Pentewan Valley Parish Council was created in June 2009 and comprises of the Wards of Tregorrick and Trewhiddle, London Apprentice and Pentewan. Historically the area had no parish council, but with the creation of a unitary authority in Cornwall on 1 April 2009 resulting in the abolition of Restormel Borough Council, it was felt a parish council was essential in order for there to be a “local” representation for residents.
The Parish Council has 9 Members representing each of the Wards, supported by a part-time clerk. They meet each month to discuss and debate a wide variety of subjects which impact on the lives of people who live, work, and visit the area.
A meeting was held in Pentewan Village Hall in November 2009 where residents gave an enthusiastic reaction to the idea of a parish plan. Following a lot of hard work a questionnaire was distributed to all 359 properties in the parish in March 2010. 184 completed questionnaires were returned giving a return rate of 51% which was most encouraging. From these responses the Parish Council was able to put together this document, which we hope you will find constructive, interesting and informative.
What is a Parish Plan and why have one?
A Parish Plan is a document that outlines how a community sees itself developing in forthcoming years; it identifies local problems and sets out a vision for the future. Most importantly it is a working document that can be regularly updated as issues, needs and priorities change.
A Parish Plan
Ensures issues and concerns are listened to
Provides a development strategy for the Parish
Involves the community in decision making
Gives the parish council a voice in local government
We are very lucky to live in the outstandingly beautiful Parish of Pentewan Valley. Pentewan Valley itself is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the recreational opportunities of the Pentewan Valley Cycle Trail which runs from the outskirts of St Austell all the way down to the coast in Pentewan and on to Mevagissey. It is 7 miles (11 km) in length and can be cycled in 53 minutes or walked in about 2 hours 20 minutes. The surrounding woodland of Kingswood is owned by the Woodland Trust.
Pentewan is a beautiful harbour village situated in a sheltered valley at the mouth of the St Austell (White) River, and has a rich and varied history.
There is mention of the village in the Doomsday Book of 1086. The earliest recorded harbour was built around 1744, and in 1820 it was decided that a harbour to rival neighbouring Charlestown should be built, this was finally opened in 1826. The harbour was used to export tin and china clay from the surrounding area, and also to receive shipments of coal, which in turn was used in local tin mines. A horse-drawn tramway was constructed to transport goods between St Austell, London Apprentice and Pentewan in 1829, and this was replaced by a narrow gauge railway which operated until 1918. This railway line has now been transformed into a cycle trail and footpath which attracts a large number of visitors each year.
During its heyday the port of Pentewan did indeed rival Charlestown, shipping an estimated one-third of all china clay produced in the county. It was a thriving and prosperous harbour village with storehouses, chandlers, inns and associated trades. Ship owners and traders made Pentewan their home and many fine houses were built.
The silting up of the harbour from tin and china clay waste was always a problem and a proposed extension of the rail line to Little Treviscoe never materialised, this together with the clay strike of 1913 and the outbreak of the war in 1914 signalled the start of a downward spiral for trade in the village, and the final load of china clay was shipped from Pentewan in 1929.
Today Pentewan is a popular holiday destination, and part of the village is a designated Conservation Area. There are many vibrant activities in the village including the Sailing Club, Pentewan Old Cornwall Society and Pentewan Gala which is held each August.
London Apprentice, in the striking Pentewan Valley, was formerly part of the Penrice and Mount Edgcumbe estates, with the land on its eastern side now a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There are various theories about the origins of this unique place name: one that apprentices are said to have learned their trades here; another that a sailor, who on landing at nearby Pentewan, was refused a job as he had no skills to offer travelled to London and became apprenticed to a blacksmith, returning as a craftsman to set up business in the area, or indeed that it comes from an ancient inn in the village which is said to have taken its name from a popular ballad “The Valiant London Apprentice” (1595).
