09:00 - 16 August 2007
Portreath's biggest club is throwing its support behind £28 million plans to expand a holiday village.As planners prepare to determine the proposals for Gwel an Mor, surf life-savers said they believed the project would boost fortunes for the holiday village.
The planning application earmarks a dry ski slope, a major new conference facility, a nine-hole golf course, an equestrian centre and more holiday lodges.
Bill Haslam, who owns Gwel an Mor, joked that a few local opponents had described the proposed development as "hell and more" when the master plan was unveiled earlier this year.
Now Portreath Surf Life Saving Club has countered the concerns by formally writing to Kerrier Council in favour of the scheme, with chairman Rob Phillips collecting supporting signatures from the club's 300-plus members.
"We like to think we are as much at the heart of the Portreath community as anybody and we are absolutely convinced that the opponents are a very small number indeed," said Mr Phillips.
"I cannot recall speaking to anyone who is actually against it.
"We have studied this scheme very closely and have had extensive talks with Bill Haslam and we feel certain that it will be a major boost for the area in so many ways.
"The range and quality of the facilities proposed are way beyond whatever we are likely to have proposed for Portreath by anyone else, and I would say 95% of the village is right behind it.
"We are a fast developing club and we are very confident that we can continue to grow in tandem with Gwel an Mor."
Mr Phillips said residents of the holiday village would soon be able to log on to scenes of the beach as part of a web-cam initiative that aims to promote Portreath on the Internet.
Mr Haslam says his development would create up to 120 new jobs and provide a £3 million boost for the local economy.
The first phase of Gwel an Mor, including 28 holiday lodges and club house, opened last year. A further 32 lodges are being built.
In June, Portreath Parish Council supported the latest expansion proposals, subject to various conditions.
At its meeting, a handful of local residents said they believed the planned development would blight the appearance of the village.
Mr Haslam said: "I am hoping for early planning approval so that we can start work on the project by the end of the year and be up and running by 2010. It involves a range of all-year-round facilities that will offer something for everyone - with a tremendous boost to the local community and its economy."
The plans are expected to be considered by Kerrier Council next month.