17th DECEMBER 2014: LOAN WOULD BE "DISGRACEFUL" - PARISH CHAIRMAN
The chairman of Carlyon Parish Council has said that it is "disgraceful" that any loan should be considered to help CEG kick-start their development.
Councillor John Hermes was speaking at the monthly parish council meeting on Tuesday 16th December, where he also expressed his "disgust" at the thought of any public money being handed over.
At the meeting Cornwall Council ward member Tom French said that no such request had yet been made by CEG, but if and when it was then it could only be approved by the Cabinet.
Another local councillor Malcolm Harris, Cornwall Council member for St Mewan near St Austell, writing in local paper The Voice, has said he wants to make sure any loan bid is considered by councillors, not by council officials. He wrote that, in a presentation by CEG to councillors, they were told they will apply for a loan from the council.
The Planning Application
At Tuesday's Parish meeting, the council decided to raise its concerns over the threat to the Public Right of Way which is contained in CEG's Planning Application.
In its Planning Statement, CEG says "it will be necessary to stop up various sections of the right of way in order to enable the proposed development to be carried out ...".
Stopping up means a Right of Way is removed - Carlyon Bay Watch believes such a move would be outrageous after the years of effort made by local residents to have it approved in the first place.
(The background to the Public Right of Way is on the Public Access page)
Councillors also expressed their concerns over a planned 'Gatehouse' which would be placed on Beach Road by the top car park to "provide a secure entrance point, controlling vehicles accessing the site."
It was felt that, apart from its design which isn't in keeping with the surroundings, it would be intimidating for anyone wishing to get access to the beach.
3rd DECEMBER 2014: DETAILED PLANS PUT BEFORE COUNCIL
CEG has finally submitted its planning application to Cornwall Council relating to the so-called "reserved matters" - that is the architects' drawing and the details of the layout and appearance of the buildings, landscaping etc of their development on Carlyon Bay.
Outline permission was given in 2011 as well as approval for the detailed plans for sea defences.
As indicated in artists' impressions shown at CEG's public exhibitions, there will be green roofs and "soft" sand dune defences on Shorthorn, with 150 units in apartment buildings and villas. This would form Phase 1 of the construction.
Phase 2 on Crinnis would see 361 residential units in blocks, with leisure facilities, retail outlets and restaurants and bars. These would be built on a platform providing an undercroft for residents' car parking.
The plans could go before Cornwall Council's Strategic Planning Committee in February but CEG has said that if there are any delays it would not be able to start demolition and clearance work as promised.
It has also said it would need to raise the money for the demolition and infrastructure part of the development, which will cost around £30 million.
It has been suggested that some of that could come from public funds to help encourage private investors.
If the money is not forthcoming, then again there is no guarantee that work will start.
You can comment on the plans on Cornwall Council's website - click here to go directly to CEG's planning application.
Or write to Cornwall Council, 39 Penwinnick Road, St Austell, PL25 5DR - quoting the planning application number PA14/10875.
19th NOVEMBER 2014: SHOULD CEG GET 15m LOAN FROM COUNCIL?
Developers CEG have admitted they are looking into the possibility of a £15 million loan from Cornwall Council to kick-start the building work on Carlyon Bay's beaches.
They say they need the money for the demolition of the Coliseum and the infrastructure part of the development which will cost around £30 million.
CEG's John Kenny told the Cornish Guardian and BBC Radio Cornwall that they were looking at a number of ways of raising the money - including public funding.
Cornwall Councillor Tom French suggested in a briefing note shown to CBW that the deal would help encourage private investors if the local authority shows its confidence in the scheme with hard cash.
CBW thinks this is an outrageous suggestion. For years CEG have emphasised, as part of their propaganda promoting this resort, that it would be £250 million of private money being invested in Cornwall. There would be no drain on the taxpayer, they said.
Well maybe there won't be - CEG says the money would be borrowed by the Council at low corporate interest rates and lent to CEG at a commercial rate, with a potential profit for the taxpayer.
But what if that doesn't work out as hoped? What if the loan can't be repaid? What is the collateral? If the loan is secured on the title for the beach, what happens if any developer goes into voluntary liquidation?
If this development is to be the world-class resort it is claimed, why are private financiers not falling over themselves to invest in it?
In addition to the worrying financial implications, there seems to be an element of undue pressure being applied.
Councillor French's briefing says if the demolition of the Coliseum and the site tidy-up is to happen as promised in the spring of 2015, then Cornwall Council needs to agree its financial support by mid-January.
Also before work can start, Councillors need to approve the detailed planning application (at the moment there is only outline permission). But that application has not even been submitted yet - which leaves a seemingly impossible timescale for the council to examine it properly.
So if, as CEG keeps promising, work is to start on cleaning up the site in time for the 2015 summer season, then cash (perhaps public money) has to be found and Cornwall Council has to approve its planning application in record time.
They also have to have a bat licence agreed to take care of the bats in the Coliseum - but then they've known about those since at least 2006.
Oh - and if there are any delays they can't do anything until the autumn because of the bird nesting season which begins in early March!
So nothing will be their fault then.
16th NOVEMBER 2014: FOOTPATH EXTENSION TURNED DOWN
The outcome of a Public Inquiry into whether the Public Right of Way on Crinnis should be extended to the waterline has ended in defeat for footpath campaigners and Cornwall Council.
The PROW, which was formally approved by Cornwall County Council in 2008, currently goes down Beach Road and then passes the old Coliseum building to a point 30 metres beyond the old Wimpey building to what is known on the map as Point 14.
After a long-running campaign by two local residents the issue of whether that PROW should be extended to the waterline was approved by Cornwall councillors in January 2013. Before that CEG had closed access to the foreshore when they pleased with fencing and locked gates.
CEG appealed that decision which led to a week-long Public Inquiry in June 2014.
The Inspector, Michael Lowe, heard evidence from Cornwall Council and from local resident Mrs Fran Taylor who, with Mrs Gloria Price, had originally applied to have the route included on the definitive map of rights of way.
A number of local residents also gave their evidence of using the path from childhood as a way of getting on to the beach and down to the foreshore.
CEG claimed it is not a Right of Way but a permissive route. (The area below Mean High Water is Duchy of Cornwall land and the public have an absolute right to move along it as they please - hence the importance of this PROW).
