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What’s up – Christmas 2015

Posted by on November 27, 2015 in News - No comments

It would appear that the Railway Station forecourt project is ‘on hold’ – not sure of the reason, but I have spoken to Emma Brown, the new Cornwall Manager of Network Rail, about a planting scheme. I’ve also raised the condition of the Black Bridge, and she is looking into the schedule to see what works are planned.

Richard Budge has reported to the Parks Committee that plans are afoot to raise money to provide a new facility at Victoria Gardens – a chance for some design challenge I hope. I will certainly push for it.

I am extremely concerned about the state of Boscawen Street. The amount of buses now using it, coupled with the various patches undertaken over the past couple of years, leaves it very irregular, with a large pit outside Waterstones (sufficient to gather water into a lakelet when it rained – I almost expected to find badgers and foxes drinking from it when I walked across town late in the torrent!). Highways are looking into it with a view to action quickly – I am advocating for a complete re-lay of setts instead of patchwork.

Tomorrow is the Comprehensive Spending Review – local government is on tenterhooks! We could see deeper cuts and the end of active conservation, amongst other things.

I’m pleased to say that Cornwall Council and Truro City Council are moving relatively quickly towards the transfer of Coosebean Cycle path and surrounding land to TCC. This will be a significant addition to the amenities of Truro – 30 odd acres of woodland. Mr Budge will have his work cut out to get it under management but he is eager for the challenge.

The big issue for Truro is, once again, what do we do about the Carrick site. There are two owners, Cornwall Council and a development company. What should the site be used for?

I have advanced the view that we should re-establish the traditional streets, declare building lines and sell off the modern equivalent of burgage strips (plots), thereby encouraging a mix of development, with housing, light industry, services – a neighbourhood aimed at allowing the town to ‘breathe’ and to adapt to change – the contrary of a land assembly project – a sort of site dis-assemblement! I am encouraging officers at CC to meet Mike Jenks (Ch. Falmouth Civic Soc, and professor of Sustainable Urban Design) to take his view. We can either go into yet another battle to stop over-development and economic subservience, or campaign for rekindling the town – investing in local businesses and families.

The fire in Duke Street saw Duke St, St Mary’s St, New Bridge St and Quay St all shut for about ten days. The fire has been relatively merciful to the building, although all the businesses which traded from it (five in all) have suffered badly.

Business was perilous for a few days but Building Control rode to the recuse, with the assistance of both owners, and the scaffolding erected to support the building and open the streets. It will be some time before works are completed but I understand that most of the building (probably not the latterly added top floor) can be saved. It was allegedly arson.

The nightclub, L2 has shut. This looks likely to be redeveloped – it’s a prominent site and design values will need to be monitored.

The football club has obtained its planning consent after a lengthy and very public battle. Although the outcome in planning terms will not be a great asset to Truro – an out-of-town shopping development at Treyew and an even further out of town football ground, the sweeping up of the football club into to the foment around the stadium was unfair and unjustified. It is now sorted.

There is a forthcoming review of taxi ranks. I am very concerned that we should ensure that the Boscawen Street rank by the War Memorial is retained. Locations which are viable are not easy to find and any suggestions would be good.

I have had a fairly lively time of it lately (don’t mention bus lanes!) so I’ve been a bit distracted from other Trurra affairs. I would like to initiate a discussion through the winter about the future direction and leadership of the Society. I’ve been Chair for some time and sense that it’s time for a change. What do you think?

Finally, Nadelik Lowen ha Bledhyn Noweth da.

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