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Inquiry would jeopardise beefed up sea defences

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DEPUTY PRIME minister John Prescott has this week ordered a council in Cornwall to withhold planning permission for plans to beef up an already approved sea defence scheme at Carlyon Bay.

stead the Government Offi ce for the South West will review the scheme and advise the deputy prime minister whether to call a public inquiry into the scheme.

Developer Ampersand has planning permission from Restormel Borough Council to build a £200M residential and leisure complex on Carlyon Bay.

It is now seeking permission to beef up designs for a sea wall to defend the development.

Original permission for the wall was granted as long ago as 1989 and the design only offers protection against a 1 in 30 year storm. Following consultation with the Environment Agency, Ampersand reviewed the design.

It wants to improve the level of protection to defend against a 1 in 200 year event.

mpersand warned that it may be forced to go ahead with the inferior scheme if the project was called in for a public inquiry.

'If the planning delays continue, we will at some point, have to consider building the original scheme for which we already have permission, ' said Ampersand construction director Tim Renwick.

'The local community will be a major loser in this process because the existing approved scheme does not offer the same benefi as our current proposals, ' he said.

'We believe that the government's own criteria do not justify a public inquiry because the sea defence plans are of local rather than regional or national importance, ' he concluded.

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