The Inspector seems to have based his decision on an interpretation of case law concerning whether a walked line can cross an area used for recreation.
If that is so then it could have serious implications for future access to beaches.
NOVEMBER 2014: POP-UP CAFE ON CRINNIS BEACH CLOSED
A temporary café, Sam's at the Bay, which opened in August on Crinnis beach adjacent to the Information Hut, has closed for the winter.
Sam's is part of a local business which includes restaurants at Fowey, on the beach at Polkerris and in the city in Truro. They also have a mobile van business for festivals etc.
A beach cafe is the type of business Carlyon Bay Watch would like to see on the beach and it will certainly be a welcome change from the destruction and dereliction which have blighted the beaches for the last ten years.
We wish them every success.
21st JULY 2014: ENFORCEMENT NOTICE SERVED OVER SHUTTERING
An Enforcement Noticehas at last been served on CEG by Cornwall Council ordering the removal of the remaining metal shuttering and rock armour on Crinnis Beach - although CEG has until October 2015 to carry out the order.
Councillors voted unanimously in April to order the removal of the defences. They had expressed their anger and frustration over the continued blighting of the beach - the defences were erected without planning permission in 2004.
CEG will have the right to appeal - so they have plenty of opportunity to play the legal game to cause as much delay as possible.
In June councillors threw out an application by CEG to retain the sea defences (which protect the Information hut) until June 2015.
That followed an attempt in November 2013 to retain the defences until 2016 - but this was also refused by the Council's Central area planning committee.
17TH JULY 2014: LIAISON GROUP TOLD OF LATEST PLANS
Three-quarters of the homes built on the beaches at Carlyon Bay would be holiday lets, according to the latest plans for the development outlined at a meeting of the Beach Liaison Group in June.
Councillor Graham Entwhistle, who attended the meeting on behalf of Carlyon Parish Council, reported to the council at its monthly meeting on 15th July:
CEG said 25% would be residential and 75% investment units
150 units on Shorthorn beach would be built first before work began on Crinnis
A Planning Application would be submitted in October with some initial work starting in the spring of 2015
Building would take between 5 and 7 years.
Dogs would be banned
There is still uncertainty over finances
There would be "shared activities" for the next 18 months (such as the temporary Sam's on the Beach) with more detail being announced in the next 3 months.
In addition, Cornwall Council ward member Tom French told the Parish Council he was "excited" that CEG were experimenting with different plants for the so-called green roofs being proposed. He also said he was interested in the plans for low level lighting on the promenade.
A Public Exhibition of the current design work being proposed for the development at Carlyon Bay is being held at the Information Hut on Crinnis beach from 10am to 7pm on Friday 18th July and 10am to 2pm on Saturday 19th July.
8TH JULY 2014: STRANGELY QUIET LAUNCH FOR NEW BEACH CAFE
With little fanfare, the developers CEG has let it be known that they have come to an agreement with Sam's (of Fowey, Polkerris and Truro fame) to operate a sort of pop-up café in August from a temporary site near the Information Centre cabin. It's claimed by CEG that this will bring a flavour of things to come on what is currently a demolition site.
Apart from Sam's high quality food, they're also thinking of providing music and other entertainment in the evening.
All of this has so far occurred without any public consultation and with no communication with any neighbours.
The so-called Beach Liaison group apparently met in late June - the first meeting for nearly a year - but so far the public has not been told what was discussed.
It does beg the question 'What is going on?'. The first the public knew of this venture was a notice on the beach about an application for an alcohol licence.
When asked at the last Carlyon Parish Council meeting what he knew, Tom French, Cornwall Council local ward member, said he knew very little but was sure it was a daytime only venture.
The very next day the Cornish Guardian newspaper ran a piece giving a lot more information than Councillor French had apparently been privy to.
We wait to see. At least it means that something is being done - albeit in the most secretive of ways - to encourage people to go down to this derelict site.
Perhaps it will mean that some form of tidying up will take place and reverse, to some extent, the continual erosion of this formerly attractive venue.
20TH JUNE 2014: "SEA DEFENCES MUST GO" SAYS COUNCIL - AGAIN!
Another application by CEG to retain the remaining sea defences at Crinnis Beach has been thrown out by Cornwall Council.
The shuttering protects the information hut - but CEG already has permission to move it to the top car park
CEG had applied in May to retain the ugly, rusting iron shuttering and rock armour until June 2015.
The latest part of this saga follows an attempt in November 2013 to retain the defences, which protect the "information centre", until 2016 - but this was refused by the Council's Central area planning committee.
The latest application seems to be another example of how they seem play the system so that they can delay as much as possible any action which can be taken to remove this terrible eyesore.
We now wait to see whether an Enforcement Notice is served on the developer after councillors in April voted unanimously to order the removal of the defences. They had expressed their anger and frustration over the continued blighting of the beach - the defences were erected without planning permission in 2004.
CEG will also have the right to appeal - so they have plenty of opportunity to play the legal game to cause as much delay as possible.
17TH JUNE 2014: PUBLIC INQUIRY ENDS
Meanwhile a Public Inquiry into the extension of the Public Right of Way on Crinnis to the waterline ended on 17th June.
The Inspector, Michael Lowe, heard closing submissions from the QC representing CEG, a barrister representing Cornwall Council and from local resident Mrs Fran Taylor who, with Mrs Gloria Price, had originally applied to have the route included on the definitive map of rights of way.
A number of local residents had given their evidence of using the path from childhood as a way of getting on to the beach and down to the foreshore.
CEG claim it is not a Right of Way but a permissive route. (The area below Mean High Water is Duchy of Cornwall land and the public have an absolute right to move along it as they please - hence the importance of this PROW).
The PROW, which was formally approved in 2008, currently goes down Beach Road and then passes the old Coliseum building to a point 30 metres beyond the old Wimpey building to what is known on the map as Point 14 (more details on the Public Access issue).
The long-running issue of whether that PROW should be extended to the waterline was approved by Cornwall councillors in January 2013. Before that CEG had closed access to the foreshore when they pleased with fencing and locked gates.
CEG appealed and the issue will be decided by the Secretary of State after seeing the Inspector's report. That decision is likely to take four to six weeks.
