CoSERG (The Cornish Social and Economic Research Group), rejects the housing proposals in the Local Plan. We disagree with the proposed increase in the housing target of 5,000 from 47,500 to 52,530. We would argue that the previous figure is itself too high. We have previously argued for a maximum target of 29,000, which would accommodate population movements and provide housing for those in need.
The housing target is based upon:
Flawed population projections. These have been inaccurate in the past, invariably over-estimating population increases. They incorporate the effect of housing supply creating ‘demand’ for housing, thereby creating population growth.
A Home Choice Register which inflates the number of households in need and which assumes that the numbers on the register equal the number of houses which need to be built. [The vast majority of people on the HCR already live in a property].
An assertion that increasing housing increases affordability. In fact doubling the housing stock in Cornwall since the 1960s has seen the problem of affordability get worse, not better.
An acceptance of increased demand for second homes and holiday lets. We should not be building housing for second homes, holiday lets or buy to let.
A misplaced view that population growth and building houses will improve the economy leading to economic growth. Despite above average population growth and house building, Cornwall’s economy has not improved relative to the rest of the UK.
Increased house building is leading to:
A loss of agricultural and other land;
Increased urbanisation with a loss of green areas within urban areas;
Increased loss of amenity for residents;
Increased impact on the wider environment;
Increased traffic levels;
Cornwall is in the situation of having more but lower quality housing.
We believe policies should:
Accept that resources are finite and consequently accept the need for a stable population.
House building should be to meet local need not inflated ‘demand’.