The earliest account of the name appears to be in 1747 when “London ‘Prentice” was mentioned in a will. This land was sold in 1811 and included “The Old London ‘Prentice” which was then a row of cottages on the road from London Apprentice to Polgooth at the junction with Little Polgooth. The latter theory seems to be the closest as the area is believed to have taken its name from the London Apprentice Inn which stood on the junction of the main St Austell to Mevagissey road on the turning to Polgooth. New Mills Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1870, and extended in 1904 to accommodate a Sunday School. The chapel closed in 1993, since when and until recently it has been used as a store.
The Pentewan Railway (1829-1918), built primarily to convey china clay from St. Austell to the port at Pentewan, also served a lime kiln and coal yard on the eastern side of the River Vinnick, opposite the inn. The coal being needed to fuel the engine houses of the tin mines, particularly Taylor’s Mine at Great Polgooth, on land which now forms part of St. Austell Golf Course. In the mid- 1800s this was Cornwall’s third largest producer of tin, but as in most other areas of the County, tin production dwindled and the mine was finally closed in 1894. With the decline of mining from the mid 1800s, the inn closed in the 1870s, since when it has been a private dwelling-house. By the early 1900s the lime kiln and coal yard had been replaced by a mica works using material extracted from waste sand in the river washed down the valley from the china clay workings beyond St. Austell. These premises had successive uses and currently cater for the needs of campers and caravanners.
“Queenies”, the well-known village shop, began life as a cobblers, then it was a cycle repair business. The yard behind it was once used by a dairyman who kept a few cows in the meadows to the north of New Mills. Molingey Quarry, leased from the Penrice Estate, was started in about 1939 and produced road stone for about twenty years. Today, the quarry is still a very busy place, with businesses such as scaffolders, vehicle rentals, window installers and a public transport operator.
Activities in the area: the Pentewan Valley Trail, River Valley Holiday Park, Pottery (Rock Cottage)
Tregorrick and Trewhiddle
Tregorrick and Trewhiddle are both located at the head of Pentewan Valley and are divided by the White River (River Vinnick).
On the Eastern side of the valley is Tregorrick which comprises a mix of olde world cottages, modern properties and outlying farms surrounded by woodland and open farmland. Tregorrick Park, home of St Austell Rugby Club caters for a wide range of sports facilities and is well used by many local residents.
Penrice House, just outside the village, was once the home of the Sawles family and is now a residential care home. On the eastern boundary of the parish is Penrice hospital and Mount Edgcumbe Hospice, both providing a valued service to the community.
On the Western side of the valley lies the Cornwall Hotel and Spa. The main building of this complex was known as the White House built by Coodes a local banking family in 1800’s.
Trewhiddle, a little to the south is famous for a Saxon hoard located in a river bed in 1774. This important ‘find’ is now housed in the British Museum. The estate at Trewhiddle has also been converted into a high quality holiday complex.
Footpaths, river walks and the hedgerows in this part of the parish abound with wildlife and offer pleasant walks for nature lovers. A cycle path alongside the river provides pleasant recreation for families.
In this section we included questions on environmental concerns (such as street cleaning, litter bins, dog fouling etc), recycling, open spaces, alternative forms of energy, and how we could improve the environment.
Percentages quoted are percentages of all respondents unless otherwise stated.