JUNE 2014: DOG BAN MISLEADING SAYS COUNCIL AS PROW INQUIRY NEARS
Signs erected by developers CEG are misleading people using the Public Right of Way, says Carlyon Parish Council. On its website the council is trying to make the public aware of their rights in taking their dogs on the Public Right of Way to Crinnis, despite locals and visitors being turned away by security guards.
New signage next to the Public Right of Way on Crinnis beach - but it can't apply rules to that path
The signs give notice of a dog ban from May to September, as well as warning that dogs should be on leads.
There have been numerous reports of people being intimidated by security guards if they attempt to walk down with their dogs.
Of course they have every right to impose rules on a private beach, but the signs are adjacent to the Public Right of Way (PROW) and give the impression they cover behaviour on that right of way.
In fact, CEG cannot stop people taking their dogs on the PROW or insist dogs are on leads on that path.
If you want to walk down that path with dogs, then challenge the guards and say you have every right to do so.
The controversy arose just before the start of a Public Inquiry into an extension of that PROW to the waterline. It began on 10th June at the One Stop Shop in Penwinnick Road, St Austell.
The long-running issue of whether that PROW should be extended to the waterline was approved by Cornwall councillors in January 2013 after a campaign by two local residents, Gloria Price and Frances Taylor, with the help of the Open Spaces Society. Before that CEG had closed access to the foreshore when they pleased with fencing and locked gates.
CEG appealed against that decision and the issue will be decided after the Inspector has heard evidence from Cornwall Council, CEG and local witnesses.
People have enjoyed access to the sea here for generations and unless it is enshrined in law it will only be allowed at the whim of the developer. CEG claims public access is guaranteed through the Section 106 agreements drawn up as part of their planning permission - but there are plenty of examples of Section 106 agreements being changed at a later date.
MAY 2014: NEW APPLICATION TO RETAIN UGLY SHUTTERING
CEG has once again applied for permission to retain the remaining section of sea defences at Crinnis Beach - this time until June 2015.
The move makes a mockery of Cornwall Council's decision to take enforcement action against them over the ugly shuttering and rock armour which has blighted the beach since they were erected without planning permission in 2004.
The latest part of this saga follows an attempt in November 2013 to retain the defences, which protect the "information centre", until 2016 - but this was refused by the Council's Central area planning committee.
Now once again they seem to be playing the system so that they can delay as much as possible any action which can be taken to remove this terrible eyesore.
The deadline for comments is 20th May - you can have your say on the Cornwall Council website - the application number is PA14/0343.
Hundreds of people have signed our petition calling for the beaches to be cleaned up - including the removal of the shuttering and rock armour. But this move demonstrates once again what CEG thinks about the elected councillors, the local community and the visitor who are horrified at the destruction that's been caused on these beaches.
18TH APRIL 2014: SEA DEFENCES MUST GO SAY COUNCIL
Cornwall Council has at last decided to take enforcement action against CEG over the sea defences at Crinnis Beach, Carlyon Bay.
At a meeting of the Central area Planning Committee, councillors expressed their anger and frustration over the continued blighting of the beach by ugly sea defences which were constructed without planning permission in 2004.
They voted unanimously to order their removal - although procedure means that the order will take three months to come into effect and CEG will have 12 months to comply after that. CEG will also have the right to appeal - so they have plenty of opportunity to play the legal game to cause as much delay as possible as they have done in the past. (see below)
Nevertheless, Carlyon Bay Watch welcomes the council's decision and hopes that by the 2015 season the public might be able to enjoy the natural levels of the foreshore once again.
28TH MARCH 2014: SEA DEFENCES - DECISION DUE ON ENFORCEMENT
A council decision on whether to take enforcement action against CEG over the sea defences at Carlyon Bay is due on 14th April.
Bay Watch has been calling on Cornwall Council to enforce the law to make CEG
remove the unauthorised structures which have been blighting what should be St
Austell's best asset for ten years.
Carlyon Parish Council has also been pressing for action. At its monthly meeting in March, chairman John Hermes expressed his anger and frustration at the attitude of planners and developers in delaying enforcement of the removal of the sea defences.
Waves batter the shuttering and sales hut during the storms in February.
CEG's application to retain until 2016 the remaining rusting sea defences at the western end of Crinnis Beach was refused by members of Cornwall
Council's planning committee 25th November 2013. The vote was 11 to 2 with one abstention in favour of refusing the
application, despite the planning officer's recommendation to approve
Councillors had asked council officers for a report on the options for enforcement - they were to have discussed the matter in March but the report was delayed to take into account the damage caused by February's storms.
The "temporary" rock armour and sheet
piling was built without planning permission in 2004. Since then there
has been a Public Inquiry and an Enforcement Notice issued for its
removal - with a deadline of 31st December 2011. Much of the shuttering
and rock armour was removed with the exception of a large section
protecting the information/sales hut at the western end of Crinnis.
was given a one-year extension to allow "time to move the sales hut to
the top car park". There was never any attempt to move it or the
"temporary" sea defences and in October 2012 CEG applied to retain this
eyesore until June 2014. After an eight months delay, that application
was tabled for decision on 10th June 2013 but was withdrawn, almost at the last
minute. Some weeks later a new application for an extension until 2016 was lodged and eventually rejected in November.
believe this is a cynical abuse of the planning system. CEG's excuse
that the shuttering is needed to protect the sales hut is simply not
valid because they already have permission to move it. This blight on
the shoreline should not be allowed to remain.
6th MARCH 2014: BEACH FOOTPATH RE-OPENS
After the recent closure of the Public Right of Way to Crinnis beach following the storm of 4th/5th February, the path was re-opened over the weekend of the 22nd/23rd.
Developers CEG had closed off the beach to the public saying the damage caused by the storm had made it unsafe.
But Carlyon Parish Council had condemned the closure and said it would seek a meeting with CEG. Councillors said they're were concerned about the way CEG closed the PROWand it wasn't clear whether they had the authorisation necessary from Cornwall Council.
