More land for Langarth new town!

Not that we need a new town. It will just add to Cornwall’s unsustainable population growth.

Shifting the blame for housing

When people object to new housing developments, there are inevitably those who criticise them. The phrase ‘Nimbys’ is often used as a term of abuse. Deploying such terms is a means of avoiding discussion, of deflecting blame from the real causes of why some people find it difficult to get housing.

Most people in Cornwall objecting to new housing do so for very rational reasons – they know that despite lots of house building going on (they can see it on their doorstep, even if they don’t know the figures), there are still people unable to buy or rent a property. They know there are lots of second homes and holiday lets around, that houses are built for an external rather than local market (references to local beaches and how far it is to the airport at Newquay are giveaways).

They may not know all the answers to housing issues but they know that just building more houses is not the solution.

Describing existing home owners as ‘wealthy’ belies the fact that many home owners in Cornwall have struggled to get their own housing.

Providing housing for those in need means changing the broken housing system, one that paradoxically provides more houses than households yet still leaves people with housing problems

Do residents of Hayle know where Hayle is?

Local buyers? The sales blurb is at odds with this statement. Residents of Hayle looking for a house would already know where Hayle is, they would probably know about the shops and would have noticed the 3 miles of golden sands! Knowing that they are 42 minutes from flights to London would probably not be that useful! Oh and the prices – from £265,000. Hard to imagine residents in need having the funds to purchase these houses?

Immerse yourself in Hayle’s newest community with a collection of two, three and four-bedroom homes.  Living in Hayle you’ll enjoy an eclectic mix of local independent shops and pubs all within reach of golden sandy beaches and spectacular rural landscapes. Whether you’re surfing big waves at Gwithian Towans, walking the cliffs of Godrevy to see the seals, eating pasties at Hampsons,quenching your thirst at the Cornish Arms or visiting the subtropical gardens along the King George V Memorial Walk, Hayle offers something for everyone. Hayle is located along the north coast of Cornwall and is well connected with rail and road links to St Ives, Penzance, Truro and Falmouth. There are direct trains to Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington, and Newquay Airport is 42 minutes by car for flights to London.

More houses than households – yet some still argue that we need to supply more houses!

The point made by Ian Mulheirn is a valid one. Housing issues are not caused by a lack of supply. The Economist, like many media outlets bangs on about ‘nimbys’ opposing more housing and the need to build more houses. Again like most media outlets they never question the flawed assumptions and assertions used by supporters of ‘we must build more houses’.

How much land is actually ‘needed’ for housing?

The National Food Strategy refers to the area of land required for new housing. 2.2% may sound relatively low but there are two problems with this figure.

  1. Land for housing is only one element of developed land. Latest figures for England indicate that for every hectare of land used for housing, another 7.2 is developed. This would mean that the land developed would equal 14% of the land surface.
  2. It is assumed in the report that we need all of the new housing. As housing figures are based on over-estimates of what is needed, the area required would be lower, although it would still impact on the environment.

The framework should set out the best way to achieve a “three compartment model” for the country, including which land is most appropriate for semi-natural land, low-yield farmland and highyield farmland, as well as land that is appropriate for economic development and housing.

The additional land needed for new housing is relatively small (approximately 2.2% of total UK land by 2060).

Balloon festival – more car travel plus some light pollution!

A balloon festival is planned for Wadebridge in September.

Ok only a few problems with this – the Bristol event attracted people from all over the world – well that’s ok, with a climate emergency we want people to travel more!

A spectacular ‘night glow’ – great just a bit more light pollution.

These impacts are typical of events which generate problems for residents in terms of noise and visual pollution and the environment. Traffic generating events are incompatible with dealing with the climate emergency.

Balloon festivals have become a must-see across the UK in recent years with the Bristol event attracting people from all over the world. Now Cornwall is to get its first ever festival featuring around 20 hot air balloons, including a spectacular ‘night glow’ when they illuminate in the sky. The Cornwall Balloon Fiesta takes place at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge, on September 18 and 19 and will also feature a giant fair, featuring over 40 rides, robotic dinosaurs, a food court area, bar and craft stalls.

