2012 update 1. 30th may AGM
Some of you have been asking me what The Friends of Pendower Beach have been up to since our big meeting on changes to the planning system last October. The answer is quite a bit, but it's tended to be low key, background stuff to set us up for the challenges we face in the year ahead.
The next steps are crucial, so we need your support. They will be discussed in full at our AGM. Please put the date in your diary: 7.30pm on Wednesday 30th May at Portscatho Memorial Hall.
The formal part of the meeting will only take a few minutes, but we need as many as possible to be there. Supporters who have paid a subscription are Members. We need a minimum of 25 Members to vote on the constitution, approve the annual report and accounts and elect trustees for the coming year.
The main part of the meeting will concentrate on two key issues. The first is what specific measures we can take to protect Pendower Beach in the years ahead. We have some ideas on setting guidelines for the site which we'll be discussing with Cornwall Council and the parish councils concerned. We need their agreement before we can go any further. We hope to have more information to report on at the meeting.
The second key issue is how the Government's new planning legislation, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Cornwall's own new Core Strategy could affect planning decisions on the Roseland and specifically the Pink Hotel site. What can we do to ensure that planning policy reflects the concerns not just of our supporters but of all those who live locally?
As the speakers at our October meeting made clear, the NPPF and the Core Strategy require that Parish Councils, either individually or as a cluster, help generate a Neighbourhood Plan which sets out, within the limits set by the Core Strategy, what local people want. The Neighbourhood Plan, if voted for at a local referendum, is then legally binding on the Council and its Planning Department. Without a Neighbourhood Plan, there is no certainty that areas such as Pendower will be protected from inappropriate development.
This raises important questions for the Friends of Pendower Beach. Pendower needs a Neighbourhood Plan, but it is the Parish Councils who are responsible for producing it. How can we influence and support the process? Here is something you can do to help:
Our Roseland Councillor Julian German has organised a neighbourhood planning cluster meeting on Wednesday 15th May for the parish councillors of Roseland parishes. Please contact the Clerk or Chairman of your parish council and also any parish councillors you know personally. (See attachment for contact details.) Please ask them to go to the meeting on your behalf and tell them why you think a Neighbourhood Plan is important. We have set out the key points in the letter attached to this update. Either send it as it is or put it in your own words. Or ring up any of your friends who are councillors and talk to them.
The key point is to make sure that all our councillors know how strongly many people on the Roseland feel about the importance of a neighbourhood plan. We will be discussing developments at the AGM and will be inviting all Roseland Councillors to the meeting. You can also help by extending a personal invitation where you can. Julian German is preparing a short summary on neighbourhood planning which I will circulate, but meanwhile if you'd like any further information just let me know.
The FPB Committee has, as you can see, been focusing on future strategy. Meanwhile we are faced with a more domestic but no less urgent problem. Our Planning Coordinator Steve Watson has had to step down for health reasons. Our Treasurer Peter Gane, who also does a fantastic job as Website Manager, will be moving out of the county in the not too distant future. We're looking for people to step into these three roles. Can you help? The Committee meets every couple of months or so and does a small amount of business by email, so the amount of work involved is limited. If you can commit some time and ideas to the work we're doing, even if only for a few months, this would help us enormously. I'd be delighted to hear from you if you're interested or want to ask me anything before committing yourself, so please don't be shy!
To end this update on a positive note, many of you may have noticed that the Pink Hotel has opened again. Welcome to the Basking Shak. The new enterprise, started up this season by Tom, Charlie and Harry Goldsmith, serves drinks and ice cream, barbecues, cream teas and homemade cake by Mrs Goldsmith. It's open 10am to 5pm, extending to 9am to 6pm during the main season. We wish the team every success.
Finally don't forget the National Trust's beach clean at 2pm on the first Monday of the month. The next is on is Monday 7th May.
We look forward to seeing you all at the AGM on 30th May and will circulate a formal agenda before the meeting.
Meanwhile warmest thanks for your continued support.
All the best
Friends of Pendower Beach