26.11.2015 Cornwall AONB Partnership

Minutes of Cornwall AONB Partnership Meeting held on Thursday 26 November 2015 at 9.30am in the Council Chamber, Cornwall Council’s Carrick House, Pydar Street, Truro


In Attendance


Bob Kirby-Harris                  Chairman, Cornwall AONB Partnership
Cllr Joyce Duffin                   Cornwall Council
Cllr David Hughes                Cornwall Council
Cllr Loveday Jenkin              Cornwall Council
Cllr Vivian Hall                      Cornwall Council
Jo Traill Thomson                 Natural England
Ian Kemp                               National Trust
Victoria Whitehouse            Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Peter Jefferson                     Cornwall Rural Community Charity
Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher     National Farmers’ Union
Jimmy Scobie                       Country Landowners & Business Assn (CLA)
Rupert Hanbury-Tenison   Country Landowners & Business Assn (CLA)
David Rodda                         Cornwall Agri-food Council/Cornwall Dev Company
Catherine Leyshon              University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus
Nick Russell                          Historic England

Supporting officers:

Kevin Bryant                    Cornwall Council, Direct Services
Ann Reynolds                   Cornwall Council, Historic Environment
Hannah Harris                 Cornwall Council, Transportation
Philippa Hoskin               Cornwall Council, Strategic Environment
David Edmondson          Cornwall Council, Planning
Colette Beckham            Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager
James Evans                   Cornwall AONB Planning Officer
Jane Davies                    Cornwall AONB Development Officer
Karen Johns                   Cornwall AONB Office & Finance Officer

1.   Apologies

Andrew Williams, LEP; World Heritage Site Team; Rachael Bice, Cornwall Council Strategic Environment; Kath Statham, Cornwall Council Landscape/Public Space; Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council; Environment Agency; Ann Preston-Jones, Historic England; Terry Grove-White, Cornwall Council Planning

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and started with sharing some good news that the Government spending review announcement on 25 Nov 2015 had confirmed continued Defra funding for AONBs and National Parks.

Also partners were informed that the AONB Unit office will be moving from current Portacabins to offices across the car park in Carrick House, Truro (former Cornwall Housing offices) before Christmas or early in the New Year.


2.  Minutes of last meeting (11 June 2015) and matters arising

Page 1, Cornwall Wildlife Trust Intertidal Discovery maps – AONB Unit confirmed that there is now a link to the maps from the Cornwall AONB website - see http://www.cornwallaonb.org.uk/projects/

Page 2, Item 2, Partnership Agreement 2015/16 – AONB Unit confirmed that the Partnership Chairman and Partnership Manager had met with MPs Steve Double, George Eustace and Sarah Newton to discuss AONB issues and future funding. 

Page 3, item 3, Cornwall Local Plan – AONB comments have now been addressed.  Public consultation draft is expected in January.


3.  Registration of the Cornwall AONB Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

The minimum of 3 trustees required to register the new CIO is still to be agreed.  Bob Kirby-Harris, Chairman will be a trustee and all Partners have been invited to be a trustee.  Since the agenda papers were circulated, Rupert Hanbury Tenison has confirmed he will be a trustee.  We now need one more in order to register the CIO, but as no further partners interested then the vacancy will be externally advertised in the local newspapers, on the website etc.  The advert will be asking for 3 more as a total of 5 trustees is the favoured number for the CIO.

  • Draft advert was included with agenda papers and partners made the following comments:
  •  Trustees from community, voluntary, private sectors would be preferred. 
  •  Advert needs to state whether paid or unpaid role and if expenses are remunerated
  • Mention geographic representation from Cornwall – perhaps suggest a spread of trustees for geographic coverage/interest of mid, east and west of the Cornwall AONB.
  •   Expected time needed to be committed to the role. 
  •  Suggest a press release or article in addition to a voluntary job advert to gain wider coverage/readership
  • CIO set up time - CRCC’s experience is that it is more than likely to take longer than the suggested 40 days to set up.


4.  Management Plan Review 2015

AONB Unit has produced a draft Plan following the scoping exercise undertaken by Land Use Consultants, consultation over the summer with partners, workshops, parish councils, general public, other stakeholders and community groups etc.  Online survey monkey questionnaire on the Strategic policies and the 12 local chapters resulted in 200 responses to local chapters and 100 responses on Strategic policies.

The Draft Plan will be reported to Cornwall Council’s Planning Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and Housing & Environment PAC in Jan 2016.

A Public Consultation Draft will be available for comment at the end of January to mid February 2016.  Plan will then be reported to Cornwall Council’s Cabinet in March 2016.  New Plan designed and printed in May 2016.

C Beckham presented the new layout of the revised Plan, which has been in line with recommendations in the scoping report produced by Land Use Consultants.

Delivery Plan – 26 key actions for the partnership and individual partner organisations and AONB Unit are listed A – Z on pages 15-20.  Partners were asked to take part in a workshop as part of this meeting to consider the ’Key Priorities for collaboration’

In addition to separate write-up made on the above exercise, Partners made the following comments on the Draft Plan:

  •  Appendix 1 – change of landscape/areas – need to mention change of economic position of some of the AONB areas in this appendix as well – unfortunately some areas are now worse so this should be detailed.
  •  Add another column for monitoring to measure/monitor the success/progress of the activities.

AONB Unit to address the following suggested changes.

  • Policies and guidance – needs a summary to detail cross cutting themes in particular the land management to explain why Food, Farming, Forestry is not there i.e. a statement to explain that Cornwall is unique, landscape is managed by the farming, forestry, tourism and other business sectors.
  •   Since draft Plan was circulated with agenda papers, C Beckham has met with David Rodda, Rupert Hanbury Tension, Jimmy Scobie and Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher, and the significance of land management wording was raised and discussed at all their meetings, and C Beckham will address this in re-wording/adding appropriate statements and will circulate a copy of the Draft Plan to them for any comments and agreement prior to the Plan going out for Public Consultation in January.
  •  Has any Gap analysis of the policies taken place?  To understand what isn’t going to be delivered through the Management Plan.  The previous Management Plan included an activity/action for each of the policies, but this was felt unwieldly and the Plan was too long, so the revised Plan has been adapted.
  •    P Jefferson suggested that ‘Management Plan’ is not the correct name for the document as it is a delivery document and it should be an action for the Partnership to raise with Defra about the name to address this for the next revised document  in 5 years’ time.


Key Priorities for collaboration – workshop sticky dots exercise:

Partners were asked to undertake the above exercise, and at the end
C Beckham looked at some of the main issues raised and these were discussed at the meeting:

  •  Boundary markers – Rupert stated that these have been cause for concern across Bodmin Moor as landowners on the Moor have worked for years to ensure less signage clutter.  C Beckham, confirmed that there are no plans to place any boundary markers on Bodmin Moor.  Although it is planned to put one granite boundary marker on the A30 at Temple as part of the A30 dualling scheme.  The AONB Unit is also working with Kier and local schools on a small project to bury a time capsule under the granite boundary marker.
  • The AONB Unit confirmed that boundary markers/signage throughout the 12 sections of the AONB will only be installed if parish councils approach the Unit to request them, as is the case for the signage project currently underway on the Lizard with Grade Ruan Parish Council. 
  •  Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher stated that we need to be clear the Partnership doesn’t give out mixed messages with regards to the Cornwall AONB as it is already unclear to many what the AONB is and where the 12 separate sections are, so when promoting the Cornwall AONB and the new CIO, it is essential to consider the name carefully to avoid further confusion when trying to promote awareness.
  •  QR codes on interpretation signs in car parks etc could be a way to promote awareness and using modern technology.
  •  Partners felt that signage on car park signs etc is a better idea than cluttering the countryside with signs.
  • Partners agreed that marketing and promotion of the AONB is necessary and important but the activity will be re-visited and re-worded to not state boundary markers – activity ‘O’ on the list to be re-worded/re-visited.
  • The AONB Unit will discuss in more detail with Ruper Hanbury Tenison regarding boundary markers AONB Unit


5.  Any Other Business – none


6.  Date of Next meeting – to be confirmed



11.06.2015 Cornwall AONB Partnership

Minutes of Cornwall AONB Partnership meeting held on Thursday 11th June 2015 at 10.00am at the Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan

In Attendance


Bob Kirby-Harris                               Chairman, Cornwall AONB Partnership
Cllr David Hughes                             Cornwall Council
Cllr Loveday Jenkin                          Cornwall Council
John Holmes                                      Natural England
Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher                    NFU
Jimmy Scobie                                    CLA
Victoria Whitehouse                          Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Ian Kemp                                            National Trust

Supporting Officers:

Daniel Ratcliffe                    Cornwall Council, Historic Environment Service
Colette Beckham                Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager
James Evans                       Cornwall AONB Planning Officer
Karen Johns                         Cornwall AONB Office Manager


Cllrs Joyce Duffin* and Edwina Hannaford*, Cornwall Council; Hannah Harris*, Cornwall Council Transportation; Peter Jefferson*, CRCC; David Appleton, Natural England; Andrew Williams, LEP; Historic England; Kath Statham, Cornwall Council Landscape/Public Space Team; David Edmondson, Cornwall Council Planning; Kevin Bryan, Cornwall Council Head of Direct Services; Rachael Bice, Cornwall Council Strategic Environment; Kate Leyshon, University of Exeter; David Rodda, Cornwall Agri-food Council

(Note: * these members/officers gave apologies for the morning but did attend the afternoon Management Plan Review Workshop sessions)

Minutes of last meeting (11 December 2014) – were agreed to be a true and accurate record.  The following matters arose:


Page 2 , Item 2, Cornwall Wildlife Trust Intertidal discovery maps website – link not yet made to AONB website, V Whitehouse will forward the link so this can be actioned.

