October Parish Council Meeting

Davidstow Parish Council is back to its regular schedule of meeting on the first Monday of each month.

As far as I can tell the agenda for the meeting on October 7th 2019 is still not available on the Parish Council web site, so I cycled to the noticeboard in Tremail and took this picture:

I shall certainly endeavour to attend the meeting, since I represented Tremail on the meeting between the Parish Council and Saputo (as Dairy Crest is now called) up at the “cheese factory” last week. Here’s a photographic record of my visit:

Earlier in the summer I also attended a meeting where Cornwall Council’s “Climate Change Action Plan” was discussed:

That plan has now been published. According to the County Council web site:

As a Council we have a leading role to play in the climate emergency, but we cannot deliver these ambitious outcomes alone, we will need support from all of our residents – from our communities, businesses, schools, public sector partners, the voluntary sector and many more. You have an important role to play in making change happen, not just as residents but in your working lives too. This is just the start of the journey; please join us in tackling the climate emergency.

On Monday evening it will be interesting to discover what the Camelford area equivalent contains. At the very least I know that Claire Hewlett, the mayor of Camelford, is interested in what the Cornwall Council’s report refers to as “mak[ing] electric vehicles a viable option for many drivers”. She recently visited our courtyard here in Tremail to examine our fleet of electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure. In the pouring rain!

New Building at the Dairy Crest Waste Water Treatment Plant!

Dairy Crest have sent Cornwall Council a hybrid planning application comprising full planning permission for proposed upgrades to their existing creamery/factory, together with outline planning permission for proposed new buildings in relation to the waste water treatment plant, with all matters reserved. The address quoted on the application (ref: PA19/01034) is Dairy Crest, Blacka Lane, Davidstow, Camelford PL32 9XW

Given the assorted odours emanating on a regular basis from Dairy Crest’s existing waste water treatment plant I strongly suspect that Davidstow Parish Council and the Davidstow Residents Action Group will want to begin discussions with the Council in the very near future!

The Royal Standard Flew over the Cornwall at War Museum by Bill Pearce

On Tuesday 31st July HRH Princess Alexandra visited the renowned Cornwall At War Museum to meet Volunteers and Supporters and to have a conducted tour of the Museum. Colonel Bolitho, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, introduced her to Scott Mann, the constituency MP, and local dignitaries before meeting Sheila Perry BEM and Steve Perry.

On a perfect summer’s afternoon the party then toured some of the Museum’s display buildings meeting Volunteers and Supporters on her way round. The Princess took great interest in chatting to the people she met including members of the general public. She was very impressed with the Museum displays and dioramas.

The Museum was open as normal. Among the many present whom she met was the Acting Station Commander of RAF St Mawgan, San Ldr Nicholas Justice and Mr Ron Wellbeloved, formerly of the late Queen Mother’s Household. Air Cadets from Wadebridge under the command of Fit Lt Darren Saddler were on parade to greet the Princess on arrival and bid her farewell at the end.

Steve Perry said a few words of thanks and HRH unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit. A posy was presented by Elsie Seamarks (2yrs) and a copy of the Museum Book and DVD were presented by Bertie Cholerton-Perry (6yrs). San Ldr Saddler presented a hamper of cheeses courtesy of Dairy Crest next door. After signing the Visitors Book the Princess departed for her next engagement in Camelford.

All at the Cornwall At War Museum feel very honoured to have had a visit by HRH Princess Alexandra. Her kind, friendly demeanour put everyone at ease and the inevitable nervousness soon evaporated, well almost!

Dairy Crest Solar Farm EIA Screening Opinion

As mentioned at the recent meeting of Davidstow Parish Council, Lightsource BP have made a request for a screening opinion pursuant to the Town and Country (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 for a 5MW solar farm at Dairy Crest, Blacka Lane, Davidstow, Camelford PL32 9XW.

The proposed solar farm will occupy two separate fields, both forming part of the Dairy Crest holding and are located in its immediate context.

