THE leader of Cornwall Council said he has reconfirmed the authority's commitment to safeguarding the sealink between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.
Alec Robertson has written to Penzance mayor Phil Rendle suggesting how, from Cornwall Council's point of view, this can be delivered within the timescale and funding restrictions. But despite the positive noises coming from county hall Mr Robertson added that the council cannot support all of the ideas put forward in Penzance Town Council's blueprint for the harbour.
Both authorities have been given until this Friday to send a joint letter outlining their plans for the development to Norman Baker of the Department for Transport.
The deadline to secure funding for the next stage of work and stay within the planned time frame has passed. Penzance is now hoping to extend the time frame to receive £4million of convergence funding from Europe. The rest of the money for the £8million build is due to come from the Department for Transport.
"The Department of Transport has been clear that the window of opportunity for securing public funding for a scheme for Penzance and St Mary's harbours is very short and, therefore, any scheme has to fall within the works approved by the current Harbour Revision Orders," said Mr Robertson. "The scheme developed by Penzance Town Council will require a fresh Harbour Revision Order for Penzance which will defeat the funding application.
"Clearly we need to avoid this outcome. An opportunity exists for us to secure the Scilly's link through a scheme acceptable through the Department for Transport and which meets their requirement that it is deliverable within existing consents. This will require an amendment to a part of Penzance Town Council's scheme and we have written to the town council indicating our willingness to promote this scheme jointly with them."
For the latest news and reaction on the harbour development grab your copy of The Cornishman on Thursday.