At their monthly meeting on 18th February, councillors heard that CEG say they had closed the PROW because the "building site" had been exposed by damaged fencing and also the beaches were littered with debris (such as broken fencing) tossed around by the storms. (We would point out that there wouldn't be such debris if CEG had removed the structures it had placed on the beaches as asked by CBW and the hundreds of people who have signed our petition).
Councillors said they were concerned about the on-going behaviour of guards stopping people using the PROW even though the extreme weather has gone.
CEG are closing the path at will using public safety as an excuse - but it was pointed out that other Cornish beaches are not policed in this way. Council chairman John Hermes said that he believed it was up to the public whether to use the PROW in extreme weather - by all means warn them of the dangers, he said, but they should not be shut out.
Councillor Fran Taylor said CEG's actions show they cannot be trusted to keep footpaths which are part of the Section 106 agreements open.
(CEG has always claimed that there is no need for a designated Public Right of Way because public access is "guaranteed" by the S106 agreements which are a condition of the planning permission. In fact such paths would be permissive only and could be closed at any time - such as for reasons of "public safety".)
The issue of signage of the Public Right of Way was also raised - despite being a designated PROW since 2008 it has never had any signage so that strangers to the area don't realise they have the right to use it (and the guards don't enlighten them). Now, at last, after months, if not years, of nagging, the signs are ready but face more delays before they can be installed due to pressure of work on Conrwall Council contractors Cormac. The council decided to allocate £500 to try to get the work done as soon as possible.
11th FEBRUARY 2014: STORM DEBRIS "CAUSING MARINE HAZARD"
Construction debris, apparently washed off the beaches at Carlyon Bay and out into St Austell Bay, has been called a hazard to wildlife and shipping. It then washed up in large mounds on Par Beach a few miles away. If it is established the plastic netting and shredded pieces of geo-textile came from Carlyon Bay, the
developer CEG is likely to be told to clear it up.
Plastic mesh washed up on Par Beach after the storm
What appears to be the same material lies exposed on the beaches at Carlyon Bay
material was used to help anchor the so-called temporary sea defences
at Carlyon Bay and was exposed and ripped up by the storm.
It appears to have been washed out into St Austell Bay and then taken eastwards to Par Beach (a process incidentally which CEG persistently claimed could never happen - they say anything washed off Carlyon Bay beaches would be washed back in again and not migrate elsewhere).
material is causing a marine hazard because of the danger to wildlife
and to boats' propellors and CBW understands that the Marine Management
Organisation, the government body which polices the marine environment,
is taking action and will be visiting Carlyon Bay and talking to CEG.
The Cornwall Wildlife Trust is also keeping an eye on the situation.
CBW has been urging for the remains of the sea defences, erected without planning permission in 2004, to be removed. Removal was ordered after a Public Inquiry in 2006 decided that the planned sea defences were not viable.
After years of delay, nearly a mile of metal shuttering and rock armour were removed from the tidal zone and piled up at the back of the beaches, but the concrete foundations and the materials used to anchor the defences, were left in place under the sand.
November 2013, Cornwall Council's planning committee decided that CEG
should not be allowed an application to retain a remaining section around the Information Hut until 2016. The
Council has not yet decided what action to take and in any case the
company has six months to decide whether or not to appeal against the
The massive storm which battered Cornwall over the 4th and 5th of
February has caused significant flooding and damage to the beaches at
At high tide waves overtopped the raised roadway around Shorthorn Point and the rock armour and shuttering in front of the Information hut at the western end of Crinnis. 'Sand' was washed over the roadway and has banked up over the lower end.
Fences were smashed and the textile used to help anchor the temporary sea defences was exposed and ripped up. Some of it has washed up on Par Beach at the eastern end of St Austell Bay.
If you have any photos please email them to us at email@example.com
1st FEBRUARY 2014: NEW SIGNS 'MISLEADING' SAY CAMPAIGNERS
New signs erected by developers CEG are misleading people using the Public Right of Way, say footpath campaigners.
New signage next to the Public Right of Way on Crinnis beach - but it can't apply rules to that path
The signs give notice of a dog ban from May to September, as well as warning that dogs should be on leads. They also warn not to drop litter, not to light barbecues, to beware of tides and unstable cliffs and to wear beachwear at all times (even in winter???).
Of course they have every right to impose rules on a private beach, but the signs are adjacent to the Public Right of Way (PROW) and give the impression they cover behaviour on that right of way.
In fact, CEG cannot stop people taking their dogs on the PROW or insist dogs are on leads on that path.
long-running issue of whether that PROW
should be extended to the waterline was approved by Cornwall councillors
in January 2013 after a campaign by two local
residents, Gloria Price and Frances Taylor, with the help of the Open
Spaces Society. Before that CEG had closed
access to the foreshore when they pleased with fencing and locked
CEG appealed against that decision and the issue will be decided after a public inquiry to be held in June this year.
People have enjoyed access to the sea here for generations
and unless it is enshrined in law it will only be allowed at the whim of
the developer. CEG claims public access is guaranteed through the
Section 106 agreements drawn up as part of their planning permission -
but there are plenty of examples of Section 106 agreements being changed
at a later date.
25th NOVEMBER 2013: 'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH' - WALL MUST GO
CEG's application to retain until 2016 the remaining rusting sea defences at the western end of Crinnis Beach, Carlyon Bay, has been refused by members of Cornwall Council's planning committee. In a meeting on Monday 25th November, the vote was 11 to 2 with one abstention in favour of refusing the application, despite the planning officer's recommendation to approve it.
The shuttering and rock armour erected in 2004 in front of the Information Hut. CEG were first told to remove it in 2008 but CEG wanted to keep it until 2016.
CBW is delighted that councillors have listened to Carlyon Parish Council, who have consistently called for this eyesore to be removed, to Councillor Tom French of the St Austell Bay ward who supported the Parish Council's position and to the hundreds of people who have signed our petition. Anne Langley, who stood as an Independent at the May elections and came a close second to Cllr French, spoke at the meeting as an objector:
"I stand before you today as an individual representing the views of over 1,000 people, made up from those who voted for me in the May elections and the signatories on our Clean Up Carlyon Bay petition. Please imagine all those voices echoing my sentiments around this room.
The rusting sheet metal piling remaining on our beautiful beach at Carlyon Bay has blighted the seascape for far too long, fully nine years already.