Davidstow Parish Council September Meeting

I attended the meeting of Davidstow Parish Council in Tremail Methodist Hall yesterday, where much discussion took place regarding the plans by Dairy Crest to invest £85£75 million in their creamery at the top of the hill. The odours apparently still emanating from the Dairy Crest water treatment plant also got a good airing!

The Chairman of the Parish Council mentioned that there had been a meeting of the Davidstow Residents Action Group (DRAG) on August 2nd to discuss that issue:

Scott Mann, the M.P. for North Cornwall, had been in attendance, but the Environment Agency and our local County Councillor Rob Rotchell had not.

A resident of Trewassa reported that due to the easterly winds over the preceding weekend the smell had been “awful” on that side of the plant. The chairman said that Dairy Crest had attempted to implement “6 solutions that haven’t worked” and reported that the Environment Agency had given Dairy Crest 6 weeks to provide an explanation for the latest odious odours.

Getting back to Dairy Crest’s expansion plans, Reuters reported back in May that:

The company said it would expand its cheese production facility at Davidstow, in southwest England to 77,000 tonnes from 54,000 tonnes a year by raising cash through a share placement.

It would place 14.1 million ordinary shares, or about 9.98 percent of current issued shares, at a price of 495 pence per share.

The cost of the expansion is expected to be 85 million pounds and will be carried out over the next four to five years, Dairy Crest said.

Dairy Crest have employed the services of St. Austell based consultancy Situ8 to handle the planning issues associated with the expansion. Situ8’s Angela Warwick was at the meeting, and she explained that whilst plans for upgrades to the creamery itself were well advanced nothing could be implemented until the waste water treatment plant was upgraded and the current issues solved. Plans for that are less advanced it seems.

In addition there are also plans to construct a solar photovoltaic “farm” near the “cheese factory” as it is frequently referred to locally. There will be a consultation with Dairy Crest in Camelford on September 21st to discuss all this in greater detail.

Watch this space for more news as and when we receive it!

 

[Edit – September 8th]

I received the following letter in today’s post. It seems Reuters neglected to mention that “£75 million of which will be spent in Davidstow” regarding the planned investment by Dairy Crest.

Dear Mr Hunt,

I am writing with reference to two matters – firstly to update you on works to alleviate the odour emissions and secondly with regard to our planned investment at Davidstow.

As you know, permanent covers were fitted to two of the tanks at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) at the beginning of this year. The initial results following the installation were good, indicating a substantial reduction in odours, as we had expected. Since then, we have had some further challenges due to the build-up of sludge in one of the covered tanks. lt has taken some time to safely remove this accumulation but the works have now been completed. Additional work is now being undertaken with an external consultant to check what further improvements can be made.

I am also writing to you about our recent announcement to undertake an £85 million investment to increase our cheese production capacity and improve our environmental credentials, £75 million of which will be spent in Davidstow.

This is a long term project which is expected to take place over the course of the next four to five years and will involve a small amount of additional construction on the site. A major part of this project is to make further investment in the WWTP to improve its efficacy and minimise the potential for it to impact on you, our neighbours. We will be installing new equipment, inside a process building, which will reduce the load on the current plant and thereby the potential for odour issues to occur. We also intend to develop a solar installation to generate electricity for our own consumption, thereby reducing the load on the local grid as well as reducing the site’s carbon footprint.

This investment is also good news for our 330 supplying dairy farmers, all of whom are in Devon and Comwall, and our 200 employees at Davidstow. Our existing farmers will be able to invest in their businesses and it will secure jobs at the creamery, thereby having a positive impact on economic activity in the region.

Please find enclosed an invitation to a public consultation regarding our intention to submit an application for planning permission for these projects. This will take place on Friday, 21 September from 4pm to 7.30pm at Camelford Hall, Clease Road, Camelford PL32 9QX.

We would encourage you to come to this event so that you can learn more about the proposals directly from us and so that we can answer any questions you may have. All the feedback we gather will be used to inform the planning proposals.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Evans

Site Director, Davidstow Creamery