Victoria Whitehouse/AONB Unit

Page 3, item 3, Natural England, Agri Environment Schemes mapping – J Holmes had thought relevant team would be in touch with AONB Unit re mapping – but he will follow this up

John Holmes


Minutes of last Exec Board (14/4/15)

Page 2, item 2, Planning Protocol – AONB Unit have been notified that the AONB will be consulted on all applications within the AONB as Cornwall Council refrained from following the previous Protocol due to cost implications.  However, this means that there will be no consultation on sites adjacent to the AONB which may harm the AONB setting.  At present the Unit is replying on notifications from parishes and members of the public.

David Hughes suggested that AONB Unit send a letter to CALC members to let them know that parish councils can contact the Unit for planning advice, or at least to make the Unit aware of a planning application that we may or may not be aware of.

The AONB Unit would also like to have the opportunity to train planning officers in landscape character and NPPF.  Discussions have been had with David Edmondson regarding the Unit providing training sessions, but Cornwall Council has yet to agree this.

David Hughes stated that the definition of ‘major’ planning application is a significant issue to Councillors when making decisions on applications.  If it is classed as ‘major’ then Councillors have greater weight to regard to the AONB as they know it is a major application.


1.       Management Plan Review 2015 – results of scoping study and next steps

 The agenda paper set out the main suggested changes made by Land Use Consultants as a result of the Scoping Study they undertook on the Management Plan Review exercise.  Partners considered the suggestions and made the following points during their discussions:-

Climate Change and Weather Events – partners felt this could be seen as a positive as well as a negative, as it will allow farmers/landowners to think about addressing climate change to benefit the cost effectiveness and viability of their farms.  Industrial future of farms – gates being widened, hedges removed etc is likely to be a future issue of the AONB landscape.

Policies such as farm diversification, land management for benefit of nature, the scoping report suggested they are transferred from Farming, Food and Forestry chapter to Sustainable Economic Development, Natural Capital and Planning and Development chapters.  The Scoping Report suggests not having specific policies in the Farming, Food, Forestry chapter (or even having this chapter at all) – but this is a decision for the Partnership to make.  Partners felt that Farming, Food and Forestry chapter is important and should remain as farmers/landowners are key to the AONB landscape.

The purpose of the Management Plan and who it will be used by must be considered.  It needs to be useable and contain some hard-hitting policies to ensure they are tight and focussed.  How can the Plan help farms and businesses raise their incomes?

LEP – EU funding – suggested that the Chairman and Colette Beckham should arrange to meet with the LEP.  Colette is also in discussions with the LEP to attend a near future Board meeting regarding the Management Plan Review.  Colette has also just spoken to David Rodda, who suggested that the Cornwall AONB Partnership Chairman should sit on the LEP Rural Group.  The importance of the Cornwall (and Cornwall AONB) brand and how to promote this is also something for discussion with the LEP. -AONB Unit


 2.       Partnership Agreement 2015/16

 The Memorandum of Agreement between Defra, Cornwall Council and National Trust governing the funding of the Cornwall AONB Unit came to an end on 31st March 2015.  Defra will not renew MoAs with AONB Partnerships, so it was agreed at the December Partnership that the Cornwall AONB Partnership should draft a new Partnership Agreement for 2015/16 to be signed by all partner organisations.  Some partners had already signed the Agreement at the Annual Conference back in March, and other partners present were to sign the Agreement after this meeting today.

Post the general election, we are awaiting to hear what Defra are going to do and their budget position, and to also hear Cornwall Council’s position with the AONBs, and once this is known, it is hoped that a more detailed agreement can be drafted beyond 2016 for a longer period.  Once Defra funding levels are known, the Exec Board will help produce a new longer term Partnership Agreement and will bring it to the December Partnership meeting. AONB Unit

Suggested that the Chairman and Colette Beckham should request to meet with George Eustace MP to discuss future funding for AONBs. AONB Unit

Do we know the Natural Capital of the AONB?  Some of this is available from mapping, but the ecosystems information is not yet so readily available.  It would also help if we know the Economic Value of the Cornwall AONB when talking to MPs and bidding for funding for example.

3.       Cornwall AONB Unit Activity Report

 Colette Beckham provided a verbal update on Unit activity during the past 6 months. 

Staff restructure – as part of the planned Unit restructure, the AONB Officer and Communications Officer posts were made redundant and a new Development Officer has been appointed – Jane Davies, who commences with the Unit on 15th June.  The Development Officer will be responsible for project development and looking at income generation, and will also be involved in reviewing the local chapters of the Management Plan.

Road/gateway signage in the AONB – working with parishes on the Lizard Peninsula, the AONB has funded a pilot project to provide AONB awareness signage along roads and gateway sites in the Lizard area.

Dean Quarry, the Lizard, planning application – AONB Unit been involved in commenting on this and Cornwall Council has just refused the application and an Environmental Impact Assessment has been requested.

A30 Temple – AONB Unit has liaised with Cormac on the landscaping scheme to ensure granite is used in the hedging as part of the new dualling works.

Butterfly Conservation – AONB has funded an All the Moor Butterfly Conservation project on Bodmin Moor, to support their HLF development stage project.

AONB website – AONB Unit has redesigned the website which is almost complete. It will be a much more user-friendly, smaller site and annual hosting costs will be significantly less than present website.

West Briton Environment series – AONB Unit continues to co-ordinate the articles for the weekly Environment page of the West Briton.  Articles are written by AONB partners and other stakeholders.  Articles are always welcome from other partner organisations – it is a 500 word article on nature/environment in the AONB and covering the West Briton area (Roseland, St Agnes, Godrevy, Portreath, Lizard Peninsula).  Contact the AONB Unit for more information kjohns@cornwall.gov.uk

Cornwall Local Plan – objections to the Local Plan from the Unit remain outstanding, however, further work has been agreed by Cornwall Council.  The Unit also continue to work with CC policy officers to reword policies relating to the AONB up until the Local Plan Examination.  The Unit attended the Examination which at this stage is dealing with strategic components of the Plan.  The Examiner has written to CC requiring further work to assess the impact on the setting of the AONB.  The Unit will meet with CC policy officers to discuss approach in taking this forward. AONB Unit

Neighbourhood Planning – AONB funded a pilot project for Porthleven Neighbourhood Planning.  The Unit previously supported Roseland Neighbourhood Plan which was a rural area, and now Porthleven which is a more urban area. 

Pre-application discussions – Unit has started charging for planning landscape advice given to developers – cannot make a profit but will start to bring in a small amount of income to cover costs.

Planning Consultations:

Golant – 2 turbines which had already gone up (as previously granted) but was subsequently refused by Secretary of State.   School Hill, Mevagissey – affordable housing – unanimously refused by Cornwall Council this week.  Port Gaverne, demolition and building of new hotel – this development was unfortunately approved.

Mawnan Smith 38 dwellings – appeal allowed.  A number of replacement dwellings applications have been supported by officers contrary to the AONB Unit comments.

