Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Local MP in Cloud Cuckoo Land...

From South Hams Newspapers

MP blasts second home ownership
Sunday, 16 February 2014

SOUTH Hams MP Dr Sarah Wollaston has blasted second home ownership for 'sucking the life out of our communities'.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Dr Wollaston criticised second home owners for creating 'selfish' ghost towns and villages.
She complained that 'too many young people can't afford to rent , yet alone buy in south Devon, yet hundreds of properties remain empty for 50 weeks a year'.
The Conservative MP invited her Twitter followers to contact her with ideas for increasing the supply of 'genuinely affordable housing' for young people.
You can follow Dr Wollaston on Twitter @drwollastonMP

I am slightly astonished at this outburst from our local TORY MP...I appreciate that not everyone loves the second home owners but I am not sure where we would be without them? Has she forgotten about the millions of pounds they pour into the local economy. Has anyone tried to get a local tradesman to do some work at less than 6 months notice? What about all the money they spend in town? The holiday support businesses? The ferry companies etc etc...

Salcombe is a tourist destination and many of these second homes are also holiday lets and hence vital to Salcombe most of the year round, Dec-March aside. Would anyone rent them if they were dowdy down trodden houses?

Without second homes it's not inconceivable that Salcombe could be experiencing a slow death with declining employment prospects, very low wages and all the social problems that come with that. You only need to look at other seaside towns and villages to see what the alternative is...

Come on Woolaston wake-up...

Monday, 6 January 2014

Back for Good...

I can't believe that it has been a year since I last posted, last year was somewhat busy and unfortunately the blog had to take a back seat. However I am now back and will be keeping you all up to date to with the goings-on in Salcombe and the surrounds...which are currently somewhat water logged!

I'm also looking into a revamp for the blog so keep your eyes peeled!

Monday, 7 January 2013

A Salcombe for All...

Happy New Year to you all…I hope this year brings above all else, a summer!

There seems to be a lot going on in Salcombe at the moment; new builds around every corner, a new business going into the old HSBC site and a building site where the Marine used to be. Let’s hope most of these are finished for summer, I can’t stand looking across to Salcombe and seeing the mess that is the Marine hotel.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks on Facebook and in particular in a Facebook group dedicated to Salcombe. The group is represented by locals, incomers and visitors and to say there are some lively discussions would be under statement! The general theme being discussed is how all parties can make Salcombe a better place. There seems to be a mix of views about the development of Salcombe from “leave it alone” to “it’s improved”. I think I sit somewhere in the middle on this one. If it wasn’t for the money coming into Salcombe in the form of regeneration of housing stock and other second home owners who spruce up the houses they buy I think Salcombe would have died a long time ago. We may not all agree with some of the architecture that has been approved by SHDC and subsequently built, however many of the houses that were demolished were pretty down trodden and tired. Let’s face it if houses were not replaced we would all still be living in mud huts, it’s all about balance.

We can’t underestimate the importance of the second home owners, visitors and the money they spend locally; it’s what keeps Salcombe going. We need to build on this and ensure it keeps coming. What we don’t want is a situation whereby the locals resent the incomers and visitors and tensions rise. I was reminded recently of a pretty sad episode in Salcombe when a visitor renting Custom House had arranged a Tesco delivery on the day he arrived so he had all the basics stocked ready for a week in Salcombe rather than facing a trip to Tesco in KB. The Tesco man reversed along Fore St towards Union St only to receive some unwanted attention from local shop keepers...the Tesco guy (who was only doing his job) said it happens all too often when delivering in Salcombe and he hates coming here. I can quite understand local shop keepers wanting visitors to spend locally but how many of the locals buy 100% of their food and goods from Salcombe?? I am sure many use the supermarkets in KB too! The visitor in question also spends a fair few quid in Salcombe every year outside of the school holidays…which we all know is very much needed.

Personally I think the mix of locals, incomers and visitors is what makes Salcombe special. Take any one set away and Salcombe would be a different and less interesting place. The weather aside there is nowhere better to be in summer than Salcombe, you can take your foreign holidays and Cornwall and shove them where the sun don’t shine…it simply has to be Salcombe!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Salcombe Planning Madness

I'm presuming that I am not the only one who has noticed the huge amount of rebuilds going on in Salcombe? Every time you look around a house has disappeared...then slowly a modern architectural wonder/carbuncle (delete as appropriate) appears in it's place. The most astonishing creation to date seems to be the house at the top of Newton Road, what's that all about?

Some are a triumph and sit harmlessly alongside existing buildings, such as the new build at the top of the Yacht Club steps; looks good form the road and looks good from the water. The other house that appears to be fitting in well is the nigh on 6 year build on Allenhayes Road, looks like a couple of semi's, from Devon Road looking up towards the plot the house sits nicely in the gap.

And then we have...the house being built into the hillside below Cliff Road, this may well be an architectural and structural wonder but really...what were the planners thinking...how does that fit in? I hate to think what the final build costs on that will be!

The question that needs to be asked is what policies are the planners following, what guidelines are there to keep in check this modernisation of Salcombe to ensure it is sympathetic and will enable our town to retain its charm and uniqueness whilst ensuring we don't get left behind??

Or does MONEY trump all policy???

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