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Penzance Seafront Forum formally created 25 June 2011

posted Jun 25, 2011, 4:24 PM by Richard Cliffe

Part of the grim fallout from the IOS Ferry Project debacle has been the realization that none of the competing factions has achieved anything at all and that little is going to be achieved in the future whilst Penzance remained divided.  Moreover, Penzance will have limited influence over plans from private sector developers to develop parts of Penzance Harbour because Penzance is unable to speak with one voice.  In the absence of any clear Penzance position, Cornwall Council will logically do whatever is  good for Cornwall Council and good for the rest of Cornwall as a whole.  In the present climate maximizing receipts from the sale of assets must be a priority.

 In response to this situation Hadrian Pigott of Penzance Business Network (PzBN) has advocated the establishment of a Community Development Trust – effectively a community led regeneration body, with responsibility for the Penzance Seafront area.  Such a body would start as a community led planning forum and evolve into a Development Trust as it found worthwhile projects to carry forward.  Such an organization would eventually manage publicly owned assets on the seafront and deliver regeneration projects in partnership with public and private sector partners.  It is of course an ambitious agenda.  Given that PzBN was instrumental (with others) in undermining a £62 million investment in the area, Cornwall Council is not going to be bending over backwards to embrace the initiative.  However, a community led planning forum is a necessary part of a development trust and if this lesser ambition could be achieved it could make regeneration in Penzance simpler to achieve as there would be one local body to negotiate with.

 The end result of discussions with stakeholders is the establishment of Penzance Seafront Forum.  Its interim, non incorporated status, came into existence on 25 June when the stakeholders voted unanimously to set it up and accepted an interim constitution.  The Forum in its interim form has two pressing objectives :

-          Form a legal entity (probably a Community Interest Company) with an agreed constitution.

-          Deal with imminent development proposals (MP’s proposals for the Penzance end of the IOS Ferry Link and the Olympian Homes proposals for a mixed use development on Penzance Harbour Car Park (not publicly available yet)..

 

The first meeting of the Interim Steering Group (effectively the board of directors if incorporated) will take place next week.

 All of the founding members of the forum are entitled to have a voting members on the ISG.  They are:

 Penzance Civic Society

Penzance Chamber of Commerce

Penzance Business Network

Penzance & District Tourism Association

Penzance Harbour Users Association

Penzance Sailing Club

Friends of Jubilee Pool

Friends of Penzance Harbour

Penzance Town Council

Penwith Community Development Trust

Penzance Futures

True Friends of Pz & IOS

 True Friends will be represented by Anthony Richards as Dick Cliffe (True Friends Co-ordinator) will, as Vice Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, will be representing the Chamber.

 Some scepticism over this initiative is understandable but you have to ask yourself what is the alternative and what is the worst that can happen.  The worst that can happened is that it fails due to unresolved divisions and we end where we started  - a divided community.

Please visit the new Forum website and register for the newsletter if you would like to be kept informed.  There are also opportunities for volunteers.

 To register for the Penzance Seafront Forum newsletter go to www.penzanceseafront.com

 The Forum is running a stall at the Penzance “Quay Day”  (Sunday 26 June) so if you are attending please call by (stall located outside the Vospers Building/ Pz Gallery).

 

 

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