Wednesday, 29 June 2022


Time period: 1st April – 24th June 2022

1.0 Council and other meetings

In terms of physical meetings of Cornwall Council during the last three months, I attended Full Council (2), Chief Officers Employment Committee, Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Customer and Support Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (CASSOSC), four meetings of an Inquiry into Equality and Diversity Indicators (EDI) through CASSOSC, and the China Clay Area Community Network Panel.

Other meetings of the unitary authority via TEAMS or ZOOM video-conferencing included two briefings for a Full Council meeting, Group Leaders meeting, meeting of the EDI Inquiry, China Clay Area Community Network Panel, meeting of members from the China Clay Area, briefing for group leaders on a “county deal,” all-member-briefing on the Shared Prosperity Fund, climate literacy training and a meeting to evaluate the Local Listing project for the China Clay Area.

In terms of my role as the Chairman of the Cornish National Minority Working Group, I gave evidence to a Council of Europe Committee relating to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, hosted two meetings of the Working Group, a forum for members of the public, an associated all-member briefing, and I took part in a session investigating the collection of data about Cornish people.

In addition, I have attended five meetings of St Dennis Parish Council and seven meetings of St Enoder Parish Council, which included the Annual Assemblies for both authorities and I presented annual reports.

I also had a number of further online meetings about a range of local issues.

2.0 Strategy for the China Clay Area

Over the last three months, I have been promoting the “Towards a Strategy” document for Clay Country, which local councillors had produced with the support of staff linked to the China Clay Area Community Network. I was pleased to do an interview with a local journalist and the resultant news story received significant coverage in both the Cornish Guardian and the St Austell Voice.

3.0 China Clay Area Community Network

I was pleased to be re-elected Chairman of the China Clay Area Community Network Panel at a meeting on 13th June.

As previously reported, the administration at Cornwall Council wishes to reduce the number of Community Network Panels from 19 to 10.

The proposal would link Clay Country with the Bodmin Network (which includes rural parishes stretching almost as far east as Altarnun). At this most recent meeting, the participants were unanimously against the change and I made a further representation to relevant officers.

4.0 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Over the last few months, I chaired an Inquiry into Equality and Diversity Indicators through the Customer and Support Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

I am pleased that this work has fed through into the Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-2026. A consultation on the document has been launched on the Let’s Talk part of the Council’s website and lasts until 14th September.

5.0 Shared Prosperity Fund

A key talking point of late has been the formal announcement about the Shared Prosperity Fund. The Conservative Government has repeatedly promised that the funding Cornwall should receive through the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) would, at least, match the level of EU structural monies that would have been received.

Cornwall Council has estimated that this should equate to £100 million each year, which had been supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board (which includes Cornish MPs amongst its members). The most recent report produced by the Conservative-controlled authority states that, “in order to be no worse off,” Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly would “need to receive £700 million from the UK SPF over the coming seven years.”

The actual funding announcement of £132 million over the next three years – less than half of the anticipated £300 million – has gone down badly. I was among the “opposition” politicians who challenged Conservative MPs on this broken promise.


6.0 Road safety matters

6.1 Double yellow lines at Wesley Place

Following the re-consultation into the proposal for double yellow lines near Wesley Place, a number of responses were received. These were quite varied. Cornwall Council chose to modify the proposal and reduce the extent of double yellow lines. The lines have installed, and I asked Cornwall Council to inform nearby local residents about their decision in advance of the works.

6.2 Speed readings

At the request of St Dennis Parish Council and I, Cornwall Council has carried out speed readings at a number of locations in St Dennis. These include:

· West of St Dennis School (20mph limit). The average speed (south-west bound) was 19.1mph, with 66.7% of vehicles within the speed limit. The average speed (north-east bound) was 21.7mph, with only 36.7% of vehicles within the speed limit.
· Fore Street near junction with Parc-an-Bre Drive / Hendra Heights (30mph limit). The average speed (south-west bound) was 23.4mph, with 94.2% of vehicles within the speed limit. The average speed (north-east bound) was 21.9mph, with 92.2% of vehicles within the speed limit.
· Hall Road (20mph limit). The average speed (south-east bound) was 21.1mph, with 44.2% of vehicles within the speed limit. The average speed (north-west bound) was 23.5mph, with only 24.9% of vehicles within the speed limit.
· Trelavour Road (30mph limit). The average speed (south-east bound) was 24.0mph, with 81.2% of vehicles within the speed limit. The average speed (north-west bound) was 25.8mph, with 76.3% of vehicles within the speed limit.

I can supply copies of the above reports to local residents on request.

6.3 Meeting with Cormac representative

In early June, I had a TEAMS meeting with the local Highway & Environment Manager for our area. A large number of topics were covered. These included:

· The condition of double yellow lines and other road markings within St Dennis. It has been agreed that a review be carried out.
· Potholes in a range of locations, including the poor condition of sections of roads and pavements along Hall Road. I was informed that Hall Road is on the surface treatment list for the next financial year.
· Request for a bollard at Little Trerice, where vehicles mounting the pavement have damaged a manhole cover. This has been agreed for installation.

