Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Letters to the Editor

How stupid does Mr Haslam of Gwel an Mor, think the people of Portreath are! You can buy some of the people but not all of the people.

How dare he in a recent article say he knew of no opposition to his proposed development?

He knows full well of the growing anger a lot of local people are feeling who are decidedly against his plans.'


Why is he being given so much free publicity in local papers? Is this another form of brainwashing?

Does he think we care so little about our village that we will let him ruin it with a plague of out of character chalets reminiscent of Butlins?


  A noisy tower block dominating the hillside, and even more noise and light pollution from the ski slope, which I believe to be a red herring.


As we all know if you want 500 chalets apply for something ridiculous like a ski slope,
when it's turned down you end up with consent for 500 chalets which you would not normally be allowed to build,
locals think they have triumphed & Mr Haslam continues to scatter chalets
all over the farm land he is busy buying up, more people noise and light pollution.


 The jobs he offers are not real employment, some workers will be kept on through the year but the majority will be laid off after 5 months
at the end of the season as Gwel an Mor has no more to offer than many any other places who struggle through off season months.


 It is quite clear Mr Haslam does not care for our village or its people; if he did he would not put this proposed blight on us.


 We are just another investment opportunity which when finished will be sold for many millions leaving us as always the poorer.


 If you feel as passionately as I do about this CALL KERRIER PLANNING NOW. It's no good moaning later!


Pamella Christ


Dear Editor


The active PR machinery for the developer of Gwel an Mor, has meant that he has received a large amount of free advertising and publicity in the local media. Unfortunately, the worries of those people who have doubts about the proposals for the development of Feadon Farm have not been given equal attention by the media. Reading the PR publicity gives the impression that all is on course, and that every one thinks the planning proposals are wonderful. However, there have been so many doubts, objectors, reports called for on 'grey' areas, etc, that discussion of the plans at a Planning Meeting has been delayed until at least November, although the application went in to Kerrier in April.


The proposed development is outside the village 'envelope' – a reason previously used many times by local planning authorities to reject immediately any domestic applications to build. Why should Mr Haslem's project be treated differently?


If the building of these holiday lodges is allowed to go ahead then a precedent will be created that could open the floodgates for further holiday developments on local green field farmland. Too much development of this kind will mean that the peaceful, unspoilt countryside and beautiful rugged charm of Cornwall will be lost, cancelling out the reasons that holiday makers come here. Does the village community really want Portreath to become an exploited place of second homes and holiday development, all at prices too high for local people to afford?


In his own publicity the developer has described the village of Portreath as uncommercialised, historical and peaceful- yet he proposes to commercialise Feadon Farm with an all year round holiday attraction, unsympathetically sited within an area that has just been given World Heritage status. The historic Tram route, the Incline, Feadon Woods and Illogan Woods, will all be swallowed up inside his development, which is criss-crossed by public footpaths and bridleways that are popular with local people. There have not, as yet, been adequate archaeological surveys on the area covered by the development.


The high density of the existing lodge development can already be seen from the road approaching Portreath along North Cliffs, from Green Lane, Lighthouse Hill, Forth Vean, Belerian Road, and Treleigh. If the development goes ahead the number of lodges will be doubled to 120. An 'observation tower' the height of a four-story building is planned to go on the proposed conference centre. The development will have a visual impact on the village which the aerial views of the plans does not make clear. (This was the case with the present development- the plans we all saw did not mention that some lodges would be built on top of platforms to give them a sea view – which means that they overlook homes and invade privacy)


The developer's publicity plays down the impact of the extra traffic that will be generated by his holiday guests and daily users of the golf course, fishing lakes, ski slope, conference centre and equestrian centre. The surrounding roads are narrow, and the connections with the A30 imperfect. A report on the Kerrier planning web-site shows that Highways & Transport Officers have reservations. Portreath Parish Council has asked that more consideration is given to the safety and visibility of the entrance shown on the present plans, which also serves 19 private residential homes. Even the existing signs make it appear that these privately owned properties are part of Gwel an Mor.


Another report on the web-site raises questions about flies. The public footpath goes past the 'runs' for the pet hotel. The planned stables will be very close to the other planned facilities and the existing lodges. There will be a lot of manure from thirty horses! The developer has said that he plans to use the Tram and the Country Park to give riding lessons. (The Plans show less than the recommended amount of grazing per horse) The horses may also use Portreath beach. At the moment dog-owners are fined if they do not clean up dog mess. There are no rules for clearing horse mess.


The proposed ski slope will have a huge environmental footprint. Natural land will be covered with plastic, which will have water continually pumped around it to keep it damp. This will affect the natural drainage flow. There will be a chair lift and floodlighting. The slope ends on the perimeter of Illogan Woods, which has many varieties of wildlife. The only consideration of local wildlife seems to be to exploit them as an added attraction with invasive video cameras relaying pictures from bat boxes and badger holes etc. to the lodges.


Most of the jobs promised at Gwel an Mor will be seasonal and/or part time. Camborne & Redruth will change out of all recognition over the next few years because of all the planned building of affordable homes, housing estates, and commercial opportunities. CPR Regeneration already has solid plans for hotels, leisure and sports centres and conference facilities that will bring a sustainable employment base into the community. All these extra people in the area will, no doubt, want to access the facilities of Portreath and its beach. The difference will be that, as local residents, they will be helping to pay for the infrastructure of the area through Council Tax and Water Rates etc.!


