Premier Inn plans decision
2:25pm Thursday 13th December 2012 in Skipper
So, after months and months of acrimonious debate, it appears the controversial plans for a Premier Inn in Falmouth town centre are set to be given the go-ahead.
A report prepared for Thursday’s strategic planning committee has recommended councillors give the scheme the green light.
It means the committee’s members are effectively forced into a corner - as, if they decide to go against the report and refuse planning permission, they risk paying the costs of an expensive appeal which would see the hotel granted permission anyway.
The news will no doubt come as a bitter blow to opponents of the scheme, who have put together a fact-based and hard-hitting series of objections to the hotel plans.
Their concerns over the effects on parking in the area will no doubt be shared by all of us who have driven in circles around the area in the summer looking for a space in vain.
It is also hard to dismiss the fears raised by residents of the neighbouring flats, who are about to lose the views out of their windows, which will be replaced by a close-up of a hotel wall.
Sadly though, planning laws are weighted seemingly in favour of new businesses rather than any existing ones, and the perceived benefits of a new budget hotel in the town centre outweigh all the concerns expressed.
Knowing that they ran an effective, but eventually unsuccessful campaign will be of little comfort to the hundreds of objectors to the scheme.
Sadly, the support they received from the town’s elected representatives was less than they could have hoped for.
Councillors from all parties, and from both the town council and Cornwall Council, have seemed curiously uninterested in voicing any opposition to the plans.
Those who are on the planning committee are not allowed to speak out before any decision is made, but those not involved have also stayed strangely quiet.
Maybe more time should be spent on issues that actually affect the people of the town they represent rather than on vanity projects no one has asked for.