Residents in Penzance are unhappy with the development of the new creative hub, claiming the planning process to be 'horribly unfair.'

Local people are expressing their frustration with Cornwall Council after works began on a new creative hub, dubbed the The Penzance Creative Cluster.

A petition complaining about the development has been written up and is circulating among locals in Penzance that has now reached over 1,600 signatures.

Teri Barrow, a local resident and the organiser behind the petition told The Packet that her attempts to talk to the Council had been met with dismissal and left her demoralised.

Teri said: "I raised a petition, got over 1,600 signatures, I spoke to everybody on the planning committee, sent them all emails, and nobody even acknowledged an email from me, let alone responded to any of my points.

Falmouth Packet: An artist's impression of the planned creative hub.An artist's impression of the planned creative hub.

"At the time we lived less than 100 yard away from where this new development was going up, and he first we heard about it was Christmas 2019 and I was told by a councillor 'well, there's nothing you can do, it's going to go ahead, all you can do is change the look of the building,' which I thought was quite extraordinary.

"Then during Covid, they managed to sort of sneak it all through, they barely adhered to the planning regulations that you have to do if you're going to put up a building anywhere.

"Also on their website somewhere is their statement on how they intend to become carbon neutral and that reusing old buildings is better than putting up new ones, and yet somehow they managed to get planning through for an enormous modern hub right in the heart of the conservation area, removing a carpark.

"Now the council say they own the carpark so they can build on it, but they only have to apply to themselves for planning, so it's hardly surprising they passed it.

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"At the time residents looked at the plans, nothing was mentioned about building a rubbish collection site opposite on the other side of the road, because the building they're going to put up doesn't have any space for rubbish bins apparently.

"It seems unfair that this wasn't mentioned in the original plans.

"If we want to paint our house a strange colour, we're not allowed to, we have to apply for planning; the lady who's having the rubbish collection built opposite her, she put on an extension at the back of her house and was told she couldn't have an two stories because it was a conservation area.

"But Cornwall Council can, right opposite her, put up a four or five storey modern building, and that's okay because they can pass it for themselves.

"There's one rule for Cornwall Council and what they want to do and another rule for people, the residents who live there.

"It just seems horribly unfair."

Falmouth Packet: Residents have started a petition which has sop far collected over 1,600 signatures.Residents have started a petition which has sop far collected over 1,600 signatures.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council responded to these allegations saying: "The Penzance Creative Cluster was developed in response to local demand from the creative sector for dedicated workspace and the project forms part of a wider strategy to regenerate and reinvigorate Penzance town centre.  

"The application for the Penzance Creative Cluster was subject to full scrutiny at the Council’s West Sub Area Planning Committee in June 2020 and unanimously approved by members.

"There were more messages of support than objections to the planning application.  

"The fully enclosed bin store was included within the original planning application and can be noted on the drawings submitted with the application.

"When built, this secure site, on Cornwall Council owned land, will only be accessible to tenants of the Creative Cluster for disposal of their recyclable waste.

"We are currently working on the final designs of the bin store which will be sympathetic to the local surroundings." 

Announcing the beginning of works on the hub, Stephen Rushworth, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for economy, said: "This dedicated workspace will help encourage collaboration and innovation for businesses in a sector that is fast growing within the Cornish economy.

"It is crucial that we bring businesses and jobs to our town centres if we are to revitalise our high streets, which is why the Penzance Creative Cluster is not only great news for creative businesses, but for the town centre too."

Mark Jones, Operational Director at Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, said: "As a Cornwall-based business, we are delighted to work with Cornwall Council on this exciting regeneration project, kick-start the regeneration of the town and using the construction phase to maximise opportunities for employment through our local supply chain."