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Nine hours of talks but no verdict

After the Strategic Planning committee's mammoth meeting to discuss the Hayle Supermarket options (see Nine hours of talks but no verdict | thisisccornwall.co.uk) things are not much clearer, though two things do seem clear -

  • Sainsburys on the Marsh lane site seems to have been ruled out
  • ING RED (UK) Ltd have been given another chance

I'm impressed by the Strategic Planning Committee's efforts to square the impossible circle of four schemes - none with overwhelming local support - and the wildcard of ING RED )UK_ Ltd's seemingly half-hearted offers which seem to consist of 'a supermarket would make us lots of money' so we must have it.  English Heritage turned their scheme down as being unsuitable

I've been astonishedat the sheer ineptitude displayed by ING RED Limited and their advisors.

 

For example take their letter of Objection to the Sainsburys plans for Marsh Lane from 3rd November 2010 which said (my highlighting):

As the Council is aware, ING is firmly committed to delivering a foodstore of an appropriate scale on the sequentially preferable South Quay site, along with a range of other uses and supporting works. ING is currently finalising a revised hybrid planning application to be submitted in November. This will address, inter alia, previous concerns expressed by key stakeholders with regard to the design of the store and its impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and World Heritage Site (WHS). It will also address other comments received from the local community following a further round of detailed public consultation and a public exhibition in the town centre.

Did the plan address these concerns - no.

They then say

ING’s revised application will address all the ssues raised by the applicant’s HIA. The application has involved a thorough review of the ignificance of South Quay in the context of the WHS designation and is accompanied by an archaeological dig. The revised South Quay application will clearly demonstrate that the proposals:

  • respond to the heritage context of South Quay and in particular respect the scale of the wharfs, nearby foundry buildings, estuarine spaces and railway viaduct. This is achieved by locating the foodstore close to the railway viaduct so that it reflects the concentration of former industrial buildings on the southern part of the quay ensemble.
  • will introduce heritage benefits which include securing repairs to the Quay wall that are listed buildings, introducing a retaining wall along an area of unstable fill at Carnsew Dock, respecting and marking the extent of the former slipways in the proposals. As part of the application a place for the relocation of the Goonvean engine will be indentified and dedicated for this purpose.  The pattern shop and land will be passed to the Harvey’s Foundry Trust for restoration.
  • enhance the character and appearance of this part of the Hayle Conservation Area by restoring the walls of the quay, introducing public spaces as well as restoring and reclaiming a derelict area. The proposed buildings enhance the appearance of this part of the Conservation Area.
  • do not harm the Outstanding Universal Value of the WHS as described by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at its meeting in August 2010. There is a general presumption that development proposals should be complementary to the values of the historic urban landscape and the proposals achieve a high standard of design. This is achieved by introducing a design for a retail store which has a resonance with architecture of warehouses on quays and is of a high standard of design.

Furthermore, the derelict quay (a listed building), will be repaired and enhanced. Public access will be ensured within an area which will be dedicated and laid out as a promenade around the perimeter of the quay and along the quay walls. An area of public open space will be formed at the north end of the quay so that the harbour, quays and estuary will be enjoyed by the public. The proposals do not harm the setting of nearby listed buildings.

In summary, ING’s scheme will not harm the WHS designation. On the contrary, the significant investment planned will bring forward much needed heritage repairs and gains.

 

So how are they going to find a clue in the next four months that they haven't been able to find since last November?

 

 

Meanwhile, I noticed in the local press an article about Par Docks ('Pioneer' inspired by chance call) which is a fascinating contrast to ING's 'strategy' - for example:

While Cornwall's Clay Country may have its own "White Mountains", the industrially-scarred landscape could not be further removed from that of the Egyptian coast or the Alps, but it made no odds to Mr Sawiris, who leapt at the opportunity after a chance phonecall from Alex Yule-Smith, now managing director of joint venture company Eco-Bos, which will deliver the development.

Mr Sawiris explained: "Some years ago, Alex was sailing in front of that area in his boat, and he looked at Par Docks and thought: 'What a shame. Somebody should do something about this place because it has been left to rot unnecessarily and it is in such a strategic location. Who do I know who would be willing to do something like this?' – so he called me from the boat; I remember it very well.

"He texted me and asked if I could talk. He said: 'I'm sitting in front of this place; I'm going to send you some pictures and tell me if you would be interested in pursuing the potential of transforming this dead dock into a marina, like the ones you've been building in the Middle East'.

"I said: 'Any day'. He sent the pictures and I looked at them and it was like: 'Wow'. I could already see it.

