Help needed in framing the future
ST IVES Town Council has put out a call for more people to help develop a 'neighbourhood plan' to shape the town's future in the face of huge pressures on development, housing, parking and traffic.
Many in the town – and in Carbis Bay and Lelant – feel pressures to develop ever more flats and holiday lets has brought the area to the brink of irreversible change.
And with traffic a constant problem in summer and parking spaces in areas of St Ives going for £60,000 plus, there is a concern the feel of this once idyllic fishing town could disappear forever.
Others, including key town councillors, feel development is necessary to meet increasing housing demands and to secure the future economic growth of an area that now relies heavily on visitors.
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Under the Government's new Localism Act, neighbourhood plans can be developed that allow communities to write their own local planning policies to help guide planning decisions.
St Ives Town Council clerk Louise Dowe said: "Whilst a neighbourhood plan cannot go against national or county planning policies, they can help to fill in many of the gaps that will be left after the former Penwith Local Plan is no longer in force and a new Cornwall Council Local Plan is adopted."
The authority is taking the lead on a neighbourhood plan but has already taken extensive efforts to consult on the issue, with public meetings being held in St Ives, Carbis Bay and Lelant.
With a clear public desire for a neighbourhood plan, the council is now setting up working parties that will look at key areas and issues.
The main topic areas are economy (including retail mix, employment, tourism); culture (including art and heritage); built environment (including conservation and design, housing; open space (including woodland and farmland); transport and amenities.
On Wednesday last week a meeting brought together volunteers who had already expressed an interest to be involved in working groups looking at the key areas.
A neighbourhood plan steering group will be appointed by the town council in May, after the local council elections, but the topic groups will start work in April.
The town council is still interested in hearing from people who would like to take part in the working party process.
Louise Dowe said: "A neighbourhood plan for the St Ives area is to be led by the town council but with full community engagement throughout the process."
Anyone interested in joining any of the groups can contact the town council at: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01736 797840, or for more information visit the website www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk and follow the link to the Neighbourhood Plan page. You can also visit the Facebook page, St Ives Area Neighbourhood Plan.