Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Plans for ferry terminal in Penzance 'will be passed'

Penzance Harbour
Opponents say the plans would ruin the historic seafront

Cornwall's chief planner has said he hopes that controversial plans for a new ferry terminal in Penzance will be approved when re-submitted.

The proposed terminal at Battery Rocks is part of plans to improve ferry links to the Isles of Scilly.

Councillors refused planning permission for the terminal last month after critics said it would spoil the area.

Chief of planning Graham Hicks said the new terminal was still required because the islands "need a maritime link".

The two vessels currently linking the island, the Scillonian ferry and freighter Gry Maritha, need replacing. The preferred option is a larger, single ferry, which would require a new larger terminal to support it.

The scheme was put forward by council planning officers, but the campaign group Friends of Penzance Harbour fought the plans, claiming it would ruin the town's "beautiful" seafront.

We've got to move on, we've got to start delivering
Graham Hicks

And Cornwall Council refused listed building consent in December, which was to have been the first stage in extending the pier for a new terminal.

The application is due to be resubmitted within the next three weeks.

Graham Hicks said he understood that the planning committee had to balance the loss of some of a historic environment and economic concerns.

But he added: "We've got to move on, we've got to start delivering for Penzance.

"I will put my trust in my colleagues and I am hopeful that they will pass it."

Protesters said they were still against that plans, adding that the council had not seriously considered any other ways of improving the link.

MPs discussed the plans in Westminster Hall: From BBC Democracy Live

The Battery Rocks proposal is known as Option A. Other options had included separate new passenger and freight terminals.

John Maggs of the Friends of Penzance Harbour group said: "Option A is not the only option.

"Cornwall Council went down the road a long way for Option A before consulting the people.

"They have at not at any point looked at any alternatives."

English Heritage said that it was in talks with the council at the moment about the proposals.

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