78% feel safe when using open spaces
64% use the coastal footpath
67% use Kingswood
81% use the Pentewan Valley Trail
60% would like to see more trees planted
82% would like to see a map of the area highlighting footpaths, places of interest, historical sites
80% would be in favour of improvements/developments around Pentewan Harbour basin, but they must be sympathetic and in keeping with the area. Many respondents
commented on the current lack of maintenance of the area
77% of people think the kerbside recycling service offered by Cornwall Council is good
Only 14% think that facilities for the disposal of garden waste is good
44% do not feel that dog fouling is a problem, however many respondents commented there were not sufficient facilities available for disposal of dog faeces, especially along the Pentewan Trail and at the harbour. Bins that are provided are not emptied frequently enough
Map of area highlighting points of interest
Decide on suitable locations and obtain maps
Cornwall Council Parish Council Woodland Trust
Pentewan Harbour basin
Lobbying for improvements
Pentewan Sands Holiday Village (the area is privately owned) Parish Council Environment Agency
Improved service for the disposal of garden waste
Look at ways the service can be improved in a carbon-neutral way. More information about composting
Cornwall Council Serco
Planting of more trees
Identify areas that need more trees. Look into schemes that encourage planting of trees
Local landowners Woodland Trust Parish Council
Disposal of dog faeces
The provision of more bins and more frequent emptying of bins already provided
Serco Parish Council
Action already underway – see p20 (i)
Better provision for collection of all types of plastic. Clearer information about obtaining further supplies of recycling bags. Look at other ways recycling could be left for contractors
Cornwall Council Serco
Traffic and Transport
In this section we included questions on modes of travel, traffic concerns, roads and pavements in the parish.
Private car usage dominates the mode of transport in the Parish, with little interest in car sharing. There is a large percentage (45%) that currently does not use the bus service with a small percentage (6%) of regular users
However some 32% thought that an improved service might encourage them to use buses more regularly, many looking for a more frequent service and better connections to trains and workplaces. There were useful suggestions regarding the type and availability of timetables and calls for direct services to places such as Truro, Fowey and Lostwithiel
59% considered that hedges and verges were adequately maintained in the interests of road safety, but a significant percentage of people (34%) were concerned at particular locations, such as road junctions that required better attention
With regard to the volume of traffic; 41% were concerned at the level of traffic on the Pentewan Road; 27% considered that Tregorrick Lane carried too much traffic, especially at peak times and was a ‘rat run’ to avoid the St Austell By-Pass
With regard to the speed of traffic, the Pentewan Road concerned 62% of people who replied, particularly focusing on London Apprentice and the junctions at Pentewan. Others were concerned at the speed of traffic through Tregorrick and Pentewan villages
When asked about any particularly dangerous areas for pedestrians and motorists replies reflected the problem areas previously mentioned, with a predominant focus on Pentewan, Tregorrick and London Apprentice
In considering what traffic calming measures may help with these concerns the majority of people were not in favour of speed humps, traffic islands, pinch points or pedestrian crossings
However 53% of the people who replied were in favour of reduced speed limits in particular locations, again reflecting the concerns around the principal villages
There was not such a definite consensus with respect to speed check lights with 42% against and 41% in favour
In answer to whether there was concern at parking taking place on roads and verges the majority of people (55%) did not think that this was a problem. Some 21% considered there was a seasonal problem and there were some specific areas where there may be localised issues
60% of the people who replied were not concerned at the state of the roads in the Parish, but there was a significant number (40) that thought the condition of the roads gave concern, with specific areas being raised.
We asked about the need for more car parking and a greater number of the people who expressed a view thought there was a need for more parking. The location that most people identified, (78% of those who expressed an opinion on location) was Pentewan village. Other locations of concern were Kings Wood and the Tregorrick end of the Pentewan Trail.
Identify problem areas and press for timely cutting. Consider the role that the Parish may play in dealing with specific areas
Short, Medium and Long Term
Reduce speeding within Parish
Police to target problem areas identified (see also Community Wellbeing and Crime Prevention section)
Consider current speed limits and their appropriateness
Action already underway – see p20 (ii) and (iii
Inform parishioners of reporting procedure
Short, Medium and Long Term
Parking in Pentewan, Kingswood and at the end of the Pentewan Trail in Tregorrick
Provision of extra parking spaces.
Investigate Park & Ride Scheme
Local Land Owners
Medium – Long Term
Better frequency and timing of services and more direct routes
Consider current extent of use and possibility of improved services
Availability of Timetables and their distribution
Consider current arrangements and possibility of improvement
Medium – Long Term
Business and Employment
Here we looked at how many people in the Parish currently work and ways of enhancing employment opportunities.
