Monday 5 December 2022


Time period: 25th September – 2nd December 2022

1.0 Council and other meetings

In terms of physical meetings of Cornwall Council during the last two months, I attended Full Council, Central Sub-Area Planning Committee, Constitution and Governance Committee (dealing with the final phase of the review of parish council boundaries), Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee plus the councillor working group on the consultation linked to Cornwall Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (in advance of the next Customers and Support Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee), China Clay Area Community Network, and a series of meetings (as a member of the Chief Officers Employment Panel) linked to the appointment of a new Monitoring Officer.

Other physical meetings included St Enoder Parish Council (five), St Dennis Parish Council, St Dennis Parish Neighbourhood Plan meeting, St Dennis and Nanpean Community Trust, briefing with Cornish Lithium, and meetings about a housing development and the Thomas Playing Field, both in Summercourt, plus a visit to St Dennis Youth Club.

In addition, it was great to attend the celebration for the 20th anniversary of the Cornish language being recognised as a minority language.

I have also attended a range of meetings via TEAMS video-conferencing. These included Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cornish National Minority Working Group (and associated briefing), monthly meeting for China Clay Area members and an associated meeting about a Strategy for the China Clay Area with senior officers, catch-up about road safety matters, council briefing in advance of the latest Full Council meeting, two meetings about the 2021 census with the Office of National Statistics, briefings about a proposed “devolution deal” (three), proposed investment zones, the cost of living crisis and ash die-back.

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

2.0 Cornwall Council

2.1 “Devolution deal”

On Friday 2nd December, a Government Minister (Dehenna Davison) and the leader of Cornwall Council (Linda Taylor) signed a “devolution deal” for Cornwall. The Conservatives will soon be launching a ten-week consultation on the document, which will start on Friday 9th December.

From my perspective, the promise of additional funding for Cornwall in the “deal” is to be welcomed, but the “deal” itself is not devolution at all. And as someone who has campaigned for meaningful devolution for his entire adult life, I am desperately disappointed that this is the best that governing politicians in Westminster and Truro can come up with. It does not include far-reaching powers being transferred from Westminster to Cornwall as happened in Wales and Scotland, which have their own parliaments. The “deal” is simply a range of accommodations between central government and the unitary authority.

I will be making further comment on the “deal” in the near-future but, in the meantime, the devolution deal can be viewed at:

2.2 Fire Control Centre at Tolvaddon

As reported in September the Conservative administration is planning to close the Fire Control Centre and centralise this important service to a “partnership” based outside of Cornwall. I oppose this proposal, but was away on holiday when the issue was discussed by the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 6th October. I did however produce a statement which was read out by one of my colleagues in the Mebyon Kernow / Green Group. It was as follows:

I am sorry that I cannot make today’s meeting, but I have asked my colleagues to pass on my views.

The leadership of Cornwall Council is presently talking about a “devolution deal,” that would bring more powers to Cornwall.

In this context, it would be ridiculous to close the Fire Control Centre. We should not be giving up “control” of the Control Centre, and allowing it to be lost to centralisation. We should not be giving up control of any of our public services – as once lost, we may never get them back again.

Any loss of the Fire Control Centre would also weaken the very basis of Cornwall’s Fire Service, and leave it open to be merged with upcountry brigades. We must do everything to protect all aspects of our Fire Service.

As the leader of the MK / Green Group, I would appeal to all members of this Scrutiny Committee to reject any proposal to take away Cornwall’s Fire Control Centre. Please show solidarity with the staff at Tolvaddon and the wider Fire Service.

Councillors were not overly supportive of the proposal, and I hope that the further scrutiny work, that they agreed to do, will rule out the loss of the Centre.

2.3 2021 census

For many years, I have been involved with the campaign to secure a Cornish nationality tick-box on the 2021 census. I was very disappointed when the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Government refused to allow such a tick-box, especially after they recognised the Cornish as a “national minority” in 2014 and promised to treat the Cornish in the same manner as the “UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”

Between 29th November and 2nd December, it was confirmed that 108,860 people (across Cornwall, England and Wales) wrote-in Cornish on the census – a 30% increase on the 83,499 who did so in 2011. In Cornwall, 17% of residents (96,380) recorded their nationality as Cornish.

I am heartened that so many people made the conscious decision to write-in Cornish. This is a powerful statement of the strength of our national identity, and it strengthens my resolve to press the ONS to include a Cornish tick-box in the next census and, more immediately, to challenge all Government departments and agencies to include Cornish as an identity option on official forms.

2.4 Loss of affordable homes

Ocean Housing recently took the decision to sell-off one of their rental properties at Manson Place, St Dennis. This is the third property in my division that this registered provider has placed on the market this year. The others were at Hall Road, St Dennis, and Beaconside, Summercourt. This follows another sale in Indian Queens (Barnfield Terrace) in 2018.