The expansion of Gwel an Mor is a huge commercial project. It will affect the whole village community of Portreath. Obviously, the quality of life will change most for those of us who live closest to it. We have already suffered more than three long years of the mess and noise from the development of 60 lodges. Fields surrounding our properties have been used to store building materials, and to site caravans for the immigrant workers. Constant movement of delivery lorries, trucks and 'plant' vehicles has meant that our access has been alternately a sea of mud and a dust bath. Promises made for weekly road cleaning and for car-wash vouchers have not been kept. The thought of another 4yrs of construction is not a happy one. If the plans go ahead we will find ourselves owning homes that are sited in the middle of a holiday attraction.


If this scheme is allowed to go ahead, the character and charm of Portreath will change for ever. It is not too late to write to Kerrier with your Planning objections.


Feadon Residents Group

c/o 3 Marina Court

Dear Editor


Mr Haslam from Gwel an Mor has promoted his development in the last edition of the Tram and has had numerous reports in the local papers and on the radio. Although there has been many letters sent to the papers, only twice has anything been printed against the development.


No-one denies that the builders and the interior designer have done a magnificent job, the impact and density of the lodges is the problem with the site at present. They can be seen from the road along North Cliff, Green Lane, Lighthouse Hill, Forth Vean, Belerion Road, Treleigh and the sea. Nothing can be done to change this but if there is more development in this part of the countryside it will be spoilt for ever.


The ski slope and some of the proposed buildings may not be seen but others will be visible. The height of the conference centre makes it visible for miles. The proposed buildings are outside the village 'envelope' – if these holiday lodges are allowed there will be no reason to stop anyone building holiday accommodation outside the 'envelope' – do we want Lighthouse Hill and Green Lane etc. spoilt in this way?


Employment is needed in Cornwall but our young people need and want more than the tourist industry, they need skilled careers, manufacturing etc. Businesses do not have to be in big cities with the technology of today. Cornwall is becoming saturated with holiday sites which mean that the reasons visitors come to Cornwall are fast disappearing. Cornwall is rugged, beautiful, unspoilt countryside, beaches and peace – once this has gone it can never be replaced.


Some regular visitors who have seen the plans, the site and the various articles have said that Portreath will no longer attract them if the development goes ahead; the village in all publicity is described as uncommercialised, historical and peaceful. This will no longer be the case.


The ski slope will not provide alternate interest to holiday makers – if it rains people want to be inside. Also the ski slope will affect the natural habitat and water dispersion in the area; even though the surface is not solid it will still stop the water soaking into the ground so well therefore affecting the houses in Primrose Terrace.


So much development would change the wildlife activity in the area where they have been free to roam for years, you can't tell a badger, sloe worm, or fox not to worry – the buildings will be finished in a couple of years and then it will be peaceful again!


If the conference centre is used to the capacity required to make it viable, the increase in traffic all around the village will be tremendous, Cot Road, Penpraze, Tregea Hill, Beach Road and Penberthy Road are dangerous enough at present.


A mini bus to take the residents to the beach is fine in theory but if it rains and there are 30 people on the beach – all 30 want to be away – how would the remainder be looked after?


The first bar/restaurant is now open on the site – this will take business away from the village, grocery deliveries are from Tesco/Sainsbury again not helping the village. There are two golf courses within 6 miles of the site.


The plans have stabling for 30 horses – our bridle ways have not been laid out for this amount of horses – or their manure. The pet hotel - as the dogs will have to be outside some of the time the barking will echo around the valleys, this is not the same as the cows mooing, a couple of donkeys having a neigh or the cockerels crowing.


Please consider the future of Portreath and ask the Council not to allow these plans.


Yours sincerely


Some of the Residents Against Gwel an Mor



The Editor,


I would like to take the opportunity to use the tram to give Portreath an update on our plans at Gwel an Mor and to comment on a few of the wild rumours that appear to be circulating.


Firstly the rumours, the planned dry ski slope will not be swooping down into the village as someone complained to me recently, for anyone that saw our plans when we revealed them at the Consultation weekend you would have seen clearly that the slope is nestled into a small valley in one of the grazing fields of the farm, in fact we do not believe its possible to view the slope from any where in the village.


The second rumour I heard was that we planned "hundreds of holiday homes" on the site. Firstly this is not the case our plans are for sixty in total and I really can't see why commercially we would want more, we believe that with our planned activities that this number of lodges will still keep the peaceful and spacious feel our first customers have all approved of so much.


We have worked very hard with Kerrier planning on various research and consultancy reports dealing with everything from Bats, Badgers and Owls, Woodland and Nature through to Traffic and Highways all of which have come back in support of our plans and ideas. Yes there are objectors, maybe some of whom are starting these rumours, there are some that regard us as competition and of course some genuine people concerned quite rightly for their village, but we have also collected 700 signatures, letters and notices supporting our plans from the local community.


Please let me assure you all, we intend to build a business that Portreath will be proud of, the Conference centre, Golf, Equestrian Centre and other activities are necessary to build a business that will provide all year round income and in doing so would also provide all year round jobs, we have very few bookings for November, and January, a conference centre would change this dramatically.


As ever If any of you wish to discuss our plans or meet me personally I am happy to arrange this if you call Gwel an Mor on 01209 842354 our staff will arrange it.


Kind regards,





Bill Haslam

Gwel an Mor