Tuesday, 23 February 2021


My latest monthly report will be reported to tonight's meeting of St Enoder Parish Council. It covers the time period of 25th January – 22nd February 2021, and is as follows:

1.0 Council and other meetings

Over the last month, I have attended a number of virtual meetings and briefings via Microsoft Works and Zoom.

In terms of Cornwall Council, these have included the Central Sub-Area Planning Committee; an informal Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee and an associated review into standards for social housing (2); the Cornish National Minority Working Group, associated briefings (2) and a meeting about the upcoming 2021 census and the publicity for the “write-in” option for Cornish nationality; the Informal Investment Panel; an update on parking policy; local China Clay Area members; a briefing about the upcoming Full Council meeting; Group Leaders; and all member briefings (3).

In addition, I have attended the Covid-19 Local Outbreak Engagement Board (1); council briefings about the response to the Covid-19 pandemic (2); and the lockdown support group for the China Clay Area (1).

I have also been at three meetings of St Enoder Parish Council, one meeting of the St Austell Bay Economic Forum, and one meeting of the South and East Cornwall Community-Led Local Development Local Action Group.

2.0 Planning applications

The Parish Council and I continue to deal with a range of planning applications. Updates on some specific planning matters are shown below.

2.1 Fifty properties at St Columb Road (PA20/02929)

On 16th December, Cornwall Council refused planning permission for the construction of 50 new properties at St Columb Road, which were proposed for land at the rear of the development opposite the Doctors’ Surgery.

I have just been informed that the applicant has chosen to appeal the decision to the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate. Cornwall Council and other interested parties will now have until 23rd March to submit evidence in support of the refusal.

The two reasons for refusal were as follows:

1. The application site is not located within a main town identified in Policy 3 for the county's strategic housing growth, the site is not infill development or rounding off and is not to be sited on previously developed land. The proposal needs to be considered as a rural exception site under policy 9. It is considered that the proposed scale of up to 50 houses in this location would not be well related to the physical form of the settlement and would be at odds with the prevailing character in this location and would appear as inappropriate housing encroaching into the open landscape which would have a detrimental impact upon the intrinsic rural character. The proposal is therefore contrary to policy 2, 3, 9 and 23 of the Cornwall Local Plan and policies 2, 3 and 4 of the St Enoder Parish Neighbourhood Plan.

2. In the absence of a mechanism to secure the provision of affordable housing, education contributions, open space provision onsite and off-site financial contribution, health care contributions and financial contributions for mitigation for the Penhale Special Area of Conservation for which there is evidence of an identified need, the proposal is considered to be contrary to policies 8, 13, 16, 22 and 28 of the Cornwall Local Plan, guidance contained within paragraphs 8, 17, 61, 62, 94 and 96 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019, and CC - Guidance on s106 Planning Obligations for Education Provision (April 2012).

St Enoder Parish Council always submits comments to planning appeals and, at tonight’s meeting, I will be offering to write a detailed representation on behalf of the Council and local objectors.

2.2 Ouistreham, Indian Queens (PA20/00184)

An outline application was submitted for a bungalow in the back garden of Ouistreham, which is opposite Queens Garage. The Parish Council raised objections to the development and how it was inappropriately squeezed into the back garden.

Planning officers recommended that the application be approved, so I referred it to a meeting of the Central Sub-Area Planning Committee on 22nd February. I spoke at the meeting, along with the Chairman of the Parish Council Michael Bunyan, and the application was refused. The vote was eight to four.

2.3 Derelict pig farm at Higher Fraddon

Last month, I reported that the owners of the derelict pig farm site had been speaking to Cornwall Council about whether a development of seven-eight new dwellings on the site would be acceptable – in place of the five consented “Q-class” conversions and the possible conversion of a couple of other buildings on the site.

