Busy time at Falmouth Neighbourhood Plan Drop-in session No1.

The first ‘drop-in’ session about the draft Falmouth Neighbourhood Plan was held on 24th January at the Municipal Buildings/Library and was well attended. Over fifty local people came in to chat with a member of the Neighbourhood Plan Team, each receiving ten minutes or more of guidance. Lots of very helpful comments and suggestions were made, that we can look at including in the submitted version of the Plan.

Three more sessions are planned:

Tuesday 7th February – (11am to 3pm) – Falmouth Watersports Centre
Saturday 11th February – (11am to 3pm) – on The Moor
Wednesday 15th February – (6.30pm to 8.30pm) – The Library at Falmouth School

You can also see the Plan and make comments on-line or at Falmouth Library.

Drop in
Residents and team members discuss the draft Plan.
Dop in 3
Grand setting for the drop-in session No1
Drop in 2
Exhibition panel showing the sustainable neighbourhoods concept

 

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Neighbourhood Plan Press Release 21/11/16

ftc-armsYour chance to influence Falmouth’s future

Following extensive community engagement during 2015 and 2016, Falmouth Town Council (FTC) is preparing to share the first draft of its Neighbourhood Plan in a second phase of consultation.

The drafting process has already involved local residents completing a questionnaire and participating in working groups with stakeholder organisations to gather evidence, carry out research and recommend the themes that need to be addressed in the Neighbourhood Plan.

This first draft will now be considered by FTC’s Planning Committee, after which local people will be invited to review it to ensure that it accurately reflects their needs and concerns. Incorporating any amendments, the Plan will then be formally endorsed by FTC, submitted to Cornwall Council and an independent assessor for further scrutiny, and become the subject of further public consultation and a referendum next year.

If local people vote in favour, the Neighbourhood Plan will be ‘made’ in law, form an integral part of the planning process and be considered alongside all applications that are decided by Cornwall Council, planning inspectors, or the Government. It is hoped that the Neighbourhood Plan will be fully ‘made’ by June 2017.

“The Neighbourhood Plan provides everyone in Falmouth with the opportunity to influence the decisions that will affect the town’s future: from the way that land is used for housing, business, shops and leisure to the protection of green spaces, the design of buildings and the tackling of local issues,” explains Cllr Candy Atherton who chairs FTC’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. “By consulting widely across all sections of our diverse community and working collaboratively, we can alleviate pressures, resolve problems, create resilience and provide a framework for prosperity whilst protecting our exceptional natural environment and other town assets.”

The objectives set out in this first draft include enhancing the town and its special qualities up to 2030 and beyond; balancing the competing needs for growth and development with conservation and improvement; and promoting development that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

It highlights policies to create a balanced community; accommodate growth, housing need and university expansion in a sensible manner; manage any increase in the student population to minimise problems; promote the marine, creative and digital industries; regenerate the town centre; protect valued green space; promote leisure, recreation and culture; ensure adequate provision of infrastructure; and strike the optimum balance between growth and protecting the aspects of the town that make Falmouth so special.

The Plan also outlines the need for further physical realm improvements both in the main streets and specific areas of the town.“The aim for Church Street car park would be to transform it into a desirable destination with restaurants, cafes, marine activities and public space so that residents and visitors could take full advantage of some of the best views in Falmouth,” explains Professor Mike Jenks from Falmouth Civic Society who leads the Neighbourhood Plan’s Spatial Strategy, Integration & Design Guidance working group. “We are suggesting limiting the amount of parking spaces in Church Street but increasing capacity at the Quarry and former Territorial Army site on Bar Road, pedestrianising the main streets for part of the day and supporting the town’s shuttle bus, all of which would be essential to the successful realisation of this vision.” In addition, the Plan recommends developing the Quarry car park and former Territorial Army site to include housing for local people and/or students; proposes a green corridor between Tregoniggie Woodland and Swanpool; and emphasises the benefits of environmental improvements at Pendennis Point and to the seafront that would arise if a supporting application for grant aid from the national Coastal Communities Fund was successful.

It also recognises the role of Falmouth (and Penryn) as a key economic driver for Cornwall; supports the dredging of Falmouth Harbour; the generation of new enterprise in the maritime, advanced engineering and energy sectors; and the provision of small workshops and an innovation/home business support centre. In relation to tourism, it proposes the revival of Prince of Wales Pier and the enhancement of The Moor; a new skate park at Dracaena Fields and measures to enhance Falmouth’s festival culture by attracting major international events to the town.