This company promised a world class development and the reality is a world class mess, which shows no sign of being removed.
Contrary to the officer's report, the Information Centre was not placed on a brownfield site, but on a part which was open beach, quite separate from the other buildings. A forward thinking company could have left the roof on the old Wimpy building and used that for an Information Centre instead of putting a new building on the beach itself.
Although there's a sign stating 'Visitor Centre open 6 days a week', it's been closed for months. No sales, no construction, no visitors, no need to keep it! Indeed the word 'sales' has been deleted from the hut.
The storm warning system is protecting an empty building - not the public. The sea, cutting in around the edge of the shuttering, has undermined more of the cliffs, making them very unstable.
I would hardly call leaving something in place for 9 years (since 2004) temporary. The previously approved temporary deferred enforcement should have seen the sheet piling removed by December 2012. A further temporary application was inexplicably withdrawn on the day it was due to be discussed - June 7th this year. Now we have the present application. These applications have prevented enforcement action. How many more will follow? Are these not delaying tactics?
The officer's report refers to 'the economic climate is causing continued delay' and with reference to the implementation of the hybrid planning permission - 'at the time of writing, no further indication has been given by the developer as to when this will occur'.
Just how much longer are you prepared to allow this ugly mess on a Cornish beach?
Take note- this application requesting 'temporary' permission for further retention of the defences until March 2016 goes way beyond the date granted consent on the **hybrid application (PA11/01331) expiring in December 2014.
The solution is simple - move the Information Centre away from the sea - then you do not need the sea defences. Make the consented move to the top car park out of harm's way.
Instruct the officers to instigate enforcement proceedings to remove the other steel shuttering between Crinnis and Shorthorn, which is serving no useful purpose whatsoever."
(** The 'hybrid' application was a detailed consent for the sea wall (i.e. they could build it today) and an outline consent for 511 apartments, retail units etc.)
Carlyon Bay Watch now calls on Cornwall Council to enforce the law to make CEG remove the unauthorised structures which are blighting what should be St Austell's best asset.
CBW member Peter Browning adds: "I think common sense has at last prevailed and we believe that it's now high time that Cornwall Council recognised its duty to take the already long-delayed (since 2008) enforcement action without any further delay. The joke of it is that in order to construct the approved sea wall they will have to remove the unapproved sea wall anyway. I think the people of St Austell will be well pleased that due democratic process will remove the ugly eyesore that has been blighting their best local beach for nearly ten years."
18th NOVEMBER 2013: SEA DEFENCES DECISION DUE
A decision is due on Monday 25th November 2013 into CEG's application to leave the rusting iron shuttering in place at the western end of Crinnis beach at Carlyon Bay until March 2016.
The Information/Sales hut with shuttering and rock armour CEG wants this eyesore to stay until March 2016
Cornwall Council's central area planning committee is due to meet at St Austell's One Stop Shop in Penwinnick Road at 2pm - members of the public who wish to speak either in favour or in opposition will each be allowed three minutes to make their points.
CBW is urging the members of the committee to listen to the hundreds of people who have signed our petition calling for the beaches to be cleaned up and reject this application to extend the life of these "temporary" sea defences. More than 700 local people and visitors have signed the petition both on paper and online (http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/cleanupcarlyonbay1).
Comments include "an absolute disgrace", "a shocking eyesore", "the current state of the beach is damaging the local economy", "how can such an environmental mess be left unchallenged?". Many ask why Cornwall Council doesn't do something to protect this beach and support the tourist trade.
The "temporary" rock armour and sheet piling was built without planning permission in 2004. Since then there has been a Public Inquiry and an Enforcement Notice issued for its removal - with a deadline of 31st December 2011. Much of the shuttering and rock armour was removed with the exception of a large section protecting the information/sales hut at the western end of Crinnis.
CEG was given a one-year extension to allow "time to move the sales hut to the top car park". There was never any attempt to move it or the "temporary" sea defences and in October 2012 CEG applied to retain this eyesore until June 2014. After an eight months delay, that application was tabled for decision on 10th June 2013, but those due to speak at that meeting, including ward member for St Austell Bay Councillor Tom French and Carlyon Parish Council chairman John Hermes, were told upon arrival that the application had been withdrawn, almost at the last minute. Some weeks later this this latest application was lodged.
We believe this is a cynical abuse of the planning system. CEG's excuse that the shuttering is needed to protect the sales hut is simply not valid because they already have permission to move it. This blight on the shoreline should not be allowed to remain for another three years.
6th SEPTEMBER 2013: SEA DEFENCES "DO NOT HAVE CONSENT"
Readers of the Cornish Guardian letters page 28th.August will need to know that the claim by Mr. Kenny (Director, Commercial Estates Group) to have been “given planning consent” for the sea defences has no foundation in fact. The truth is that, having built their sea defences without planning permission in 2004, CEG’s retrospective planning application was rejected after a long Public Inquiry in 2006. Then, in 2008, Restormel Borough Council served an Enforcement Order to remove the construction by the end of 2011 and, to give requested time for removal, this was later extended to December 2012.
In October 2012, CEG applied for a further extension until mid-2014 but, on the very day that application was to be decided, CEG withdrew their application. Carlyon Bay Watch then sought to have the Enforcement implemented, whereupon CEG made yet another application, this time for the construction to remain until mid-2016. Given that Cornwall Council cannot, in law, enforce whilst an application exists, would one not perhaps be entitled to believe that CEG have become dab hands at playing the system?
The key point is that this construction has never been ‘given planning consent’ as alleged, and given that other people have been hauled before the courts and heavily fined for failure to comply with planning rules, one might hope that a reputable company like CEG would wish to expedite a fair and just resolution by the speedy removal of the sea wall in full compliance with the decision made by the Secretary of State in 2006, now nearly seven years ago
20th JULY 2013: CEG SUBMITS NEW SHEET PILING APPLICATION
Developers CEG have submitted another planning application to leave the rusting iron pilings around the sales hut at the western end of the beach in place - this time until March 2016. This so-called "temporary" retention of sea defences is the latest move in a saga going back nine years and the pilings will have been in place for 12 years by 2016 - even though they were built without a shred of planning permission and CEG were told to remove them five years ago.
