back its investment in any way it can. In five or 10 years, ING will be gone. In 20 or 30 years, the people of Hayle will still be living with whatever ING leaves behind. We had to give up protected greenfield sites in the name of ‘viability’. Now we must have a supermarket on South Quay and fill in part of the historic quay, also for viability. Is this our promised ‘landmark building’?
ING will claim to have gone through the consultation process, but people were consulted on a very different proposal before outline planning permission was reluctantly granted. Hayle is also in a World Heritage Site, and the WHS advisors (ICOMOS) were scathing about ING’s plans.
It is time to consider taking over the harbour for the benefit of local people. We then can focus on jobs and community buildings, not housing in the wrong place with its attendant, intractable traffic problems. Why don't we form a charitable trust to run and develop the harbour, with help from the EU and the government? Run by and for local people, this would enable us to achieve a harbour regeneration that Hayle could be proud of. We need to look at alternatives to inappropriate overdevelopment before it's too late.
Time for “Friends of Hayle Harbour”?
Cllr. John Bennett
Hayle Town Council

14 December 2009. Excellent news for the regeneration of Copperhouse: Julian Foye, the furniture and furnishings company, has completed the purchase of the old Daniel's site. Previous potential purchasers had unacceptable plans for building housing in the car park but I understand the plans this time are for more showroom space.
30 November 2009. Engineers start Wave Hub drilling operation.

wave hub drill The £42 million project has been developed by the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency) and is a cornerstone of its strategy to develop a world class marine energy industry in South West England. 
A two-week operation is now underway to drill a 200-metre duct through sand dunes at Hayle where Wave Hub’s subsea-cable will come ashore. The cable will be threaded through the duct and connected to a new electricity sub-station that will be built next year, allowing Wave Hub to be connected to the National Grid. 
Guy Lavender, Wave Hub’s recently appointed general manager who takes up his post in January, said: “Our contractors have spent the last two weeks setting up on site and are now ready to start. This is a crucial part of our shoreside works and means we’ll be ready to receive the cable connecting Wave Hub to the shore when it is laid next summer. 
“We want South West England to be a world leader in the development of marine renewables, an industry which could be worth £2 billion a year to the UK by 2050. With world leaders meeting in Copenhagen next week to discuss climate change, Wave Hub is a tangible example of a project that could have a global impact on reducing carbon emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels.” 
wave hub site on sea side of dunes

The operations on the beach (© Bob Amos)

Wave Hub is being funded with £12.5 million from the South West RDA, £20 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and £9.5 million from the UK government. 
In July, South West England was designated the UK’s first Low Carbon Economic Area because of its strength in marine energy, attracting a further £10 million of UK government investment for projects that will support the industry 
With government, RDA and European funding, the total investment in the South West’s marine energy programme in the next two years is expected to top £100 million. 
An independent economic impact assessment has calculated that Wave Hub could create 1,800 jobs and inject £560 million in the UK economy over 25 years. Almost 1,000 of these jobs and £332 million could be generated in the South West. 

20 October 2009. The Hayle Residents Association has circulated the results of their its survey on residents' views regarding supermarkets in Hayle. There were 270 responses, a very substantial number, and the results make interesting reading (70% are not in favour of a supermarket on South Quay, for example). For more click here. Kudos to Cllr. Bob Amos (and Harry Blakeley and Bob Mims) for doing a lot of leg work as well as crunching the numbers and preparing the report.

15 October 2009. The Hayle Archive is now on line and has some amazing photographs of the Hayle area from the end of the 19th century up to the 1980s.  Access it here.
22 September 2009. ING's traffic consultant, Buro Happold, has issued a revised 'Travel Plan' related to the Hayle Harbour Development which has, I understand, already been approved by County Highways.  If you are in a hurry go to page 18 for a summary.  You will note that there are no revised congestion figures and the preamble makes the case that the good outweighs the bad.  Decide for yourself by clicking here.

margaret tanner holding cups17 September 2009.

The Britain in Bloom South West competition results have been announced and Hayle was awarded Gold and the SWTA Cup for the second year in a row.  We also won three neighbourhood awards (out of three) and a discretionary award and cup for the Library wildlife garden. 

