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Falmouth Wharf developer slams campaigners’ claims as 'nonsense' as objectors have one week left to send comments.

By WBCraig  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

People protesting against the development of Falmouth Wharf, outside County Hall in Truro in April

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LOCAL residents and business owners are making another stand against controversial plans to redevelop a historic deep-water wharf into flats and a hotel.

Campaigning group Friends of Falmouth Wharf is urging people to register their views about an appeal which has been lodged by the developer, Fairhaven Shipping UK Ltd.

But the company has slammed some of the campaigners’ claims as “absolute nonsense”.

It is appealing against Cornwall Council’s decision last April to reject its plans for a mixed use development incorporating 44 flats, a 14-bed hotel and 20 industrial units.

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Campaigner Belle Benfield said: “Falmouth Wharf is a thriving hub of marine industry.

“Cornwall Council made the right decision to protect Falmouth's marine economy.

“We are disappointed that the owners are wasting time and money on an appeal.”

Councillors on the strategic planning committee voted 12 to 2 to protect the site for industrial use.

Objectors to the application in April included Cornwall Marine Network, Sarah Newton, MP, and Falmouth Town Council. Ninety letters of objection and two petitions of more than 158,000 signatures were also submitted.

Ms Benfield claimed: “Falmouth Wharves provides livelihoods for more than a hundred local people. Uniquely, the jobs are split between maritime industry and arts and crafts.

“All are at risk if the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol overturns Cornwall Council’s ruling.”

Rolf Munding, part owner of Fairhaven Shipping, said only three marine-related tenants occupied the current site, along the marine frontage, which could return if the development went ahead.

“I am not entirely certain who the Friends of Falmouth Wharf are,” he said.

“The non-marine tenants are obviously comfortable with their low rents and are happy to sit in slowly degrading buildings.

“They are creating a wave of feeling which is not founded on truth.”

He said the claim marine industry businesses accounted for 100 staff was “absolute nonsense.”

“On any given day it is unusual to find more than about 25 people in total working at the wharf.”

“Their claim that they employ 100 people is absolute nonsense.”

He added that the plans for the site would increase and “massively” improve the amount of usable industrial space and enhance deep water wharf side and access.

Comments about the appeal can be e-mailed to teamp3@pins.gsi.gov.uk or posted to The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19a Hawk Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN, with the appeal reference: APP/D0840/A/13/2207797.

Comments must arrive by Thursday, January 17.

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