94 more houses in Camborne – why?

And do we need the 94 houses – probably not!

Bernard Deacon@bernarddeacon No pesky virus is going to stop Cornwall Council discussing whether to plonk another 94 houses on these fields near Camborne next Monday. It already has outline permission and officers are recommending approval. Obviously.


People protesting against plans for a housing development have called on councillors to hold off on making a decision until a public meeting can be held. Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee is due to discuss plans to build 94 homes on land off Tregenna Lane in Camborne on Monday (June 1). But due to the coronavirus pandemic they will be holding the meeting virtually online. While members of the public will be able to listen in to the meeting and also make comments over the phone they will not be visible to councillors. The reserved matters application – for details after outline permission is granted – previously went before the committee when it was refused permission due to concerns about surface water drainage. At that meeting dozens of objectors attended and spoke against the plans.

Planning officers have recommended approval for the plans saying that the issue around drainage had been addressed through plans for a water course.
The development already has outline planning permission and the current application is for reserved matters only. John Buddle, who lives close to the site, is one of those who has been campaigning against the development proposals. He said that the Tregenna Lane Action Group and wider community were united in their opposition. He is not only concerned about the drainage issues but also about the design and layout of the homes. Mr Buddle felt that holding the meeting online would hinder the opportunity of opponents to put their case to councillors.


Halwyn Meadows – affordable housing – is this a joke?

Halwyn Meadows consists of two parts the ‘affordable’ and the unaffordable. Leaving aside who might afford the ‘affordables’ how can building houses with a starting price of £265,000 possibly help local residents on the average income?

Halwyn Meadows, Crantock – prices starting from £265,000.

Stunning development helps meet Cornwall housing needs – Halwyn Meadows is a brand new development of stunning family homes situated in the small village of Crantock, just a few miles from Newquay.

A total of 30 Westward homes are being built at Halwyn Meadows. These include nine shared ownership of which four are three-bedroom houses and five are two-bedroom properties. 21 properties will be affordable rent and include six one-bedroom flats, eight two-bedroom houses, six three-bedroom homes and a four-bedroom house.

The family homes are conveniently located a short distance from a long golden sandy beach and dunes, as well as near local amenities such as cafes and restaurants, a convenience store, village hall, and playing fields. The village itself can be traced back to 460AD and the name comes from St. Carantoc who founded the village.

There are now over 20,000 households on the Cornwall Homechoice register waiting for affordable rented properties and the development will support local people in finding an affordable home in the region. The average private monthly rent in Cornwall is £648. For a worker on average earnings in Cornwall (£22,443) this would absorb over a third of their income. Affordable homes for rent from housing associations are therefore critical to the local people.

This is part of a larger development of 59 homes that Legacy Properties are building at Halwyn Meadows in Crantock. The properties are being built in four phases with the first homes ready in Summer 2019.


Finger in the dike? Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Development Planning Document – ideas

Final extracts from Finger in the dike? Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Development Planning Document, Posted on May 22, 2020, by BW Deacon

Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Development Plan Document, Scoping Report: a response

This Scoping Report is fatally flawed in that it ignores the Council’s own policies, contradictory in that their effect is to increase GHG emissions even as the climate change plan vainly attempts to reduce them. There is a failure to quantify the effect of policies or of any projected savings that might result from them. Overall, the policies proposed are inadequate to meet the scale of the challenge.

The Council is trapped by the fossil-fuel based growth fetishism it and its predecessors have embraced since the 1980s. It is persisting in the delusion that reductions in GHG emissions and other laudable aims can only be achieved through building stuff, for example achieving biodiversity gains through building in the countryside. It ignores the possibility of achieving reductions by stopping doing stuff. Continuing with business as usual makes achieving the target of zero carbon by 2030 a hopeless task.

Instead of tinkering it must …
adopt the precautionary principle, making the (albeit vague) operational plan spelt out in the July 2019 Climate Change Plan – ‘all Council and Cabinet decisions are influenced by perspectives on the climate change’ a reality rather than empty rhetoric.

To do this it should start considering policies such as …
lobbying central government for an immediate moratorium on speculative housebuilding and a diversion of resources into subsidised housing for
end over-dependence on tourism and work to reduce tourist numbers through tourist taxes and punitive council tax levels on second homes
explore policies to cut car use, such as car-free zones, car-free days, closing roads and car parks
shut Newquay airport
lobby the Government on the urgent necessity for a carbon tax or preferably carbon rationing


Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Development Planning Document – flaws

The extracts below are from – Finger in the dike? Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Development Planning Document. Posted on May 22, 2020 by bwdeacon

Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Development Plan Document, Scoping Report: a response

The first thing missing therefore from the Scoping Report is an honest admission that terrible mistakes have been made over the past 30 years. The second missing element is a clear and unequivocal statement about the degree of change now required to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2030.

The most significant omissions from this report are

This report contains a disturbing lack of numerical evidence. The 2016 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory for Cornwall provides a baseline for assessing what is required, even though it is now well out of date. Yet this is not directly cited either in the Scoping Report or in the Topic Papers, which curiously add nothing to the Report itself. As a result, there is no assessment of how far the measures proposed will reduce Cornwall’s GHG emissions, either by 2030 or by the UK Government’s over-complacent 2050 target date.

