Last Chance Saloon For Penzance Quay Plans

Penzance Harbour

Scilly’s MP, Andrew George, is warning Penzance residents to be realistic about what can be achieved with the £8m expected for their harbour upgrade adding they’re in the “last chance saloon.”

It’s £6m less than was budgeted under Route Partnership plans.

Consultants, Hyder, have been hired by a management board, co-ordinated by Penzance Town Council, for community consultation in the town this week.

A public meeting last Thursday heard support for the Albert Pier as the focus of plans, instead of the South Pier, currently used by the Scillonian III. It’s nearer to the railway station, which appeals to locals who want to reduce traffic across Ross Bridge.

Others feel that site could regenerate the eastern side of the harbour and support the marina plans.

But Andrew says the reduced budget means they can’t meet all locals’ wishlist and going for an Albert Pier option could be outside the scope of the funding available.

Penzance Chamber of Commerce member Dick Cliffe says he’s concerned there are unanswered questions about dredging costs needed to enable the Albert Pier to be used.

And some locals are still pushing for an out-of town freight facility.

Our Council objected to that idea three years ago because of the expected addition to the cost of goods handling.

Dick says Red Funnel, who expressed an interest in pitching for the service under the Route Partnership, believed containerizing goods and bringing them to the quay would have cost up to £300,000 a year.

He says if that plan is followed it will be added to islander charges.

Scilly MP, Andrew George

Dick questions whether this is required when just 38 tonnes of goods are moved daily. He feels that some residents want out-of-town handling because they fear their view of Albert Pier would be spoiled if more commercial activities were developed there.

The Steamship Company Chair, Andrew May, says their preference is to deal with freight as near to the quay as possible but they are a willing partner with both the Penzance and St Mary’s teams and will await their findings.

The Penzance specification being drawn up by the consultants is based around operating two boats, one running 7 months of the year and Mr May says his board is talking with industry experts and knowledgeable islanders to scope boat options for the future, so they’re ready to move when infrastructure plans are finalised.

Mr George feels people are getting behind this project in Penzance, as they know this is their final funding opportunity.

The MP says he is encouraged by the way things are coming together and points out that agreement is vitally important for Penzance and Scilly because if one project fails so does the other.

Outline Plans need to be submitted in February to meet funding deadlines in 2013.


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