More information is available at www.hayleinbloom.org.uk.

17 September 2009. The Hayle Residents Association is seeking the views of Hayle residents on supermarkets.  Recent supermarket initiatives have come from Sainsbury and ING - and there are rumours of others.
Over the next 2 to 3 weeks they will be actively asking members of the public and business owners to complete a totally neutral, non leading questionnaire. They are planning to deposit questionnaires in most of the retail outlets in the town. The results will be published at the end of the consultation period.
You can see a copy of the questionnaire by clicking here.
16 September 2009. LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The European Commission said Tuesday that it is extending its review of a state-aid package for ING amid concerns that the Dutch banking and insurance group was given an overly-generous deal.

15 September 2009. An open public meeting has been arranged to discuss access to services and the future of the West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance. The Public Meeting will be held next Tuesday 22nd September 2009 @ 7.30pm in St John's Hall, Penzance.

Jim McKenna, Ex-Chief Executive, Penwith District Council, has agreed to be the independent chair for the debate.
Cllr. Joan Symons, Chair of Cornwall Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Health & Adults) , has agreed to attend. Cllrs. Neil Burden and Chris Goninan from Cornwall Council will also do their best to be there.
Invitations have been issued to Mr Peter Colclough, the Acting Chief Executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and Ann James, Chief Executive of the C&IoS primary Care Trust but at the time of writing the NHS Management have declined the invitation to attend. The meeting will be primarily to hear the views about the local NHS services & the Hospital from the local community. The organisers, HealthWatch Cornwall, hope everyone including staff, Nurses & Clinicians, patients past & present, and Link members will feel able to attend and make a contribution. Given the concerns of staff, Unison are proposing to attend.

05 September 2009. There were two excellent candidates for the Hayle North seat on the town council resulting in a good turnout, for a bye-election, of 16.08% and with 45.2% of postal voters responding.  Clive Polkinghorne, who has connections with Hayle going back generations, took the seat against strong competition from Marcus Hayward, himself a former town councillor.  Click here for the full details.
poll results
21 August 2009. ING hosted a public display of their new plans for South Quay this week at the Passmore Edwards Institute.  It focused on a supermarket and car park for 350 cars with a potential future mixed development at the north end.  No indication has been given of which supermarket may go there but rumours include Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury (who have denied it).
map of south quay supermarket development
For the complete brochure, click here. For the panels displayed at the exhibition visit www.hayleharbour.com or click here (1.5Mb)
03 August 2009. The Towans Partnership was formed in 2002 to provide a forum among the landowners, councils and users of the towans and beach between the estuary and Godrevy.  I have added recent agendas and minutes to a new web page so that you can see what is going on.  Click here.
21 July 2009. Nicola Stinson introduced herself at the Hayle Chamber of Commerce meeting last night.  She is Assistant Head of Planning and Regeneration and effectively head of planning in the Western sub area.  Roughly equivalent to the role Matt Barton had at Penwith.  I have included contact details on my Cornwall Council page.
03 August 2009. The Towans Partnership was formed in 2002 to provide a forum among the landowners, councils and users of the towans and beach between the estuary and Godrevy.  I have added recent agendas and minutes to a new web page so that you can see what is going on.  Click here.
21 July 2009. Nicola Stinson introduced herself at the Hayle Chamber of Commerce meeting last night.  She is Assistant Head of Planning and Regeneration and effectively head of planning in the Western sub area.  Roughly equivalent to the role Matt Barton had at Penwith.  I have included contact details on my Cornwall Council page.

