Today I attended the Strategic Planning Committee's debate on the application for listed building consent for alterations to the South Pier in Penzance. Sounds technical - well it's the basis of the application of Option A, the new route partnership scheme for the Isles of Scilly link.
This has been a hugely controversial debate as the Council's Cabinet announced that Option A was the only game in town - quite literally. If the Planning Committee failed to give it the go ahead then the only alternative would be to move the link to Falmouth.
It was clear from the debate that everyone in Penzance wanted to keep the link there. There was significant disagreement however on whether Option A was really the best, or only, scheme. Concerns about the alterations to the harbour, and to the town itself were discussed. The biggest bone of contention was that, having debated and voted against the application previously, it was felt that this new application was not considered by some to be suitably different to warrant a new application.
Overall, the atmosphere at the meeting was respectful and I think all sides got a fair crack of the whip. In the end the Committee voted by 14-7 in favour of the application.
I am not a member of the committee and so I had the time and space to live tweet the entire discussion. My twitterings were carried by ThisisCornwall. All I can say about that is that it was interesting but hard work. I got a few new followers out of the exercise and hope I didn't lose too many. I hope I got everything accurate.
If you want to follow me in future, use @alexfolkes