The 80 metre section was left to protect the information cabin after the rest of the unauthorised defences were removed in 2011. CEG were given a 12-month extension to give them "time to move the sales hut to the top car park". A deadline of 31st December 2012 came and went and then CEG put in an application to extend the deadline again until July 2014. On 10th June Cornwall Council's Central area planning committee were due to decide whether to allow this application - but just a few hours before the 2pm meeting the committee was informed the application had been withdrawn pending yet another application asking for yet more time.
Now that application is in there will be a consultation period, then a planning officer's report, then a council decision. So another summer season will have come and gone with immense harm being done to the tourist industry and a local amenity caused by this rusting eyesore.
Then if they are allowed this extension it means visitors and locals will have to put up with it blighting the beach for another three years - and even then we believe CEG will just keep on making more applications. There is no need for the hut to be there - it is rarely open and they already have permission to move it to the top car park, but it seems they don't intend to do anything to make the beach better for visitors in the interim before any building begins.
Again and again we've seen these delaying tactics and CBW believes they should not be allowed to keep getting away with it. We're calling on Cornwall Council to carry out the Enforcement Order and make the developers remove the structures.
10TH MAY 2013: DEVELOPERS APPEAL OVER PUBLIC FOOTPATH
The developers, CEG, have appealed against the decision by Cornwall Council to approve a Public Right of Way across Crinnis beach to the waterline. As usual they have waited until the very last minute to lodge the appeal thereby spinning out the process for as long as possible. It means a decision will have to be made by the Secretary of State and may lead to a Public Inquiry. Once again it shows that CEG, despite their protestations of guaranteeing public access, again and again make every effort to obstruct it.
The long-running issue of whether a Public Right of Way down to Crinnis should be extended to the waterline was approved by Cornwall councillors in January. It was the culmination of a long campaign by two local residents, Gloria Price and Frances Taylor, with the help of the Open Spaces Society.
CEG claimed there is no public right of way beyond this and they closed access to the foreshore when they pleased with fencing and locked gates. But people have enjoyed access to the sea here for generations and unless it is enshrined in law it will only be allowed at the whim of the developer. CEG claims public access is guaranteed through the Section 106 agreements drawn up as part of their planning permission - but there are plenty of examples of Section 106 agreements being changed at a later date.
It might have been the demo in March and the degree of publicity it got in the local press or it might be their sense of public spirit, but CEG are carrying out a limited amount of tidying up on the Carlyon Bay beaches. Some rusted panelling is being replaced and the areas of plastic strips and exposed material on the foreshore are being cut back to make it look slightly better for the summer season. However, fencing has been put in on Polgaver to prevent anyone walking in the wooded and shrub area at the back of the beach. Just another reminder that recreation areas once enjoyed by the public have been closed off.
There will be no attempt to clean up the derelict Coliseum site so visitors will still be greeted by partially dismantled buildings on what was once the best beach ion the area.
Around 50 people marched down the Public Right of Way to Crinnis Beach on Wednesday, 27th March to highlight the disgust of many local people at the way it has been left in such a mess. They were calling for it to be cleaned up in time for the summer season so that locals and visitors could enjoy the beach during the time of delay before building starts.
The protesters gathered with Cornish flags before walking down past the wreckage of the Coliseum building with many people remembering the good times they'd had there. Others said they used to go to the beach every week during the summer as it was good for swimming and the trees and shrub area at the back was popular for walking.
All were shocked and saddened to see what had happened to the beach and a couldn't understand how the developers could be allowed to leave it in such a state.
The demonstration was organised after a campaign on Facebook (not organised by CBW) and many more people said they would have come along if it was at the weekend. So it's hoped that more will be organised and we can show the developers how much many people care.
FEBRUARY 14th 2013: GATES REMOVED AFTER FOOTPATH VICTORY
Following the decision by Cornwall Council to approve a Public Right of Way across Crinnis beach to the waterline, the developers have removed gates which were used to prevent such access for 12 hours a day. CEG have until late March to lodge an appeal against the decision - although they have to put forward good reasons backed by evidence. The evidence put forward by the two local residents, Gloria Price and Frances Taylor, who brought the application for the Right of Way, was accepted by Councillors after a thorough examination by the council's officers. So while we wait to see if an appeal is made, at least the public can walk down the road to the beach and onto the foreshore without hindrance. Although guards are still present at the top of Beach Road, CEG say they are there to prevent people driving down, now that the temporary car park at beach level has been closed.
Please remember - you have every right to walk down that road on the Public Right of Way which carries on across the front of the derelict Coliseum building and on to the foreshore.
We also note that work seems to be under way to board up the crumbling remains of the Coliseum - whether to protect the public or any potentially valuable scrap material inside, we don't know.
JANUARY 28th 2013: CAMPAIGNERS' VICTORY OVER FOOTPATH
The long-running issue of whether a Public Right of Way down to Crinnis should be extended to the waterline has been approved by Cornwall councillors. It means victory for two local residents, Gloria Price and Frances Taylor, who have been campaigning on this for many years with the help of the Open Spaces Society. The developers CEG have the right to appeal which would mean it would have to go to the Secretary of State and a possible Public Inquiry.
The fencing at Point 14 which is closed and locked at night, preventing access to the foreshore
CEG claimed there is no public right of way beyond this and they close access to the foreshore when they please and always close it overnight by means of fencing and locked gates. But local footpath campaigners say people have enjoyed access to the sea at Crinnis for generations and unless it is enshrined in law it will only be allowed at the whim of the developer. The developers claim public access is guaranteed through the Section 106 agreements drawn up as part of their planning permission - but there are plenty of examples of Section 106 agreements being changed at a later date.
"The report concludes that there is sufficient evidence to show that a right of way subsists or is reasonably alleged to subsist along the line of the claimed route. It also concludes that on the evidence available there is sufficient evidence to show that on the balance of probabilities a footpath exists and that the Order should be confirmed by the Council if unopposed or sent to the Secretary of State for confirmation if the Order is opposed.
It is therefore recommended to Members that the available evidence is sufficient for the Council to make an Order to add the claimed path to the definitive map and statement. It is further recommended that the Order be confirmed if unopposed or submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation if the Order is opposed."
