Blunt not the heart, enrage it! *

A new government and new relaxations – no planning consent required for brownfield sites!

I have circulated to all members copies of the Conservation Area Appraisal. It shows that the town has been looked at in detail, or rather the Conservation Area has, whilst things such as Tremorvah House have been excluded. We will see development begin in the grounds of Parklands soon. Whilst we have managed to retain the Lutyens-style house designed by Alfred Cornelius, its grounds will be filled with houses, roads and gardens – 21 houses!

Over on Moresk Road, along Idless Lane behind the ‘White Cottage’ (occupied until recently by Mrs Palmer) we have an application for a single dwelling in a field which has been allocated by the Carrick Local Plan (still the extant Plan) for allotments. To ameliorate planners a small corner has been offered for four allotments (the waiting list of about 80), whilst the siting of the proposed dwelling in in the corner immediate above the White Cottage, leaving much ‘field’…..well, for what?

I sent a copy of the Ombudsman’s Report on a complaint lodged by a resident of St Erth some time ago in which he confirmed that the only way to change an agricultural land classification is to follow a formal process managed by Natural England. Simply retaining consultants who assert that land is not what MAFF/Defra say it is, is simply not good enough – and yet applications from Tregurra to Langarth have simply ignored this.

A fresh application is in the works to improve the mitigation provisions for the proposed Recycling Centre at Tregurra. Member will recall that this is the location of a Neolithic ‘Causewayed Enclosure’ or ‘henge’. Having not been identified by English Heritage during its analysis of the pre-application geo-physical survey, this feature was not scheduled, as it should have been. Consent having now been granted, it is too late to protect it, and therefore we talking the language of ‘mitigation’ – NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

I understand that it is now being put about that the MURF at Newham is not big enough or good enough to deal with the recyclate from the Truro catchment – this is questionable. It may not handle the material collected by the carts doing a daily run, but it is better to have an old MURF on a Recycling Centre than no MURF, because it reduces the number of times material has to be handled, and therefore reduces costs. Of course, I’m wrong because I wear sandals!

Weeds are abounding as the cuts in revenue budget prevent the Council from controlling them. A-Frame signs are also abounding which impede the highway (pavement). Every now and then it is necessary to impound them, and I suspect that we are at this point in the cycle of attrition.

There seems to be a lack of communication at the site of the former Agriculture House in Strangways Terrace, which means that the development which is underway is causing confusion about what is being built. Should the Planning Department publish non-material amendments to consents so that neighbours, objectors and statutory partners know what is supposed to be actually happening?

A piece appeared in the West Briton last week describing how the Higher Newham development, which includes 150 houses and 53,000sf of commercial floorspace, will make the by-pass (aka Morlaix Avenue) look attractive by introducing a 50mph speed limit and planting wild flowers up the central reservation. The article failed to point out that a new application for the development still seeks to cut an access for the development into the A39, Truro by-pass, busy commuter route, dual carriageway gateway to southern Cornwall, including Penryn, Falmouth, Tremough University Campus, Helston, RNAS Culdrose, the Lizard and the quarrying and farming district around Breage and Constantine. The access can ‘just’ be tolerated within safety parameters, as it lies on the crest of the hill, just 100 yards or so before the Arch Hill junction. The application was turned down recently (and is at appeal) because the junction was deemed unsafe and unsound by the Planning Committee. It appears that, despite the committee’s decision, the Department has agreed to allow the access. This raises questions about the authority of the committee, and about the practice of ‘embedding’ highways officers’ within the planning department. The development should be accessed via Higher Newham Lane (first left along Newham Road) or it should not be allowed to occur. To impede a primary route in the A Road network in this way is, in my view, unacceptable.

Work continues to try and re-model the Arch Hill junction to accommodate the Tolgarrick development. Increasing numbers of people are suggesting that it would be best to leave the brilliant Arch Hill junction alone – no replacement can be nearly as good – and to allow traffic from Tolgarrick to find its way into the network – it seems housing estates are requiring the main highway network to serve their needs to the exclusion and disruption of the majority of road users, and at the detriment of a safe, efficient highway which provides an infrastructure to serve the whole town.

The houses at Penn an Dre leer over the trees towards Highertown – why are they so big and so intrusive?

A meeting to consider the ill-fated plans for Truro Football Club draws nigh. I have written and sent messages to try and see if a different approach to this site could be achieved which would keep the football club in its present field, close to the railway station, closely connected to the town and offering overspill parking that generates revenue for the Club. I even thought Lord Falmouth might be interested, as he is known to support sport as a means of forming character and developing excellence. The result of the present application, if it is successful, will be a mundane shopping estate and a football club at Threemilestone, the latter extending even further the development ‘boundary’ of the Truro urban area – Chivvy, here we come!

Lastly, we continue to bear witness to the absurd project going on along Lemon Quay, where the contractor is going to erect a steel structure to support the façade of the new Primark whilst a new four storey shop is built which will occupy all the service land to the rear. A crane is being erected inside the shop before it is demolished which will be taken down once the building is done and removed through the front door. This building is barely a decade old and already we are ripping it about. It was not be best building in the first place – in Truro’s Conservation Area – what will its replacement look like?

An old friend returned to Truro for a week to have a look around, to breathe the air and look up a few old pals. He said, when we met: ‘It feels as if there is a madness abroad. Everybody’s tense. Nobody seems to like Trurra anymore. The air’s polluted. Streets are full of people scowling at each other over parking spaces – even the gulls are behaving like they’re on edge. See’ee ‘gin. I’m gone down Sunny Corner for a sit down!’


July 2015

*Macbeth (4.3.228-9), Malcolm to Macduff 

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