 4.       Date of Next meeting – next meeting date tbc for December 2015.







11.12.2014 Cornwall AONB Partnership

Minutes of Cornwall AONB Partnership meeting held on Thursday 11th December 2014 at 1.30pm at the National Trust’s Regional Offices, Lanhydrock, nr Bodmin

In Attendance
Bob Kirby-Harris        Chairman, Cornwall AONB Partnership
Cllr Edwina Hannaford        Cornwall Council
Cllr David Hughes        Cornwall Council
Cllr Loveday Jenkin        Cornwall Council
John Holmes            Natural England
Peter Jefferson            Cornwall Rural Community Charity
David Rodda            Cornwall Agri-food Council/Cornwall Development Company
Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher        NFU
Catherine Leyshon        University of Exeter (Geography Dept)
Jimmy Scobie            CLA

Supporting Officers:
Kevin Bryant        Cornwall Council, Head of Direct Services
David Edmondson    Cornwall Council Planning
Colette Beckham    Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager
James Evans        Cornwall AONB Planning Officer
Karen Johns        Cornwall AONB Office Manager

Summary of morning presentation – Environmental Growth Strategy for Cornwall
Rachael Bice, Cornwall Council’s Strategic Environment Manager, attended the morning session of the Cornwall AONB Partnership meeting to present the new document - Environmental Growth for Changing Cornwall 2015-2050 and to undertake a consultation discussion with partners.
1.    Apologies
David Appleton, Natural England; Andrew Williams, LEP; English Heritage; Hannah Harris, Cornwall Council Transportation; National Trust; Kath Statham, Cornwall Council Landscape/Public Space Team; Joyce Duffin, Cornwall Councillor; FWAG; Malcolm Bell, VisitCornwall; Victoria Whitehouse, Cornwall Wildlife Trust; 
Rupert Hanbury-Tenison, CLA; Tim Light, King Harry Ferry; Ann Reynolds, Cornwall Council Historic Environment ; Cllr Neil Hatton, Cornwall Council
2. Minutes of last meeting (19 June 2014) – were agreed to be a true and accurate record.  The following matters arose:

Page 2, Item 4, Cornwall Wildlife Trust/ERCCIS – a link to the inter-tidal discovery map based website (providing detailed information on bio-topes and habitats on beaches etc) is not yet available from the Cornwall AONB website – AONB Unit will follow this up with Cornwall Wildlife Trust/ERCCIS.    

Page 5, item 6, AONB Landscape Condition Monitoring report – the AONB Unit wrote a press release and an article was published in the West Briton.
3.  Partner Updates    
Partners provided an update on their organisations’ activity in the AONB including updates on actions in the Management Plan.  The following updates were provided:

Cornwall Wildlife Trust – Victoria Whitehouse had sent her apologies for the meeting so Colette Beckham read out an email from Victoria: 
•    The Penwith Landscape Partnership Board will re-submit the bid application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The application to HLF is from the Board with the lead partner (applicant) as Cornwall Wildlife Trust. 
•    Cornwall Wildlife Trust is continuing its focus on management of landscapes at a catchment scale through engaging farmers and landowners.  In the coming year it is anticipated to be delivering landscape scale conservation work in West Cornwall around Drift Reservoir, in the Cober Catchment, in the East and West Looe Catchment and in the Falmouth Reservoirs Catchment. 
•    Cetacean conservation programme continues through running the Marine Strandings Network and Seaquest marine sightings programme.  Also intend to deliver a bottlenose dolphin photo id project subject to funding. 
•    Cornwall Good Seafood Guide to be launched in Spring 2015, the guide will provide clear and accurate information to help us all make environmentally informed decisions when purchasing locally caught seafood.  
•    Continue to host the Catchment Partnership for Cornwall in liaison with the Local Nature Partnership.     
Cornwall Councillor Edwina Hannaford – has maintained Planning and Environment Strategy in the recent Cabinet Portfolio changes.   Cllr Joyce Duffin had been nominated as new Portfolio for AONBs but debate is still happening at Cornwall Council as to whether Edwina should still keep Cornwall AONB in her portfolio as it is a very strategic AONB, but agreement has yet to be reached on this.
Cornwall Council Planning, David Edmondson - thanked AONB Unit for attending the Planning conferences for Cornwall Councillors and Town and Parish Councillors.  David also confirmed that further work is being progressed with the Unit and the Local Plan team with regard to landscape sensitivity and capacity assessment of a number of larger settlements in/adjoining the AONB.  He also advised that it had been agreed by the Local Plan team that the new Cornwall AONB Management Plan will be adopted as an SPD.
Edwina Hannaford added that she has worked with Natasha Costello, new Cornwall Council Ecologist regarding SPD for biodiversity aspects.   Colette confirmed that she works with Natasha on the Biodiversity Action Plan Partnership, Planning Working Group.        

University of Exeter, Geography Dept - Cate Leyshon – continues on the Linking the Lizard group and the work undertaken by PHD Student, Tim Walker, has worked well.  Also involved in the Helford Marine Conservation work
NFU – Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher - members and farmers are currently preoccupied with new payment schemes.  NFU working with Cornwall Council Countryside Access section regarding cross field footpaths management issues to alleviate livestock issues.
Natural England, John Holmes  – work around Marine Protected Areas – recommending an SPA for birds in the Fal area.  Work on Stewardship schemes.  There will be a new site based scheme relevant for AONB areas, similar to HLS and there will be an actual AONB scheme and a small capital scheme.  70% of land was under a scheme, but it is likely with adjustments that only around 45% of land will be under schemes in future.  Historic Environment schemes have been important part of agri-environment schemes in the past and how they can continue to be.  Colette Beckham asked if there is any possibility of NE doing a mapping exercise to show scheme coverage and term which will also depict areas of the AONB where land is set to come out of schemes – John Holmes, confirmed such mapping is available and he will forward to the AONB Unit.




John Holmes
CRCC, Peter Jefferson  – Treviglas and Tretherras secondary schools in Newquay are very engaged in Neighbourhood Planning (although these schools are outside of the AONB area), this could be an opportunity for the AONB to link with these schools regarding Neighbourhood Planning in the future.  
CRCC produced a short 2 - 3 minute film about the proposed work of the Penwith Landscape Partnership project – which will be used to help attract HLF funding etc by showing what the project hopes to achieve.    
Community Transport Partnership with Cornwall Council – CRCC just celebrated its 1st anniversary on this joint project – linking with elderly and other vulnerable groups to provide transport    
Fishing project – Coastal Chris (formerly Chris the Fish) – remit is to help coastal communities obtain funding to ascertain projects to help with viability of those fishing communities.    

Cornwall Councillor Loveday Jenkin - Cornwall Ancient Tree Forum –  Fowey Landscape project – AONB support on this would be valuable - Buglife and Woodland Trust are amongst partners in this project.
National Trust – not able to attend this part of the day’s meeting – but Bob Kirby-Harris stated that they are nationally looking to focus more on ‘landscape’ in their work.  Also mentioning their Shifting Shores initiative looking at coast defences, sea level rise etc.  Good example of this in the AONB is the car park at Godrevy which is a key income generator for the Trust, is likely to be lost within 5 years’ time.
Cornwall Agri-food Council - David Rodda – AONB helped refresh for agri sector – Board is looking at comments and how EU funds may help support that    
EU funding – David Rodda – Defra funding – national countryside productivity scheme (forestry grants, skills grants); Leader – 4 LAG groups in Cornwall which between them cover the whole of the Cornwall AONB area.  Also LEP – 9.4 M for Growth programme – grants for businesses, tourism, broadband roll out, - hoped that all Defra schemes will be available from April 2015, but the larger EU funding is delayed, but hopefully will be up and running by June 2015.
4.  Future Structure, Governance and Funding of the Cornwall AONB Partnership    

Minutes of the 3 Task and Finish Group meetings that had been held since the last Partnership meeting, were included with the agenda papers for partners’ awareness. 
Cornwall Council reviewed its funding to AONBs in the recent budget consultation and has now committed funding to end of 2015/16.  Cornwall Council will review its funding commitment again once funding from Defra beyond 2015/16 is known, post May 2015 General Election.  Whilst Defra is expected to continue to fund AONBs, it is also expected that public funding will continue to reduce annually in the future so alternative funding sources and income generation is necessary.
Income generation – currently the AONB Unit being hosted by Cornwall Council, means the Unit cannot cost recover on projects and cannot make a profit.  The AONB Unit also have difficulty promoting branding as it is perceived by many to be Cornwall Council core work so difficult to attract donations, visitor giving and business sponsorship for example.    

