Sunday, 1 March 2015

My monthly report to St Enoder Parish Council

At last week’s meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I presented my monthly report. It covered the time period of 26th January – 22nd February. It was as follows:

1. Council meetings

I have attended a range of formal meetings over the last month. These included: Full Council (plus associated briefing), Central Planning Committee, Planning Policy Advisory Committee (PAC), Transport PAC, a group leaders meeting, a briefing on the unitary authority’s “Case for Cornwall,” China Clay Area Network meeting, and the Liaison Group concerning the waste incinerator.

In addition to the formal meetings listed above, I have had numerous meetings with council officers and others to discuss a range of issues. Many of these meetings are noted below.

2. Other meetings

I also attended the AGM of Indian Queens Pit, a meeting of the rural sub-group of the Local Enterprise Partnership, a meeting of School Governors at Summercourt, as well as two meetings at ClayTAWC. In addition, I was present at an event promoting a possible regeneration project for St Austell named Ceramico. This came about through my involvement with the St Austell Bay Economic Forum.

3. Central Planning Committee; 16th February 2014

Members will recall that – in spite of my strong objections – the members of this Committee voted to approve twenty properties to the rear of Kilburn in Fraddon in August 2014. At that meeting, my objections in relation to the prices for the affordable housing were ignored, though they added an informative that stated the indicative layout was “not acceptable” for the following reasons: “inadequate space standards for the affordable housing, inequitable division of land take between the open market and affordable housing, disparity between size of the affordable and open market housing units, and lack of pepper potting of the affordable housing units.”

The resolution also set out that:

“If the section 106 agreement is not signed by 2nd October 2014, the Head of Planning and Enterprise is given delegated authority to refuse planning permission on the grounds that the proposal has failed to secure the necessary safeguards to ensure the provision of the necessary mitigation and contributions within a time period deemed sufficient.”

The section 106 agreement was not agreed within the time-frame and the applicant wished to make a modification to the nature of the agreement. I meanwhile had pointed out that the Council had agreed a new Supplementary Planning Document on affordable housing and the Cornwall Local Plan had been submitted to central government, and I argued that the application should be reassessed.

At this latest meeting, members were very sympathetic to my arguments but the planning and legal officers took the opposite view. The meeting ended in what I would describe as confusion and I have requested a meeting with senior planners to discuss what happens next.

I will report back again when I have further information.

4. Full Council; 17th February

At this meeting, I moved a motion to set up an annual “Community Recognition Award” for those who make an “outstanding contribution to the lives of others and deserve recognition for their actions.” This was carried with the over-whelming support of the Council. The Council also confirmed the council tax increase of 1.97%, following the agreement of a four-year budget in November 2014.

5. Transport PAC; 11th February

This meeting discussed a draft of Cornwall Council’s Transport Plan, which set out a range of future schemes. I raised a strong objection that it did not include any schemes relating specifically to St Enoder Parish, such as the measures included in the traffic management plan produced in association with consented new classroom at Indian Queens School. I have since lobbied the officers in question and forwarded previous representations to them.

6. Planning PAC; 19th February

Following a reorganisation of the responsibilities for individual PACs, the Environment, Heritage and Planning PAC has become the Planning PAC. It does, however, still have responsibility for environment strategy. I was elected chairman of the PAC at this meeting.

7. Penare Pig Farm, Higher Fraddon and associated AD plant

I have continued dedicate a significant amount of time to those issues relating to the development of the AD plant at Higher Fraddon, and the re-development of the pig farm

An assessment of the road has just been completed by the consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB). This will be discussed at the next Community Forum, which has been arranged for Thursday (26 February) at Kingsley Village. The PB report has been forwarded to all members of the Parish Council, along with the agenda and supporting paperwork for the Forum meeting.

I can report that the assessment identifies significant problems with the capacity of the road to the biogas plant. In particular, it specifies that the access road “would not be deemed to provide ’safe and suitable’ access to the site (as required within the National Planning Policy Framework.”

I have also attended:

-  Two meetings with members of the Higher Fraddon Residents’ Group.
-  A meeting between Greener for Life and Treliver Minerals Ltd to discuss use of land on the southern side of the A30.
-  A meeting between Greener for Life and the most immediate residents to the AD unit to discuss the height of the tank closest to them and screening.

Notes from the two above meetings with Greener for Life have been included within the paperwork for the Community Forum meeting.

8. Progress on open spaces

I have had a meeting with Jon Mitchell to discuss the delays in sorting out the open areas at Fairview Park, St Columb Road, and Lindsay Fields, Fraddon. He has agreed to prioritise both issues.

In terms of Fairview Park, he has agreed that he will action the transfer of the land to St Enoder Parish Council as previously agreed so that we can tidy up the area. The associated payment of £16,000 will also be forwarded to the Parish Council and whatever is left over after the area has been reconfigured can be spent on play equipment elsewhere in the Parish.

It would be helpful if St Enoder Parish Council reaffirmed its commitment to taking this course of action at tonight’s meeting.

With regards to Lindsay Fields, Mr Mitchell has instructed Cormac to inspect the green area, identify any defects and pull together a list of works necessary to bring the site up to adoption standard. The developer will then be asked to undertake the work in accordance with the schedule of defects and the legal team will then be instructed to bring forward the transfer to Cornwall Council.

I have also been in contact with the staff dealing with the Kelliers and I have requested an urgent meeting to address the extent of progress.

9. Highways issues

I am pleased to be able to report that the 20 mph speed limit on the roads around the Indian Queens Primary School has been installed.

I have also been in regular contact with officers from Cormac on a range of issues. I can report that possible schemes to improve the road drains along the old A30 through Fraddon, and at one location on Chapel Road, Indian Queens, have been put forward for consideration by the Council’s capital team.

I have also made representations on a range of issues. These include:

-  Problems caused by construction traffic relating to solar farm at Burthy, including incorrect access from Sea View Terrace.
-  Need for patching at Harvenna Close.
-  Flooded ditch at Higher Fraddon.
-  Damaged manhole cover near Summercourt crossroads.
-  Damaged wall at entrance of Heather Meadow.
-  Complaints about the condition of double yellow lines.

10. Planning matters

Over the last month, I have also liaised with planning officers in relation to a number of planning applications. These included the “unauthorised” application on land adjacent to the Kelliers, which has just been refused, the three turbines proposed on Pines Tip, as well as the latest phase of the Ocean Housing development at Higher Harvenna. I am in the process of arranging a meeting to discuss access arrangements to the school in relation to the development.

11. Inquiries

Throughout the last month, I have also helped numerous people and local organisations with advice and guidance on a wide range of issues.

No comments: