Skip to main content

Seabed mining off the North Cornish coast, why not a trial

I've read with interest plans revealed that the sea bad off Cornwall could be mined for minerals. On the one hand it promises jobs, investement and crucially Cornwall exporting and bringing money in. On the other there are widespread concerns that dredging style activity could have an adverse effect on wildlife, the fishing industry and beachgoers.

This is a great dilemma Cornwall shouldn't spurn economic development and a possibly emerging industry but neither should it sacrifice the environment to do so. Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Surfers Against Sewage are right to be cautious, sediment from centuries of mining churned up uncontrollably could have a long detrimental effect. To be fair the company behind the plan Marine Minerals ltd claim that their methods don't risk churning up the seabed and wouldn't pose the risks feared. (see this This is Cornwall article for example). This is claim and counter claim and its hard to know personally who is nearer to the mark. So why can't we have a limited trial, closely monitored in conjunction with concerned groups. Then if environmental concerns are well founded we can stop it and conversely if tin can be profitably extracted cleanly and efficently it can carry on.

There's a wider point here, that's weighing up environmental concerns against economic ones. We've seen this in Falmouth over the harbour issue and potential dredging there. Who knows perhaps more dredging elsewhere to clear waterways or mine minerals will come up in the future. It concerns me that there's a lot at stake either way but yet there doesn't seem to be a policy from Cornwall Council or central government. To my mind its the job of policy making bodies to set regulations and to weigh up competeing concerns and to ensure safeguards for our environment. It's a debate people in Cornwall are having the Cornish media has been very good at provoking this debate and giving concerned parties and companies a chance to give their side of the story. It's time this debate was had by those who can set the rules and can monitor and regulate activites and I sincerely hope they put the people of Cornwall and what we want at the forefront of this process.

Popular posts from this blog

Why I'm voting to stay in the EU and why I think you should too

I haven't interacted much with the European Referendum campaign much. Perhaps it's because I'm too much of a political nerd and would love to see people debating the policies of the European Parliament rather than various name calling and scare mongering but anyway... There's a great deal to not like about the European Union. I'm not a defender of everything it does and the way it conducts itself. But I can say the same about a whole host of institutions and authorities. Which is why this post focuses  on a few of the things I think are important. I think the European Union is fundamentally a good idea. For 2 principle reasons, 1 the formation of the EU and greater European cooperation and understanding has led to the longest period of European peace in recorded history. If the history of Europe tells us anything then we are better off working with each other than we are fighting each other. I know that the EU will continue to exist if the UK votes to leave on th…

Meeting with Premier Inn about proposed Branwell's Mill development

As many of you will have read online and in the local papers. Premier Inn are interested in setting up a hotel in Branwell's Mill in Penzance. Last night members of the Town Council were invited to a presentation by the agents from the hotel chain in St John's Hall. The Town Council rightly has a clear position that it is neutral on this development. Due to Code of Conduct rules and particularly Section 25 of the Localism Act, councillors must not enter debates with a closed mind. Or to put in plain terms the council and councillors can not be seen to have made a decision before the meeting and before they see the facts before them of that meeting. As with any planning application in the parish of Penzance it will be reviewed, debated and voted on by Penzance Town Council  Added to the fact that I've seen a presentation for the developers but not been able to speak to hear other sides of the story. This post is primarily to inform yourselves of what is happening rather th…

Bona Vacantia, the Duchy of Cornwall, the case of the missing money

The Telegraph ran with a story about the income of the Duke of Cornwall from bona vacantia yesterday. This is when people die in Cornwall without a will or a next of kin then their possessions are deemed to be ownerless goods (the meaning of bona vacantia in Latin) and are appropriated by the Duchy of Cornwall. In England these 'goods' land, property, belongings, money and so on are appropriated by the Crown and passed over to the Treasury (i.e. the government) but in Cornwall now and since 1337 these unclaimed possessions pass to the Duchy. For centuries these assets merely became part of the heir to the English thrones fortune, but since the 1970s they have been passed to the Duchy of Cornwall's Benevolent Fund or at least that's the story. So upon reading the story I thought I'd have a quick look on the internet and see where this money went and the story of the money is very curious...

Firstly the Telegraph reports that the income to the Duchy from Cornwall'…