Monday, 28 July 2008

The meeting at Restormel

I was privileged to be able to play my part in last Tuesday's meeting of Restormel's Full Council, when councillors voted to unanimously object to the proposal to build an incinerator near St Dennis.

The Planning Officers' report had recommended objection on three grounds (i) that the 'site selection process had failed to consider more appropriate sites,' (ii) that 'the proposal would harm the countryside through the loss of agricultural land and hedgerows' and (iii) 'the scale, massing and height' of the development would harm the setting of St Dennis and Treviscoe.' An update sheet presented at the meeting added a fourth reason for objection that the development would 'harm the landscape character and wider setting of both Grade II listed buildings in the vicinity.'

The first two hours of the meeting were taken up with representations from members of the public and a single statement delivered on behalf of the applicant, which was followed by statements from councillors who had to lodge prejuducial interests (for representing their local communities!) and could not take part in the actual debate such as Fred Greenslade and John Wood.

All councillors who then spoke backed the protestors and raised a number of concerns about the application. St Columb councillor Pat Harvey proposed the officers' recommendation for objection, with the additions that a copy of the objection be sent to the Government Office of the South West and that Restormel lobbies Cornwall County Council to allow their local Restormel councillors to speak directly to the Planning Committee meeting that will make the decision later this year.

Other councillors made it clear that Restormel needed to re-affirm its long-standing commitment to a public inquiry should the County Council be minded to approve the application.

When I spoke I urged the Council to go much further and persuaded the councillors to agree a much more comprehensive set of objections. My objections included traffic concerns; worries about emissions and the impact on local health and the local environment; the adverse impact on local communities through noise, smell, dust and light pollution as well as the adverse effect on the nearby Special Areas of Conservation.

I also proposed that Restormel reaffirm its opposition to a centralised approach to waste management and a single incinerator in Mid Cornwall, stating that waste should be dealt with as close as possible to where it arises, and adding that the proposal did not comply with a wide range of policies such as the Waste Hierarchy, the National Waste Strategy and Planning Policy Statement 1 and its supplement on Climate Change.

It is clear to me that we need a well-thought-out and sustainable approach to waste management - not a massive waste-hungry incinerator in the heart of the China Clay Area.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Site meeting for incinerator application

Last night, I attended a site meeting close to the site of the proposed incinerator near St Dennis. It was in advance of a meeting on 22nd July, when Restormel councillors will make their views known to Cornwall County Council who will actually decide the application.

There was a good attendance of over 40 local people at the meeting with banners who peacefully made their views known.

Restormel Borough Council has long opposed the principle of a single waste incinerator in Mid Cornwall, while the committee report to be debated next week contains a recommendation to object to the proposal.

Watch this space for more news.

Charter of Pardon event

Last weekend, I was delighted to see members of the Cornish Stannary Parliament descend on my home patch of Fraddon to mark the 500th anniversary of the Charter of Pardon.

The well-attended event was held at Kingsley Village and started with a procession, which was followed by Anthony Richards (see right) reading out an abridged version of the document. An afternoon of traditional Cornish entertainment followed which was enjoyed by one and all.

This event is one of many activities this year to commemorate the signing of the Charter which restored the Stannaries following the 1497 rebellion and gave the historic Stannary Parliament the right to allow or disallow "any statue, act, ordinance, provision, restraint or proclamation ... made by the King, his heirs, successors, or the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, or their Council ... to the prejudice of any tinner ..."

This document forms an important part of Cornwall's special constitutional position, especially as in 1977 Dafydd Wigley in Parliament asked the Attorney General if he would provide the date when the Charter of Pardon of 1508 was rescinded. The reply stated that the right to veto Westminster legislation had never been formally withdrawn.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The launch of the Plan

The Parish Plan was officially launched last night at Fraddon Village Hall. Pictured above are the majority of the steering celebrating the completion of our work.

The St Enoder Parish Plan

Over the last two years, I have been in the very fortunate position of being the chairman of a steering group which has produced a Parish Plan for my home patch of St Enoder.

This week marks the publication of the Plan, which is primarily based on the findings of a questionnaire distributed around the whole of the Parish.

A total of 75 actions have been identified which need to be taken forward by the Parish Council or other bodies such as Restormel Borough Council, Cornwall County Council, the new unitary authority or the local Police.

St Enoder Parish Council has already adopted the document and I am looking forward to seeing a range of new initiatives and projects in my local area for the benefit of one and all.

It has been a real privilege to take a leading role in such an important project for my area.