On the subject of student accommodation, the Plan offers further policies to complement the recently-approved Article 4 Direction that prevents further conversions of dwellings into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in certain areas and ensures that any sites identified for purpose-built accommodation conform to clear rules on issues such as parking, on-site management and contributions to off-site policing.

“With much of Falmouth’s expansion taking place outside the town’s boundaries, the Neighbourhood Plan also offers recommendations about the integration of any new estates with the town’s infrastructure that we hope Cornwall Council, Budock Parish Council and Penryn Town Council will respond to,” concludes Falmouth Mayor, Grenville Chappel. “Whilst Article 4 restricts growth, the Neighbourhood Plan enables it but in a controlled way that will benefit our community so it is vital that everyone in our town who is enrolled on the electoral register speaks out during our comprehensive consultation process.”
This second phase of consultation will take place for a minimum of six weeks between early December and mid-January. A leaflet summarising the key points of the proposed Neighbourhood Plan will be distributed to local residents, who will also be invited to attend two drop-in sessions to find out more. Residents will be able to view the Plan on a dedicated Neighbourhood Plan website or in Falmouth Library, where hard copies of the Plan and summary leaflet will also be available to view. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is also offering to present the Plan to local organisations upon request. Further details will be announced in the local print and broadcast media, and via FTC’s Twitter and Facebook feeds.

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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO 22ND MAY

The wide ranging community engagement drive aimed at giving residents, businesses and local groups from Falmouth a real say on how the town should develop up to 2030 has been extended to 22nd May.

Councillor Candy Atherton, who leads the Falmouth Neighbourhood Plan Stakeholder Group for the Town Council, said ‘We have been getting a lot of interest with over 100 people attending our drop-in sessions to talk, and 360 postal questionnaire responses have been received. Our website has had nearly 5,800 hits, with 585 online questionnaire responses since we launched at the end of March. Twitter retweets and mentions have been very extensive as well.

However, delays with our distributors mean that many households still haven’t received their copy of the leaflet and questionnaire, and as the level of interest so far suggests that many more will want to have their say, we are extending the deadline to Friday 22nd May.’

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29th April Drop-in Session News

Thirty people dropped into our session at Falmouth Watersports Centre on Wednesday 29th, and we distributed another 120 questionnaires.

In the conversations with visitors much the same issues as discussed at the previous session were covered, but with more of a focus on the impacts of possible housing growth to the south of the town. There was also greater attention on the docks, marine industry and tourism. Later in the day we were aptly entertained by the sight of MV Boudicca, a Fred Olsen cruise ship, arriving.

thanks to the team at the Watersports Centre, who were excellent hosts for the day.

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Drop-in Session at Falmouth Watersports Centre 29th April

Have you got ideas about the future of Falmouth that could help us draw up the Neighbourhood Plan? Come to our Drop-in Session at the Watersports Centre, The Boat Park, Grove Place on 29th April, 10AM to 7.30pm to find out more, chat with a member of the team, and give us your ideas.

We will have a small exhibition explaining the background to the Plan, details of the Cornwall Local Plan proposals for Falmouth, and the 2009 Community Plan, and other resources available to help.

You will also be able to get help to complete the questionnaire.

See you there!

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9th April Drop In Session News

We held a drop-in session at the Library on 9th April.  285 questionnaires were handed out and 80 people came in for a chat about Falmouth Neighbourhood Plan.

Topics discussed were wide ranging. Several people referred to inadequacies of transportation and bus services, others to housing pressures and the need to maintain a good mix of housing types to preserve the community balance. Town-centre traffic featured several times, as did the view that Falmouth could make more of its waterfront to strengthen its economy and provide leisure opportunities for residents. Many of the visitors thought that a Neighbourhood Plan made and approved by the local community would help the local planning authority to make better decisions on planning applications in the area.

Now we are looking forward to the next drop-in event on 29th April at the Watersports Centre, Grove Place.

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Drop-in Session Wednesday 29th April

Have you got ideas about the future of Falmouth that could help us draw up the Neighbourhood Plan? Come to our Drop-in Session at the Watersports Centre, The Boat Park, Grove Place on 29th April, 10AM to 7.30pm to find out more, chat with a member of the team, and give us your ideas.

We will have a small exhibition explaining the background to the Plan, details of the Cornwall Local Plan proposals for Falmouth, and the 2009 Community Plan, and other resources available to help.

You will also be able to get help to complete the questionnaire.

See you there!

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Falmouth Plan community engagement kicks off

On 23rd March the 6 week community engagement period, seeking to gather the views of local people, kicked off with a Press launch followed by a presentation to the Falmouth Town Council ‘Annual Parish Meeting’. A copy of the presentation can be found here:

Falmouth Annual Parish Meeting Presentation

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