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.


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