The agenda paper summarised the recommendations arising from the Task and Finish Group meeting discussions (para 5.1 to 5.3 in the agenda paper) i.e. the Task and Finish Group agreed that ‘no change’ regarding AONB work is not an option.
Full cost recovery on projects – AONB Unit to look into possibility of this as AONB Unit is only hosted by Cornwall Council – so perhaps full cost recovery could be an option.
    AONB Unit
Recommendation 6 – D Rodda stated that it would be appropriate to add ‘new staff could be hosted by different organisation’ even if existing staff remain hosted by CC for short term.    
Peter Jefferson mentioned New legislation/guidance /body not under The Cabinet Office, and he will forward link regarding this to the AONB Unit.    P Jefferson

    Recommendations 1 – 7: were AGREED by the partners as set out in the agenda paper, namely:

    Recommendation 1
o    That the Cornwall AONB Partnership opens and continues a dialogue with environmental/landscapes partnerships in Cornwall with a view to closer joint working, and income generating and sharing of resources. 
    Recommendation 2 
o    Current CAONB Partnership structure continues at the present time, but at some point this could be reviewed.
    Recommendation 3
o    That the Partnership investigates the possibility of using existing body (there are a number of possible existing organisations to sound out) at least in the interim for the funding work.  This would be an opportunity for “market testing” income generation for AONB work
    Recommendation 4
o    At the same time, explore possibility of setting up a new body to enable income generation, including checking on any other partnerships that might be thinking about having something similar e.g. VisitCornwall, LNP
    Recommendation 5
o    Further work needs to be done by the Partnership to work up more detail on income generation e.g. all possibilities, reality testing and prioritising best options
    Recommendation 6
    The current AONB staff team remains at Cornwall Council in the short term, continuing to deliver its current functions.  However, there will be options to explore in the medium term, such as another organisation hosting the staff.
    Recommendation 7 
o    At the June 2014 Partnership meeting, the T&F Group was also tasked with looking into a renewed CAONB agreement document as the previous Statement of Intent has expired and the Memorandum of Agreement ends in March 2015, but the Group has not yet had chance to discuss this in any detail.  
o    The Group agreed and recommends that a new Partnership Agreement should be drafted and agreed by email by The Exec Board and all partners and then launched at the CAONB Annual Conference in March 2015. 

5.  Cornwall AONB Business Plan 2015-2017
Colette Beckham gave a presentation on the new Business Plan 2015-2017 highlighting the Strategic Direction and Activity Overview.   The Business Plan outlines the desired outcomes for Partnership Activity and details collaborative activity for the AONB Unit and Partners.
EU funding – Leader/LAG funding – D Rodda clarified some technical details regarding the new EU funding guidelines and cross-county projects.  Full detail is not yet known, but worth flagging up the possible issue with match funding rules before the AONB can project plan.
J Scobie stated reservations on charging for planning advice for example, as people are being asked for money so often already for services.   John Holmes added that Natural England has experience of setting charging rates and offered advice on helping with this.  The Unit would look at charging different rates for different sectors.
Cornwall AONB Photo library – D Rodda suggested a small income generator could be charging for people using photos from the Cornwall AONB image library as there are many good quality images which people would wish to purchase.    

Recommendations were agreed as set out in the agenda paper, namely:    
    That the Cornwall AONB Partnership discusses and agrees the strategic direction of the Business Plan.
    Partnership devolves responsibility to the Executive Board to finalise the Business Plan and accompanying budget and submit to Defra with the annual funding application.
6.  Cornwall AONB Management Plan Review
The agenda paper focussed on the initial scoping exercise of the Management Plan Review.  Findings from the scoping exercise will then inform the detail of stakeholder and community engagement required.
Under para 2.3 Engagement with Stakeholders – D Rodda suggested that other land users to be included e.g. extraction companies
    AONB Unit
There will be an extra Partnership meeting arranged for Spring 2015 to discuss and agree the process following the scoping report, which will include a Partnership Workshop for all partners to discuss and agree.
    AONB Unit 
Proposed Timetable –it was agreed that ‘Draft Plan reported to Partnership Dec 2015 for agreement and sign off’ to be added into the proposed timetable as detailed on agenda page 11.
    AONB Unit
Partners agreed it would be advisable to get the draft Management Plan in the Cornwall Council Committee calendar early to ensure it is considered and discussed in good time e.g. at appropriate PAC meetings.
    AONB Unit
John Holmes suggested that the new Cornwall Environmental Growth Strategy process could be used as guidance for the consultation process of the AONB Management Plan Review, which would be more up-to-date than older guidance from Defra.
    AONB Unit
Also use other scoping reports from other AONBs that have recently undertaken their Management Plan Reviews to help with best practice and guidance with undertaking scoping on the Cornwall AONB Review.
    AONB Unit
Geography Students at Exeter University – it was suggested that students could help with the scoping exercise during their 2 weeks work that they can undertake at the end of term.  

    Recommendations 4.1 – 4.4 set out in the agenda paper were AGREED, namely:

    That the Partnership agrees to devolve responsibility for the steering of the Management Plan review to the Executive Board.
    That Partnership discusses and agrees the initial scoping and preparatory work for the Management Plan review.
    That Partnership discusses and agrees stakeholders.
    That Partnership discusses and agrees the draft timetable for the review process.
    AONB Unit
7.  Unit Activity Report    
Colette Beckham expressed her thanks to the Partnership members and officers who sat on the Task and Finish Group to discuss Future Governance, Structure and Funding of the Cornwall AONB Partnership – it was not an easy task but their input was invaluable.
Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP) – Cllr Edwina Hannaford enquired whether there is capacity to work with Polperro Community Council who is looking to develop a NDP.  The AONB Unit confirmed that Polperro is on a list of settlements for capacity assessment as part of the evidence base for the Cornwall Local Plan for consideration.  


Annual Cornwall AONB Conference – will be on Saturday 7th March 2015.  Venue yet to be agreed – partners suggested Heartlands or Nancarrow Farm at Marazanvose on the A30 as possible venues. 
8.  Any Other Business – none
9.  Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 11th June 2015 (subject to checking Cornwall Council Committee meetings dates once these are released).  There will also be an additional Partnership meeting/workshop arranged for the Spring 2015 to discuss the Management Plan Review.

19.06.2014 Cornwall AONB Partnership

Minutes of Cornwall AONB Partnership meeting held on Thursday 19th June 2014 
at 2pm at the Centre of Pendeen, West Penwith
In Attendance:
Dr Bob Kirby-Harris        Chairman, Cornwall AONB Partnership
Cllr Edwina Hannaford    Cornwall Council
Cllr Neil Hatton        Cornwall Council
Cllr David Hughes        Cornwall Council
Cllr Loveday Jenkin        Cornwall Council
Vaughan Robbins        Natural England
Ian Kemp            National Trust
Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher    NFU
Victoria Whitehouse        Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Rupert Hanbury-Tenison    Country Land and Business Assn (CLA)
Jimmy Scobie            Country Land and Business Assn (CLA)
Ed Nancekivell        Bodmin Moor Livestock Initiative/Cornwall Development Company
Tim Light            Fal River Cornwall

Supporting Officers:
Kevin Bryant            Cornwall Council, Direct Services
David Edmondson        Cornwall Council, Planning
Colette Beckham        Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager
Nigel Sumpter            Cornwall AONB Officer
Karen Johns            Cornwall AONB Office Manager

Summary of morning field visits
The meeting had been preceded by a presentation at 10.30am that morning by Victoria Whitehouse, Cornwall Wildlife Trust on the First and Last Penwith Landscape Partnership project bid submitted to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) at the end of May 2014 – see attached presentation.
This was followed by morning field visits to nearby Chun Quoit and Chun Castle within Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Chun Downs Nature Reserve.  These sites feature in the projects submitted in the First and Last Penwith Landscape Partnership bid to HLF.  The Chairman reflected on the field visits where AONB Partners were joined by some of the Penwith Landscape Partnership ‘Shadow Board’ members and an interesting and informative guided tour had been provided by John Moss, Cornwall Ancient Sites Protection Network (CASPN) and Nick Marriott, West Cornwall Reserves Manager, Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

1.     Apologies
Malcolm Bell, VisitCornwall; David Appleton, Natural England; Hannah Harris, Cornwall Council Transportation; Deborah Boden, World Heritage Site Team; Ann Reynolds and Dan Ratcliffe, Cornwall Council Historic Environment; Environment Agency; English Heritage; Peter Jefferson, CRCC; Kath Statham, Cornwall Council Landscape; Andrew Williams, Local Enterprise Partnership; Mark Summers, Health and Well Being Board; Catherine Leyson, University of Exeter, ESI, Pete Maxted, AONB Unit.
2.    Minutes of last Partnership meeting – 5th December 2013
These were agreed a true and accurate record of the meeting.  There were no matters arising.
3.    Minutes of last Exec Board meeting – 20th March 2014
These were included for Partners’ awareness – there were no matters arising.  The Chairman noted that there has only been 1 Exec Board meeting held since last December Partnership, this had partly been due to re-arranging dates to ensure meetings would be quorate.
4.     Partner updates    Actions
Individual partners provided an update on their organisations’ activity in the AONB including updates on actions in the Management Plan.  The following updates were provided:
National Trust – Ian Kemp - Paths for Communities funded project at Penrose Estate, Helston, has been very successful – funding is to improve permissive paths and disabled access.  Access paths at Penrose now upgraded, funding is for new rights of way which has been made possible with NT taking on the maintenance of the paths as otherwise CC would not have wished to agree or take on new paths due to current maintenance budgetary constraints.    
St Euny Well Way – N Sumpter mentioned working with PAROW.  National initiative to change interpretation on major car parks – planning for new interpretation.
Cornwall Councillor David Hughes – School Hill, Mevagissey – affordable housing application – CC Planning Committee recently refused the new planning application.  The former judicial review for the previous application on the site included reference to the ‘great weight’ that AONBs have and confirms there is still information and training required for CC Officers and Members on the AONB relating to the National Planning Policy Framework.
Cornwall Council, Planning - David Edmondson – as mentioned at the last Partnership meeting, extra resources have been secured for Neighbourhood Plans work.  The Local Plan goes through its final consultation/Planning PAC in October, with the Examination in Public expected in the Spring.  There will be an opportunity for the AONB to engage in Town and Parish Council training which will be run by CC Planning.  There is a Cornwall Councillors Planning training event being held on 25 June 2014 at Heartlands where the AONB Unit will have a ‘market stall’ display for Councillors awareness/information during the lunch break with other internal and external planning consultee organisations.



