St. Ives – quaint Cornish cottages?

Contained in the Guardians blurb about the opening of an extension to the Tate Gallery is the following paragraph.

The gallery’s new artistic director is Anne Barlow, who moved to Cornwall from New York. Her background is in contemporary art but the thrill she gets from modernist works is clear. She points to one of her favourite works, an Alfred Wallis painting of quaint Cornish cottages. “I now live in one of those cottages, it is a little holiday rental, so I can’t help be very fond of that painting … I never thought I would live in a place like that.”

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/oct/11/tate-st-ives-to-reopen-with-20m-underground-extension

Ah yes a quaint Cornish cottage, a holiday rental to boot! Actually such houses originally housed local Cornish people who now find it impossible to purchase such properties because of competition from the second home and holiday sector!

The perception that St. Ives and other coastal areas in Cornwall has such properties simply encourages estate agents to market the area to outside buyers who bid up house prices.

Time for controls on buying property?

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Another excuse for bumping up the population and housing figures!

Contrary to popular belief, busy city centres beat suburban living when it comes to human wellbeing, as socialising and walking make for happier, healthier people, according to a new report.
Downtown residents – packed together in tight row houses or apartment blocks – are more active and socially engaged than people who live in the sprawl of suburbia, according to a report that aims to challenge popular beliefs about city life.
Its authors said their findings should encourage politicians to promote the benefits of built-up city living.

“As cities get more and more compact, they become more walkable. In denser residential areas they are better designed and more attractive destinations. We are less dependent on our cars and use public transport more,” he said.
Sarkar, assistant professor at UHK, said policies and planning needed to catch up with the data, rather than relying on urban myths about what makes cities work.

Sarkar called into question British policies – such as laws to restrict suburban houses from dividing their plots and filling in more homes in gardens – which have sought to preserve suburbia’s open and emptier spaces.

London remains one of Europe’s most sparsely populated major cities, with less than half the density of Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, and below the level of Milan, Berlin and Rome.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/06/inner-city-living-makes-for-healthier-happier-people-study-finds

Another justification for more house building and urbanisation! No mention of what people actually like in terms of living conditions, no reference to the positive impact of green areas on health, nothing about the impact on wildlife of densification and no proposals as to encouraging more healthy lifestyles amongst the general public!

And how so many people move to more rural locations when they can!!

Penhale – who really needs it?

The reality about the Penhale development is that apart from being beneficial to the developers – Comparo Ltd – it is a housing development designed for affluent in-migrants to Cornwall.

It’s rather obvious really:
It’s on the coast – with beaches literally on the doorstep;
Its rural, surrounded by countryside, ideal for those seeking a rural retreat;
There is potential for those investing in holiday or second homes;
The prices are going to be high due to its location.

If you are in housing need, on a low income, with a job probably in Newquay are you really going to see if you could get a house here? (you might want to but would probably find it financially difficult for travel etc).

This is another example of building houses not for local need but to support unsustainable population growth in Cornwall!

Penhale – bogus benefits!

The benefits of the Penhale development are stated to include:

A financial contribution of £306,432 towards the construction or extension of education infrastructure facilities at Cubert CP Primary School.

Extra spaces for extra pupils – no net benefit!

A financial contribution of £289,164 towards the purchase of and provision of land within the St Agnes & Perranporth CNA to provide
a full-size football pitch, the preparation of that land & associated infrastructure, the laying out of the playing surface(s) and the
construction of ancillary sports facilities.

Sounds like an inducement which will be of use to a limited section of the population.

A financial contribution of £246,400 towards upgrading of the A3075 Cubert Crossroads.

Again will only cater for the extra traffic (and unsustainable tourist traffic). No net benefit!

New employment opportunities will be provided on site a… Extra jobs for extra people. No net benefit!

Wider improvements to the public transport services including Increased potential patronage and a clear turning facility will provide a wider benefit in this respect.

More bus users? We doubt it very much. If as expected it generally caters for affluent households they probably wont be using the bus!

No Shelter its not more houses, its making existing housing more affordable!!

On the Today programme this morning Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, said she hoped there would be “some serious numbers” in Theresa May’s announcement on council homes. She said: We do need to see some serious numbers being talked about today, but if we do, this could be an absolute watershed because this is what we desperately need … We’ve got about 1.2 million people on the waiting list currently for social housing. Honestly, from what we see at Shelter every day it’s not possible to exaggerate the level of misery that that represents, and we have people pushed into the private rented sector, which is completely unaffordable due to a combination of social security cuts on the one hand, low wages, and also then the huge cost anyway within the property market.

But we dont need 1.2 million extra houses! We need to make existing housing more affordable!

Its not more land or houses its the tenure!!!

Andrew Whitaker, planning director of the Home Builders Federation, told the programme that land needed to be made available alongside additional council powers. He said: Of course what we must see is additional land coming forward. We can’t just substitute tenure, so we can’t just use the land that the private sector would have used to develop housing.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2017/oct/04/conservative-conference-2017-theresa-may-to-announce-council-house-building-programme-politics-live

Not surprisingly the HBF want the opportunity to build more houses and make more profit! But we dont need more houses we need to increase the share of existing new build which are affordable including public sector!

If members of the HBF built houses for need not greed (the luxury end of the market etc), there would be sufficient housing for all.

We need to tell builders what to build not allow them to exploit the situation.

In Cornwall more houses are built than are required to meet local need, most are for people moving to Cornwall, second/holiday homes etc.

Local housing need being met?

To reflect the site’s location on the boundary of Cubert and Perranzabuloe parishes, the housing need of both areas has been
Taken into account. Perranzabuloe has a substantial need, with 211 Households listed on Cornwall HomeChoice with a local connection
and Cubert has 34 households with a local connection.

There are some questions to be answered here – are the figures above all of those on the HCR or those in actual need?
[Previous analysis has suggested that most people on the HCR are already houses, therefore there is not a need for 245 extra houses in these two parishes!].

The planning permission includes the following: A financial contribution of £306,432 towards the construction or extension of education infrastructure facilities at Cubert CP Primary School.

But if those in housing need already live in the area,(we assume that most do), the children are already being provided for in the area so there is no need for extra school capacity?

What this really tells us is that most of the houses will be for people moving into the area and the extra capacity is to meet the extra (non-local) demand!