Their reasoning is that the properties are in poor condition and it would be expensive to make them meet modern environmental standards, while income from the sales would be used to improve other existing properties. I do not agree with the sales and I have spoken to Ocean about my fears that a large number of the older “council houses” will be lost to the local rental market. I have asked them for some form of moratorium on future sales.

2.5 20mph limits

Cornwall Council has a commitment to 20mph limits in villages and towns across Cornwall. This year, a pilot was carried out in two Community Networks (Camelford and Camborne / Redruth), and the feedback was positive. I recently attended an informal briefing at a meeting of the Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee about the wider roll-out of the scheme. Once agreed by Cabinet in early 2023, the work programme for the various Network Areas will be confirmed.

3.0 China Clay Area

3.1 China Clay Area Community Network

As noted previously, in my role as Chairman of the China Clay Area Community Network Panel, I have attended a range of meetings about the future of the Networks. The Council’s Conservative administration wishes to reduce the number of Networks and, at a recent meeting at Indian Queens Victory Hall, councillors were tasked to come up with suggested boundaries for a total of 12 Community Area Partnerships (CAPs).

At the present time, the geographical options include a China Clay Area CAP. The wider proposal was recently discussed by the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and will soon be considered by Cabinet and the Constitution and Governance Committee.

3.2 Clay Area Strategy

On 1st November, a meeting was held between a number of senior officers from Cornwall Council and councillors from the China Clay Area to discuss the “Towards a Strategy” document for Clay Country. Some progress was made about greater support for economic development in our area. I will report more, when the nature and extent of the support is confirmed.

3.3 Parliamentary boundary review

The review into the boundaries of the UK’s 650 parliamentary constituencies commenced in 2021 and came up with a proposal that would split Clay Country between a revised St Austell and Newquay Constituency and a revised South East Cornwall. I am pleased that the plans have been modified and Clay Country will now be kept together in a new St Austell and Newquay seat.

4.0 Solar farms

4.1 Renewable energy

There are now four proposals for solar farms in and around the St Dennis & St Enoder division (totalling over 130MW of installed capacity).

I thought it would be good to understand the context for these applications within the need for local energy generation in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council’s Climate Emergency Development Plan document sets out a target of 100% renewable electricity supply by 2030 [Policy RE1]. Figures from the unitary authority shows that Cornwall’s present “installed capacity” for electricity is 783.59 MW, which equates to 40.49% of what is needed in Cornwall. I have therefore calculated that the total amount of energy needed in Cornwall at the moment is 1,940 MW (rounded up).

St Dennis & St Enoder Division (4,878 hectares) is 1.37% of the land mass of Cornwall (356,300 hectares). Presumably, little or no renewable energy will be provided in areas of AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and I would note that the St Dennis & St Enoder Division is 1.87% of “Cornwall minus AONB” (260,500 hectares).

So, it could be argued that if renewable energy was delivered equally across Cornwall, the local share of the target could be deemed to be 1.37% - 1.87% of 1,940 MW, namely 26.6 - 36.3MW.

I have looked at what installations already exist in the parishes of St Dennis and St Enoder, and I have already identified 37.5MW of installed capacity for renewable energy.

Trefullock Moor Solar Farm (PA10/06679) - 5MW
Ennis Barton wind turbine (PA10/08030) - 0.5MW
Glebe Solar Farm (PA12/05890) - 1MW
Gaverigan wind turbine (PA12/09923) - 0.5MW
Melbur wind turbine (PA12/03846) - 0.5MW
Burthy Solar Farm (PA13/05983 / PA18/01710) - 13MW
Goonabarn wind turbines (PA13/00848 / PA17/00957) - 1MW
Incinerator - 16MW

Please note that the above figure does not include energy from small-scale installations (eg. solar panels on domestic and commercial properties).

In addition, I have been supplied with information about the biogas plant at Fraddon (NR/08/00389/WSENV / PA13/09571 / etc).

The information I have is that the facility produces biogas (not electricity), therefore a MW capacity figure cannot be given for electricity. But has the capacity to produce 1,000 cubic meters of biogas per hour and 1,000 cubic metres of gas per hour would equate to 11.36MW per hour capacity of heat. This, in theory, is enough to produce enough gas for approximately 2,000 households.

4.2 Solar farm applications

The planning application for a solar farm at Tregonning Farm (PA22/01511) in Newlyn East Parish will be going to a meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee on 15th December. I understand it will be recommended for approval. While the solar farm is not in my division, the cabling for the scheme will be excavated through St Enoder Parish, including along the old A30 through Fraddon and Indian Queens.

