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Stunning result from Strategic Planning Committee - YES

posted Mar 8, 2010, 1:52 PM by Richard Cliffe
We met with great success today (8 Mar 10) with the Strategic Planning Committee voting 14 to 7 in favour of granting listed building consent.  The planning decision followed with 14 to 2  in favour as several Lib Dem councillors had left after the first decision. 

The efforts of all our many supporters were well recognized and there is no doubt that the upsurge in popular support in its many different forms (petition signatories, facebook campaign members and the 120 businesses giving public support) was a key factor in the decisions of many Councillors.  Thanks to two 8 foot banners funded by Mike Adam (Zero Lounge) and alot of supporters turning up at the Council offices before the meeting we had a very good show for the press and councillors as they arrived.

There is of course a lesson from today -  if you don't speak up then you will not be heard and your views will not count.  If the Council had not sent the decision back to the Committee for a second attempt then we would not have  had the chance to demonstrate the extent of popular support for Option A.  At least one councillor commented on the daunting impression at the firtst meeting that everybody in Penzance was violently against the project.

The result means the the Council will forward the project to Central Government with its 'minded to support' recommendation (the Council cannot approve its own project's Listed Building Consent in this case).  We can expect FOPH to lobby hard and possibility seek Judicial Review in an attempt to wreck the project.

At the time of posting this item we have not heard our MP's position.  We would hope that he can accept todays decision.  Option Pz/Penzance Business Network was originally described as an alternative in case Option A failed but it morphed into an attack on Option A (hardly surprising given the number of FOPH it had a members).  Option Pz/Penzance Business Network was brutally ripped a part by questions from Councillors today and exposed as a naked attempt to wreck Option A. 

 We must expect further attempts to wreck Option A through delaying tactics and legal challenges but that does not belittle todays achievement - a victory for common sense.