Planning in Cornwall: Art dealer’s proposal could lead to ‘disaster’ and have ‘catastrophic consequences’

A planning committee has heard that a controversial planning application for a pond that had already been created without permission could lead to a “disaster” and have “catastrophic consequences”. Its development and subsequent application have been opposed by thousands of people.

Art dealer Barnes Thomas, who featured in Bear Grylls’ show The Island, has applied to preserve an 80 by 30 meter pond he built on his land. He said he didn’t realize he needed a building permit. However, residents living in the Cot Valley, near St Just in west Cornwall, started a petition to have the landscape protected and the pond removed. It has been signed by more than 4,500 people.

The proposal has been presented to Cornwall Council’s western area planning committee today (Tuesday, May 28). Key issues as outlined by planner Diane Boardman included the visual impact of the pond in relation to the National Landscape (formerly known as the Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty), flood risk and the impact on the bird strike hazard at nearby Land’s End Airport.

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However, she stated that the application was supported by sufficient information relating to flood risk, while the Environment Agency raised no objections, subject to conditions.

Land’s End Airport objected, but Ms Boardman said the application was supported by a bird strike management plan. The Cornwall National Landscape Team also objected because the pond – which some say looks more like a lake – partially fills part of the valley. “However, given the scale of the development in terms of visual impact, the planning department does not consider this to be substantial so its impact does not justify refusal,” the planning officer added.

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