Have you ever seen that Venn diagram of sustainability? - The pictorial representation of the three legged stool. The three circles represent social, economic and environmental activity. The place where they overlap completely is 'sustainability' – the Holy Grail!! A world not compromised for future generations! It makes you wonder then why the overlapping bit is so small!
The picture is of Porthleven harbour in more peaceful times, but who can forget how this community suffered this winter. Climate change is going to impact coastal communities most of all. So how do we develop Cornwall in a way that doesn't make matters worse? How do we change things?
I think the answer lies at a local level. We have passionate people who really care about landscape and nature and have a true appreciation of quality of life. Businesses locate in Cornwall because of all of this (supported by the hygiene factor of superfast broadband). Can the Lizard lead the way in ensuring a sustainable future? What are our opportunities now to bring those circles closer together, to push the boundaries and make that overlapping space bigger?
Neighbourhood Plans offer a current opportunity for communities to come together and proactively plan for sustainable places. These plans once complete, have true teeth in the planning system. 'Community led local development' will be supported by the new EU funds coming into Cornwall. This presents an opportunity to deliver those things set out in Neighbourhood Plans and to run projects to build sustainability locally. The Cornwall AONB Unit and the Linking the Lizard Partnership is keen to support any communities on the Lizard who want to get involved in these initiatives.
Published: April 2014
Author: Colette Beckham (nee Holden), Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager