Big Infrastructure Schemes Could Take Place Next Summer

Two major constructions schemes – the rebuilding of St Mary’s Quay and the airport runway improvements – could both happen during the busy summer tourist season, if the Council receives the grants it needs.

Members of the Council Transport Strategy committee heard last night that the timeline for funding dictated the deadlines and steps would be taken to minimise disruption.

Diana Mompoloki said they were in a “catch 22 situation” as marine projects need better weather and that’s usually found in summer

They would phase the work to extend the quay by 23m and improve the harbourside area as the quay had to remain operational.

Chief Executive, Philip Hygate, said that the off-island quay projects showed that the long-term benefits can outweigh the short term disruption.

While planning work is advanced, there’s more political work needed to get the money to do it.

Currently, if the Penzance quay project doesn’t meet the funding deadline, St Mary’s Quay won’t receive European and DfT money.

Marian Bennett argued that there’s no logic if the two schemes can’t be split up but the Minister thinks otherwise.

The St Mary’s quay project group is made up of Council officials, The Steamship Company and the Duchy of Cornwall. They met recently with Penzance project team members and the Department for Communities and Local Government and the DfT.

Diana says 15 minutes was spent discussing St Mary’s but 3 hours of discussions on Penzance followed as there are more risks to the Penzance scheme.

Marian asked whether they need a harbour revision order to gain planning consent, which would blow their chances of meeting the funding timeline. Diana said legal experts were trying to clarify that.

The St Mary’s delegation will meet Transport Minister Norman Baker on 10th September in London. They’ll explain that they’ve done what was asked of them under the £257,000 development grant.

And if Penzance has failed, they’ll request permission to continue alone with a further £4m of Government cash. That will unlock the £4m European Union matched funding.

Robert Dorrien-Smith believes there’s a political will within Government to back infrastructure schemes. Councillors heard about recent Ministerial support for the multimillion pound A30 dualling and a bypass in Devon.

But Philip Hygate believes that September’s meeting will be the “moment of truth” adding that if Penzance is offered something it would be stupid not to go with that.

MP Andrew George says rumours that the Government has suggested Penzance’s scheme should be simplified to harbour dredging and rock armour protection is just not true

Before the important meeting you’ll have a chance to see plans updated following the latest feedback in a public consultation on 29th August.


11 Responses to Big Infrastructure Schemes Could Take Place Next Summer

  1. George Kershaw August 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Our main quay has been improved in the past during winter months as were the off island quays, and the runway, with the weather we experienced in June you can no longer use the better weather reason to do work in summer.
    If major work needs to be done let’s do it in the most convenient times..
    Not during the islands peak holiday season..

  2. Muskey71 July 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Out of interest Internet Man, where is the best place to get groceries when visiting the islands, is the wholesalers place at Porthmellon still open?

  3. Kayte July 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    @ john a
    You complain about “no ‘ordinary’ priced food” but you don’t make it clear exactly what you consider to be ‘ordinary priced food’. It may be very different from what I or others consider to be food at ‘ordinary’ prices.
    Most of the people we speak to say that food isn’t significantly more expensive here than the mainland and that they expect it to cost more anyway because of the freight charges to actually get it here.
    I suppose if you’re comparing it to cheap pub deals (two steaks for a tenner) or MacDs and the like then yes, it may seem expensive. Actually the quality of the food on the islands is pretty good compared with some food we’ve eaten on mainland UK (and we generally avoid MacDs).
    If you’re self catering, then the choice of farm shops and ‘hobby gardener’ vegetable stalls has increased a great deal over the past few years. Local meat, local eggs, local vegetables means not only good quality but negligible food miles. Even accommodation providers who serve food are emphasising their policies of buying locally wherever possible.
    To be honest, that looks to me like a win-win situation even if it is a little bit more expensive than the UK mainland.

  4. Tamar July 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    It is unfortunate if anyone feels that their holidays have been disrupted. I have been taking my toddler down to Cressa all summer (what we’ve had of it) to paddle. I think that it’s really important that we look beyond this season and to the future. I think it is very sad john a that you have been so put off, but I hope that you can see that the work is a positive and necessary step towards the islands future.

  5. Internet Man July 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I would hope that tourists spend some time away from Hugh Town when they visit the islands.

    It always saddens me to see tourists in the Co-op in their droves! Why come to somewhere as beautiful as Scilly and then spend so long in a corporate supermarket outlet?

  6. Alison July 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

    We have been coming to St Mary’s in May and September (can’t wait) for several years and nothing has ever put us off. We were interested to see the development at Porthcressa and look forward to seeing how it is coming along. Last year the school was being built and in previous years there have been new quays on the off islands…all interesting and not in the least disruptive to our holiday. As long as someone can throw us off the Scillonian onto the quay it will not make the slightest difference!! Roll on September!

  7. john a July 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I HAVE made 2 visits to the islands already this year so I do know what I’ve seen and I will choose to spend my long holiday elsewhere. As for the other attractions – expensive boat trips, no pub on St Martins, no ‘ordinary’ priced food etc. I do know the islands fairly well & have been visiting since 1971. We usually make 2 or 3 day trips per year PLUS 1 or 2 longer stays. I hope we will return when everything is sorted!

  8. Rod and Kate July 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    We came to Scilly in June and had a fantastic two weeks at Pelistry Cottage which is only a stones throw away from the Portcressa development, There was no noise to bother us and Dibble and Grub was open as usual, its really nothing to worry about and if people have chosen not to come because of this they are missing out.

    We had read a lot of comments on this site and wondered about not coming but thankfully our hearts ruled our heads and we decided to ignore the comments. Glad we did.

  9. Simon July 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Great to see some common sense being spoken. If your holiday to the Islands revolves entirely around Porthcressa then you are missing out on so much more.

  10. JeffEastick July 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    We have just returned from our annual July visit and would advise people planning a visit later this year not to take any notice of comments made by John.a
    The work on Porthcressa has hardly any adverse affect on rest of Hugh Town , and none at all on rest of St.mary’s or the off islands.
    Admittedly , any work on the Quay will cause some disruption , but hardly a reason not to visit. With visitor numbers already down this year , Scilly can do without comments like the above.

  11. john a July 25, 2012 at 10:39 am

    No holiday on Scilly this year because of the buildingsite – looks like we won’t be coming next year either