Thursday, 12 April 2012

Hayle set for recovery

My number one priority for this area is economic regeneration. We need to attract new industries to create better paid jobs for the future and we need action to sort out derelict land and get our towns moving again.

There has been some good news regarding Hayle recently. The application to restore the harbour area to its former glory had its share of objectors but has now been given a green light by government. The plans were supported unanimously by Hayle Town Council and also approved by Cornwall Council last autumn but bureaucrats based up at English Heritage attempted to block the scheme for reasons which fell apart under scrutiny.

I came out in support of regenerating Hayle from the start. One of the first things I did as an MP was lobby the government for the £5 million of funding that would enable the development of North Quay and the new bridge to be built. A couple of weeks ago, concrete mixers worked throughout the day to complete the most sensitive phase of the bridge construction and things are really starting to take shape. The new work on North Quay will create light industrial units to support the Wave Hub project along with housing and possibly some retail space.

I also came out over a year ago in support of the ING proposal to restore South Quay. This has been a controversial scheme and there were many supermarkets touting rival bids elsewhere, including one on Hayle Rugby Club. The easy thing for a politician to do with contentious issues is sit on their hands and try not to get involved but the right thing to do is to weigh up all the arguments from all sides and then exercise judgement and help the community reach a final decision.

My view was that, if we are going to have another supermarket in Hayle, then let’s build it right in the centre where it will bring life in to the town rather than drain life away. And let’s also demand that the supermarket pays for the works needed to restore the harbour walls and reintroduce working sluicing gates to help maintain a clear channel out of the harbour without the need for so much dredging. The plans for South Quay will also create other retail space on the quay such as restaurants and coffee shops and the final design was striking but in keeping with the industrial history of the site.

These are exciting times for Hayle. Within two years the town could be transformed and there could be more to come. One idea I have been pushing is the establishment of a new shuttle boat service or possibly even a small hovercraft between St Ives and Hayle so that we can bring more people in to town.

George Eustice can be contacted on george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or at 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall, TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.