The majority of respondents are retired
Only 2% of respondents are unemployed
17% respondents run their own business within the Parish
Whilst acknowledging the value of tourism, it was felt that no more caravan/chalet sites should be situated in the Parish and the conversion of property into holiday homes should be discouraged
Although respondents wanted to encourage new employers into the area, they did not wish to see the development of industrial workshops or more commercial development
Getting the right balance of employment
New employers should be encouraged into the area and support should be given to those hoping to work from home. The Parish Council should work with organisations to offer training and advice to local businesses
Support more tourism related businesses
Look at ways tourism could be promoted/supported in the Parish
Discourage the conversion of residential dwellings into holiday homes
Respond to planning consultations by citing the outcome of this Plan
Planning Department, Cornwall Council
Short, medium and long term
Improve Internet provision and speed
Liaise with internet service providers. Look at ways internet could be accessible to more people
Cornwall Development Company
see p20 (iv)
Here we looked at the type of housing parishioners live in and any problems experienced in gaining adequate housing.
77% residents own their own homes
of these, 3% are holiday home owners
10% respondents will be looking for housing in the next 5 years
Overall the housing needs of residents are currently being met within the parish, but this is likely to change in the future
There is a mix of types of homes in the parish including houses, bungalows, flats, chalets, mobile/park homes and buildings converted from their original intended use
Requirement for suitable housing in next 5 years
Encourage an adequate supply of the right type of accommodation for future use. Parish Council may consider conducting a Housing Needs Assessment
Medium to long term
Here we looked at residents’ health and wellbeing and ways this could be improved.
The difficulty of accessing NHS dental care was a problem for a lot of respondents with many people having to travel long distances outside the Parish to obtain treatment
Out of hours access to a doctor can be a problem but hopefully GPs will start to provide out of hours cover again. This must be an improvement over the current service provided by Serco
It would be good if the Minor Injuries Unit could be open for longer at weekends and during the holiday season
There are many opportunities to undertake sports related activities within the Parish, but due mainly to the small population of the Parish, residents have to travel further afield for many non-sporting hobbies
Although many people use the sports and recreational facilities available within the Parish, many people were unaware of their existence
Many people use the swimming pool at Polkyth Leisure Centre in St Austell, but would prefer to be able to swim in a good quality, reasonably priced pool within the Parish
Lack of NHS Dentists
Lobby Primary Care Trust
Cornwall Council Ward Member
Short to Medium Term
Variable out of hours service
Lobby Primary Care Trust
Short to Medium Term
Out patient services
Lack of information about recreational facilities in the Parish
Local recreation groups/sporting facilities, Parish Council, Cornwall Council
Medium to Long Term
Lack of swimming facilities
Ability to use existing pools in the Parish
Pentewan Sands/Cornwall Hotel and Spa
It should be noted that the NHS will be going through yet another period of significant change over the next 5 years and with the abolition of Primary Care Trusts, GPs will be forced to Commission their own Secondary Care which will take time to establish and services may deteriorate initially.
Community Well Being and Crime Prevention
In this section we included questions on the Emergency Services and problems affecting the area.
Most respondents felt services were either good or reasonable
The high percentage of “don’t know” answers suggested poor communication
The Parish appears to be in a low crime area
By far the largest concern is that of speeding motorists in all areas of the Parish
A large number of parishioners did not recognise the need for a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Services such as the travelling library and public telephones are under review
Improved communication with service providers
Identify existing communication channels
Improve/establish links where necessary
Establish quarterly crime report from Police
Short to Medium Term
See p20 (v)
Reduce speeding within the Parish
Police to target speeding motorists concentrating on known speed hot spots
Consider training volunteers on use of speed monitoring equipment
Investigate possible traffic calming measures
Short to Medium Term
See p20 (ii)
Communication – General
Issue all households within the Parish with a printed list of useful telephone numbers and email addresses. If possible include GPS code of each property
See p20 (vi)
Communication – Service providers
Arrange an open meeting with providers to enable them to
1. We have arranged for the provision of an extra waste bin in Kingswood Car Park and have arranged for a dog waste bin to be installed on a 6 month trial in Menagwins Car Park.
