Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Spurn Visitor Centre proposal......final stages.

Since the initial planning application ( 15/03947/PLF ) was rejected previously by the Planning Committee of East Riding of Yorkshire Council,  the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Ltd has decided to resubmit its proposal ( current reference 16/03173/STPLF ) and, as such , that application is now working its way through the various formal aspects of the planning system.  Formal details were issued to objectors to the initial application on the 21st October and there is now until the 10th November for people to object or comment otherwise on the details.

Despite such being described as a "revised application" I am at a loss to identify any material differences if the current details are set against the original submission. Revamped presentation is not an indication of there having been any major alterations made to the detail upon which the Committee made its previous decision leading to the grounds of refusal, namely flood risk and visual intrusion.

It's also important to remember that a Council can refuse to consider and reject a resubmitted application out of hand if it is felt that the applicant is simply making a nuisance of itself and attempting to put the authority under pressure by re-applying. Clearly it would seem that that particular hurdle has been avoided despite the difficulty in identifying where the renewed application addresses the main grounds of rejection before.

Now much has been written on this issue. I have put out several Blogs, the content of which I have no intention of replicating here as the various aspects of concern are well known. If anyone wishes to look at the application in detail then this can be examined at
http://www.eastriding.gov.uk./myarea/disclaimer.asp         simply by entering the above reference. It is also possible to submit your own comments via the Feedback button on the same site.

Please note.......the mast shown on the above photograph is no longer part of the application.

Now I have made no secret of the fact that I oppose this suggestion for a Visitor Centre. Whilst many grounds for opposition have been raised I simply feel the proposal to be utterly misguided, have no confidence in the visitor attendance projections and, essentially, feel it to be a "White Elephant " that has no sustainable future.  I fully understand the need for income to be generated from the site in order to offset management costs and avoid the "subsidies" that would otherwise be necessary based on the Trust's activities elsewhere in the County. However, following the completion of the first couple of years,  when sheer curiosity might just make the books balance, subsequent years will inevitably see this situation stall and the edifice become redundant whatever new ideas might be being tried on what otherwise threatens to be a "Penninsula Playground".  More modest initiatives, coupled with redirected support from its funding partner, Eon,  could achieve the necessary financial situation linked to management obligations and avoid habitat loss, what amounts to an all out war with the community, disturbance to key areas and the inevitable deterioration in quality of areas into which visitors are concentrated on a repeated basis.

What might seem strange is that I can also sympathize with the Trust over the now imposed responsibilities they have relating to people management and the relatively recent breach in the peninsula, which might indeed get worse as easily in the near future as way beyond. Maintenance, habitat management given the area is a National Nature Reserve, health and safety requirements are all factors which come into the mix. However   I sincerely reject the need for these to be addressed via a large visitor centre  ( Faulty Towers !! ). Such is little more than a speculative venture to address a financial management problem that should have sought out a different solution !  But there, we are now poised at what must surely be the final act of this continuing saga. I would sincerely hope that this is simply not a product of stubborn arrogance, a wholly unnecessary head to head that results in the wrong circumstances emerging.  I would also hope that the Planning Committee has itself done the necessary homework that allows it to clinically appraise the revised details and arrive at a fair outcome.  Such will not please everyone, but the current situation is one which now requires resolution and proper closure.

UPDATE.  1730 hours 1.11.2016
I understand that the YWT LTD are likely to be addressing the visitor attendance subject when they hold a TV session at Kilnsea on the 2nd Nov and reveal what they believe will be the benefits arising to tourism.

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