‘Why the different positions, out of sight, out of mind?
10:35am Wednesday 16th May 2012 in Skipper
SO, residents are up in arms again with the news that an appeal has been issued after planning permission was refused, twice, for new factory units to be built on land between Falmouth and Budock Water.
Now, I am sure we can all sympathise with those people alarmed at the thought of a new industrial estate being built on the green fields at the bottom of their garden, but there is something about this story that illustrates the strange world of planning applications.
At the heart of the application is Rowe’s – the Falmouth and Penryn-based pasty makers.
The project would provide them with new facilities, which would allow them to increase output and to secure vital new contracts.
The necessity of the application was highlighted last month with the announcement of redundancies from the company.
Public support for the pasty-making industry has never been stronger. Hundreds of people were willing to brave the rain to take to Falmouth’s streets to protest at Government plans to levy VAT on hot pastries.
However, no one appears willing to support the building of new facilities to help Rowe’s secure its future for the long term.
I am sure there will be local protestors who insist it is nothing to do with not wanting the company to expand – and that the problem is merely with the location of the proposed new units.
However, if that was the case, why hasn’t another site been identified by the company rather than pursuing expensive appeals and resubmissions of the plans?
There is also another precedent being set in Falmouth at present when it comes to planning applications.
Plans to dredge the docks have caused an outcry from environmental campaigners, while advocates of the plans say their importance to the town’s economic well-being mean they must be granted the go-ahead as soon as possible.
When you cut it down to the bare facts, it seems people are happy to see the maerl damaged in Falmouth Bay to allow economic regeneration to take place, but are not willing to see a green field dug up to help a business expand in the town.
I am sure many reading this will be spluttering with indignation, but I am simply saying it seems a little odd to take such conflicting points of view when it comes to an application simply because it sits in your backyard.