The case for a breakwater and the development of Penzance Harbour
The existing Lighthouse/South Pier was constructed over the centuries as a breakwater to protect the rest of the harbour.
The Harbour Users scheme calls for investment to build resilience into the local economy and has letters of support from Penzance Town Council and Penwith District Council.
Peter Brown of the SW Regional Assembly responded: on the 22nd August 2008
“Earlier this year you contacted the Regional Assembly to outline your proposals for the enhancement of PenzanceHarbour. I have looked at you proposals with interest and can see they will help improve the economic prospects of the area in line with the Regional Spatial Strategy and the Regional Economic Strategy. It is important the region supports the continued economic regeneration of Cornwall and its towns.”
The plan has received widespread local support and has featured in the Market and Coastal Town Initiative document, Penzance Futures, Penwith District Council’s Newlyn/Penzance Area Action Plan and their Harbour Business Plan, and has the support of the British Marine Federation.
The scheme is in the Cornwall Council Core Strategy draft document.
It complies with the Cornwall Maritime Strategy.
Only the construction of a breakwater will provide a year round safe berth on the Lighthouse Pier, protect the railway, the entrance by road, and station, and bring many other benefits to the harbour and town. This is the preferred option of the Royal Haskoning report for Cornwall Council. Quote “This option would provide the highest degree of future flexibility in terms of berthing against Lighthouse Pier as it provides the greatest reduction in overtopping “
This would be the first stage of a major regeneration of Penzance Harbour that could include a purpose built ferry terminal, marina etc, and requires the Cornwall Council Core Strategy and Penzance Local Development Plan to include the breakwater as stage one of the harbour development plan that will bring economic benefits for future generations in the area.
The Penzance & IOS Strategic Investment Plan Aug 2009 states on page 105, para 14 Prepare for climate change…
“certain areas including Long Rock, Eastern Green and the transport hub area of Penzance are at extreme risk of sea incursion. The A30 at Branwell Mill roundabout and Eastern Green are identified as currently at risk of becoming inundated by extreme tide levels. In addition Penzance is identified as the second town most vulnerable to tidal flooding in Cornwall. Land identified in the study as being submerged may however not actually be under water if tidal barriers and coastal defences are in place.
Page 109 PZ5 Harbour Car Park
This is a key site and opportunities to regenerate this area of the town must be considered as part of the overall masterplan, taking into account the vulnerability of this part of Penzance to sea level rise.
Cornwall Council’s Shoreline Management plan calls for reefs/breakwaters from Jubilee Pool west towards Newlyn to protect assets “as soon as possible”.
The EEC funded Marina 2020 conducted by Chichester University’s Professor Emma Mckinley has suggested Penzance will qualify for funding under the forthcoming InterReg IV scheme in 2014 and the entire marina development could be funded from EEC funds.
There is greater urgency to protect the harbour assets, the station approach and the road into town at Chyandour (already with rock armour that does not prevent over topping) with a breakwater as stage one of the Harbour Users Association plan. See www.penzanceharbour.co.uk .
Given the recent announcement of further European Regional Development Funding of over £500 million for Cornwall and the IoS we would like to ensure that there is an entry point in the programme to enable infrastructural development of local ports which aim to generate employment, encourage trade and competitiveness and to export Cornish goods to markets etc.
Bert Biscoe Portfolio Holder Transport Cornwall Council wrote on the 9th July 2013 “I have been very clear about ensuring that the gateway for enabling the breakwater and the eventual realization of the Harbour Users proposal is open”.
Roger Lowry – Chairman, Penzance Harbour Users Associati