09 July 2009. The town council had a meeting with ING on the 8th of July to hear where the negotiations were going on the S106 agreements specified in the planning consent.  Although this meeting was not open to the public it was agreed at the end that only one small commercial item should remain confidential.  Here are the main items from my notes:

  1. Affordable housing remains at 17% and the negotiations are focussing on the rules for occupation. Priority will be given to those with a connection to the parish of Hayle (3 years recent residence or 5 years in the past or family connection) and then open to the whole of Cornwall.  The latter is Cornwall Council's policy and there was some discussion of having an intermediate step of the Penwith area.  The affordable housing will be in small groupings spread throughout the development.  Pricing of the units will be based on official figures for average wages in Hayle and units less than 42m2 will cost three times the average annual wage and units greater than this will cost 4.5 times the average.  There will be a mix of purchase and rental space options.
  2. Traffic issues were discussed, especially the Hoppa bus and the rules for when it will start and how the money will be spent.  There is a concern that it might start too early when only a few dwellings are occupied and the five years will run out before it was really needed.
  3. Road improvements are focussed on the Loggans, St. Erth and LIDL's roundabouts and must be finished before first occupation of any dwellings.  There was some discussion about other potential projects (such as Sainsbury's) and there is a plan to combine the needed improvements should other projects proceed.  It is currently intended to limit traffic through Phillack to emergency vehicles only.  The council was asked what it felt about traffic through Phillack and, although no official view was expressed, the general concensus seemed to be that Phillack could not manage much more traffic.  There was also concern expressed about the junction of Lethlean Lane at the Jet station.  At Foundry there will be a requirement to monitor the traffic and certain actions will occur at pre-agreed levels.
  4. ING has agreed to provide space for the Goonvean Engine either in their Foundry car park or across the road on South Quay.  They are also offering a way for Harvey's Foundry Trust to take over the dilapidated Pattern Store and the conditions were discussed to see if they could be eased a little.
  5. Footpath redirections are to be the subject of a later consultation.

It seems that negotiations are proceeding satisfactorily and there were no surprises.  Funding cannot proceed until a Harbour Revision Order (HRO) has been obtained.  This is a legal requirement for any structure that affects navigation in the channel such as the fisherman's harbour, the marina and the pedestrian bridges.  ING pointed out that this Revision Order would proceed more quickly if there were no significant objections.

Once the HRO has been obtained the Camborne Pool Redruth team will finalise the funding package with the Regional Development Agency and other sources.  This step is unlikely to occur before January 2010.

05 June 2009. The results are in and I came second. Thank you to all of my supporters and congratulations to John Coombe.

Election results for Hayle South

Hayle South results Candidate Party Votes %
John Coombe Independent 494 36% Elected
John Bennett Independent 301 22% Not elected
Doe Harry Conservative 223 16% Not elected
Derek John Elliott UK Independence Party 189 14% Not elected
Tony Phillips Labour 87 6% Not elected
Adi Viney Liberal Democrat 60 4% Not elected
Voting Summary Details Number
Total votes 1354
Electorate 3341
Ballot Papers Issued 1363
Number of ballot papers rejected 9
Turnout 41%
Share of the Votes (%)
John Coombe 36% Elected
John Bennett 22% Not elected
Doe Harry 16% Not elected
Derek John Elliott 14% Not elected
Tony Phillips 6% Not elected
Adi Viney 4% Not elected

Results graph

05 June 2009. The voter turnout in the South Ward was good and I estimate it to be around 36% including postal votes.  The turnout at the Bird in Hand at Paradise Park was particulary high with almost half the electorate voting either in person or by post.  The count starts today at 2pm and I will publish the results tonight or tomorrow.

20 May 2009. If you are at all interested in sustainable energy (and you should be) read Sustainable Energy - without hot air by David MacKay. You can download it for free here. It provides a readable and well-reasoned account of the issues facing us, and some possible solutions.  Highly recommended.

20 May 2009.

The campaign to get ING to give berth space to HMS Plymouth has achieved over 1,100 signatures on their petition.  Read more here.