Population and housing growth.
The biggest gap in this Report is any mention of local and central government policy which encourages speculative housebuilding. In Cornwall’s case this leads to higher rates of in-migration and/or second home ownership. Net in-migration has risen from an average of 3,463 a year in the early 2000s to 4,656 a year over the past five years. This extra population adds 23,200 tons of carbon every year to Cornwall’s GHG emissions (at the average of five tons per person).

It is frankly astonishing that there is no mention of tourism and its role in adding to Cornwall’s GHG emissions. If we assume four million visitors a year who stay on average for a week, tourism accounts for 384,000 tons (or 9%) of Cornwall’s annual carbon footprint. (Or ten times the saving from the Forest for Cornwall). Moreover, that’s just the carbon emitted in living and moving around while here. If we assume 90% of those visitors arrive by car and each car contains three people, we have 1.2 million trips. If each return trip averages 400 miles that adds another 140,000 tons of carbon.

While GHG emissions at present from this sector are relatively low (55,000 tons of GHGs a year in 2016) this was rising fast, more than doubling in the two years from 2014 to 2016. Moreover, high-level emissions of GHGs are argued to have much more deleterious effects on the environment while there is no non-carbon technological fix in sight for aviation as there is for road transport. A recent Leeds University study points out that reducing flights (the majority indulged in by a small minority of the better-off) must be a top priority in efforts to cut carbon emissions. The Council correctly states that ‘we can all do something within our control to change the world we live in’. As it owns Newquay airport one immediate thing it could do is close it down. Scrapping the spaceport would save another 4,239 tons of GHGs projected by 2030.

Road transport
Road transport is not ignored in this Scoping Report, but serious policies to deal with it are. It is stated that emissions from road traffic have fallen by only 1.5% since 1990, but not that they actually rose by 2.8% from 2014 to 2016, the last figures available. Current policies – mixed use housing projects, walking and cycling networks, more bus hubs and park and rides are likely to have an infinitesimal effect on the growth of traffic emissions produced by the Council’s other policies of speculative housebuilding and reliance on tourism or may even, as in the case of park and rides, result in increased traffic levels. With the Council still granting planning permissions to housing projects well out of town that contain two car parking spaces per house, the inadequacies and contradictions of its policies on road transport clearly require some urgent re-assessment.


Economic recovery plans – they must be green!

In the first months of 2020 Britain relied on renewable energy like never before. The power generated by clean energy projects eclipsed fossil fuels for the first time ever, making up almost half the electricity used to keep the lights on.

As the UK emerges from the financial maelstrom of the coronavirus pandemic, analysts, economists and environmentalists argue that the renewable energy industry could – and should – play a greater role, powering a green economic recovery too.

The companies harnessing energy from the sun, wind and sea hold the potential to spur the UK’s economy by attracting billions in investment and creating thousands of green jobs across the UK’s regions while accelerating Britain’s climate ambitions.


Cornwall – we have reached and passed our capacity!

Its May, there are no holiday makers about yet the place is buzzing with cars and people – have we reached over-capacity?

Yes we have!

The evidence:-
Loss of green space;
Loss of bio-diversity;
Too many households living at high densities without adequate garden space;
Unsustainable use of resources;
High levels of traffic;
High levels of air and noise pollution;
Unsustainable carbon emissions.

What more do we need to know?

Bernard Deacon@bernarddeacon Replying to @kernow_matters and @urban_achiever
Least crowded?! Is he joking? That boy should have seen the cars parked all over the place at Gwithian towans this weekend. Cornwall is now well over capacity. And that’s before any holidaymakers arrive.

Jeff Reines@JeffReines
Except that he’s right. And a full car park does not make Cornwall overcrowded. Arguably not ideal to say it at this time – albeit obvious anyway – but it is physically true.

Bernard Deacon@bernarddeacon
Cornwall also in top ten for population growth since the 1960s. In 1976 planners said that to maintain Cornwall’s character, ideal popn should be 430k. What is it now? Do let us know.

What would a post-Covid 19 economy look like?

With the economy in probably the deepest recession for centuries there is much talk of both reviving it and what the new economy might look like. There are dangers here – a desire by old fashioned Keynesians to use public funding to boost demand together with the concerns of a Tory Government desperate to get the economy going could lead to a splurge in spending, particulary on infrastructure projects.

But policy makers need to think carefully before they splash out – now is an opportunity to create a more sustainable economy. The lockdown has resulted in many more workers working from home. There are several positive impacts – less traffic (and therefore less pollution and congestion); time spent commuting has been saved. We need to build on this, maintaining lower traffic levels – saving energy and the environment. The lockdown has also seen an increase in online shopping – again this should lead to less travel and traffic.

The dramatic reduction in aviation has also led to reduced pollution – noise and emissions to the benefit of all. This is an opportunity to reduce the size of the sector. Investment will be needed here to re-purpose land currently used for airports and to retrain staff who are no longer needed in this sector.

Investment in rail (at the local level, not HS2) and buses will be needed such that in the future they can also add to the reduction in car use. Building new or expanding existing roads should be a definite no-no.

The UK also needs to abandon its pro-population growth policy – we should plan for a more sustainable population level.