How much housing need is for local need?

The ‘local plan’, the media, politicians and probably a lot of people on the ground probably think that we are building 52,500 houses to accommodate local need and demand. But the reality is that very little of it is to meet local need or demand.

For one thing, the resident population, without in-migration, would over time drift slowly downwards. It is only the net movement of people into Cornwall that results in the population increasing. So the bulk of new demand and need arises due to population movement. Then we have the ‘market’ for second homes, holiday homes and investment.

Now both of these markets exist because demand is generated through for example the portrayal of Cornwall as a place where you can get away from it all (they obviously havent been caught in the morning rush hour to Truro!). Homes are advertised far and wide where the adverts highlight the presence of Newquay airport or a popular local beach, something local buyers would be aware of but not if you are somewhere in South East England.

As we have indicated previously, the Home Choice Register, is not a measure of the need for new housing, so extra houses from this quarter are minimal.

So when a council candidate states that new houses are needed to house the next generation – it’s just not true!


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