06 May 2009. Cornwall Council's priorities for Hayle and St. Ives will be set through the Hayle and St. Ives Community Network Area (CNA) panel comprised of the 6 area Cornwall Councillors plus representatives form the five towns and parishes (and some non-voting members).  A map of the CNA is shown below.  Click the map for a higher-resolution copy.
25 April 2009. Last week the town council reviewed the letters and emails sent to the town clerk regarding possible closure or part closure of the King George V Memorial walk to motor traffic.  Roughly two-thirds were in favour of a complete closure (except for access), a couple wanted weekend only, or banning lorries, and 24% were against.  
Hayle Harbour Management Ltd. has a covenant giving them rights over the Walk so the council voted, as the next step, to authorise the clerk to seek legal advice as to what options the council has.
24 April 2009. Allotments moved a step closer to reality today when members of the town council's Glebe Committee met to discuss final negotiations with the land owners.  The available land will support about 40 allotments varying in size from 110m2 to 170m2 which should satisfy almost all of the applicants on the current waiting list.  Based on past experience of the time taken to respond to us by the land owner I fear that we will miss the planting season this year but there is a good chance that gardeners will be able to prepare their allotments before the winter.
28 May 2009. The Cornwall Council elections are on June 4th.  Read my election page here.
28 May 2009. Cornwall Council has sent out postal votes with some of the candidates names missing!  According to Election Officer Richard Dunn, the problem applies to all wards with more than 4 candidates - so Hayle North is OK but Hayle South is affected.  Also, some people have received their postal votes several days after the planned date.  Read the explanation from the Returning Officer here. If you have a problem contact Cornwall Council immediately.

13 May 2009. The Hayle Residents Association has called a Hustings of candidates in the Hayle North and South wards to allow them to present their manifestos and to answer questions from constituents.

It is being held on the evening of Tuesday 19th May 2009 at Hayle Day Care Centre. It will commence immediately after the Hayle Residents Association AGM, anticipated 7.30 - 7.45pm start. Every resident of the Town is welcome to attend.  This will probably be the only opportunity you have to see and hear all candidates and to question them on their views.

08 May 2009. The candidates for Cornwall Council seats in the former Penwith area have been announced. 





Download the complete list here.

24 March 2009. The decisions on the ING Hayle Harbour outline planning application and the detailed application for Phase I infrastructure works  are due to be made tonight by PDC Planning Committee.  Follow me on Twitter to receive an update on the decisions soon after they are made - and for other breaking news on Hayle. For the latest tweets click here.
11 April 2009. Now that my term as a district councillor has ended, I have written a short report on major events over the last couple of years and things that are in the works.  Read it here.  I have also mailed a report to South Ward constituents. The pdf (500k) is available here.
08 April 2009. The draft minutes of the PDC Planning Committee meeting of 24 March 2009, at which the Hayle Harbour applications were decided,are available here.
31 March 2009. Local residents keen to see HMS Plymouth moored at South Quay have received a strong 'no' from harbour owners, ING.  They are hoping, with your help, to persuade ING to change its mind.  Read more here.
26 March 2009. Robert Jones has just brought to my attention a document from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) relating to flooding.  It makes disturbing reading since the ABI makes it clear that insurance rates will rise considerably for those in flood risk areas and may not be available at all for existing homes after 2013. No insurance means that it will be impossible to sell a home and there is the risk of substantial loss should a flood occur.  Read the document here.
26 March 2009. 1975-2009. The work of Penwith District Council is almost done and it will cease to exist on the 1st of April.  This photograph was taken at the last meeting of the full council on the 11th of March.
Picture © 2009, Cornwall & IOS Press.  01736 364822

24 March 2009Harbour Applications. At tonight's planning committee meeting, the last ever for PDC, both the outline application and the full application for phase I were passed(*) by a vote of 13 to 2 for the OPA and unanimous for the Phase I application.  An amendment was passed calling for: "Up to 4 nominated members of Hayle Town Council to be invited to attend meetings, if District Members are not available, following reorganisation".  There are still a lot of details to work out and, thanks to this amendment, councillors will be keeping a close eye on these. 

(*) Actually, the resolution was 'Defer and to delegate authority to the Head of Planning and Regeneration to Grant Conditional Approval on the satisfactory completion of Section 106 agreements and planning conditions.'

