Objectors to blame for unsustainable housing target in Cornwall? Oh come on be serious!

‘Its Our Cornwall point out that “Over the past 5 years the housing stock in Cornwall has grown at a rate 40% higher than that in England. Cornwall Council thinks this is ‘sustainable’ and want it to be even higher. About time councillors began to demand fair and equal treatment for Cornwall. [Data from DCLG Live Tables 100 and 122]”

One response was Christopher Smith The 6 year delay agreeing the figures needed to allow for future growth left an open door for developers to put in applications which under the NPPF “presumption to approve” framework resulted in a large spike of applications coming forwarded. People such as myself argued that anti housing objectors created a rod for their own backs by fighting the Local Plan at every stage thereby allowing an open door for developers for years, rather than accept a sensible compromise. Now that the NP is adopted there will be much more certainty, balance and control over the conflicting demands of preserving the environment and providing people with affordable quality energy efficient homes and also supporting employment in the construction industry; a critical part of the Cornish economy.

Its difficult to see the argument here. If objectors had not objected to the local Plan, the housing target would hardly have been lower. What is important is to recognise that the objections were based on the view that the proposals were a) unsustainable; b) unnecessary – local need does not justify the target; and c) based on flawed evidence.

A local plan could have been produced based on a lower target. The evidence existed to support this. The Government might well have over-ruled it and imposed their own target which would have revealed the hollowness of Government rhetoric on local communities having control over planning!

[Is construction a critical part of the Cornish economy? We suspect not

About Chris
I’m a retired local architect who lives at Ponsharden, Falmouth, married and we have 2 grown-up children. Originally from Redruth, I can trace my Cornish roots back many generations, and am passionate about our County. Having spent my childhood here, I went away to study and in so doing experienced much of the world, but always knew I would return to Cornwall. Once I did so, I established a business that continues to both provide work for many people and facilitate the delivery of decent housing, workspace and environment for local people. I retired from the practice of architecture in 2006 following a management buy out of my firm and since then have been involved in community work.



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