20.06.2013 Cornwall AONB Partnership

Cornwall AONB Partnership Meeting – Thursday 20th June 2013, 1.30pm at Siblyback Lake Country Park, Nr Liskeard


The meeting was preceded with a morning walk around the Siblyback Lake, accompanied by Tommy Haydu, Development Manager at Siblyback Lake, SW Lakes Trust and Glenis Pewsey, Resources Strategist, South West Water, to discuss activities available at the Lake, development work and water management issues etc.


In Attendance


Peter Mansfield                       Chairman, Cornwall AONB Partnership

David Appleton                       Natural England

Paul Walton                             National Trust

Jimmy Scobie                         CLA

Rupert Hanbury-Tenison        CLA

Cllr Edwina Hannaford           Cornwall Council

Cllr David Hughes                   Cornwall Council

Catherine Leyshon                  University of Exeter

Mark Summers                       Cornwall Council – Public Health


Supporting Officers:

Dave Owens               Cornwall Council – Asst Head of Environment & Waste      

Hannah Harris             Cornwall Council - Transportation

Toby Lowe                  Cornwall Council – Countryside Access

Jo Traill Thomson       Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager, Cornwall AONB Unit

June Crossland           Planning Officer, Cornwall AONB Unit

Nigel Sumpter             AONB Officer, Cornwall AONB Unit

Pete Maxted               Communications Officer, Cornwall AONB Unit
Julian Powis                Intern Volunteer, Cornwall AONB Unit
Karen Johns                Office Manager, Cornwall AONB Unit


Andrew Williams         Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

Welcomes - The Chairman welcomed new members to the Partnership: Edwina Hannaford, CC Portfolio Holder for Environment, Planning and Heritage; Kate Leyshon University of Exeter; and Mark Summers, Health and Wellbeing Board – Public Health Low Carbon lead, now within Cornwall Council.  Andrew Williams from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP was also welcomed to the meeting, and was attending to provide an update to partners on the LEP and the EU Growth Strategy.

Following the May elections, Cornwall Council has not yet finally confirmed which Councillors will represent on the Partnership, but David Hughes (previous representative) attended the meeting.  It is hoped representation will be known within a few weeks.

Farewell – The Chairman conveyed sincere thanks and farewell on behalf of the Partnership to June Crossland, AONB Unit Planning Officer as she resigns from her post on 26th July.  A new full time Planning Officer has just been appointed, and it is anticipated will commence the post in mid August.

1.  Apologies

Ann Reynolds, Cornwall Council Historic Environment; Victoria Whitehouse, Cornwall Wildlife Trust; Julian German, Cornwall Council; Peter Jefferson, CRCC; Cathy Turtle, Environment Agency; Kath Statham, Cornwall Council Landscape Officer; Philippa Hoskin, Cornwall Council Marine Officer; Nick Russell, English Heritage; Tim Light, King Harry Ferry Co; and Manda Brookman, Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project (CoaST).

2.  Minutes of last Partnership meeting (8 Nov 2012) and matters arising

Page 2, item 2, Rural Roads Protocol – web based publication – CC staff involved in designing and implementing highways management will now receive training to be able to put the protocol into practice. Examples on the highway, of good and bad practice would be welcomed by the CC Transportation team as part of their training.

A30 Temple road duelling – N Sumpter confirmed he has been involved in detailed discussions on the landscaping scheme and aims to ensure that the engineering will be a good environmental scheme as designed and implemented.  R Hanbury Tenison mentioned the using of appropriate road surfacing materials to ensure road noise is kept to a minimum – N Sumpter agreed to feed this back to the working group.

N Sumpter

Page 2, Item 3, Bodmin Moor Commons Council - R Hanbury Tenison stated that as much support as possible is required for farmers and the proposed Bodmin Moor Commons Council.  Rights holders – will contribute financially, but only if they actively exercise their grazing rights. 

Page 2, item 3 - West Penwith Landscape Partnership – Detailed discussions have continued to take place with the working groups.  It is planned that the ongoing detailed discussions will result in a significant landscape partnership bid being submitted to HLF.  The proposed initiative has the support of the farming community.