There will be a pre-application consultation event on another solar farm, which is proposed for land at Burthy Row / Chytane near Fraddon, on 7th December. It will be held at Fraddon Village Hall, between 2.00 and 7.00. There is also a website associated with the project. This can be found at and it will have a virtual consultation, which is going live at 2.00 on 7th December.

Local residents may also remember that a company called Statkraft did consultations on two potential solar farms in the Spring of 2021. These were located on Tresithney Farm between St Columb Road and Whitecross (St Enoder Parish) and at Trerice (St Dennis Parish). There have been no updates for the last twelve months, so I recently contacted the company. I had a conversation with a representative of the company and received the below follow-up email message.

“The solar team at Statkraft has been recruiting for new team members over the last year after some long standing Solar Century staff left unexpectedly. This has meant the team has been significantly under-resourced at a time when other projects were in later stages of development and not been able to engage at the level that Statkraft expects on our projects in Cornwall. I apologise for this and the concern that it has caused the local community.

“Statkraft aims to bring a ‘good neighbour’ ethos to all of its projects. I would like to assure you that our communication will be a lot better going forward and I trust that we can have a good working relationship with yourself and the community. In this, I will be supported by internal communications colleagues as well as our communications consultants but as I say I am personally open to discuss the project at any time.

“With the Trerice site, we will be reopening consultation in the New Year with the community and with some new surveys, etc, and will be hoping to make a planning submission around April/May next year. I will be in frequent communication regarding this going forward.

“With regards to the White Cross site, this is in a less favourable position in terms of planning and we are aware of the potential risks and effects it could cause. As such we are doing some more surveys on this at the moment and seeing how best it could be shaped/reduced to minimise any effects. There is a chance we will not move forward with this project if the risks are still too great.”

I will publicise further news as and when I get it.


5.0 Multi-use trail

In previous reports, I noted how I had submitted an unsuccessful application to a Natural England “seed corn” fund to support the work to scope out, design and cost what needs to be done to turn the section of defunct railway line between St Dennis and the Goss Moor National Nature Reserve into a multi-use trail.

I have been contacted because Natural England have an under-spend and it looks like these works can now be funded after all. I am presently liaising with Cornwall Council, the G7 legacy project and Natural England to making this happen.

6.0 Cornish Lithium

6.1 An investment zone?

On 19th October, Cornwall Council confirmed that it had submitted a bid for 17 distinct areas to be covered by investment zones. In Clay Country, three sites have been identified, namely Cornish Lithium at Trelavour, British Lithium near Roche, and the so-called garden village (eco-town) at Penwithick.

I would add that the decision to bid for an “investment” zone was made by council officers and senior members of the administration. I was not involved and I was not told about the bid until after it had been submitted.

In terms of Cornish Lithium, the proposed area is small and covers the Trelavour Kilns area, where it is proposed that processing works would take place. By comparison, the site at Roche covers a massive area covering the whole of Hensbarrow and Goonbarrow, which has much wider implications.

I understood that businesses on the specified sites, if they had been successful, would benefit from tax incentives, for example, relief on business rates and national insurance, plus tax mechanisms to support capital investment. There have been comments that there will be some de-regulation in terms of planning and environmental controls in “investment zones.”

However, following the resignation of Liz Truss as Prime Minister, it was confirmed in the subsequent Autumn Statement that all local authority bids for zoning would not be taken forward. It is understood that the UK Government will keep the policy but, in the future, will re-engineer it to focus on a smaller number of locations.

6.2 PA22/08714

Cornish Lithium and Imerys have submitted a proposal to install two temporary mobile units for use as office, welfare and amenity accommodation for staff and equipment at the Trelavour Kilns complex. This was deemed “permitted development” and therefore did not need a formal planning application as such.

6.3 Meeting

On 8th November, I was pleased to have a meeting with a number of employees of Cornish Lithium at the Trelavour site, in order to discuss their project and how they will keep local people informed.

7.0 Planning matters

7.1 Proposed dwelling off Hendra Road (PA22/02138)

I referred the above planning application to a meeting of the Central Sub-Area Planning Committee, which took place on 24th October. Kieran Sinnott spoke on behalf of the Parish Council and raised concerns about the access and junction with Hendra Road.

I meanwhile raised concerns about the (i) change in character of the historic lane and how the creation of a ‘new’ access would damage the edge of the existing lane, which may or may not be outside of the applicant’s ownership, the (ii) likely discordant impact of a new dwelling in a location, which is significantly below the level of the nearby parking area for Hendra Heights, and the (iii) lack of consideration given to issues such as screening for neighbouring properties.

I made as strong an argument as I could against the development, but the Committee granted outline planning permission for a dwelling. The detail will need to be the basis of a further reserved matters application.

