Anyone examining the evidence on house building levels, actual local housing need and the lack of local population growth would conclude that housing targets should be far lower than they are and there should be a moratorium on granting permission for new developments.
But the peer review on Cornwall’s planning concludes the opposite.
This is a world where the six external reviewers conclude that Cornwall is ‘closed for business’. It’s a place which has had ‘low building rates in the past’, where developers go in fear, their advice ignored by a council where planning officers are regularly bullied by councillors who are overwhelmingly ‘anti-development’.
This bizarre caricature is so ludicrously out of kilter with the facts of housing and population growth in Cornwall it’s difficult to believe it’s not some bad taste joke or a spoof. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to square the notion that Cornwall Council is so ‘anti-development’ with inconvenient facts such as why
the housing stock and population of Cornwall grew at three times the rate of that of England in the half century between 1961 and 2011, four times that of Wales and 28 times that of Scotland.
more houses are being built in relation to the resident population in Cornwall than anywhere else in the UK.
the 52,5000 house target of the Local Plan is a 16% increase on recent historic building rates. Moreover, in plumping for its original 47,500 target the Council adopted a figure closer to developers’ proposals than those of local residents and parish and town councils.
developers have an inside track to planners, involved closely in writing Local Plan documents such as the Strategic Land Availability Assessment and meeting regularly at Developers Forums
It looks very much as if those engaged in the peer review ignored the facts and decided to press on with the growth at all costs agenda.