More houses at Wadebridge – who and for whom?

Leicestershire developers get green light to build 143 houses on Wadebridge Town’s football pitch. This is just 6% of the 2,200 built and planned for Wadebridge in the 20 years to 2030. Who for exactly? Bernard Deacon@bernarddeacon


Why are car and vehicle numbers going up?

A main factor is the increase in population, more people mean more cars. But the figures suggest that from 2013 onwards other factors have resulted in a higher increase than might be expected.

What are these factors?
We dont know as such but can make some tentative suggestions.
Are more people getting cars using ‘loan to buy’ putting car ownership in reach of more people?
Are there more households where an additional car is being bought?
Are there more households in the car owning category?

Whatever is happening, there is NOT a reduction in cars per household, contrary to the assumptions made by some planners.

Cornwall’s traffic – just getting worse!

Between 2013 and 2017, an extra 19,500 cars were registered in Cornwall. There were also an extra 8,900 light goods vehicles.

In all the total number of vehicles registered in Cornwall went up by 39,400.

Not surprising then that there is more traffic on the roads and more congestion.

And what of the future?
At current rates by 2030 there will be an extra 73,400 cars and total vehicle numbers will rise by 96,400.

This is not surprising – the population is projected to rise and it seems more households have extra cars!

We can expect congestion to get a lot, lot worse!

Oh, and dualling the A30 will not sort that out!

Traffic in Cornwall – its going up!

Any resident of Cornwall can hardly fail to notice the increasing amount of traffic on Cornish roads. Traffic builds up quicker than it used to, congestion is more common than it was.

Some of the increase in traffic arises from the continuing rise in population – more people result in more cars and more traffic. People are also encouraged to travel more – whether to shop, for leisure or work.

The holiday sector encourages more people to come to Cornwall whether for a short break or longer period.

What do the figures show?

Data from the Department for Transport shows that in Q4 2010 there were 270,000 cars registered in Cornwall. In Q3 2018 there were 298,000.

Thats an increase of 27,700 or 10%!

And with the population expected to carry on rising that means a lot more cars and a lot more congestion.

When will this madness end?

How selfish can anyone get?

Migrating celebrity are becoming a danger to Cornish flora and fauna. Will Sajid Javid declare this migrant crisis a national emergency?

It seems Gordon Ramsey is annoying neighbours by cutting down a number of 100 year old trees to allow him to cater for his 10 luxury cars that will go with his new £4.4 million home. Should anyone have that number of cars or a house worth £4.4 million? We think not.

You could provide housing for 21 households with that amount of money!!! [Average price of a terraced house in Cornwall].

And we all know the impact of cars on our environment!

Too many people with too many cars making too many trip = congestion!

If you get too many people who all have cars and make lots of trips – you get congestion. Pretty obvious really!

What you dont do is to bump up the housing numbers, dual the A30 and encourage people to drive around by building coffee shops/takeaways/shops near road junctions!

The West Brit reports today that ‘inconsiderate parking’ led to ‘severe congestion’ at Godrevy and Gwithian on Boxing Day. No; the cause was too many cars. Strange it doesn’t raise the bigger issue that Cornwall has reached capacity limits. Bernard Deacon@bernarddeacon

Social housing report from Shelter – good in part but flawed!

The latest report from Shelter on social housing makes some good points but is also flawed in certain respects.

First the flaws
Shelter still insist on using the 300,000 figure for the housing target for England despite it being based on inaccurate assumptions. We dont need to build that many.

The reference to previous house building levels misses the point – There was a time when new housing supply in England was higher than 300,000. During the interwar period and then from 1945 up until the early 1970s, the level of housebuilding was far higher than it is now, reaching a peak of 352,540 new homes built in 1968. In the post war period a lot of housing was built to deal with the ravages of war and the high levels of poor quality housing. It was a period when different factors were relevant.

The report refers to ‘huge waiting lists for social homes’ yet most of those on the waiting lists are already housed.

On the cost of renting, Ian Mulheirn has suggested that in real terms rents have not risen as much as some commentators have implied. [See a previous blog].

On the positive side
The report rightly points out the rising cost of welfare payments (though would the cost of subsidising social housing be less?).

It also highlights the need for a greater provision of social housing – although such housing should make up a larger proportion of the total housing currently being built rather than being additional.

The high levels of insecurity in the private rented sector and issues of poor quality housing do need to be addressed. They point out that 78% of those made homeless had been forced out of private rented accommodation.

Recommendations on private renting
The new consumer regulator should set consumer standards for all private rented housing.

The government should increase resources for local enforcement to tackle rogue landlords and poor conditions, in line with the growth in the number of private rented properties.

The government should protect private renters from no-fault eviction. It should end Section 21 by changing the law so permanent tenancies are the legal minimum for all private renters. It should make sure they are protected from eviction by above-market rent increases.

The problems that certain groups face in terms of inadequate housing often require solutions outside the housing arena.

For example – changes in welfare policy; problems of income inequality with zero hours and the flexible labour market; impact of second homes/holiday lets in areas like Cornwall.

The idea of simply building more houses raises the question – what would you do with the empty houses that would result as people left the private sector?