The planning meeting was recorded and can be viewed at:

7.2 Proposal for solar farm at Trerice

See section 4.2 for update

7.3 St Dennis Neighbourhood Plan

I also attended a meeting of the Parish Council’s working group on the Neighbourhood Plan, and I am pleased that we will soon be reporting back on some of the findings of the questionnaire that was distributed earlier this year.

8.0 Highway schemes

Cornwall Council will soon be consulting on two small highway schemes in St Dennis Parish, which have been brought forward through the Community Network Panel’s highway scheme. These are an additional pinch-point at the southern end of Hendra Road (to slow traffic entering and leaving the village) and a small degree of parking restrictions near the kebab shop (where some households have had difficulty in gaining access to their homes).

9.0 Warm hub

As Chairman of the Board at ClayTAWC, I am pleased that we have secured some funding for the Centre to be a “warm hub” this winter. Linked to this, on the first Wednesday of every month (between 1.00 and 3.00) there will be drop-in session where local residents can get advice from a range of bodies about benefits, education and training, energy advice, social prescribing and more.


10.0 Planning

10.1 Gnomeworld (PA22/07277)

A planning application has also been submitted for the stationing of 69 residential park home dwellings at the Gnomeworld complex, in the place of most of the holiday caravans.

10.2 Housing development in Summercourt (PA22/08134)

A number of local residents have raised objections to the affordable housing led development of 20 dwellings in Summercourt, opposite New Row. Cornwall Council has also raised queries about aspects of the proposed scheme. I have met with objectors on a couple of occasions. I also recently chaired a meeting between a representative of the landowners and the objectors to discuss how elements of the development might be redesigned to address their concerns.

It is anticipated that a revised scheme for further consultation will be completed in the next few weeks.

10.3 Solar farm proposals in St Enoder Parish

See section 4.2 for updates.

10.4 Six extra gypsy / traveller pitches at Little Meadows, Toldish (PA20/03553)

Cornwall Council refused planning permission for six additional gypsy / traveller pitches at Little Meadows, Toldish, because of the adverse impact on the local countryside. The applicant appealed the decision to the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate and a hearing was held in the council offices in Bodmin on 2nd November. At this hearing, I presented evidence on a range of matters on behalf of St Enoder Parish Council and others. The decision is expected in a matter of weeks.

10.5 St Columb Road (PA22/07995)

The application for four two-bedroom flats at St Columb Road, by the road going to the rear of the Co-op has been refused because of an under-provision of car parking spaces.

11.0 Parish Council

11.1 CIL application

I have worked with the Parish Clerk to submit an application to Cornwall Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding towards the extension of the Youth Club building in the Indian Queens Recreation Ground. I can confirm that the funding application has been completed and sent in for assessment.

11.2 Strongman’s Field

I have also been working with the Parish Clerk to scope the necessary landscaping and other works to complete the works on land between Indian Queens Primary School and the Harvenna Heights estate.

11.3 Football and Indian Queens Recreation Ground

In addition, I have been involved in discussions with the adult and youth football teams about the use of the Recreation Ground for matches and training.

11.4 Meeting with HAGs

On 16th November, there was an important meeting with HAGs (who installed the play area in the Thomas Playing Field) about the future maintenance of the equipment. Also present were the Parish Clerk and Cllr Mark Kessell.

12.0 Highway matters

12.1 Pedestrianised crossings in Summercourt

The timetable for the installation of the pedestrianised crossings on three arms of the crossroads at Summercourt has just been confirmed. The works will be carried out during March-May 2023.

12.2 Study into road through Fraddon and St Columb Road / Improvements at Sea View Terrace

I had a meeting with a senior highway officer on 3rd November about two ongoing assessments of local highway issues. I can confirm that a draft of a road safety audit from Penhale to the Halloon roundabout has been completed and I fed back some of my initial thoughts. A further follow-up meeting will be held quite soon.

In terms of proposed road safety improvements at Sea View Terrace, on the road between Fraddon and St Stephen, Cornwall Council is proposing two vehicle-activated signs warning people to slow down as they approach the terrace of houses in the locality, along with an improved parking area for residents. I hope to have finalised plans in the near-future.

13.0 Remembrance Sunday

I was pleased to attend the annual Remembrance Sunday event at St Enoder Churchtown on 12th November and to read out the names of the fallen. I was also pleased to supply information about three servicemen (Wilfred Howard Pearce, Wallace Ambrose Truscott and Trevor Carus Wilson) who were lost in the First World War and whose lives were featured in the church service.

The service at St Dennis was held at the same time as the St Enoder event and I was therefore unable to attend. I remain grateful to the Chairman of St Dennis Parish Council, Julia Clarke, who ensured that a wreath was laid on my behalf at the St Dennis commemoration.


14.0 Advice

Over the last month, I have also assisted numerous households and individuals with guidance and advice on a range of topics. Over the last few weeks, I have reported numerous episodes of fly-tipping.