7.0 Social / affordable rent properties in St Dennis

As previously reported, I produced a report into complaints about affordable housing in St Dennis not going to local households. In particular, this related to the Sanctuary element of Hendra Heights and the Coastline estate at Wesley Place. Both Housing Associations have acknowledged that mistakes have been made and a series of meetings have been held with Housing Associations during the last month.

Sanctuary have acknowledged that the nominations agreement for Hendra Heights (which prioritises households with a local connection to St Dennis) was not applied and, as a consequence, less than 25% of the properties went to local families. Sanctuary Housing have confirmed lettings will, in the future, go to local households and they will also strive to be more proactive with their advertising to ensure that local families do not miss out on the opportunity to bid.

A similar nominations agreement should have been put in place at Coastline’s Wesley Place development but, because of failings at both the local authority and the registered provider, this was not done. As a consequence, none of the properties went to households with a St Dennis connection. Coastline Housing have agreed to enter into a nominations agreement and lettings will, in the future, go to local households.

I am pleased that Sanctuary’s most recent re-let at Hendra Heights was advertised for local families, which shows that the new arrangements are now functioning.

In addition, I am also optimistic that Ocean Housing will agree that a “local connection” label can be applied to their older housing stock (that have no nomination agreements or other restrictions on local connection) for a period to boost the chances of households from St Dennis securing affordable housing. A meeting has been held but an accommodation has yet to be reached, because Cornwall Council has been slow drafting an agreement. It is worth noting that, because of the delay, three Ocean properties have been advertised during the last two months and not with any “local connection” label.

8.0 Neighbourhood Plan

The period for responding to the first questionnaire for a Neighbourhood Plan has concluded and I am looking forward to the next phase of the project, when we will be looking closely at the feedback from local residents and how this information can be used to inform the Plan.

9.0 Planning matters

There are some live planning applications, for which I have updates.

9.1 Housing development at Hendra Prazey (PA20/11311)

An application for 27 housing units (of which 23 would be affordable) was submitted in December 2020. There have been a number of objections from local residents (because of the location and road network) and consideration of the application has been slow because Cornwall Council officers have been concerned about the road layout in the area.

The applicant has prepared further information about highway issues, which has been submitted to the unitary authority. The Parish Council has been reconsulted on this additional information and they and others can make further comment.

9.2 Solar farm near Trerice

The application from Statkraft has yet to be formally submitted and I have received no further information about how the proposed development may vary from that consulted upon about 12 months ago.

9.3 Proposed dwelling off Hendra Road (PA22/02138)

St Dennis Parish Council has objected to a dwelling on land associated with Hendra Heights, but which would be accessed from Hendra Road. I have raised these local concerns with council officers and I will report back when I have more information.

10.0 Proposed multi-use trail from St Dennis to the Goss Moor

I have previously reported how St Dennis Parish Council has requested that Cornwall Council investigate the possibility of turning the section of defunct railway line between St Dennis and the Goss Moor National Nature Reserve into a multi-use trail, and that I had submitted an expression of interest from the G7 Nature Recovery Project.

Unfortunately, I recently received confirmation that the EOI was unsuccessful. The response to me states that the “G7 Legacy Project did not receive the full amount of funding” and the “proposals were highly over-subscribed.”


11.0 Road safety matters

11.1 A3058 improvements

I am pleased that the two vehicle activated signs have been erected on Beacon Road and St Austell Street, which relates to the first part of the A3058 Safer Route improvements in Summercourt. As previously reported, the timetable for the second phase of works around the installation of the signalised pedestrian crossings at the crossroads has yet to be finalised.

11.2 Double yellow lines at Penhale

Cornwall Council commenced the installation of double yellow lines at Penhale, near the Kingsley Village complex, on 14th June. I am extremely disappointed that the works have not been completed, as it seems the contractors did not attempt to get the parked cars on the northern side of the road moved away in advance of works. In addition, the extent of lines on the southern side of the road was greater than agreed and a section of the lining had had to be taken up.

A number of the cars parking on the road in this area have been workers at Marks and Spencers, because they have not been allowed to use the parking area associated with the shopping complex. But I am pleased to be able to report that the ownership of Kingsley Village has changed hands and the management company tasked with overseeing the site have told me that staff will in future be allowed to use the main car park.

11.3 Road safety audit of road through Fraddon and St Columb Road

I have just been supplied with a draft road safety audit for the stretch of road extending Penhale to the Halloon roundabout (including the area around the Co-op), and I will soon be having a meeting with council officers to discuss the provisional findings. It is my intention to publicise the report and recommendations as soon as it is finalised.