Cornwall Wildlife Trust – ERRCIS has just completed a 2 year project surveying intertidal zone of the north coast of Cornwall: 270 km of coastline has been surveyed.  Website has been set up inter-tidal discovery website – gives great detail on bio-topes and beach guides – map based website with habitats info on beaches etc.  CWT/ERRCIS would like to do same survey for south coast of Cornwall but funding is not yet available for this.  AONB Unit will provide link to the new website from the AONB website.  An overview of the project is available via http://www.erccis.org.uk/latest_news/intertidal+discovery+project+complete and the fully interactive habitat map is available via http://www.marinedatacornwall.org/intertidal_discovery/HabitatMap 


CLA – Jimmy Scobie – CLA is producing a new business policy update and review.  Cornwall CLA Branch will be discussing it at its meeting next week – it’s a policy on improvement of sustainability of rural businesses.
CLA – Rupert Hanbury-Tenison – proposed Commons Council on Bodmin Moor – 75% vote of approval by the farming community on Bodmin Moor, so progressing slowly.  Disastrous winter for the pony population on the Moor – working hard to tackle the situation with partners e.g. Environmental Health and the Police but it is an ongoing situation and if the Commons Council can eventually be in place it will help management of the situation.  AONB could help by reassuring Natural England of the AONB support for the establishment of a Commons Council.  How it will be funded is a big issue with the farming community so this needs to be addressed for the long term. 


Bodmin Moor Livestock Initiative (BMLI) - Ed Nancekivell – current exemption for pre-movement of cattle tests for TB for cattle on Common Land being moved on and off the Commons, but the exemption will be withdrawn at the end of June and pre-movement of cattle tests will now be a requirement for cattle on Common Land resulting in numerous testing having to take place.
BMLI project which has been active since 2009 is RDPE funded to support sheep farmers’ profitability and to make them less reliant on Single Farm Payments.  An Animal Health project is continuing in a smaller way.  Worming of lambs (and foetal egg count) experiments have been undertaken and this has proved very economically viable and shown environmental benefits.  BMLI are still undertaking very valuable study tours with a trip to Scotland and the Malverns in July.  BMLI are currently working with 270 farmers.
Fal River Cornwall - Tim Light – waters of the Fal were recently downgraded which is likely to affect aqua-culture in the Fal e.g. mussel farming -   Fal inter-estuary footpath around Carrick Roads would be beneficial – e.g. working with National Trust, Ramblers and the estates and landowners.  Dredging is needed since the mud increased over winter.  If not dredged, this is likely to result in less boat access on the Fal which would affect economic viability of marine businesses that use the Fal.  Harbour Master would need to locate somewhere to deposit dredged material.
NFU – Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher - Environmental Management regarding CAP Reform is taking place – new regime from 2015 – new NELMS scheme will also have an impact on farming businesses and the environment – concern that work done under HLS/Stewardship might be undone.  NFU Next Generation scheme – young farmers taking up tenancies, keeping in contact with them to help ensure succession of the younger generation and retaining younger people in the farming sector.
Cornwall Councillor Edwina Hannaford – CC is to appoint a full time Ecologist and 2 new temporary posts to work on Definitive Maps.  
Cornwall Councillor Neil Hatton - welcomed the small discrete AONB gateway signs and he has received positive feedback from his parish and suggested letters to Parishes regarding RoW signage.  Jimmy Scobie stated that he has reservations on the signs and would not want to see too many introduced into the countryside.

5.     Future Structure, Governance and Funding of the Cornwall AONB Partnership    
This was an item that needed to be discussed by the full Partnership and not just by the Executive Board.  The current MoA expires at end of March 2015.  Defra have recently announced that they will not be signing any further MoAs with AONBs.  Both Defra and CC have to make significant financial and efficiency savings so the future of the Cornwall AONB Partnership funding is uncertain.  
Restructuring of the AONB Unit agreed previously has been delayed due to Cornwall Council issues over agreeing redundancy costs.  
The agenda paper detailed the Recommendation that a Task and Finish Group be formed of Partnership members to discuss:  
-    a renewed commitment to the Partnership from Partners and revision of Statement of Intent
-    Structure and Governance review i.e. should a CIO be set up which would enable the AONB to attract alternative sources of funding?
The following points arose during the discussion:
•    N Hatton stated that CC adopted the Management Plan in 2011 – it is an essential document to ensure conservation and enhancement of the AONB so without that the AONB would suffer – Value of the Management Plan.    
•    E Hannaford – supports the AONB and would be happy to be part of the Task and Finish Group when time allows and would like to see the AONB go from strength to strength.  
•    SWCP Association is a good example of having a core part and a charitable arm that can attract funding and contributions, legacies etc which the AONB Unit cannot attract under the current CC umbrella.    


•    The AONB Unit has a small amount in the 2014/15 budget earmarked for governance and restructuring work so if a Task and Finish group is set up, there would be a small budget to spend on any facilitation, consultancy etc that may be required.    
•    T Light mentioned the successful VisitCornwall model in that they have moved to the commercial branding element and also the SWCP have done something similar to promote the brand.    
•    R Hanbury Tenison – supports the continuation of the AONB which is particularly welcomed on Bodmin Moor.    
•    The Chairman and C Beckham had a very good meeting with the 2 Defra ministers who are MPs in Cornwall, several months ago although specific lobbying for continued funding was not discussed in detail.    
•    V Robbins – mentioned working with other AONBs nationally – C Beckham confirmed that the NAAONB network and lobby as a collective voice for all AONBs    
•    P Aubrey-Fletcher – asked if any Value of the AONB to Cornwall study had been undertaken – C Beckham confirmed that no specific economic valuing exercise has been undertaken – this would be worth exploring jointly with the LEP and LNP to obtain some hard economic evidence.  E Hannaford mentioned SWCP data already collected so info from Cornwall specific could perhaps be obtained from that.    
•    V Robbins reported that Defra/NE are being streamlined further but too early to know the outcome.    
•    E Hannaford stated that the LNP is the strategic body that should/could be responsible for helping to solve the AONB funding issue    
•    D Edmondson – knows colleagues in CC that could bring expertise and advice to a Task and Finish group with experience of arms-length companies etc.  David will forward suggested names to Edwina and Edwina to forward details to the AONB Unit.
•    Examples of good practice (planning decisions etc) - themed around sustainable communities – how we pitch the monitoring
    K Bryant/
D Edmondson/
E Hannaford
The Chairman summarised that AGREED initial next steps as:    
•    To form a task group of the Partnership to:     
o    Renew a commitment to the Partnership and revise Statement of Intent
o    Make recommendations on future structure and governance of Cornwall AONB with respect to funding     
•    The Task and Finish Group to report back in 6 months time with recommendation on the way forward for the Partnership for agreement at the December Partnership meeting.    
•    E Hannaford, K Bryant, V Whitehouse or colleagues, and the Chairman to form the Task and Finish Group.  (Ian Kemp will take it back to NT to discuss who at NT could rep on the Task and Finish Group).  AONB Unit to arrange first meeting.  Malcolm Bell (VisitCornwall) and David Rodda (Cornwal Agri-food Council) also expressed an interest in involvement although they were not able to be present at the meeting.    AONB Unit
I Kemp
6.     AONB Landscape Condition Monitoring Report    
N Sumpter, AONB Officer, presented a summary of the findings from the Cornwall AONB Landscape Condition Monitoring project (contract undertaken by Land Use Consultants (LUC)).  A brief 2 page summary of the key findings was circulated to Partners at the meeting, and the full report containing all new data is on the Cornwall AONB website http://www.cornwallaonb.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/5683_AONB%20Monitoring%20Report_20131220_V4_0LR.pdf. This Phase 2 work has revisited the baseline work undertaken in 2009 and provides an analysis of change in the condition of the landscape during the past 4 – 6 years.  Unfortunately there has not been sufficient funding to pay for the online AONB Atlas to be updated with the new data, but Partners were asked to read the report on the website as the information and data is relevant to all partner organisations.      



