The Looe NDP, currently out for pre-submission consultation, recognises that the implications of global warming for the town are profound and aims to tackle the challenges faced in ways that will help secure future economic and social well-being.
The Cornwall declaration of a climate emergency and the targets to restrain global warming and become carbon neutral by 2030 are seen as being a significant ‘call to action’ for the Looe NDP. The measures within it, which aim to tackle the consequences and causes of climate change and embed environmentally sustainable practice in the way the community functions, demonstrate the local determination to make an effective contribution to the global response to the challenges faced.
The Looe NDP says that global warming is bringing with it rising sea-levels and aggressive storms, which are likely to increase in intensity, which will lead to frequent serious flooding within the harbour and town centre, harming its fabric and form, and extending coastal erosion nearby. Heavy and prolonged rainfall, historically a cause of land instability, is likely to worsen. This, combined with many years of poor waste-water management in the wider river catchment, is putting bathing water quality under pressure. These combine to form a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges to Looe’s existence as a fishing port, leisure harbour and tourist centre.
The NDP strategy focuses directly on these issues, It defines a coastal change management area where development is to be restricted, embraces the flood protection initiatives currently being developed by Looe Harbour Commissioners, and supports new development which incorporates a high standard of drainage management (which will help avoid land instability and protect bathing water quality). It also includes a policy encouraging small carbon footprint design, and supports a lengthened platform for the branch line station to encourage and meet rising demand for rail travel.
The NDP aims to take advantage of the measures to tackle climate change to release opportunities for redevelopment and regeneration. These include new employment and tourism development focused around a cycle hub connecting to proposed links to the national cycle trail system, currently being master-planned by consultants Lavigne Lonsdale. The NDP also includes proposals conserve and enhance the historic town centre, and to support the re-provisioning of blue light services and enhance health service delivery by identifying potential sites for new premises, and also identifies 2 sites for small scale residential development.