save tintagel from English heritage
Cornwall Council called to account over Tintagel
26th February, 2016
Dear Mr Mason and Councillor Hannaford,
You will doubtless be aware of the furore that has developed with the revelation of 'English' Heritage's intention to install 28 items at Tintagel Castle which will, in effect, "theme-park" what is arguably Cornwall's most iconic and important historic site, while submerging its true history under a plethora of mythology, some of which is spurious and having little or no connection with the site itself. One of these items, a carved head sculpted into a natural rock face, has already been completed, and widespread condemnation of the scheme has been voiced from all over the world, on social media, the Press and television.
'English' Heritage (EH) applied for planning permission for these 28 items in 2015, although this not appear to be have been widely publicised. In response to this the Cornwall Archaeological Unit (CAU) submitted a report in which its expert officers judged that 19 of these 28 items would have a "negative effect", that is to say, they would be potentially harmful to the archaeology and/or the visual amenity of Tintagel.
With such a report in hand, prepared by Cornwall's own experts in the subject, the case officer should surely have invited EH to withdraw those 19 items from the application. He or she did not do so, and I can find no indication in the case officer's report, recommending conditional approval for all 28 items, that the Counci, and those Members to whom the decision was delegated, were made aware of the CAU's concern.
It is, of course, still open for EH to withdraw and delete those 19 items from their proposal, and I have written to Alex Page, EH's Properties Manager, inviting him to do so.
Questions remain to be asked of yourselves regarding the consideration of Planning Application no. PA15/03150, and its approval:
1. How widely was the application publicised?
2. Why did the Case Officer not respond to CAU concern and invite the applicant to withdraw those 19 potentially harmful items?
3. Were Members and Officers, to whom the decision was delegated, aware of the CAU concerns?
I look forward to receiving your earliest response.
Gans oll an bolunjedh da,