11.4 Meeting with Cormac representative

In early June, I had a TEAMS meeting with the local Highway & Environment Manager for our area. A large number of topics were covered. These included:

· Non-maintenance of garden and grassed area in Clodan Mews. I have been promised (again) that the area will be better maintained in the future.
· Over-grown hedges in a number of places, which are impacting on street furniture. These are being reviewed and various property owners approached.
· Lack of progress with surface repair in Pocohontas Crescent, Indian Queens. This is currently “on the list for this year, but with no programmed date.” I am pushing for this to be prioritised.
· Request for junction lining at Pit Lane / Higher Fraddon junction. This will be done this year.
· Concern that faded bus bays need repainting. This is being looked into.
· Potholes around the St Enoder / bridge over A30 to Summercourt area. This is also being reviewed.

In addition, we discussed complaints about speeding traffic and related issues along Moorland Road, Indian Queens, Toldish and Ruthvoes, which I am following up.

12.0 Planning

There continues to be a significant number of ongoing planning matters in St Enoder Parish. Listed below are some which may be of particular interest.

12.1 Six extra gypsy / traveller pitches at Toldish (PA20/03553)

On 28th August 2020, Cornwall Council refused planning permission for six additional gypsy / traveller pitches at Little Meadows, Toldish. The applicant has appealed the decision to the UK Government’s Planning Inspectorate. I have produced a representation on behalf of the Parish Council, which has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

12.2 Two dwellings in Trevarren (PA21/03330)

An application to demolish one house at Trevarren and replace it with two houses was rejected by Cornwall Council. The Council took the view that the “application site currently occupies a prominent location to the street scene and forms an attractive rural-residential setting to the edge of a settlement,” and “the proposal, by reasons of its siting, massing and appearance, would introduce a development at odds with the established low density built forms of the immediate surrounds and a car dominated layout to the front of the site which would disrupt the continuity of the rural character of the adjoining lane.”

12.3 Six flats at St Columb Road (PA22/00228)

I previously reported that St Enoder Parish Council has objected to the proposal for six two-bedroom flats on the right-hand side of the road to Clodan Mews and rear of the Co-op. The proposed three-storey scheme would only have six parking spaces, which is less than the two parking spaces per housing unit specified in the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan. I can report that the application has been withdrawn by the application.

12.4 Solar Farm at Tresithney

The application from Statkraft has yet to be formally submitted and I have received no further information about how the proposed development may vary from that consulted upon about 12 months ago.

12.5 Solar Farm at “Trendeal”

I attended a recent consultation about a proposed solar farm, as the location was described as Trendeal, which is on the edge of St Enoder Parish. It turns out that the development – associated with the Trendeal farm business – is outside of St Enoder Parish and lies to the south of Carland Cross and Mitchell.

12.6 Applications at Carvynick, including leisure / office building (PA22/04257)

On 3rd June 2019, the owners of Carvynick near Summercourt secured an outline planning permission for 38 residential dwellings at the site, plus a leisure / office building (PA18/04360). I did not support the application as I did not think that residential dwellings in this location would be appropriate. The consent was not achieved through Cornwall Council, but the Government’s Planning Inspectorate on the basis that the holiday park was “brown-field” / “previously developed land.”

The applicants argued that the site would be both for holiday and residential uses, and the indicative layout with the original application showed 38 simple holiday-type lodges and an impressive leisure / office building (including a swimming pool). Indeed, they argued that the residential element of the scheme was necessary to justify investment in facilities at the site (most especially the leisure building).

Reserved matters for the details of the 38 dwellings have been submitted and agreed. These houses are larger than the lodges on the original plan, while being less dispersed across the site. Further applications have been submitted and accepted for another 16 houses on some of the remaining land within the main complex, which the Council could not refuse as the principle of development had been established through the appeal.

Linked to the PA18/04360 consent, the owner has therefore now achieved planning consent for 54 housing units. There will be no affordable housing on site, but the applicant has negotiated to pay off-site contributions to provide affordable housing elsewhere.

There was a fair amount of local support for the original application, because it included a leisure building that residents of the Parish could use. Letters of support prepared by the applicant and signed by local people stated that the leisure building would “provide a community hub,” a “state-of-the-art gymnasium” and a “swimming pool for locals to not only exercise but also to learn how to swim.”

The reserved matters application for the leisure / office building (PA22/04257) has now been submitted. The proposed building is now much smaller than that on the original plan. It appears to be based around a badminton court and a small gym, that is of a size little more than two car parking spaces. There is no swimming pool as promised. St Enoder Parish has unanimously objected to the application, not least because it is not what was promised by the applicant.

There is a further application for another ten houses at Carvynick (PA22/04474), some of which would extend development into the open countryside. St Enoder Parish Council has unanimously objected to this application as well.

In addition, the owners of Carvynick have submitted a further outline application for “upto 40 tourism lodges” in the field on the eastern side of Carvynick. The Parish Council has not objected to this proposal, but sought confirmation that it would be properly controlled as a tourism site and not be allowed to become a residential site.


13.0 Advice

Over the last few weeks, I have also assisted numerous households and individuals with guidance and advice on a range of topics including planning matters, housing need, social care, environmental issues and more.

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