D Appleton will provide the latest information, via a web link, on the various initiatives Natural England is involved with, so partners can keep up-to-date with e.g. CAP changes, new Agri-Environment Schemes and the National Character Areas refresh.

D Appleton

Page 2, item 4, South West Coast Path 40th anniversary celebrations – T Lowe reported that the walking events were very successful and raised £500,000 in funding which will be used to maintain the SWCP.   CAONB led one of the coast walks ( Peter Maxted) which went well.

Page 3, item 4, Marazion Seafront Enhancements – Coastal Communities bid has been submitted to regenerate the Marazion seafront area and extend the cycle route into Mounts Bay.  N Sumpter has been liaising with the local agencies – e.g. the landowners - St Aubyn Estate.

Page 3, item 4, Off Road cycling – a project to get people out into the countryside to enjoy cycling – RDPE funded project to commission 1SW to undertake cycling surveys.  A Tracks and Trails Expo event is being organised at Eden in July - it will promote off-road cycling routes, but also road cycling routes will be promoted through a new book.  J Scobie asked that the AONB Unit consult the Cornwall Countryside Access Forum on proposed cycling routes.


Page 5, item 9, CPRE’s National Park campaign for Cornwall - following the meeting with CPRE DG Shaun Spiers, nothing further has been heard from CPRE on this. 
R Hanbury Tenison stated that the AONB Partnership works really well with Bodmin Moor landowners and communities, and Bodmin Moor landowners and communities would not welcome Cornwall becoming a National Park.

Page 5, item 11, Mevagissey Bay View, School Hill, Mevagissey – As reported at the November meeting, the AONB Unit had submitted advisory comments to refuse the development proposal (Natural England similarly) and the Case Officer recommended refusal but  the Central Planning Committee approved the proposal for 31 dwellings (20 units affordable).  A move by Mevagissey Parish Council, supported by the Unit, to persuade DCLG was ultimately unsuccessful but the Parish Council took up the case via Judicial Review which resulted in Cornwall Council (pre hearing) agreed to have the approval quashed, accepting that the proposal did in fact not demonstrably comply with National Planning Policy Framework guidance.  The AONB Unit, AONB Partnership Chairman and Natural England have a meeting on 24 June to discuss lessons to be learnt in better joint working on cases such as this Mevagissey application.  It appears that the application will be resubmitted to the new Central Cornwall Planning Committee in due course.  Already CC has determined that it will not require an Environmental Impact Assessment.

3.  Minutes of last Executive Board meetings (Feb 2013 and May 2013) – provided in the agenda papers for partners’ awareness – there were no matters arising from the two sets of minutes.

4.  Dave Owens, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Environment Partnership (CISEP)

Dr Alan Knight has been appointed as Chairman of the CISEP.  Selection of Board members will commence in the next few weeks.  There will be a formal launch event in October 2013 using the platform of a new Cornwall Statement of the Environment Report.  National feedback from the bid process has been very positive, and one of the strengths being that the Partnership aims to concentrate on the triple bottom line, not just primarily focussing on biodiversity.as is the  case elsewhere.

Regular e-news updates for Partners: Usefulness of the AONB Unit’s email updates was mentioned, particularly in light of all the changes and continuing progresses of the CISEP etc.  It was AGREED that the AONB Unit should continue to provide regular email updates to partners.


5. Andrew Williams, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the EU Growth Strategy

Andrew Williams chairs the LEP Land Task and Finish Group and gave a full briefing on how the LEP is approaching the task it has been given by government of shaping the new EU funding programme for Cornwall.  Partners were asked to feed back any comments to David Rodda e.g. any comments on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats etc which were listed following discussions at a Land workshop on 20 May 2013, which was attended by representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors.  Comments should be submitted to David Rodda (david.rodda@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk) by close of play 28 June 2013.