24 March 2009. GOSW, acting for the Secretary of State, has declined to 'call in' the application and consequently PDC is authorised to make the decision tonight.  Read the GOSW letter here.
20 March 2009. The report on the Royal Cornwall Hospitals' Trust commissioned by the South West Strategic Health Authority and the RCHT has finally surfaced.  Although it is not yet public it has stated that the trust is heading 'towards corporate failure'.  Mr. John Watkinson, the trust's suspended chief executive, condemned the report as "deeply flawed". Read more on the BBC's web site.
13 March 2009. Dog walker prosecuted for bird disturbance on Copperhouse Pool nature reserve.
A successful prosecution has been brought by Natural England against an individual for recklessly causing disturbance to birds by releasing their dogs on a nature reserve. The incident happened in Copperhouse Pool in the RSPB Nature Reserve within the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Hayle on 9 January 2008. The SSSI is of national importance for its wintering wildfowl and wading birds with over 90 wintering species recorded on the site including curlew, golden plover and oystercatchers. Mr Marlon Adams of Adelaide Street, Penzance released three dogs into the RPSB nature reserve at Copperhouse Pool. Witnesses saw the dogs chasing birds. Dr Tim Hill, Natural England’s Director responsible for SSSIs, said: “Natural England wants people to enjoy the estuary and its wildlife, particularly in this setting where birds can be seen so close to Hayle town centre. As highlighted by this case, bird disturbance is a significant problem in this area enjoyed by so many. We will continue to work with the RPSB and others in the area to promote the importance of this estuary for wildlife.” David Flumm, Site Manager for the RSPB's Hayle Estuary Nature Reserve, said: “We’re pleased with this result and it sends a clear message to others that harassing wild birds on a nature reserve will not be tolerated. We are grateful to the public for reporting the incident and to both the police and Natural England for their support which has brought to an end this unfortunate incident.” On Thursday 12 March 2009 Mr Marlon Adams pleaded guilty at West Cornwall Magistrates' Court, Camborne, to an offence relating to disturbance of fauna within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Mr Adams has been fined £250 and ordered to pay £250 costs for recklessly disturbing birds.
02 March 2009. Penpol School has submitted its latest movie to the Comic Relief HQ and it is already on YouTube (click here) and the BBC has asked to screen it on their Big Screen Project.  Congratulations to the budding Oscar winners at Penpol School.

06 March 2009. Important dates concerning the harbour development:


17 March,


Presentation by ING on the detailed planning application for infrastructure works followed by Q&A.

Update on progress of outline planning application.

Venue: Hayle Community School.


19 March,


Hayle Town Council will consider the detailed planning application for infrastructure works, Phase I. Public participation begins at 7-15pm. Venue: Council Offices, Hayle Community Centre, 58 Queensway.

24 March,


Penwith District Council special planning committee meeting to consider all planning applications submitted for Hayle Harbour by ING.  These are the outline planning application for all phases of the development, the detailed planning application for Phase I infrastructure works and the listed building applications.

Venue: St. John's Hall, Penzance.  7pm.

02 March 2009. One of the issues raised by Hayle Town Council and the PDC planning committee was a review of using the Swing Bridge rather than building a new concrete bridge.  I had spoken to Mr. Clarke of BRB(Residuary) Ltd., the swing bridge owners, a couple of years ago and I called him again today to see what discussions he had had with ING or PDC.  The answer, to my surprise, was 'none'.  In fact, he has not been contacted by anyone in the last couple of years.  He confirmed the following:

  • It is a three girder bridge and the centre girder would probably be the load determining element.
  • The bridge was assessed by Cornwall County Council to BD21 standards in October 2001 and failed to meet those standards. It was at that time that the wooden decking was strengthened to provide a 40-44t capability from 7.5t on the western side.
  • He is not aware of any need to downgrade the weight-bearing capacity based on the degree of use (i.e. continuous versus intermittent use).
  • The road over the bridge is not adopted.
  • The original road track was on the eastern side – now the footpath. The rail track was on the western side.
  • It is the stated objective of BRBR Ltd. to transfer these assets to an appropriate authority when possible to do so.
  • No one from ING, LDA, Buro Happold or PDC has contacted BRBR for at least a couple of years to discuss the bridge or any related issue.
  • He is willing to attend a meeting in Cornwall to try to iron out any issues related to the bridge subject to a convenient date and time being selected.

02 March 2009. The Cornishman published a front page article by Phil Goodwin entitled "Fears harbour plan could threaten heritage status" and I was quoted in this:

Deputy mayor of Hayle and district councillor John Bennett said the planning committee had to understand the implication of awarding planning permission. "A lot of effort was made to get Cornwall onto the list so we have to decide whether that should disappear because somebody wants to build thousands of houses," said Cllr Bennett. "There may be circumstances where we could give it up but councillors need to know that if they vote in favour the listing is in danger."

