Friday 12 August 2022


Time period: 25th June – 30th July 2022

1.0 Council and other meetings

In terms of physical meetings during the month, I attended a Full Council meeting of the unitary authority on 12th July, plus the Community Forum linked to the incinerator, the annual general meeting of the St Dennis & Nanpean Community Fund, and the South & East Cornwall Local Action Group.

The vast majority of my Cornwall Council meetings have been via TEAMS video-conferencing. These have included Cabinet; three briefings for upcoming meetings of the Constitution and Governance Committee about the completion of the Community Governance Review (parish boundaries) on the Constitution and Governance Committee; Cornish National Minority Working Group, two associated briefings and an engagement forum for members of the public; Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee; a meeting of Community Network Chairs and Vice-chairs; a meeting of councillors within the China Clay Area; Group Leaders’ meeting; briefings on the ecological emergency facing Cornwall and the wider world, plus an update on proposed “county deal.”

In addition, I have attended two meetings of St Enoder Parish Council and two meetings of St Dennis Parish Council.

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

2.0 China Clay Area Community Network

As previously reported, the administration at Cornwall Council wishes to reduce the number of Community Network Panels from 19 to 10 (and merge Clay Country with the Bodmin Network in the process).

In my role as Chairman of the China Clay Area Community Network Panel, I attended a meeting of Chairs and vice-chairs of the Community Network Panels and I can report back that there is widespread opposition to the reduction in the number of Community Networks. I will be attending a further (face-to-face) meeting about this on Wednesday 27th July.

3.0 Shared Prosperity Fund

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet has published its approach to the spending of the monies that will be made available through the Shared Prosperity Fund (which has been set up in place of the EU structural funds that were previously available).

It states that the three priorities will be business, communities and skills, while there will be specific efforts to tackle inequalities in deprived areas. Assurances have also been given that all areas will have a “fair chance” to bid for the funding which will total £132 million over the next three years.

Some of the paperwork refers to the Community Network Areas, which is a further reason why we need to ensure that the China Clay Area has its own powerful Network that can deliver for this area.

4.0 Mid Cornwall Metro

One of Cornwall’s first applications to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund is for a new “metro link” to improve rail services between Newquay and Par, and Falmouth and Truro. Works are expected to increase the regularity of trains on the branch lines and will include a new siding / crossing place on the Goss Moor.

5.0 Royal Cornwall Museum

The decision of the ruling administration at Cornwall Council not to support the Royal Cornwall Museum with funding from its new Culture and Creative Investment Programme (which replaced the cultural revenue grants programme) led to the Museum announcing that it was under threat of closure.

Mebyon Kernow councillors on the unitary authority (including myself) have been among those making strong representations for the Council to do more to safeguard Cornwall principal museum.

6.0 Solar farms

I continue to get a number of contacts about the number of solar farm applications in Mid Cornwall. These include the proposals for Trerice in St Dennis Parish, Tresithney in St Enoder Parish – though the actual planning applications have yet to be submitted. In addition, there is a live planning application for Tregonning in Newlyn East Parish (though the cabling would go through St Enoder Parish to the Indian Queens Power Station on the road to St Dennis and there is another emerging proposal for a farm to the south of Mitchell.

I have written to a number of the planning officers involved with the applications to seek guidance how they will be assessing the applications and addressing subjects such as cumulative landscape and other impacts.


7.0 Social / affordable rent properties in St Dennis

In my last report, I confirmed that, in the future, the Sanctuary Housing element of Hendra Heights and the Coastline estate at Wesley Place will be advertised with a “parish connection” label to ensure that the properties will go to individuals or households with a connection to St Dennis. This follow my investigation into (accurate) complaints that properties had not been going to local people and nomination agreements were not being complied with.

I am very pleased to be able to confirm that Ocean Housing have agreed to apply a “parish connection” label to their older housing stock (that have no nomination agreements or other restrictions on local connection) to boost the chances of households from St Dennis Parish securing affordable housing in their own village. I am most grateful for the assistance of Ocean Housing on this matter.

8.0 Planning matters

8.1 Housing development at Hendra Prazey (PA20/11311)

A site meeting was held by the Parish Council (with a representative of the applicant) at Hendra Prazey to discuss the application for 27 housing units (of which 23 would be affordable). The Parish Council’s Planning Committee had a follow-up meeting and have maintained a strong objection to the proposed scheme. The vote was unanimous.

I am presently seeking further information from the relevant officers at the unitary authority about how they wish to respond to the various objections and how they intend to deal with the application.

8.2 Indian Queens Power Station (PA22/05961)

An application has also been submitted for the installation and operation of a 47.5 megawatt battery energy storage system on land immediately to the west of Indian Queens Power Station.

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

In a previous report, I reported how an expression of interest had been submitted to the G7 Nature Recovery Project to 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. The EOI was unsuccessful, but I was very pleased to be approached by Natural England to discuss a potential application to a “seed corn” fund. I can confirm that a funding application has been submitted to support the initial phase of the project, which would scope out, design and cost the project over the next six months. This report will then, hopefully, be able to be used to underpin the main funding applications to make the project a reality.


10.0 Parish Council projects

I am continuing to work closely with the Clerk of St Enoder Parish Council, on a range of issues. These include the following:

10.1 Field between Indian Queens Primary School and Harvenna Heights

The new footway through the Parish Council was constructed in the latter part of 2021, and I am now pleased that we have moved onto the next stage of the project. The Council’s handyman is presently working in the field with some landscaping works and, when that is done, some picnic benches will be placed in the area along with rubbish bins. I am hopeful that there will also be tree planting and I personally favour the provision of a cluster of apple trees.

10.2 Youth Club building in Indian Queens Recreation Ground

The Parish Council has a project to double the size of the Youth Club Building and an EOI has been submitted to Cornwall Council’s CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) funding pot. I can report that we have been invited to proceed to the next stage (full application), which the Clerk and I have started to work on.

11.0 Planning

11.1 Carvynick, near Summercourt

Further to my update on Carvynick in my previous report, I can confirm that outline planning permission has been granted for “up to 40 tourism lodges” in the field on the eastern side of Carvynick. The consent conditions that the “the development … shall be used as holiday accommodation only and shall not be occupied as a person's sole or main place of residence.”

In the past, the owners have argued that the holiday use at Carvynick had made the site “brown-field” or “previously developed land,” which led to an inspector from the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate allowing residential properties within the site. As a consequence of this, Cornwall Council has added the following condition:

“When the use hereby permitted ceases or the commercial operation of the land becomes redundant all lodges, buildings, structures, tracks, materials and equipment brought onto, or erected on, the land or works undertaken to it in connection with the use shall be removed, and the land restored to its condition before the development took place. The land shall thereafter revert to use as a pasture field or other agricultural use.”

12.0 Highway matters

Last year, Cornwall Council installed the two zebra crossings in Indian Queens – after many years of lobbying. Unfortunately, the installation by the Victory Hall was not done properly and Cormac will be remodelling the platform, etc, from the 15th August onwards, when the road will be closed. This is all so, so frustrating.


13.0 Advice

Over the last month, 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.

Please note that my next report will be published towards the end of September.

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