Town Council takes on Pz-IoS Link project

2011-09-19

The Town Council has today agreed to take the lead in developing an alternative to the Cornwall Council and Route Partnership Isles of Scilly Link Scheme. The Town Council initiative will oversee work leading up to the identification of a popular alternative scheme for Penzance Harbour.

The Council has agreed to create a Penzance Harbour Scheme Management Board - consisting of five Town Councillors, three representatives of the Penzance Seafront Forum, and individuals from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company and Cornwall Council - to manage the project.

The first task of the Board will be to finalise and submit to the Department for Transport (DfT) a funding application to cover the costs associated with carrying out the necessary public consultation and identifying an alternative option (the DfT have agreed in principle to fund this work). The Town Council will work closely with the Seafront Forum who will provide help particularly in respect of the extensive planned public consultation. The Management Board will also develop a brief for the consultants who will be asked to review the current situation and come up with new options for Penzance Harbour. A draft of the brief already exists and it identifies a number of requirements for the final chosen option, including that it attracts widespread public support. Other requirements are that it costs less and does not require a new Harbour Revision Order (this is the legal document that describes the boundaries of the harbour).

The intention of the Town Council is that the new Harbour Scheme Management Board will take the process up to the point where a ready-prepared and publicly supported scheme can be handed over to Cornwall Council, who will then take on responsibility for drawing down DfT and other funds and delivering the chosen option. The essential foundations for this work were laid by Andrew George's "coalition of the willing".

A similar approach is being taken by the Council of the Isles of Scilly for improvements to the harbour at St Marys. The DfT has made it clear that while it is okay for the two harbour schemes to progress separately at this stage, no one scheme can ultimately go ahead without the other. The DfT has also made it clear that any changes to the vessels operating on the route will be the responsibility of the private sector operator.

While the fate of “Option A” and the availability of reduced funding mean that many of the public’s concerns about the proposed Penzance harbour development have been taken care of, there are still likely to be issues that will require our attention in the weeks ahead. The Friends of Penzance Harbour will work with and through the Seafront Forum to address any such issues, but anyone with an interest in what is happening at the harbour is encouraged to get involved with the Seafront Forum directly (see link below). The Forum will meet shortly to discuss the Town Council’s initiative and to organise its involvement in the new Management Board.

Seafront Forum

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