Saturday, 9 February 2008

St Mellion gets planning permission

The village of St Mellion lies on the west side of the road from Saltash to Callington. Now it is primarily known for its golf course, not that this fact really interests me - I've about as much interest in playing golf as flying to the moon! But what is worth recording is the fact that Caradon District Council have given the owners planning permission for a very substantial development.

What we are talking about here is a new 80 bedroom hotel, a refurbished clubhouse, 265 lodges, a new access to the main road and some reconfiguration of the golf course itself. So not small beer that's for sure, I think they are talking about a £100 million investment.

My initial reaction was of some concern about the size of the scheme when related to the quiet intimate landscape of Cornwall. However the siting isn't in the most conspicuous of places, for instance it may not be visible from the Tamar itself although I have a feeling that the tower of St Mellion church is so I could be wrong (artists impression shows hotel would be 3 storeys high). The rising ground of Viverdon Down just south of Callington would I think hide the development from the viewpoint of Kit Hill - I'd hope so anyway. I am always concerned that planners don't assess visual impact from popular viewpoints, and Kit Hill is one such, that are not that far away.

A plus side is the statement that 50 extra full-time jobs will be created when the work is completed. It is hoped that the Club can bring back the European Tour golf competition (whatever that is) to St Mellion. There is understandable concern that the development will put a lot of extra pressure on the roads but my own experience of the main road there is that traffic outside the rush hour isn't too bad. It is the village itself which could suffer most though with increased car movement. I may have got this wrong but I thought that in years past when the whole idea of developing the golf course has been discussed the then owners were going to stump up money to get the whole village bypassed. Could be totally wrong on that but this latest proposal includes a paltry £220,000 to local highway projects. Not very much at all in the great sceme of things.

I believe that work on the project will be commencing pretty soon so we won't have to wait long to see what sort of impact it has both environmentally and economically.

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