Grim future looms: Cornwall Council gives up!

On the Our Cornwall website:

On the 8th October representatives from Our Cornwall met with Cornwall planning portfolio holder Councillor Hannaford and planning officers Grove-White and Miller to discuss the Local Plan’s housing targets and the Council’s wider view of the longer-term consequences of present growth rates. We confirmed that

  • they are unwilling to contemplate the long-term adverse impacts of current growth rates. Instead, they passively await some externally generated demographic change that will apparently have no connection at all with policy decisions taken at a Cornish level
  • they categorically refuse to consider the issue of environmental capacity, or the optimum population Cornwall can carry. Indeed, officers refuse to admit that if current trends are continued we face a near doubling of the population by the end of the century. They appear to believe that undefined ‘technological change’ will somehow make this acceptable.
  • they refuse to countenance making an argument that Cornwall deserves special treatment (on the curious grounds that the English counties of Cumbria, Yorkshire and Devon would do the same!)
  • they are extremely reluctant to challenge central government’s simplistic and laughable formula where ‘objectively assessed [housing] need’ is equated to the Department of Communities and Local Government’s own household projections. We pointed out how all eight DCLG and Office for National Statistics household and population projections between 2002 and 2010 monstrously exaggerated growth in Cornwall in the 2000s. They went so far as to imply that, as the inputs to the DCLG/ONS modelling were ‘right’, then the answer, however bizarrely inaccurate, was somehow of no consequence.

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