2. We have conducted speed surveys with the Police in Pentewan, London Apprentice and Tregorrick and are working with our Cornwall Council Ward Member and Cornwall Council’s Highways Manager to monitor speed in Pentewan.
3. Cornwall Council, following consultation with the Parish Council are to amend speed limits in some areas along the B3273.
4. Since sending out the questionnaires, the Government has announced the provision of “Superfast Cornwall”, an investment to roll out superfast broadband across Cornwall. A further announcement is due in May 2011 and the Parish Council will continue to monitor and lobby for the speedy delivery of this service in the Parish.
5. The Parish Council now receives a monthly update from the Police at its meetings.
6. A leaflet “Cornwall’s Guide to Public Services” was issued with all Council Tax bills in March 2011:
* We have asked Cornwall Council to consider the provision of a bus stop sign on the B3273, opposite the bus shelter at Pentewan so that visitors can easily identify where to catch buses to St Austell
* Following flooding in Pentewan in November 2010 we arranged for the delivery of sand bags for residents
* The Parish Council and residents are working with the Environment Agency to formulate a Community Flood Plan for Pentewan
* We have provided a new grit bin on Tregorrick Hill and placed two in Pentewan
* We have installed additional seating along the Pentewan Trail
We had these quotes from residents who completed the questionnaire:
“Life is good here!”
“Our Parish is the last Parish to remain “green” and not overrun with huge housing estates, the people of St Austell use the Kingswood and trails as a green space for the town. It’s special and should be conserved and promoted”
“Please communicate the Action Plan resulting from this survey”
“We love our village and feel privileged to live here, amongst so many wonderful folk”
“London Apprentice is a pleasant, quiet hamlet, traffic calming is particularly effective”
“We would not be in favour of the promotion of yet more tourism as we feel the area is already saturated during the summer months and relies upon seasonal employment. The emphasis should be on improving the opportunities for local people, both in employment and housing”
Well done for bringing out this questionnaire”
The exceptional response to the questionnaire, in terms of the number returned and the issues raised, has enabled this Parish Plan to deal with a wide range of matters that affect the entire community.
Following the return of the questionnaires, the many and various responses were analysed and the primary issues of concern were distilled and set out, together with proposed actions.
In order to bring these matters to the attention of the community a prioritisation event was held in Pentewan Village Hall on 3 November 2010 to identify priorities for the issues and establish a time-frame for the actions. Residents from the three main communities of Pentewan, London Apprentice and Tregorrick as well as others from outlying properties, Cornwall Council officers and our Cornwall Council Ward Member, Councillor Denise Mutton attended the evening and were able to indicate their priorities against the list of issues and actions identified within the draft Plan. This has provided the framework for the actions proposed within this Parish Plan.
We are pleased to say that during the gestation period of the draft Plan a number of actions have already been undertaken, as indicated above and it is intended to maintain this momentum as far as the Parish Council is able. Where the solutions do not lie in our hands we will be encouraging our partner agencies to address and progress the issues in accordance with the wishes of the community.
Also, in the early hours of 17 November 2010, our area was subjected to flash flooding. No warning was given and many properties in the Parish were again flooded. The Environment Agency were called out to meet the community and our Chairman, Parish Clerk and other councillors, together with the Ward Member, accompanied them on a walk-about in Pentewan to respond to public concerns. Thanks to the involvement of our local MP Stephen Gilbert, David Cameron also visited Pentewan and promised Government support to stricken areas. The Environment Agency proposes that a Community Flood Plan is developed for Pentewan and the Parish Council is prepared to assist the local community in the progression of this.
This is your Parish Plan. It is a living document that should adapt to the changing needs within the Parish. However, it cannot be effective without your continuing help and input and we look forward to any feed-back on the current Plan and to hear of any issues that arise in the future. Contacts