DECEMBER 6th 2012: CEG PLANS ON HOLD - AND THEY BLAME LOCALS
CEG has announced that it is delaying its building plans for the foreseeable future. But rather than blaming the economic climate (which would be understandable and not surprising) they have chosen to put the blame on two local residents, footpath campaigners, who have been trying to maintain public access to the beach. They claim the "uncertainty" surrounding an application to extend the existing Public Right of Way down Beach Road so that it reaches the foreshore means they cannot design their site. But this application was made in 2009 (before planning permission was granted) and it's wrong to imply it's some sort of time wasting tactic by the residents. Now it's due to be decided by Cornwall Council within a fortnight - so why are they claiming now that this "uncertainty" is due to the Right of Way application?
It is utterly obnoxious that this developer should slur local residents who, with the support incidentally of Carlyon Parish Council, have only been trying to make sure they can still use a route which they have been using for decades. The Right of Way which was approved in 2008 at the moment ends at a point just beyond the Coliseum building (the so-called Point 14 on the definitive map). Campaigners want to have it extended so that people can get to the foreshore as of right - not just when it suits the developers.
Gates are locked overnight preventing access to the shore
The notice is clear: "Permission may be withdrawn at any time"
But despite their claims to want public access to continue they blocked the route in the first place and it took years of effort by local people to have it proclaimed a Right of Way. In fact it was the developer who was responsible for time wasting in that case by not withdrawing their objections until the last moment when a Public Inquiry had already been scheduled.
Now they're objecting to it being extended to the shore (and demonstrate their intentions by the fact that they use locked gates to prevent access to the tideline at their whim now) because whatever they say about welcoming public access, unless it is enshrined in law they could stop it whenever they wished.
This is the official Carlyon Bay Watch response to CEG's press statement:
CARLYON BAY DEVELOPMENT HALTED?
With only a few days to go before Cornwall Council’s Rights of Way panel is set to announce its decision about an Application to extend a public right of way, Carlyonbaywatch is at a loss to understand the developer’s need to publish its decision to ‘slow down’ the development. If this was an attempt to influence the decision makers, we can only hope that they are made of sterner stuff. The Application to extend the Public Right of Way from Point 14 onto the tide-line has been known about for nearly three years. It thus appears ingenuous, to say the least, for the Developer to now seek to lay responsibility for the proposed “slow down” upon the PRoW Applicants. Further, what the developer chooses to describe as a “temporary position of uncertainty” has been a known and certain fact for at least eight years, when this route was marched by 300 local residents on a bitterly cold Sunday early in 2004.And the world economy ? That’s been on the blink since 2009.
It was the developer that chose to block the route to the beach in the first place, despite being alerted to this problem those eight years back.It is the same developer that has since steadfastly refused to countenance any accommodation whatever of the submissions made by Carlyonbaywatch and many others.It is the developer that arbitrarily, and without a shred of planning consent, chose to create the monstrous obstruction of steel and rock in 2004, and has had to be driven by Borough Council and County Enforcement action toward its removal. It is the developer who repeatedly “markets” public access, but yet has physically and regularly locked at whim a route used by locals and visitors for decades.
It is the developer that chose (despite having been given in 2010 a Planning Consent to move the sales hut to the top car park) to leave nearly a kilometre of the Sea Wall in situ, and to disregard the terms of the Enforcement Notice. It is the developer that chose, equally arbitrarily, to barricade the highly important South West Coastal Path which traversed the top car park, thereby forcing walkers onto its chosen fenced route.
It is the developer that deliberately also chose to utterly exclude the key local Resident Group from its Beach Liaison Committee, irrespective of a written promise of constructive and meaningful debate given by that Resident Group, and despite many public declarations of support by Carlyonbaywatch for an ecologically proportionate plan for the brownfield site.
It now appears that this developer is left to seek a scapegoat for its miscalculations whilst it rings its corporate hands about the totally foreseeable and mounting problems surrounding this over-ambitious development.
NOVEMBER 2012: 'TEMPORARY' SEA DEFENCE - STILL HERE IN 2014?
The sheet piling and rock armour still disfiguring the western end of Crinnis beach should be removed by the end of the year according to the Enforcement Order from Cornwall Council - but now CEG has applied to have that deadline extended for another 18 months. We believe they should not be indulged yet again - if you agree please make your views known to the Council by the 30th November.
The remaining section of the sheet piling and rock armour on Crinnis beach, which is supposed to be removed by the end of 2012, might still be blighting the shoreline for the next two summers, if the developers have their way. The remaining section is protecting the information/sales hut and although CEG has already got permission to move the hut to the top car park it has made no attempt to do so or to remove the sea defence.
Iron pilings left to protect the information hut should be removed by 31st December 2012
Now, a month before the deadline for its removal, they have applied to leave it there until June 2014.
The sheet piling and rock armour are the last section of a massive sea defence constructed without planning consent in 2004. In 2008 CBW managed to persuade the former Restormel Borough Council to issue an Enforcement Notice to remove it. CEG eventually complied in 2011 but was given a 12-month extension to give them "time to move the sales hut to the top car park" Now here we go again with yet more of the same dragging of the feet.
CBW believes they should not be allowed to get away with this. We have already seen how a family were put in danger this summer during heavy seas at high tide when they had to scramble over the rock armour. (see below)
We believe CEG has been allowed, first by Restormel and now Cornwall Council to get away with delaying tactics for too long.
OCTOBER 2012: THE INVASION OF CARLYON BAY
Landing craft, helicopters, hovercraft, tracked vehicles and lorries as well as several hundred Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel - a military exercise on the Carlyon Bay beaches on Saturday 8th October proved an exciting spectacle.
Members of the public were not kept away and so were treated to a close up view of all the action with children and even dogs playing feet away from moving vehicles. It was a refreshing change in our Health and Safety culture and its success shown by everyone behaving sensibly and just moving out of the way if asked by the military.
From around 8am to 8pm the beaches saw the Marines practising embarking and landing on landing craft and hovercraft, while Marine drivers took turns in driving lorries on and off large landing craft. A temporary bridge was constructed on top of the existing bridge over the river at Shorthorn to take the weight of heavy vehicles - sections of the bridge were flown in by a RAF Chinook helicopter.