All partners
The Partnership supported the issuing of a press release but care needs to be taken to ensure the press release says the right things.
    AONB Unit
E Hannaford mentioned second home ownership in the AONB – she has been asked to sit on a group to discuss implementation of a new ‘use’ class for second homes for areas that are already under pressure from second homes that that area’s viability is being affected – sustainable communities.
Examples of best practice on sustainable development in the AONB would be something for the Unit and Partnership to focus on in order to promote and raise awareness of the types of development and design of developments etc that the AONB does support.
    AONB Unit
7.     AONB Unit activity report – Colette Beckham went through the report, highlighting some of the key activities the AONB Unit has been involved in over the past 6 months which includes projects, planning and communications.

Roseland volunteering project – a bid was submitted to Heritage Lottery for a volunteering hub to be piloted in the Roseland area to help conserve heritage assets in the area etc and provide training and skills for people in the local community.  Unfortunately, the AONB Unit has just been informed the project was not successful, but the bid will be revised and will be resubmitted.

AONB Awareness Monitoring exercise – an A5 summary booklet of the AONB Unit project was circulated to partners at the meeting.  The report interprets the findings of surveys undertaken both from face-to-face surveys of the general public at public events during 2013 and online questionnaires completed during 2014.  The work was commissioned by the AONB and undertaken by Julian Powis, a former volunteer with the AONB team. The summary and full report of findings will shortly be available on the Cornwall AONB website.  The information will be used as a baseline for future monitoring.

8. Any Other Business - none
9.    Date of Next meeting – Thursday 11th December 2014 – timings and venue to be confirmed.    

05.12.2013 Cornwall AONB Partnership

Minutes of Cornwall AONB Partnership meeting held on Thursday 5th Dec 2013 at 10am at the Millennium Rooms, The Square, St Mawes, nr Truro.

In Attendance:

Peter Mansfield        Cornwall AONB Partnership Chairman (Outgoing)
Bob Kirby-Harris        Cornwall AONB Partnership Chairman (Incoming)
Cllr Edwina Hannaford    Cornwall Council
Cllr Neil Hatton        Cornwall Council
Cllr David Hughes        Cornwall Council
Cllr Loveday Jenkin        Cornwall Council
David Appleton        Natural England
Victoria Whitehouse        Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Jimmy Scobie            Cornwall Land and Business Association
David Rodda            Cornwall Agri-Food Council
Tim Light            Fal River Cornwall
Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher    NFU
Mary Combe            FWAG South West
Neil Duffield            FWAG South West

Supporting Officers
Hannah Harris            Transport Planning, Cornwall Council
Deborah Boden        World Heritage Site Team
Andy England            Planning, Cornwall Council
Alyson Cooper        Historic Environment, Cornwall Council
Colette Beckham        Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager
Karen Johns            Cornwall AONB Office Manager

Jon Smith            Roseland Neighbourhood Development Plan

Peter Mansfield confirmed that this is his last Partnership meeting as Chairman as he is stepping down.  Robert Kirby-Harris was welcomed to his first Partnership meeting – Robert (Bob) is the new Chairman taking over from Peter today (5 Dec).  Jon Smith, Chairman of Roseland Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group was also thanked for attending the meeting to provide a presentation on the Roseland Plan.

1.    Apologies – National Trust; English Heritage; Environment Agency; Peter Jefferson (CRCC); Sean Bennett (FWAG SW); Malcolm Bell (VisitCornwall); Ann Reynolds, Kath Statham and Toby Lowe, (Cornwall Council); CALC; Rupert Hanbury-Tenison (CLA), Pete Maxted and Nigel Sumpter (Cornwall AONB Unit)

2.    Minutes of last Partnership meeting (20 June 2013) – these were AGREED.  The following matters arose:
Agenda Page 2, item 2, CPRE – CPRE Headquarters convened a meeting and have adopted a new constitution and membership for Cornwall CPRE – so CPRE looks set to have a more active role in Cornwall than it has over the past few years.    

Agenda Page 3, item 4, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership – the Chairman reported that environment and sustainability is at the heart of the LNPs remit.  
Agenda Page 4, item 9, Nare Hotel, Roseland - the Secretary of State has confirmed that Cornwall Council should carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment on this planning proposal.
Agenda Page 4, item 9, Cornwall Local Plan – Cllr Hannaford reported that figures for new housing to be included in the Plan will be reported at the next Full Council meeting.  2 different figures are being reported for debate and consideration.      
3.  Minutes of last Exec Board meetings (July 2013, Sept 2013, Nov 2013)    

All 3 sets of minutes were  included in the agenda papers, but as no matters were arose from the July and September minutes, the Chairman ran through the November minutes only.
Agenda Page 13, item 5, Recruitment of new Chairman – arising from the recruitment process, Sir Ferrers Vyvyan of Trelowarren Estate and Harold Tinworth, with substantial public sector experience at CEO level, had both expressed an interest in contributing to the Partnership.  The Chairman suggested that the Partnership considers offering them an expert advisory role on the Partnership with future Task and Finish Groups potential.    
4.  New EU Funding Strategy – David Rodda    
D Rodda, Cornwall Agri-food Council, presented the new EU Funding Strategy – Rural Development in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 2014 – 2020.  D Rodda explained why there is need for the Funding Strategy, outlined the Vision, Priorities, proposed split between ERDF and ESF and Defra Rural Development Fund, Governance structure etc.    
The LEP Strategy has 4 Priorities and the EU Funding Strategy links to those 4 Priorities.  The EU Funding Strategy has 3 priorities – Future Economy; Growth for Business; and Conditions for Growth (investment areas).    
Discussion took place on types of potential projects and the way to develop project ideas to gain funding – maintenance of coast path network is needed but funding won’t be approved for maintenance alone, local businesses, community groups etc need to demonstrate how the maintenance of paths will provide economic growth.    
Copy of D Rodda’s presentation will be circulated with the minutes for information.    AONB Unit
5.  The Roseland Plan – Jon Smith    
Jon Smith, Chairman of Roseland Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group provided a presentation on the Roseland Plan.  A cluster group of parishes in the Roseland are working together to develop the Plan.    
Jon Smith outlined what has happened so far on the Plan e.g. questionnaires were circulated to the local community to ascertain feedback on what the local community want to see included in the Plan.  Local businesses and other stakeholders will also be asked for their input.    
Jon Smith included detail on the barriers/problems experienced so far and any possible future issues; how the Plan is being resourced; and what further help will be necessary from agencies to deliver the Plan.    
Andy England will enquire within Cornwall Council to discuss resources that could be offered to help parishes with the production of Neighbourhood Plans.  Edwina Hannaford confirmed that parishes do not have to pay for the referendum, Cornwall Council pay for this.    Andy England
The Cornwall AONB budget has funded a Neighbourhood Plan pilot in St Minver, working with the parish in detail to help them develop their Plan.  Findings from this pilot will be extremely useful in being more aware of the level of detail that parishes can work at to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.      

Jon Smith was thanked for a very interesting and informative presentation.
6.  Cornwall AONB Business Plan 2014-16 – Colette Beckham    

The 2014-16 Business Plan has been written in light of the most severe cuts in public sector funding the Partnership has faced in its 11 year history.  Partners were made aware of the sensitive nature of this Business Plan as it includes an AONB Unit staff re-structure which directly affects current staff in the Unit.  These staff member were therefore not present at the meeting.    
C Beckham presented the Business Plan setting out the rationale; Vision of the Partnership; Delivery – Partnership working and working with businesses and communities; Governance; alternative income source; Policy and Planning and other Strategic influencing.  Current core functions that Defra expect the AONB Unit to undertake was also outlined.  
The Executive Board has already considered a draft Business Plan at its meeting on 11 Nov 2013.  The Exec Board suggested the Plan should include more emphasis on joint working with other AONBs for example.  C Beckham has a meeting with Tamar Valley and Isles of Scilly AONB Managers tomorrow (6 Dec) to discuss resource sharing in more detail.    

D Appleton raised the question of AONB Units getting the balance of still delivering at the current high standard, but with also concentrating time on developing ways to generate income from other (non public sector) sources.    
D Appleton therefore queried why the new Development Manager that would undertake this role of income generating is only suggested as a 0.6 FTE.  C Beckham clarified that the Development Manager would generate income for activity not just for securing the post.  The Planning Officer is suggested as a 0.8 FTE as it is hoped that Tamar Valley AONB will possibly provide additional funding to make it a 1 FTE role.    
T Light mentioned the BID model as being a good model to follow as the way forward with business involvement.  The value of AONBs and awareness of what an AONB is still needs to be communicated to businesses etc.    
The Partnership AGREED to the 2 recommendations set out in the report, namely …….    
1.    that the Partnership approves the draft Business Plan detailing the work of the AONB Unit and Partners for April 2014 to March 2016, and 
2.    that the Executive Board reviews the membership of the Partnership in relation to the business plan to ensure that the make up of the Partnership is fit for purpose to delivery the Plan.

