Option A: two years of hell!

2009-10-22

Criticism of the Cornwall Council plan to build on Battery Rocks beach has so far focused on long term impacts, but details are emerging of the scale of disruption and heavy lorry traffic that the town can expect during two years of construction.

It is planned to bring the in-fill material to form the base of the Option A development from The Lizard by road. It will be delivered by means of a “continuous” stream of 20-ton 8-wheel tipper lorries. (They are very big vehicles, about 26 feet long.) These lorries will have to negotiate Helston and numerous small villages on their way to and from Penzance.

The lorries would enter Penzance via Chyandour Cliff and Wharf Road. They obviously wouldn't be able to pass on Ross Bridge with any other traffic. They would then come round the corner of the Barbican and enter the “Triangle” and thence the site, turn, tip and leave (traffic lights will almost certainly be needed). They would then proceed westwards past the Jubilee Pool and onto the Promenade. Parking along the Promenade will most likely have to be restricted to allow them through.

The lorries will then go around the mini-roundabout and up Alexandra Road. Here too parking (which services the hotels and B&Bs) will probably have to be restricted to one side only. They will then go through Alverton Estate to the roundabout and by-pass, causing further obstruction at each roundabout on the way. Because of the location of the site the time of working will be affected by tides: this means night working.

As well as the tipper lorries, there will be lorries carrying plant and delivering other materials and goods. Needless to say this traffic would add to the normal summer traffic problems on the A30 and A394. Traffic already backs up to Crowlas in one direction and Newlyn Bridge in the other: adding the ceaseless stream of lorries will inevitably make matters very much worse.

There will be noise. This will be provided by the lorries themselves, the tipping, and some “pecking” (breaking up) of the rocks with a digger attachment to make the necessary foundations (tide-related work again).

There will be dust. In dry conditions widespread dust pollution would be inevitable, and wind dependant. In wet conditions, mud pollution along the Promenade and up Alexandra Road would be equally inevitable.

If all the necessary consents are granted the work is scheduled to begin in April 2010. As the display at the January 2009 exhibition admitted: “Construction is anticipated to last for two years.” (The reclamation stage would start in April 2010 and last a year IF it keeps to schedule, and the rest of the construction would take a further year.) This means it will span two whole summer seasons; summer 2010 will be particularly badly affected. For businesses that are finding life difficult at present, this could be the final straw.

In summary local residents and businesses in the harbour area and on approach roads should expect the following:

• A continuous stream of very heavy lorries passing through the town.
• Additional congestion with long traffic queues and lengthy delays.
• Restrictions to on-street and other parking e.g., on the Promenade and Alexandra Road.
• Traffic lights on the Dolphin/Barbican corner.
• Night working of the site and night time lorry movements.
• 24/7 light and noise pollution.
• Extensive dust pollution.
• Mud on roads.

All this is unnecessary. There are alternatives - Option C - that avoid this disruption and meet all the same objectives as the Battery Rocks beach scheme. Option C will also preserve the natural and heritage assets that make Penzance special and that underpin the local tourist trade, and will promote the genuine regeneration of the harbour area. Option C is the preferred option of the overwhelming majority of Penzance residents.


"Two years of hell!" brochure : download pdf | view pdf

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