Penzance town council's Isles of Scilly sea link scheme partially rejected by Cornwall Council (From Falmouth Packet)
Penzance town council's Isles of Scilly sea link scheme partially rejected by Cornwall Council
4:00pm Monday 10th September 2012 in News
Cornwall Council Leader Alec Robertson has reconfirmed the authority’s commitment to protecting the vital sea link between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly, but has rejected parts of a scheme suggested by Penzance Town Council.
In a response to the letter sent by Penzance Town Council setting out its scheme to improve the harbour last week, Mr Robertson says that while Cornwall Council fully supports the principle of a scheme, it is concerned that planning issues mean that some of the town council’s proposals cannot be delivered within the Government ’s existing timescale.
Mr Robertson says he has written to the mayor of Penzance suggesting how this can be delivered within the timescale and funding restrictions set by the government.
“We share the commitment of Penzance Town Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly to maintaining the sea link” said Mr Robertson.
“Over the past few days we have considered the request by the Town Council to support their scheme”.
“The Department of Transport has been clear that the window of opportunity for securing public finding for a scheme for Penzance and St Mary’s harbours is very short and, therefore, any scheme has to fall within the works approved by the current harbour revision orders.
"The scheme developed by Penzance Town Council will require a fresh harbour revision order for Penzance which will defeat the funding application.
“Clearly we need to avoid this outcome. An opportunity exists for us to secure the Scilly’s link through a scheme acceptable through the Department for Transport and which meets their requirement that it is deliverable within existing consents.
"This will require an amendment to a part of Penzance Town Council’s scheme and we have written to the Town Council indicating our willingness to promote this scheme jointly with them. "
Chris Ridgers, the council’s portfolio holder for economy and regeneration said: “Last month’s announcement by British International Helicopters that the helicopter service will end at the end of October means that it is essential that we all work together to protect this vital transport link between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland.
“While the planning and consequential financial issues mean we cannot support all of the measures within the Town Council’s scheme, we are keen to support as much as we can” added Mr Ridgers.
“This includes the dredging works at Penzance and the lengthening of the quay at St Mary’s which would provide more deep water mooring and increase the range and size of vessels which could use both harbours”.
“This would meet the minister’s requirements for a simpler more cost effective scheme that could be carried out within the existing permissions and available funding“ said Alec Robertson.
“Not only would it maintain the sea link, it would also keep the door open to carry out the wider regeneration measures proposed by the Town Council in the future when these issues have been resolved. “