Back to bonkers housing targets

The Our Cornwall website has an excellent article on housebuilding figures in Cornwall.  Why not visit the site to find out more about (mis) planning in Cornwall!

The Western Morning News asked on 6th July ‘Can Camborne teach the whole nation [sic] how to build houses?’ I dunnaw ‘bout Camburn but Cornwall surely can. The latest stats on residential development applications show that, in proportion to population, 3.7 times as many applications to build houses were received last year by Cornwall Council than were received by English planning authorities. And, despite more applications, Cornwall Council is then much more likely to give them permission. (85% got approval in Cornwall compared to 75% in England).

Development pressures running three times higher in Cornwall than England

Is Cornwall Council a soft touch?

Indeed, Cornwall Council boast in their 2012 Annual Monitoring Report that 2,375 houses were built last year. This is ominously a higher rate than the housing target in the draft Local Plan would allow. So what’s going on? Seems the planners are deliberately ratcheting up the number of permissions they grant. The figures for the year ending this last March imply an even higher total is on its way. They suggest the number of houses given permission is running at between 4,000 and 4,400 a year. Even assuming only 80% of these eventually get built we’re looking at a build rate of from 64,000 to 72,000 over the whole Local Plan period. That’s around 50% higher than the last 20 years and back to the ‘bonkers’ levels of the Labour Government’s Regional Spatial Strategy.

The unnecessary houses will either then enter the second or holiday home stock as happened in the 2000s. Or they’ll be marketed aggressively upcountry and so lead to an increase in an already unsustainably high population growth rate. Either way, the long-term effects on our cultural and environmental heritage are catastrophic. But from the planners’ perspective, this is presumably an ‘acceptable’ price to pay for boosting the council tax base.




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