I did not initiate the call with Phil and consequently my comments were off-the-cuff and entirely my own. I certainly did not purport to represent anyone else's views or those of either council. What I tried to convey was that I wanted the planning committee to have all material facts in front of them before making such a momentous decision.

At a meeting of Hayle Town Council on the evening of Thursday 26th of February the article was referenced by a member of the public and I stated that I had been misrepresented. Actually, although I disagreed with Phil about a few words (both inserted and omitted), on re-reading the piece I think it is pretty fair and I have given my apologies to Phil (who could not respond during the formal meeting of the council).  Read the whole article here.

22 February 2009Hayle Harbour Update. In accordance with the resolution passed by PDC Planning Committee, the four Hayle Ward members met with ING representatives and Andy England from PDC on the 5th of February. Since it was agreed that the meeting was not confidential (subject to agreed notes), I now attach the notes prepared by me, with a couple of additions and corrections by Wayne Adams, that were circulated to all attendees. Councillors were led to believe that meetings would be every two weeks (one councillor turned up on the 19th!) but a follow up meeting has not yet been scheduled. Since time is short, I followed up on one of the  outstanding issues: the effect of the development on World Heritage Status.  I called the ICOMOS UK office and spoke with a Ms. Susan Denyer who confirmed that she had received documents from PDC since the PDC resolution was passed on January 13th.  There had been no consultation with ICOMOS prior to that.  Ms. Denyer confirmed that there were some areas of concern and that a board meeting was scheduled for 25 Feb to discuss their response.  She thought that a site meeting might be convened.  Based on her early review of the documents, the issue of development on Riviere Fields will receive some scrutiny.  I hope that ICOMOS can come to an early conclusion since I don't believe we should be rushed into voting either outline, listed building or detailed plans through until the issues raised by Hayle Town Council and the PDC Planning Committee are resolved. 

At the 5 Feb meeting, PDC offered to convene a meeting with county officials to try to settle the Copperhouse Pool bridge issue.  This too, is still pending as are the other issues in the minutes.  Ward councillors hoped that regular meetings would speed things along - but no luck so far.

18 February 2009. The Hayle Residents Association gave a presentation on bringing the HMS Plymouth to Hayle.  All present were enthusiastic about Bob Mims' idea and asked that the concept be pushed forward.
Read more about HMS Plymouth and the plan here.
06 February 2009. Following consultations a new draft plan for the Copperhouse Pool waterside walkway has been produced and is available for comments.  The walkway now weaves in and out and integrates into the commercial area of Copperhouse.  Click here for instructions on how to comment and here for the complete walkway report.
30 January 2009. Mick Hanley has just brought to my attention the 28 October 2008 Design Review on the Hayle Harbour by CABE.  CABE is the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and is the
government's advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. The harbour project was referred to them for their professional opinion and they have raised a number of issues. Only a one-paragraph summary of this report was given to the planning committee on 13 January.  Click here to read the report.
15 January 2009. The draft minutes of the Planning Committee meeting are now available.  Click here.

14 January 2009. Hayle Harbour Update.  At last night's meeting of the PDC planning committee, Marcel Kooij, Managing Director of ING Real Estate Development UK presented his company's commitment to the project despite the obvious downturn in the economy.  Peter Channon also spoke presenting some of the concerns of Hayle residents about the project.  The planning committee included all four Hayle ward members and deliberated for about 90 minutes before voting to support the officer's recommendation of 'Minded to grant conditional approval but deferred for the following:  advertise departures from the local plan and negotiate satisfactory Section 106 agreements' (Click here for the full text).  In addition there were amendments incorporating the town council's recommendations (to be considered but not binding) and to create a sub-committee of Hayle Ward members plus the chair and vice-chair of Planning to be invited to 'appropriate' meetings during the negotiation phase.

Although I initially proposed deferral without being 'minded to approve', I was very pleased with the ultimate outcome which allowed key issues to be aired.

