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200422 | John Bennett notes in one of his comments: "The applicant's planning consultant is a former member of the planning team


Mr Andrew Roden

Comment submitted date:
Wed 22 Apr 2020

John Bennett
notes in one of his comments: "The applicant's planning consultant is a
former member of the planning team and may still hold some sway among
former colleagues. It would be far more transparent to allow elected
members to decide."

If this assertion is correct the appearance
is one of clear conflict of interests. I make no judgement - but to
avoid any sense of partiality or undue influence, this scheme must be
decided impartially by elected members rather than under delegated
powers.

Let me put it another way - 20 years of news journalism
have my professional instincts telling me there could be a very
significant story here should the wrong approach be taken. It is in
everyone's interests - supporters, opponents, and above all, Mr
Slatter's and Cornwall Council's that there can be no question of
partiality or attempts made to influence decision makers.

Having
made its objection, my understanding is that Hayle Town Council would
be unable to withdraw or change its position unless there were
substantial changes made to the scheme that demanding a fresh
consideration of it. I leave others to draw their own conclusions on Mr
Slatter's submission regarding that.

Comment submitted date:
Wed 22 Apr 2020

In response to
Mr Slatter's comment (and clearly I do not speak for Network Rail here),
while an easement to provide Network Rail access is welcome on the two
properties whose gardens abut the viaduct piers, there is no question
that it would be disruptive to residents and acts as an element of
blight on their property. Far better in my view to reduce the size of
the gardens to provide Network Rail the access it needs.

Furthermore,
when the main line to Penzance is electrified at some point in the
future - which it inevitably will be - what is the effect should an
overhead catenary mast be attached to either of these piers (the only
viable way of fixing them to the viaduct)? There would inevitably be a
greater degree of overhanging over the gardens which would doubtless be
opposed by the residents. This scheme as it currently stands risks
inhibiting enhancement of the main line railway in the future.

I
note too, that there is no mention of pollution. For emphasis, the full
timetable on the Cornish main line is twice-hourly in each direction - a
train passing on average every 15 minutes, many of which are 40+ year
old (albeit re-engined) High Speed Trains - plus inspection, maintenance
and charter trains, some of which are hauled by coal-fired steam
locomotives. Given that recent studies at Bletchley on the electrified
West Coast Main Line have revealed that pollution from the few diesel
trains which pass exceeds DEFRA limits at peak hours, it would be absurd
to suggest the situation immediately adjacent to the railway in Hayle
would be any different. It is likely to be worse, putting residents at
this site at risk. Only when a full understanding of pollution levels of
CO2, Nitrogen Oxides and particulate matter on this site can be
obtained - when the full timetable resumes - can an accurate picture be
gained. This is in addition to high levels of road pollution at a busy
junction where traffic is either slowing to a halt or accelerating from
one - driving modes where pollution is highest. The developer would be
wise - to avoid potential future legal actions - to check whether
pollution levels are as they would wish them to be. I repeat that this
can only be properly assessed when the full twice-hourly rail timetable
resumes, and there is no clarity within the rail industry about when
that will be.

Hayle Town Council's detailed and reasonable
objections also stand and must be considered extremely seriously by
planning officers. Simply put, this is the wrong development in the
wrong place which assists the developer in evading their S106
obligations. If this is allowed to pass it will offer free rein for less
scrupulous developers to promise the earth on S106s and deliver
nothing. There are no meaningful benefits for Hayle delivered by this
application - and potentially very significant disbenefits. It cannot be
allowed to pass.

Comment submitted date:
Tue 07 Apr 2020

As a railway
journalist of some 20 years, the proximity of this development to the Up
side of Hayle Viaduct frankly beggars belief. Network Rail requires
clear access of at least 2m from the edge of the structure (which
cantilevers out from the piers) to undertake essential and major
maintenance.

Although it appears that the houses are at least 4m
from the viaduct piers, the site plan uploaded on March 31 does not
appear to provide such clear access, meaning that when major works are
needed - which they will be at some point - Network Rail or successor
Infrastructure Manager will have to temporarily occupy residential
gardens to do so. This is disruptive and potentially negatively affects
the safety of the operational railway.

It would also hinder
future electrification of the railway - which if a zero carbon target of
2040 is to be achieved is essential.

Furthermore, the Cornwall
Council-sponsored high-frequency service - twice hourly in each
direction means a train passing every 15 minutes right next to the
properties - plus additional freight, engineering and charter trains. I
struggle to believe that the noise and pollution from an entirely diesel
railway would be remotely acceptable to residents. I certainly would
not want to be subjected to it - and there is no obvious way of
mitigating these by Network Rail. There may be mitigation in the
buildings for noise, but not externally for the inevitable diesel
pollution. It would be interesting to know whether those levels
contravene DEFRA guidelines given the increased frequency of service.

I
believe the developer needs to reconfigure the plans further in order
to provide the railway the unobstructed access it will need for
maintaining this important structure, and to limit the effects of noise
and pollution on residents further. I will happily revisit this
objection should such revisions be made.

Comment submitted date:
Tue 07 Apr 2020

As a railway
journalist of some 20 years, the proximity of this development to the Up
side of Hayle Viaduct frankly beggars belief. Network Rail requires
clear access of at least 2m from the edge of the structure (which
cantilevers out from the piers) to undertake essential and major
maintenance.

Although it appears that the houses are at least 4m
from the viaduct piers, the site plan uploaded on March 31 does not
appear to provide such clear access, meaning that when major works are
needed - which they will be at some point - Network Rail or successor
Infrastructure Manager will have to temporarily occupy residential
gardens to do so. This is disruptive and potentially negatively affects
the safety of the operational railway.

It would also hinder
future electrification of the railway - which if a zero carbon target of
2040 is to be achieved is essential.

Furthermore, the Cornwall
Council-sponsored high-frequency service - twice hourly in each
direction means a train passing every 15 minutes right next to the
properties - plus additional freight, engineering and charter trains. I
struggle to believe that the noise and pollution from an entirely diesel
railway would be remotely acceptable to residents. I certainly would
not want to be subjected to it - and there is no obvious way of
mitigating these by Network Rail. There may be mitigation in the
buildings for noise, but not externally for the inevitable diesel
pollution. It would be interesting to know whether those levels
contravene DEFRA guidelines given the increased frequency of service.

I
believe the developer needs to reconfigure the plans further in order
to provide the railway the unobstructed access it will need for
maintaining this important structure, and to limit the effects of noise
and pollution on residents further. I will happily revisit this
objection should such revisions be made.

 

 

 http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=PHQ5TNFGGFF00