Exec Board 
7.  AONB Unit activity report    
Planning – a summary of case of the planning application for 31 dwellings (21 affordable) at Mevagissey Bay View, School Hill, Mevagissey was provided to partners with the agenda papers.  The paper concludes that the decision on the second application submitted by the developers is still awaited.  The Secretary of State did not request that an EIA be requested but the SoS has requested an EIA for the Nare Hotel planning application.    
Outstanding Excursions project – C Beckham, specifically expressed thanks to Pete Maxted, Communications Officer and Jules Powis, Volunteer at the AONB Unit for development and delivery of the Outstanding Excursions project which has proved very successful – the pilot project involved getting elderly people out into the AONB.    
Art in the Environment Calendars – Partners were given a complimentary copy of the Cornwall AONB Calendar 2014 which had been produced in partnership with Falmouth University MA students.  Copies are available from the AONB Unit at cost price of £3.50 each.    


A round table update was provided by partners:    
Fal River Cornwall - Tim Light – a Rural Bus Company has been set up which is being trialled in areas in the Fal River and surrounding areas – but the cost of running this service is challenging.    
CC Historic Environment - Alyson Cooper – HLF funding has been awarded to train volunteers to assess the quality of heritage assets.  There may be opportunities of sharing best practice with the AONB and its future proposed volunteer scheme, monitoring of information/data collected etc    
WHS - Deborah Boden – joint working with AONB would be useful on Governance arrangements and Planning training as WHS are looking at both of these activities too.  REG application was not appropriate but now something the AONB and WHS can approach the LNP on.    
CC Planning - Andy England – biodiversity and ecology meeting being held – Edwina involved.    
NFU Cornwall - Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher – continues to work with their NFU members in their food production.    
Cornwall Cllr Neil Hatton – link of landscape/seascape is important – he sits on the SAC and can see many opportunities of joint working.  The demise of the SDF is disappointing as it was a great way of awareness raising in and of the AONB.    
FWAG SW - Neil Duffield – has taken up new post with FWAG SW.    
CC Local Transport Board – Hannah Harris – their transport scheme for the next 5 years has been agreed.  Improvements to signalling on the main railway line is included.  Future of the Local Transport Board is unknown as the LEP has now been given funding for transport.    

Environment Service within Cornwall Council is currently undergoing a staff re-structuring review so it is possible that representatives from the Environment Service at the Partnership meetings in future may change.    
Cornwall Wildlife Trust - Victoria Whitehouse – whole farm advice across West Penwith – social and economic aspects advice provided to farmers not just biodiversity advice – it is important this continues.  Fowey and Looe working with farmers regarding pesticides issues and woodland management – bringing soil and water resource and protection aspects together.  Other Community sector work – working with 6 Marine Conservation Area groups delivering projects in their areas.  South Coast Inter-tidal Project to gather much needed marine data.  CWT Strategic Plan is being reviewed – CWT is very committed to working with the AONB and its partners going forward.    
Natural England - David Appleton – following review of EA and NE – they will remain separate agencies for the next few years.  NE is undertaking a staff restructure – a Devon and Cornwall team will be established again from next year to work at a local level.  Updating National Character Area Statements – Cornwall ones nearly completed – D Appleton thanked officers that have provided comments on the drafts.    
CLA – Jimmy Scobie - suggested looking into the extending the AONB in the West Penwith section.      
9.  Any Other Business    
Thanks to Outgoing Chairman - D Appleton thanked Peter on behalf of the Partnership, for his work as Chairman of the Partnership for the past 10 years and excellent steering of discussions at Partnership meetings.  J Scobie also extended his thanks to Peter Mansfield on behalf of the Partnership and wished him well for the future.    
10.  Date of Next Meeting    
June 2014 – date and venue to be confirmed.    


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.



8 .11. 2012 Cornwall AONB Partnership

 Minutes of Cornwall AONB Partnership Meeting held on Thursday 8 Nov 2012 at 1.30pm at the Old Cattle Market Building, Helston


The meeting was preceded with morning site visits from 10.30 until 12.30pm with Alastair Cameron and Mike Hardy from the National Trust.  Site visits included Penrose Estate and in particular Nansloe Farm with information on the projects and initiatives the National Trust are involved in.

In attendance:


Peter Mansfield           Chairman, Cornwall AONB Partnership

Cllr Jim Flashman       Cornwall Council

Cllr David Hughes       Cornwall Council

Cllr Neil Hatton            Cornwall Council

David Appleton           Natural England

Jimmy Scobie             CLA

Victoria Whitehouse    Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Paul Walton                 National Trust

Lucy Thomas              NFU

Manda Brookman       CoaST


Supporting Officers:

Hannah Harris             Cornwall Council, Transportation

Toby Lowe                  Cornwall Council, Countryside

Ann Reynolds             Cornwall Council, Historic Environment

Jo Traill Thomson       Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager, Cornwall AONB Unit

Nigel Sumpter             AONB Officer, Cornwall AONB Unit

June Crossland           Planning Officer, Cornwall AONB Unit

Pete Maxted               Communications Officer, Cornwall AONB Unit

Julian Powis                Volunteer, Cornwall AONB Unit

Karen Johns                Office Manager, Cornwall AONB Unit

1.  Apologies

 Paul Cottington, NFU; John Mortimer, CLA; Ed Nancekivell, Bodmin Moor Livestock Initiative; Malcolm Bell and Emma Rojano, VisitCornwall; Alyson Cooper, CC Historic Environment; Andrew England and David Edmondson CC Planning; Philippa Hoskin, CC Environment; Kath Statham, CC Landscape; Sonia Thurley and Cathy Turtle, Environment Agency; Joan Symons Cornwall Councillor; Nick Russell & Phil McMahon, English Heritage; Deborah Boden, WHS; Peter Burton, CRCC.

2.  Minutes of last meeting (7 March 2012)

Page 2, item 2, Davidstow Windfarm – developers have submitted a scoping report to Cornwall Council, which the AONB Unit has been consulted on and is commenting on this and liaising with NE.

Page 2, Item 3, LNP (Environment Partnership) – the Chairman reported that LUC completed their work and the conclusion had been that there is strong support for an LNP in Cornwall and IoS.  A successful application had been made to Defra and the Initiation Board has been progressing the work of setting up what will be the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Environment Partnership (CISEP), but with LUC finishing their involvement, momentum has slowed.  Philip Hygate from IoS is the current Chair.  The Board will have a Technical Advisory Group (incorporating Environment Kernow) which is intended to draft detailed work with the CISEP Board meeting bi-monthly.  CC has included in its draft 2013 budget funding for 2 support posts for the LNP to be co-located with the LEP.

Page 3, Item 4, Revised structure and function of the Partnership – the Chairman has spoken to Tim Light - Cornwall Ferries and Fal River Links Cooperative - who has accepted the invite to join the Partnership.  He will be invited to the next meeting.  Links have also been made to University of Exeter and the Health and Wellbeing Board to explore their participation.


Page 6, item 9, Rural Roads Protocol – the draft document is now complete and currently out for consultation, with the final version due to be completed in the New Year.  The document was commended as being well written and easy to understand – the authors should be congratulated.  It was originally scoped to also include Rights of Way, but this will be worked up and added at a later date.    

3.  Minutes of last Executive Board meeting (18 Oct 2012)

Page 12, Item 8, Bodmin Moor Commons Council – Natural England are supporting the Bodmin Moor Commoners in their discussions to develop a Bodmin Moor Commons Council which will require Secretary of State approval.

Page 10, Item 3, Penwith Landscape Project – concern was expressed that the CLA had not been contacted regarding this project and that landowners working the land are not always included when decisions and projects are taking place.

Victoria Whitehouse confirmed there is a community consultation exercise currently taking place by consultants, via a series of meetings.  Notification of the consultation has been made in the NFU newsletter.  Victoria said that CLA has not yet been contacted – she will contact Jimmy Scobie to send him information that he can circulate to the CLA Cornwall Committee and individual CLA members in Penwith.

Victoria Whitehouse

1.    AONB Unit activity report – projects, planning, communications

Neighbourhood Planning - Emma Critchley, Community Planning Asst left the Unit at the end of October 2012 to take up a Neighbourhood Planning post in London.  The Unit has commissioned CRCC to undertake Neighbourhood Planning work to keep that moving forward.

Annual Review Apr 2009 – Mar 2012: 3 yr review document is complete and printed – copy circulated to partners at the meeting.