My presentation to the committee is available here.

13 January 2009. The Convergence Programme has launched a web site at www.convergencecornwall.com

12 January 2009. MP, Andrew George, attended the HTC meeting and sent in the following comments (edited slightly from a longer document):

"The primary concern I was left with reflects upon a critical issue which I felt was not properly resolved. I refer to the sense of pressure to make a decision now when so many critical issues remain unresolved. To argue that the plan should be passed and that we can come back to them later because this is only an ‘outline application’ is disingenuous. The fact is that unresolved issues would become much more difficult to resolve to the satisfaction of local concern once the negotiating position of the crucial outline permission had been established.

Further, the claim that ING would walk away from the Harbour if planning permission were not granted or delayed and that it was essential that a decision be made now rather than opting for a delay or refusing subject to the offer to renegotiate is clearly irrational. Indeed, the thought that ING would be moving swiftly into full development mode as soon as possible in the current falling housing market and deepening economic recession is evidently nonsense.

However, my deepest concern was raised when I heard professional officers including a senior servant of the local authority claim that monies which had been apportioned to Hayle Harbour for this particular proposal would be lost and spent “in Truro or elsewhere” and never again be available to Hayle if a decision were not made now. This specious claim presumes that it would neither be possible to bring forward alternative proposals and that the decision making process on public funding is made by people who would discharge a curmudgeonly comeuppance upon those communities who don’t do as they are told.

Finally, the project itself should be assessed on its planning merits and planning merits only. The sense that the application may be determined by a pre Local Government reform planning committee rather than a post Local Government reform planning committee is immaterial. It is the planning merits upon which those who make the decision should be concentrating."

11 January 2009. At the HTC meeting on the 8th it was resolved to support the application with the request that the following matters be addressed:

South Quay The development of South Quay as proposed is essential to the balanced development of the harbour but if this is delayed it is necessary to include a condition to ensure that at least the major damage on South Quay be completed before full occupancy of Riviere Fields and Hill Top is allowed.

Bridge Over Copperhouse Pool Require evidence that the renovation and use of the existing Swing Bridge is not possible.

World Heritage Site Require a statement from ICOMOS that none of the elements of the development will jeopardise the WHS inscription.

Remaining ING Land between Riviere Fields and Phillack Require a restrictive covenant be given to Hayle Town Council requiring a unanimous approval of the council at a properly constituted meeting prior to any development taking place on the land.
Station Approach Require permanent protection of all of ING land between Hayle Railway Station and Hayle Terrace from development and ideally develop as a footpath and open space for residents.

Footpaths Require the continuation or appropriate rerouting of the following footpaths, insofar as they are on ING land, with appropriate signage: 102/29/4, 102/37/1, 102/30/6, 102/30/1, 102/30/4, 102/33/1, 102/33/2, 102/33/3, 102/34/1, 102/1MUC/13, 102/22/2, 102/17/1, 102/16/1, 102/16/2, 102/43/2, 102/1MUC/10 & 102/32/1.

Community Service Facilities Alternative provision must be made to ensure the promised community service facilities are provided. These elements are fundamental to a well balanced development and without them the existing services will be overburdened, contrary to the aim of PPS 1.

Financial Penalty Require a financial penalty to be paid in the instance that ING, or any successor in title, fails to deliver the development of South Quay within seven years of outline permission being granted.


Councillors also expressed concern when they learned that South Quay was being considered for possible social housing in the event that ING did not complete their planned development.

07 January 2009. The briefing papers for members of the Penwith District Council Planning Committee meeting to discuss the harbour application on January 13th are available by clicking here. (832k).  The document lays out the issues fairly clearly.

04 January 2009. REMINDER: ING has made a commitment to hold a public meeting and it will be held at 7.00pm on Tuesday 6 January 2009

at Hayle Community School to present the final proposals.

Also, Hayle Town Council will be considering its response to the planning application on Thursday, 8 January 2009 commencing at 7:15pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend.


Email me with your thoughts, suggestions, comments or questions


or phone 01736-753184

Printed and Promoted by

John Bennett of 18 Riviere Towans, Hayle, TR27 5AF  

© Copyright 2012, John Bennett