Village News

Christmas Lights

190726 | Hayle’s long wait for harbour redevelopment could soon be over


Hayle’s long wait for harbour redevelopment could soon be over

Posted By Peter Tremayne on 26th July 2019

By Peter Tremayne

A 35-year wrangle over how Hayle harbour might be redeveloped has taken a major step forward, after Cornwall Council planners finally approved proposals for the North Quay.

The potential for damage to the World Heritage Site led to the deferral of a planning application in May. Yesterday (Thursday) planners backed a revised scheme, with a reduction in the height of some buildings which officials and councillors said were now acceptable.

Although the Ramblers Association remains concerned about access to the coastal path, Hayle Town Council supported the application. Historic England, the World Heritage Site team and the Environment Agency all raised no objections. This is the first phase of a larger overall redevelopment package and further planning applications are expected shortly.

The committee heard that there had been major changes to the proposed development since it was granted outline planning permission in 2010.

Local councillor John Pollard said it had been a “long process, but it’s important that we get the best possible development, and one which is both sensible and appropriate. I still have concerns. But this is probably about the best we’re going to get.”

Neighbouring councillor Graham Coad agreed. “I’ve been in support of this for quite some time,” he said. “Please let us have this development. It might be our last chance. This is an improvement on what was there before.”

The committee voted 13-0 to approve the revised scheme, with new chair Dulcie Tudor abstaining.

The current plans include 151 homes, 2,104 sq m of retail space, 595 sq m of business space, 343 sq m of fishermen’s storage space and 305 parking spaces. There would also be a large amount of public open space and the harbour area would be open for public access. Councillor Andrew Long was concerned that an “affordable” part of the overall scheme would have to be “triggered” by other parts, in the name of “market viability.”

The planning committee heard that Developers Sennybridge (Hayle) Ltd had worked with the council, local people and stakeholders including the World Heritage Site team to come up with a design which would be suitable.

The scheme is the latest in a long line of ideas for the regeneration of Hayle harbour. Readers with long memories will recall Peter de Savary’s grand designs of the 1980s and 90s.

Planning officials said: “Hayle harbour was the most important import/export port in Cornwall during the 18th and 19th centuries and despite the decline of Cornish mining the harbour area continued to be an important industrial centre for most of the 20th century until the closure of the power station on North Quay in the 1970’s, which marked the start of a sharp and spiralling decline.

“The potential of Hayle Harbour has been long recognised and over the last four decades the harbour has been bought and sold by a succession of owners with grand visions to regenerate the harbour area, all of these have failed to deliver.”

The planning debate came after a complex series of negotiations which have seen the council pledge millions of pounds to the scheme.

The investment follows a 2010 bid to kick-start the project, when, Cornwall Council paid for a £23 million scheme to deliver infrastructure, services and enabling works to open up North Quay for development. “However, five years after the completion of the North Quay enabling works, there are no visible signs of progress,” according to an official council report.

For most of this period the site was in different ownership and now officials hope the future will be different. “Over the last 24 months the council has been working with SHL to unlock and accelerate delivery of a high quality regeneration scheme and secure the future of the operational harbour,” says the report.


Artist impression elevations for the proposed development of South Quay in Hayle harbour
Cornwall Council hopes that its involvement in the development at Hayle Harbour, as seen in this artist's impression, will help provide 600 homes and 600 jobs