Local communities can be a little hard to persuade when it comes to change to the local landscape and this is one planning application that is certainly splitting the community.
Origin Coffee are an established Helston based company employing 17 people from a receptionist to a highly skilled worker. Sourcing the finest beans they can from co-operatives around the world or direct from farmers themselves, Origin pride themselves on their responsibility to look after the wider community through numerous Fair Trade programmes. However, the community closer to home are a little less accepting of their proposed plans for their new headquarters in Porthleven. While others welcome the change and the prospect of jobs and increased visitors to the village, some believe the building is too large or out of place with the surrounding landscape.
Having such a well established brand could increase Porthleven’s visibilty across the county and even nationally. With big players such as Rick Stein now investing in the lucrative Cornish food and drink market that Porthleven is slowly tapping onto, this really could see the village achieve national recognition as seen in Padstow after Rick Stein and Port Isaac for ITV’s Doc Martin. Harbour and Dock are keen to ‘encourage the expansion of local business’ which is precisely what startups in Cornwall are lacking – support.
Not all are happy about the design and suggested building plot for the three storey building. Locals are worried about how the village would cope with an influx of visitors when it struggles to offer enough parking spaces and accommodation as it is. The plot selected is the old dock yard opposite the harbour head, right in the heart of the village. There are suggestions of the building being completely out of place as the exterior does not conform to the loft style buildings around the harbour, instead a drum style front with warehouse at the rear. While renovations to the harbour have been taking shape over the last decade or so, the style of building remains relatively the same. Other than the Lime Kiln, which is still standing after numerous works over a large span of time. Not only is it the landscape that would be affected, but local business could see detrimental damage which could be irreparable. With over 10 coffee outlets in the village, surely this is the last thing an local independent business would want? A large competitor- who has been a stockist to at least 3 outlets over the past 5 years and caused damage to those outlets by opening their own Origin coffee shop in the village and rescinding their retail and wholesale supplies to these other outlets.
With the application in pre-planning stage, Harbour and Dock company have assured local residents that a public consultation will go ahead where any concerns could be voiced or alternative suggestions tabled. This is certainly one planning application to keep an eye on…