Hot topics at next week’s full Council – 22 May

Hot rocks, sprinklers and traffic routes are on the agenda for the next full Council meeting.

Matters up for discussion include ‘hot rocks’, providing a commercial rate loan to bring forward work on improved traffic flows around Nansledan and Newquay and installation of sprinklers in all Council new builds.

The meeting will be held at 10.30am on Tuesday 22 May 2018.

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The agenda includes a proposal to provide a £1.4m grant to Eden-EGS Energy to help fund a new ‘hot rocks’ project near St Austell, which could unlock the potential for more deep geothermal power in Cornwall.

The project, proposed in Bodelva near St Austell, involves drilling a well to gain access to the hot rocks below with the aim of creating enough heat and electricity to potentially power the Eden Project and surrounding homes.

If supported by full Council, the £1.4m grant would be considered match funding, subject to Eden-EGS Energy achieving funding from other sources including the European Development Fund.

Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Economy, Bob Egerton, said: “Cornwall is rich in natural resources and our Council priorities aim to become a world leader in renewable energy, creating more and better paid jobs for people in Cornwall.

“This Council has secured money from national Government which we are using to lever in a total of £35 million funding from private businesses, Europe and research institutions for geothermal energy. This mean Cornwall is the first in the UK to explore the potential to power our economy from deep geothermal energy, the hot rocks and springs lying deep under Cornwall.

“Exploratory work is already underway at United Downs, with the Bodelva site providing further opportunities, if supported. This has huge potential not just for Cornwall but for the national economy. Unlike other renewable sources where energy is dependent on the wind or the sun, deep geothermal offers a stable consistent and secure source of energy.

“This also builds on our devolution deal with Government – and our latest proposition, New Frontiers, which seeks co-investment from Government to piggy-back on our deep geothermal projects, and assess the potential to extract lithium resource that will be in high demand across the globe to power the electric vehicles of the future.”

Councillors will also consider a proposal to install sprinklers in all domestic new builds for sale or let by the Council at a cost of £1.8m. In future, this could also be extended to all homes commissioned by or purchased by the Council.

“This proposal to install sprinklers in all Council new builds could potentially save lives and reduce property damage, as well as reduce insurance costs and callouts by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service,” Cabinet portfolio holder for Homes Andrew Mitchell said.

Along with hot rocks and sprinklers, loan funding of £7.1m from the Council’s capital reserves to the Duchy of Cornwall is being considered to bring forward construction of new roads which will deliver up to 3,880 homes and 58,000 sqm of employment space at Nansledan.

If approved, this loan will enable the Duchy of Cornwall to deliver phase 2a of the scheme earlier than planned. The Duchy has already funded and built the eastern arm and Rialton Link phases of the NSR contributing over £15m to the wider scheme. 

The loan would be provided at commercial rates with the Duchy of Cornwall paying back to the Council both the Capital and the interest on the loan.

Cabinet has already agreed funding of £8.7m to help pay for the high infrastructure costs associated with the rail and stream bridges in phase three.  This will support Newquay’s wider transport strategy by providing a more efficient transport network leading to better journey times for drivers and reducing congestion for local people through the villages of Trencreek and Quintrell Downs. The Council’s £8.7m investment would support the direct delivery of the NSR. It is not a grant to Nansledan’s developers or landowners.

“Without Council intervention the full Newquay Strategic Route is not likely to be delivered in the next ten years. This proposal provides a way forward to make the lives of local residents better by improving the road network more quickly, as well as bringing forward more homes, jobs and growth,” Cabinet portfolio holder for Planning and Economy, Bob Egerton, said.

Changes to membership of committees will also be considered, along with the tabling of various committee annual reports.

Members of the public are able to attend full Council meetings in person at New County Hall, or can watch the meeting via a live webcast.

Members of the public can also submit questions no later than midday two clear working days before the meeting. 

Story posted 17 May 2018