They did supply an initial mock-up of how the development might look, but they sought to include a significant amount of agricultural land (to the west) into the development area. Cornwall Council informally advised that this increase in the footprint would be unacceptable and the development would need to be restricted to the site of the extant buildings.

The Council has also advised that the applicant should do a formal pre-application consultation before putting in any planning application. The owners have, as a result, submitted a pre-application enquiry, but I am disappointed because they ignored the Council’s guidance and have included agricultural land into their proposed development area.

3.0 Parking issues at Kingsley Village

As previously reported, I have continued to make presentations about the ongoing parking issues on the B3275 near Penhale. I remain unhappy with the amount of progress and, earlier in the year, I escalated the issue by making further representations to senior planning officers.

As a consequence, a meeting was held on 2nd February and the enforcement officers agreed to make further requests to the businesses within the complex for information about how they manage their staff traffic movements and their parking arrangements. Two businesses have responded and I will discussing next steps with council officers in the near future.

4.0 Highway improvements

4.1 Proposed new footway between Harvenna Heights estate and Indian Queens School

I am still pushing for the transfer of part of the field to the west of Indian Queens School, from Cornwall Council to St Enoder Parish Council, to be completed, so that the Parish Council can begin the construction of the proposed new footway between the Harvenna Heights estate and Indian Queens School. I will update as soon as further progress is made.

4.2 Proposed zebra crossings on Chapel Road and St Francis Road, Indian Queens

Last month, I confirmed that a proposal for a zebra crossing and associated speed cushions on Chapel Road had been worked up, near to the top of the Drang. There was a follow-up meeting on 2nd February, when the basics of a draft proposal for a zebra crossing on St Francis Road was also agreed.

I am hopeful that the formal consultation on both crossings will be carried out in the very near future.

4.3 Proposed works in Summercourt

There was another accident on Beacon Road on Saturday 6th February, which again emphasised the need for the improvements along the A3058.

As previously reported, funding has already been secured for the extension of the 30mph limit on Beacon Road, signalised pedestrian crossings linked to the traffic lights at Summercourt crossroads, and two permanent vehicle activated signs (VAS) on the A3058 (one in Beacon Road and one in St Austell Street).

I am pleased to be able to report that a new officer has been allocated to the design work for the project and good progress is now being made. A meeting was held on 5th February at which the location of the VAS in Beacon Road was agreed in principle. Discussions are ongoing about the location for the VAS in St Austell Street (see above) and I will be updating councillors tonight.

I am also continuing to seek updates on the enhanced safety measures, which I have asked to be provided outside Summercourt School.

5.0 Trefullock

In recent weeks, there have been ongoing problems with flooding on the roads around Trefullock, and I have been in contact with local residents. I am pleased to be able to confirm that Cornwall Council has agreed to carry out an improvement scheme in the next financial year.

6.0 Covid-19

As noted above, I attend meetings of the Cornwall Local Engagement Board, where we are briefed about how public bodies are working to deal with Covid-19, as well as a lockdown support group for the China Clay Area comprising representatives of a number of bodies and charities.

In addition, as a volunteer, I have been helping the medical staff at St Columb Surgery who have been doing some vaccinations, by helping marshal local residents as they arrive for their jabs.

7.0 2021 Election

I am somewhat surprised that the 2021 local elections have not been delayed by a few months, because of the pandemic and ongoing lockdown. The UK Government has stated that the elections will take place on 6th May and I can confirm that it is my intention to stand for re-election.

As the number of councillors has been reduced from 123 to 87, and if I am re-elected to Cornwall Council, I will have to serve a larger area covering both St Dennis and St Enoder parishes.

8.0 Cancellation of NDP referendum

The referendum into the Neighbourhood Plan for St Enoder Parish was due to take place on 6th May, on the same day as the local elections and the poll for Police Commissioner. It is likely that the referendum will take place in early summer.

9.0 Inquiries

While this report has been a summary of many of my recent activities, I have helped a wide range of people with localised issues.

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