South West Coast Path Assn is celebrating their 40th birthday anniversary and have contacted all AONBs and National Parks in the SW to ask for funding and support in their celebratory events.  The lead partner in the identification and delivery of the projects as part of the celebration is Cornwall Council Countryside Service.  The event has also received tremendous support from the National Trust.  In terms of financial contribution, the main match funding to the sponsor money raised is coming from RDPE, Natural England and the private sector.

The main event is a series of walks in April/May 2013.  Partner organisations are encouraged to join in, support the events etc.  The walks are open for everyone to join – local communities, local businesses, tourists.  The Great South West Walk flyer leaflet was circulated at the meeting.  Pete Maxted will be leading one of the walks (Porthcothan to Padstow).  Money raised from the event will go back into coast path improvement work.

All partners

Resources for Cornwall Council to maintain the coastal path was mentioned – other local delivery methods will need to be investigated over and above Cornwall Council’s statutory responsibilities to ensure adequate maintenance levels are achieved.

The Chairman reported that a Cornwall Council Tourism Review document is about to be issued which will be of significant interest to the Cornwall AONB.

Penwith Landscape Project – end of December 2012 the first phase of the consultation will end.  Findings of the project will include the importance of farming to the Penwith Landscape etc. 

Valuing Green Infrastructure in Cornwall – a Cornwall AONB supplementary report – has been produced and a copy of the document was circulated at the meeting.  An electronic copy will be circulated with the minutes.

ONB Unit

Nigel Sumpter, AONB Officer – Brief Project Activity Update – Nigel provided a presentation on some of the projects and initiatives that he is currently and has recently been working on.

  • Marazion seafront enhancement pilot – a joint project between the AONB, Marazion Town Council and St Aubyn Estates.  This is to reduce beach clutter, signage etc.
  • Rural Highways Best Practice Guide – this has been included in the Local Transport Plan 3.  One of the elements in the Guide is preservation of highways heritage.  A pilot project has taken place on replacing old fingerpost signs - Roseland Historic Highway signs project.  The local community and school children were involved in helping to paint the new signs.  
  • Dualling of A30 on Bodmin Moor – the Rural Highways BPG has been used to enhance the landscaping scheme of the new A30 dualling proposals.
  • Off road cycle survey – survey currently underway which includes cycle-ways and by-ways – also includes the World Heritage Site as well as the AONB. 

There may be an opportunity for a best practice guide to be produced on ways to replace and maintain fingerposts etc in the highway.  E.g. Cllr Hatton and Cllr Hughes mentioned maintenance of fingerposts they have undertaken in different ways in their areas – including Cornwall Council Highways helping with structural work in some areas.

5.  Cornwall AONB Neighbourhood Planning Toolkit

June Crossland reported that the Cornwall AONB Unit has been working with Cornwall Council and consultants LDA Design to produce a web based Neighbourhood Planning Toolkit – which will explain how to embed landscape into the Neighbourhood Planning process.  3 pilot workshops were held throughout the County with parish/town councils attending to raise awareness and act as a taster to the process.  The workshops were designed to help inform parishes on the tools they require to include landscape in their neighbourhood plans.

Feedback from the workshops confirmed that the methodology of undertaking a Neighbourhood Plan was welcomed, but further workshops were requested.  These will be taking forward local landscape assessments in parishes/towns.  These will be arranged by CRCC and AONB Unit for a cluster of parish/town councils in the New Year.


In discussion it was suggested that it may prove necessary to use professional facilitation to produce robust LCA’s for parishes.

CRCC will be taking the Neighbourhood Planning work forward for 3 months following Emma Critchley’s departure. 

Victoria Whitehouse suggested that biodiversity information etc, needs to be included as a link to the Landscape Character information as that data on County Wildlife Sites etc is not included with the Landscape Character Assessment at present.


6.  Business Plan for Defra 2013/14

The Cornwall AONB Partnership Business Plan 2013-2015 sets out in broad terms the key areas of work for the Partnership and staff Unit for the next 2 years.  It will be reviewed annually with the involvement of the Partnership.

The Business Plan is in 3 parts:

Part OnePartnership structure and external changes – internal communications – monthly managers report (via email) to Exec Group providing brief update on Unit activities, Task and Finish Group activities and monthly e-news from the Unit to the full Partnership – also external communications.

Allocating planning resources – planning policy; development management; neighbourhood planning


Part Two – Core Function and Management Plan Priorities

Condition Monitoring – Unit will let a contract to revisit Baseline Monitoring of 2009 including looking to recruit local volunteers to help with local condition monitoring which will be useful for neighbourhood plans.

Neighbourhood Planning – continue toolkit work to raise awareness


Part Three – Delivery

Landscape Character – social forestry, cycling hub and linking sections

Community Planning – Neighbourhood Planning and Outstanding Champions – local contacts to develop community links

AONB Businesses – Outstanding business awards, food trails, Outstanding picnics and walks

West Penwith/Integrated Land Management – taking Penwith Landscape project work forward, pilot project to generate social, economic and environment benefits

The Executive Board has been helping to feed into the Business Plan, and will continue to do so.  Partners were asked to let the AONB Unit have any comments on the Business Plan, there is still time to make comments, before the Plan is submitted with the funding bid to Defra at the end of December 2012.   

All Partners

Jimmy Scobie congratulated Jo for undertaking this work and developing the Business Plan.  He welcomed the idea of monthly email updates from the Unit and Partners as the Partnership meetings are only now held twice a year - it will provide more regular information which can be passed onto colleagues in their partnership organisations.

Cllr Flashman reported that Scott Mann, Deputy Chair of the Planning Committee is now writing a policy on siting of windfarms in the County and it would be worthwhile the AONB Unit liaising with him on this.  The AONB Unit confirmed it is aware of a policy that is being written.

Hannah Harris reported that CC Democratic Services are preparing training plans for new members after the May 2013 elections.  It was agreed that the Unit contact CC Democratic Services to suggest AONB training which would be beneficial to new and existing councillors.


7.  Partner updates and monitoring of Management Plan Actions

The AONB Partnership Manager distributed spreadsheets which showed progress on the actions detailed in the management plan as reported by the Unit and by those partner organisations who had provided updates.  All partners were asked to provide any further updates and let the AONB Unit know if they are involved in or wish to be involved in any of the actions/projects, even if their organisation is not currently listed as a lead/key partner.

RCM4 – Toby Lowe queried who was involved in the project – he suggested that N Sumpter contacts the Beach Officer, Jolyon Sharp to discuss.   

All partners

N Sumpter


8.    Communications Strategy

P Maxted presented the Draft Communications Strategy circulated to Partners with the agenda papers. Two small changes were requested by Partners – one to the key messages section (to include the ‘great weight’ message from the National Planning Policy Framework) and one to the target audience section (to include council members as well as policy makers).

J Scobie moved that the AONB team be thanked and congratulated on a fine piece of work.



9.  AONB Partnership Position Paper on National Park Status – The Chairman explained that he had written the paper in response to CPRE’s recent press release on whether Cornwall should become a National Park.  The position statement is not intended for publication as such, but to establish an agreed position for the Partnership. 

Natural England’s 2012 Designations Strategy Implementation Plan includes “a strategic review of the extent and diversity of the existing set of AONB and National Park designations to establish whether there is potential scope for future new designations – by end August 2014”.  However, the conclusions on NE’s practical position on changes in designation give no grounds for any optimism that a Cornwall National Park would result in the foreseeable national circumstances.  The meeting expressed agreement with the conclusions.

10.  Schedule of Future Meeting Dates for 2013/14

The list of future meeting dates was noted.  It was suggested that the next Partnership meeting be arranged in June 2013, allowing time after the May elections for the appointment of representative Councillors. 



11.  Any Other Business

·         Planning Approval - Mevagissey Bay View, School Hill, Mevagissey – erection of 31 dwellings (21 affordable) – the AONB Unit has submitted comments to CC Planning to advise that this Exception Site application be refused as the proposed dwellings would be prominent in this sensitive coastal landscape; it would result in a developed appearance which would erode the quality of the natural appearance of the coast.  CC Planning Officer had recommended refusal to the CC Central Sub-Area Planning Committee, but the Committee approved the development. 

The Partnership welcomed David Appleton’s suggestion that he would raise the case with Natural England as a dangerous precedent and agreed with his recommendation that the Partnership should raise this issue with Dave Webster, Chief Exec of NE. 

D Appleton


CC Local Plan public consultation is due in January 2013.  Agreed a special meeting of Partnership members could be convened to discuss the final consultation draft.




12.  Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 20th June 2013 (after CC elections) and Nov 2013.  AONB Unit will circulate dates.  The Cornwall AONB Annual Forum (Central) will take place on Saturday 16th March 2013.