So it would appear that the proposed new Penzance ferry terminal may not be dead in the water after all.
During a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Cornwall Council officers recommended that “every effort” be made to secure planning permission for the original project to build on Battery Rocks, despite being thrown out by councillors shortly before Christmas.
News that plans are to be resubmitted won’t please the Friends of Penzance Harbour, who called the decision an insult. They believe the project will ruin the town’s historic sea front.
However, another recently-formed local action group, The Real Friends of Penzance Harbour, will be given fresh hope. They fear the economic consequences for the town, should the ferry link be relocated to Falmouth, which is becoming a real possibility, should the Battery Rocks plans be thrown out again.
The Council has agreed to stump up £300k for a feasibility study into Falmouth and A&P Falmouth boss Peter Child said this week that the port could be “ready tomorrow” if necessary.
Just why a feasibility study costs so much, is beyond me, but there you go. And A&P would be delighted to take the route, which could run alongside the return of cruise liners stopping at Falmouth, from December 2010.
The cruise liner business is something A&P is very keen to develop, of course. It received a setback last year when the RDA said it would not be able to finance dredging of the harbour, which would allow the new breed of super cruisers into Falmouth.
However, the business is working hard to secure funding from elsewhere, and has received the public backing of the UK’s Shadow Minister for Ports, Julian Brazier, who recently visited the port.
But while waiting for the dredging issues to be resolved, the Isles of Scilly ferry link would, no doubt, fit very neatly into Falmouth. And unless Penzance and its Friends and Real Friends can get their acts together soon, this just might happen.