On the 13th September 2007, a Section 106 agreement was signed by four parties:
- Caradon District Council
- Bennelong Golf (St Mellion) Ltd
- Nat West Bank
- Cornwall County Council
The agreement relates to planning application E2/06/01399/OUT that grants St Mellion International Resort permission for a number of enhancements, including the construction of 265 houses. Although a number of conditions are defined in the agreement, I’m focusing on the “Sustainable Transport Contribution” section that grants £117,000 for various transport improvements in St Mellion village. The documented improvements are:
- The provision of two “flash up” signs, one at either end of the village
- A scheme of works within Church Lane
- The provision of a pedestrian crossing across the A388
- Footway improvements
- The provision of two bus shelters
- Associated Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)
To date, only the first of these items has been completed and that was done, outside of the 106 agreement and funded from other sources. There was some discussion in 2012 about the provision of Speed Bumps in Church Lane but no conclusions were reached. All was then quiet until late 2012 when enquiries from various sources led to Cormac conducting a presentation of options and a subsequent period of consultation.
Once again, things went quiet until July 2013 when the new Parish Council called an Extraordinary Meeting to discuss the 106, with Cormac and Cornwall Council representatives in attendance. Subsequent to that meeting, I’ve sent the following email to Christine, the Parish Council Clerk.
Hope you don’t mind me expressing some points following the Extraordinary Meeting? I’d have liked to do this sooner but I’ve been away, coast path walking since Tuesday. Now I have sore feet and time to rant a bit!
Regarding the original presentation and survey conducted by Cormac, I think the results would have been quite different if the content of the original 106 had been known at the time. An understanding of the cost of each option would also, potentially, have shifted opinion.
With Option F, opening the old entrance, costing virtually all the remaining 106 money, it would no longer get my vote. I don’t even understand why that option is on the table: Cormac and CC explained why some of the schemes on the original 106 could not be provided but there was no clarification of why an £80k scheme could be added to the original scope. Steven Towers, representing one of the four signatories on the 106, was also clearly against it.
I was shocked to hear statements from the St Mellion Park residents present at the meeting, including Parish Council members, that they currently use Church Lane as a rat run and will continue to do so unless the old entrance is reinstated. I get the impression they are seeking £80k be spent on providing them better access to their own homes. The subsequent reduced traffic in Church Lane would be a possible by-product of their new access route.
I do appreciate that each proposal for Church Lane comes with an issue: Closing the lane completely would cause chaos at peek school times. Making the lane one-way would probably cause similar issues. Proposals like “Access Only” and “No left turn” though are currently being rejected on the basis they are difficult to police. We live in a relatively law-abiding community and I simply don’t buy this as justification: Tell me it’s a crime to turn left out of Church Lane and I won’t do it. Place signs saying the lane is “Access Only” and I won’t use it. I strongly believe this holds true for the large majority of road users.
I welcome improvements to the Crocadon entrance and have absolutely no objection to the old resort entrance being reopened. I do strongly object though to the proposed source of funding to accomplish these objectives. The fact that four of the Parish Councillors and St Mellion Park residents would greatly benefit from improved access does not justify siphoning a pot of money that was specifically allocated to sustainable transport improvements in St Mellion village.
Please can the council give strong consideration to the proposals of:
* Improved pedestrian access through Church Lane
* Access Only signage at both ends of Church Lane
* No left turn at the resort end of Church Lane
The combination of these three items would serve to achieve all the goals of the 106 and at a reduced cost. They are also all clearly within scope of the original 106 scheme of Church Lane works.