Cutting farm greenhouse gas emissions – to enable a minority to fly!

The National Food Strategy – The Plan, otherwise known as the Dimbleby report, was released last week. One element of the report focuses on the need for agriculture, which accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce emissions. All well and good, but according to the presenter on ‘Farming today, this week’ on Saturday, “some areas of farmland should be repurposed and that agriculture should cut its emissions so it can absorb carbon dioxide from other industries like air travel.

Why should farming cut back to allow air travel to continue? According to a report in 2014, “An estimated 70 per cent of all flights in 2013 were taken by just 15 per cent of the population, with 57 per cent of the population taking no flights abroad.” Flying as an activity has only been part of (some peoples) lifestyle since the 1970s, it is a minority activity and not essential. Aviation accounts for 7% of UK emissions, cutting these out would be a quick win in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, allowing time for other sectors to cut back.

BBC presenters appear to have certain issues when it comes to dealing the climate emergency – including a view in the right to fly and a naive belief in technological fixes like electric cars.

[The National Food Strategy Plan itself, does not refer to cutting agricultural emissions to allow for aviation, although the evidence paper on page 34 states ‘Eating 35% less meat and 20% less dairy; raising farm yields; expanding forests and restoring peat; and growing bioenergy make net emissions from land negative – allowing industry and aviation to continue to emit.].

Lostwithiel – More holiday homes (courtesy of Tim Smit

As well as having the largest car park in Cornwall at the Eden project (which generates significant car traffic), Tim Smit now wants to develop a green area at Lostwithiel. The good news is that many locals have seen through the greenwash.

Climate breakdown – its here now!

The recent flooding in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium with the tragic loss of life has brought home to people the immediacy of the effects of climate breakdown.

Yet this news contrasts with the obsession the airlines and tourists have with flying, largely centred around controls relating to limiting the spread of Covid-19. Lets face it, flying has to be grounded. Cutting aviation is a quick win with an immediate impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

The death toll from catastrophic floods in western Germany and Belgium has risen to more than 150, local authorities have said, as emergency services continued their search for hundreds still missing.

Steinmeier [President of Germany] called for greater efforts to combat global warming. “Only if we decisively take up the fight against climate change will we be able to limit the extreme weather conditions we are now experiencing,” he said. Experts said such disasters were likely to happen more often due to climate change. “Some parts of western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days,” World Meteorological Organization spokesperson Clare Nullis said. While she said it was too soon to blame the floods and preceding heatwave on global heating, Nullis said the climate crisis was “increasing the frequency of extreme events while many single events have been shown to be made worse by global warming.”

“It is a reality that extreme weather events will influence our everyday life more strongly in the future,” Laschet [Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia], said, adding: “We have to continue down Germany’s path towards climate neutrality at a faster pace.” But he also said that the problems caused by the climate crisis “cannot be solved in North-Rhine Westphalia, or Germany”. Malu Dreyer, the governor of Rhineland-Palatinate, said climate change was “not abstract any more. We are experiencing it up close and painfully.”

Housing speculation – ideal for the owner and for those looking for ‘bolt-holes’

This is obviously a plot where it is assumed that at some stage planning permission for a luxury house will be given. If the land is £325,000 just imagine the price of a house here!.

As such a property would not meet local need, permission should not be forthcoming!

Land for sale – Porthtowan £325,000. 0.93 acres

Possibly one of the last chances to buy such a large plot of land in this part of Cornwall with outstanding sea views. The views have to be seen to truly be appreciated, the photographs do not do it justice. Situated on the coast road above the village of Porthtowan, …Porthtowan is just a 10-minute drive to the City of Truro and a 5-minute drive to the A30. The land is 0.93 of an acre. Previous planning application PA16/02344, for 5 substantial houses, was refused. A local architect has advised that an application for a single property of outstanding design, utilising the existing access should be successful.