Falmouth councillor who chopped down and burned woodland “never knew” you needed permission

Written by Ivan Edwards |

The chair of the Falmouth Town Council planning committee who chopped down and burned two hectares of woodland has said he “never knew” he needed permission to do so, after being ordered to replant the trees.

(Nathan Forget/Flickr)


Alan Jewell, the Conservative Councillor for Falmouth Boslowick and owner of Pennance Mill Farm Chalet & Camping Park, felled and burned the trees on his land in the Goldenbank area on May 24 to make way for holiday homes. According to the Falmouth Packet, three fire engines were needed to put out the bonfires, which had been left unattended.

Jewell, who is a member of both the Falmouth Town Council and Cornwall County Council, said: “I never knew I needed permission to cut down the trees. So as far as I knew I wasn’t breaking the law.”

He has now been ordered to replant the trees by the Forestry Commission. He added, “We may, in the future, be putting some holiday accommodation in there, but we will be planting trees that will be better than what we took out.”

It is not the first time the councillor, who also owns the Falmouth Pitch & Putt golf course, has caused controversy. In 2017, he helped to block an application by a rival business to build 226 holiday homes on land near his holiday park, without declaring a possible conflict of interest.

In 2016, he sought advice on converting some properties on his land into “top end” student flats. However, he later opposed plans to increase the cap on students at Penryn by 50%, saying “Penryn will be swamped with students”.

Jewell has represented the Boslowick ward, which has a high number of students, since 2013. One hopes that, after this incident, he is now fully acquainted with planning regulations, and the mistake won’t be repeated.



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2 thoughts on “Falmouth councillor who chopped down and burned woodland “never knew” you needed permission

  1. Hello all. I just clicked on “see all comments” expecting to find thousands of comments of roaring outrage from all the socially-motivated students in the Falmouth area. But, lo, there wasn’t a single comment.

    Which prompts me to ask…… what on EARTH has happened to our society???

    If someone had starting felling a woods without permission in the late ’60s and early ’70s there would have been a storm of placard-waving protest from students whom, at that time, seemed to be extremely socially-aware and ready to react explosively at any instance of injustice or illegality on the part of politicians or the rich or the powerfdul.

    And, yet, today? ……there seems to be either only muted reaction, or total silence.

    How sad.

  2. All agreed, this is the councillor who is pushed the banning of fires on the beach rather than even considering a more balanced approach to look at alternatives.

    This woodland was planted in the 80’s and was specifically designed to provide an area where native species of less common trees in need of protection could thrive. It was also planted as a blue belle wood to preserve the native species. There were badger sets on the land with owls nesting throughout and this councillor used large swing shovels to decimate the whole area. The tree were not just cut down they were ripped out of the ground. Regardless of his role as a councillor this is blatant disregard to nature.
    His view on the student population has always been negative with no support for any development since his own request was turned down and he is part of the planning team for Cornwall Council! Maybe its time to review this individual Falmouth Anchor, and expose his connections not only with the Council but also his membership in that fine historical group the Masons

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