"There were these industrial buildings; replace them with proper buildings, streets, homes, shops, restaurants, little hotels – I could see it immediately. It was amazing."

and

What's now on the Eco-Bos drawing board are plans for one of the most sustainable new communities in Europe. The company – a joint venture between Orascom and Imerys – plans to redevelop six former china clay sites to provide around 5,500 homes, of which up to 40 per cent will be low cost.

Use of renewable energies will sit alongside sustainable transport infrastructure. It also hopes to create 5,000 jobs – and then there's the plan to transform Par Docks into a luxury waterside marina at a cost of more than £100 million.

Consultation with the public has been refreshingly honest, with plans being tweaked, where possible, to accommodate feedback. A number of exhibitions have already been staged.

It marks a major departure from other schemes, where final plans have been submitted for planning permissions without so much as a by-your-leave to the local community.

For Mr Sawiris, though, it is simply a matter of common sense.

"First of all, the more you talk to people, the more you learn," he said. "The more you learn from them, the more you develop your own ideas, on the basis of solid information.

"The thing I learned most from my education in Germany was how stupid I am. Don't rely on your information or your knowledge; look for it.

"Who am I to come and tell people here what's good for them?

"Who are they, those architects, just because they have a certificate, to tell people how they should live in their own homes?

 

Seems a shame that Alex Yule-Smith doesn't holiday in St Ives - vision like that would be great for Hayle...


Nine hours of talks but no verdict -thisiscornwall.co.uk

PLANNERS in Cornwall sat through one of the longest and most expensive meetings in history only to put off a decision on bids for a supermarket in Hayle for another five months.

Councillors on the authority's strategic planning committee deliberated for nearly nine hours on applications from ING, Morrisons, Asda, Hayle RFC and Sainsbury's, yet were unable to reach a decision.

Cornwall Council said there are only two previous examples of similar length meetings in the past – they both lasted just over eight hours.

And hundreds of thousands of pounds, including a £90,000 fee from the applicants to the council, were spent on reports and consultancy fees prior to last Wednesday's meeting.

Harbour owner ING's regeneration proposal for South Quay – the only one recommended for approval – was deferred after about four hours of the meeting.

Councillors were concerned about design, layout, a cinema, a footbridge, and the impact on the local fishing community.

The committee also deferred Morrison's plan for Carnsew Quay pending further information on traffic and a conclusion about the South Quay scheme.

But members appeared minded to approve Asda's out-of-town scheme at Hayle Rugby Club ground despite a recommendation for refusal.

It took the council's assistant head of planning and regeneration, Andrew England, several attempts to remind the panel that the scheme had failed the "sequential test", which says that sites nearer the town centre should be developed first.

Sainsbury's out-of-town application for a store at Marsh Lane was rejected while Hayle Rugby Club withdrew its relocation plan to Carwin Rise.

Issues

After the meeting the applicants said they would spend the next five months amending their schemes and addressing the issues raised.

Lucie Anne Brailsford, for Asda, said afterwards: "We are confident that we can resolve all queries relating to highways in the next month or so and we are happy to negotiate on opening hours as the committee suggests."

Gary Cartmell, a spokesman for ING, said the company is happy to accommodate any "twists and turns" the committee wishes to put forward.

"We are quite happy to explore further the issues the council suggested and see how best we can respond to them," he said.

"Our plans are the most expensive and complicated to deliver, and we understand that there are people who have different views how regeneration should be done, but nobody but us is coming forward with £200 million to deliver the regeneration of Hayle."

Sainsbury's said it was disappointed with the council's decision.

People in Hayle were divided in their reaction to the three deferrals and one refusal. While some on the Cornishman's Facebook page claimed the meeting was a waste of money others believed the extra time allows the applicants to get their schemes right.

Camborne, Redruth and Hayle's Conservative MP George Eustice, who openly backs ING, said: "I was disappointed that the planning meeting did not reach a clear conclusion this time around.

Farce

"But I am convinced that the ING proposal delivers the most for Hayle because it brings new life into the town."

Owen Philp, chairman of Hayle Harbour Support Group, said he was disgusted. He said: "It was a farce from the beginning to the end and very disappointing."

Hayle town councillor Harry Blakely, who is also the chairman of the town's residents association, said: "People want South Quay developed but they do not want a supermarket there."

Meanwhile Bob Amos, from the Hayle Pioneerium project, said he hopes ING will listen and engage with the cinema project better during the interim period.

He added: "It's not just about a cinema but creating other community benefits for the people of Hayle and a honeypot for the development."

Cornwall Councillor John Pollard, representing Hayle North, said: "Although I am disappointed we now have five months to sort it out and must sort it out.

"It reflects what a difficult decision it is."

 

 

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