A bid to redevelop Falmouth Wharves has been rejected at appeal, with its role in the martime industry centre to the decision.
The Planning Inspectorate upheld Cornwall Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for redevelopment at Falmouth Wharves after a site visit and hearing.
A previous appeal for a similar proposal was dismissed in July 2008.
The Wharves are currently home to a number of marine businesses and arts studios.
The development proposed was the demolition of existing buildings, replaced with a mixed use development incorporating 44 no. flats, a 14-bed hotel, 20 no. light industrial /workshop units, gallery space and a restaurant/café with ancillary infrastructure and associated landscape works, the wharf area around the buildings to be utilised as public open space, pontoons to be incorporated into the development for berthing of small craft and providing a water taxi stop.
The Planning Inspectorate cited concerns about the effect development would have, "upon the availability and adequacy of space to serve marine-related industries, in the context of prevailing planning policies for sustainable development and local economies".
And that : "the proposed development would have a materially harmful effect upon the availability and adequacy of space to serve marine-related industries"
Adding: "The proposal could not be made acceptable through the imposition of conditions or through the submitted planning obligation. Therefore, given the conclusion against the proposal on the main issue, together with material considerations none of which weigh in favour of the proposal, the overall conclusion is that the appeal should be dismissed."
READ the full inspector's report here. PA12-04275-Fairhaven Shipping Co (Falmouth Wharf).pdf
The decision has been welcomed by the town's MP Sarah Newton, who had argued that: "Approval would contravene national and local maritime policy by compromising the economic viability and potential future growth of employment of the Port of Falmouth, through the displacement of marine businesses vital to the port's continued operation and future success.".
Mrs Newton said: ‘‘I am pleased that the Planning Inspectorate have upheld Cornwall Council’s decision to preserve the Wharves’ important role within Falmouth’s marine economy.
"The Wharves form one of the last deep water berths available in the mouth of the Fal, and are home to a range of marine businesses that deliver essential services to ships accessing the Port of Falmouth. It is essential for the future of the port that these businesses remain, and that there continues to be direct access to the waters of Fal from this part of the town.
"This is also welcome news for the vibrant creative businesses also based at the Wharves, who have worked so hard to protect this integral part of Falmouth’s economic and social fabric. I pay tribute to all the campaigners who have helped secure this week’s welcome decision and will continue to work towards a long term future at the site for marine and creative businesses.’’