Last week Cornwall Council agreed that the housing target in the Local Plan should be 47,500.
Interviewer: Thats the agreed total with quite a lot of support?
CI: Thats correct.
Int: What was the main reason for the high level of support?
CI: It seems that there was concern that a lower number would not get through the examination in public.
Int: Is that possible?
CI: We don’t know do we. If a lower number, for example the 29,000 we considered feasible, which was backed up by a strong evidence base had been put forward maybe it would have been rejected by the inspector or maybe not if a good case was put forward for it.
Int: and if rejected?
CI: If rejected it would be the government in essence imposing an unwanted target!
Int: SOme have argued that at least 47,400 is lower than some other figures?
CI: Well yes higher figures have been bandied about but its unlikely that 47,500 will be the figure accepted at an inquiry!
Int: Why is that?
CI: Well its probable that the 47,500 will be regarded as a minimum, developers will argue for a higher figure and the government will probably accept that!
Int: So we could be looking at a far higher figure then?
CI: undoubtably, and that’s one reason why the 29,000 would have been the position to work from. If the government then imposed a higher figure it would have been more difficult to push the figure up too high!
Int: If in twenty years time the extra houses had a ll been built would this not prove there had been a need for them?
CI: No. Its likely that a fair number would have been used for holiday homes and holiday lets. Then some would go for housing people in need, but that would leave a lot of surplus houses. The developers and estate agents would then market these houses in more affluent parts of the UK and encourage people to move to Cornwall. The real reasons developers build houses are for the holiday sector and for people who currently reside elsewhere and would fancy moving to Cornwall. It has nothing to do with housing need!
Int: What happens now?
CI: Lets wait and see!