All partners


6.  Mark Summers, Health & Wellbeing Board

M Summers presented an overview of the Health & Wellbeing Board and circulated a paper that explained the new structure of the health and social care system in England. 
M Summers mentioned opportunities of linking health and wellbeing with the natural environment, and his Health and Wellbeing Board colleagues would benefit from discussing issues and joint working with AONB partners.  The H&WB Board is looking to set up a Health Task and Finish Group – membership of which would need to be considered.


7.  Panel discussion on the importance of the 3 Boards to the Cornwall AONB

T Lowe reiterated the importance of revenue raising to maintain the current excellent access networks in Cornwall – footpaths etc.  Without sufficient revenue, the level of excellence cannot be maintained.

A Williams added that the LEP is also being asked what it is doing or can look to do with other/neighbouring LEPs – looking at how localism is also being delivered regionally is also important.  Projects that have cross-regional benefits are worth putting forward.  P Walton mentioned the National Trust works locally, regionally and nationally and also links with the AONBs throughout the Country, so joint working and linkages should continue and feed into the LEP as appropriate.  The SW Protected Landscapes Forum has recently disbanded, but perhaps an alternative Forum of ensuring continuation of links regionally is required.


8.    AONB Unit activity report – projects, planning and communications

 Davidstow windfarm application – a new application is understood is due imminently – there will be a capacity issue as J Crossland leaves her post on 26 June and new Planning Officer will not start until August.  The importance of joint working with NE on any submission to Cornwall Council is essential.

Neighbourhood Planning – 50% of Neighbourhood Plans coming forward are in the AONB.  AONB/CC have been running joint workshops for parish councils.  A pilot project is being undertaken for 6 months in St Minver Highlands and St Minver Lowlands Parish Councils.


9.  Partner updates and monitoring

·         P Walton mentioned the National Trust’s concerns regarding the Nare Hotel on the Roseland and the planning application for major re-development.  Particularly concerns with J Crossland leaving the AONB Unit.  It is a controversial application, it is hoped that it will go to Committee, and an officer from the AONB will hopefully be invited to attend that Committee to reiterate concerns from the AONB point of view.

·         H Harris - Local Transport Board – a result of Government devolving powers to local areas.  The Local Transport Board will include both Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Councils.  A set of criteria on how the LTB will assess schemes has to be agreed by end July.  This is for any large transport scheme – road, rail, cycle – integrated transport schemes etc.  The CISEP has a seat on the Local Transport Board, so the AONB Partnership can feed into the LTB via CISEP.

·         D Appleton – Government review of Natural England and Environment Agency has just taken place.  Change is anticipated.  National Character Areas have been prepared – Bodmin, Penwith and The Lizard are the areas for the Cornwall AONB.  D Appleton will circulate the web link and email address to which comments can be made.

D Appleton

·         J Scobie – requested an update on the Cornwall Local Plan progress – J Crossland confirmed a special meeting of the AONB Partnership was held to discuss and agree comments on behalf of the Partnership and response was submitted to Cornwall Council on the Public Consultation Local Plan.  The Cornwall Local Plan will be discussed by the new Portfolio Advisory Committee (PAC). 

·         T Lowe – South West Coast Path – NE has confirmed an additional 2% reduction in funding again this year – on top of the 30% cut last year.  Recent severe weather damage causing landslides has increased essential maintenance costs.  AONB Management Plan action TA3 – comment is that ‘progress is ongoing’.  Countryside team were asked to let parish/town and Cornwall Councillors know of particular access maintenance issues as there may be alternative funding opportunities that can be found.

·         M Summers - 66 Public Health outcomes list – was circulated at the meeting.


10.   Schedule of Future Meeting Dates for 2013/14

Next Partnership is provisionally on Thursday 5 Dec 2013 (subject to AONB Unit checking Cornwall Council Committee meeting clashes etc once it is know which Cornwall Cllrs are elected onto the Cornwall AONB Partnership).

11.  Any Other Business

Chairman thanked Jo Traill Thomson for her much appreciated contribution to the Cornwall AONB - team management and communication with partners has been particularly strengthened during her time with the AONB Unit and should be maintained.  Colette Holden is due to return from maternity leave in September 2013.