The steepness of the beach and the varying height of the tide posed interesting problems with the threat of the wheels sticking in the sand. A metal track was laid to help give the wheels a solid base but skill was needed to stop the lorries sliding off into the soft 'sand'.
The equipment and personnel came from three Navy ships anchored in St Austell Bay (one of them a leased roll-on roll-off ferry), although some diesel and water tankers spent the night in the top car park off Beach Road.
By the end of Saturday all were taken off the beaches to the waiting ships and were apparently due to sail to another beach to do the exercise all over again - this time on a beach with different conditions.
21st AUGUST 2012: SAFETY FEARS OVER LOCKING OF GATES
Carlyon Parish Council is writing to Cornwall Council after receiving complaints from residents that CEG is locking gates at the end of the Public Right of Way which goes down Beach Road and along the front of the Coliseum building to Point 14 as designated on public footpath maps. In particular people are angry and concerned about safety after gates were locked during an incoming tide with rough seas - trapping some walkers on the beach. They were forced to make their way to the steps at the western end and had to clamber over the rock armour left at that end to protect the information centre - their dog was washed off the rocks and was only saved by its lead.
Anne Langley, a CBW member who was born and brought up in the area, has also raised the matter with St Blaise Council - the parish includes the eastern end of the Carlyon Bay beaches.
Her letter to the council raises some important issues and deserves some attention:
"I am very reliably informed that some local people (3 adults and 1 dog) were using the beaches at Carlyon Bay on the early evening of Wednesday 15th August. When they went down to the beach there were no apparent problems with access and they walked along to Fishing Point. During the time they were there conditions along the coast deteriorated and they could not get out at Fishing Point end, so back tracked along the beach to get out where they had entered the beach on the official footpath to go back up Beach Road. They could not get out. The gate put in by the developer in the fencing had been locked by PJI security, supposedly to stop people using the beach because of the storm. No consideration was given whatsoever for anyone already on the beach wishing to make an escape! The walkers had no option but to proceed to the western end and get off the beach via the steps. With the tide rising around them they had to climb onto the rocks near the sales cabin and one of them almost got washed into the sea. The dog lost its footing and did get washed into the sea and was only saved by the fact that it was on a long lead and the owners managed to pull it back into dry land. The security guards apparently were watching what was happening and aggressively challenged the people about the fact that they were climbing on "their" rocks. (You may recall that this was part of the unauthorised sea wall, subject of enforcement action, which was allowed to remain because of the sales cabin). The western end of this beach is now extremely unstable owing to the "development" which has taken place on the beach by the so-called developer - who is not yet developing anything. It is their direct actions which has made this beach extremely unsafe. As CCC have given consent to develop this beach they must ultimately be responsible for public safety. If the gate put in by the developer had not been locked the people would have been able to exit the beach safely via Beach Road which is where they wanted to get to. Something must be done to stop this ludicrous situation and the answer is not to close it up completely which is obviously what this developer wants.
I was employed by RBC when consent was first granted for development of this beach and the promise of "jobs for the locals" was what got it pushed through by Mr McNally. I was also told by those who made the decision that public access would not be jeopardised by the development. I had more than one Councillor at that time assure me that if there was any question of public access being denied, they would not have approved the application. Sadly this assurance is now in doubt.
As you know I have used this beach personally for over 50 years and the local people always regarded the beach as theirs. It was acknowledged that the buildings were private. There is no other way to put it - this greedy developer has now fenced off what the public have used for generations and made no escape whatsoever for inclement conditions.
I was recently interviewed in person about my use of the beach by Steve Dyer from CCC because of the last part of our official footpath down Beach Road to the beach being fenced by the developer at "Point 14". A point which has only recently popped up on paperwork. For years there was no such a place. People went to the beach. They would not have gone down to "Point 14" and turned around and gone home again! This last section of footpath (which was under water during the storms) is now the subject of discussion at a modification order panel in September - hence Steve Dyer collecting evidence of its use. Apparently he has 36 witness statements. I have told him I can get more if required.
As at least part of the beach falls within your patch, can you please make known this situation before there is a fatality. Anyone using the beach years ago would never have been placed in danger because they could always get far enough back from the sea to escape safely. The developer has also put up notices stating "Private Beach" with permissive use only all over the place, the Public Right of Way exists to the beach and is not private. We do not want the beach CLOSED because nobody can get out because the developer has CLOSED A GATE WHICH SHOULD NOT BE THERE ON A PUBLIC FOOTPATH.
We have seen Councillors come and go - developers come and go - the beach remains and the local people have a right to use it - let's keep it that way!"
Not only are these problems becoming apparent but we were contacted by Julie Hensby who told us:
"I arrived at the beach at 6.45 and the security guard had blocked it off but there was clearly lots of people still on the beach and parked at the bottom car park. I asked him if he would mind if we parked down there as we would only be an hour and my little boy aged four is disabled after fighting a brain tumour since age one. He point blank refused so I had to carry my son down the steps to get access to the beach. When we left there were still people parked in the bottom car park and he was still there . I posted this on Facebook and it seems there are other disabled people that have had the same problem."
We suggested Mrs Hensby contact the local press and her experience was reported by the Cornish Guardian. They asked CEG for a response and were told it was a case of 'managing the public's safety'.
CEG puts great weight on its minibus taking people with mobility problems down to the beach from the top car park. But, as with so much else on this beach now, it is not by right and only operates when CEG wants it to.
13th AUGUST 2012: INJURED 65ft WHALE WASHED UP AT SHORTHORN
Hundreds of people descended on the Carlyon Bay beaches when a 65ft whale was washed up at Shorthorn. The female Fin whale had obvious wounds and gashes and experts said she appeared to be undernourished. It was decided she was too sick to be taken out to sea again and, before vets could act to put her out of her misery, she died a few hours after being washed up. The next day the carcass was towed to the nearby Par Docks and later taken by low loader to an abbatoir in Liskeard.
The crowds of people who turned up to see the whale caused considerable traffic jams in the approach road to Carlyon Bay beaches with cars parking along residential roads after the beach car park rapidly became full. CEG, the owners of the beach, on police advice, set up barriers on the beach and on Beach Road to control access.
It seems that CEG will also have to bear the cost of disposing of the whale's carcass.