Building houses to attract people to Cornwall!

There are those who assert that people just move to Cornwall, almost for the sake of it. But in reality people move because there is a whole network of actors who encourage people to move, as the example below from a property search agent illustrates. The example is a good one – you build more houses as in Hayle and then advertise them to people who might want to move and hey bingo, they move!

Building houses attracts people to Cornwall!

If you really want to get a lot of property for your money in an area that’s on the up, my top tips are Hayle and Newlyn. Hayle because it has always been the poor relation to St. Ives and there is a big regeneration going on, with new marine-side houses and apartments in the pipeline and close to fabulous beaches.

If it’s a holiday home you’re looking for but you plan to move down eventually, don’t try to buy something that works in both scenarios. For example, you may want a big garden in your forever home but in your holiday home, a large garden requires lots of maintenance you won’t be here to do.

You can either sell your holiday home and add the value to your permanent home or keep it for income in your retirement.


Do people just move to Cornwall?

One excuse given for building more houses than we need to build (seeing that the resident population is falling), is that people just keep moving to Cornwall. It is asserted that if houses were not built, people would still move to Cornwall.

This line of argument takes it for granted that the movement of people to Cornwall is a passive process, it just happens. And there is nothing we can do about it.

But people do not move by accident. There is a context, a framework within which people make decisions. That framework is not immutable, there are numerous factors which encourage or discourage whether people move or not.

This week we shall be exploring some of those factors.

We will be looking at questions like – do people move for work, for lifestyle or profit?

Who and what play a role in why people move.

Too many tourists – its a bit late to complain!

After many years of promoting Cornwall as a tourist destination; increasing road capacity to allow for more traffic; and, a heatwave, we get the perfect storm. A dramatic increase in tourist numbers with traffic congestion, more pollution and the disruption of residents lives.

It is a bit rich for the tourist board to complain, these problems have been known for years. As for redistribution – that’s not a solution, Cornwall needs fewer tourists in total.

We can also see the effect of ‘improving’ the A30. With increased capacity, it becomes easier to get to Cornwall. But the congestion problem is just moved from one road to others, in this case from the A30 to other roads.

Climate change? No reference at all to this as an issue. More tourist traffic on Cornish roads is playing its part in generating more greenhouse gases.

Visit Cornwall, the county’s tourist board, said it had actively stopped promoting two beaches because of problems caused by overcrowding. Porthcurno beach and Kynance Cove, traditionally quieter beauty spots, have seen an influx of visitors after social media promotion, it said. Local people said traffic gridlock was making some communities unsafe.

Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall said: “Nobody wants to see this sort of mass tourism affecting the area, affecting the tourist experience and clogging the roads”. He said he wants to see “redistribution”, explaining that many other Cornish communities need more visitors but are not being effectively promoted on social media. He estimated visitor numbers were up by about 20% this summer on the usual 4.5 million visitors per year, thanks to the heatwave, with people flocking to the south west to escape hot cities. He said an estimated one in three household incomes depended on tourism in Cornwall and a balance needed to be struck. “Air bnb has gone ballistic so we’ve had about an extra 20,000 visitors from that every day – and when the weather is like this often relatives will come down and stay,” he said.

Over-tourism – its been a problem for a while!

As residents are only too aware, Cornwall has suffered from ‘over-tourism’ for some time with congested and busy roads and a general feeling of over-crowding.

A pity that the tourism promoters had not recognised this before!

What the tourism sector and its supporters will not admit is that tourism is a significant factor in encouraging people to move to Cornwall. People visit, think it’s a great place and then move house or seeing the investment potential of buying a property and renting it out, purchase a property. We end up with unsustainable population growth and pressure on house prices and rents.

Tourism has a lot to answer for

Cornwall’s tourism chief was criticised yesterday after he urged visitors to stay away from the county’s beaches. Malcolm Bell, the chief executive of Visit Cornwall, suggested in a radio interview that the region’s coastline was at risk of “over-tourism”, blaming the BBC television series Poldark. The county’s beaches are among its top destinations but Mr Bell warned that their popularity as the backdrop to Ross Poldark’s cliff-top horse rides and bare-chested adventures had led to unsustainable levels of overcrowding. This summer, for the first time, the tourism board stopped promoting its coastline in brochures and online campaigns, amid fears that “over-tourism” risked damaging the beaches and spoiling the quality of life for residents.

Northamptonshire County Council – a cautionary tale

Much has been made, in the past few weeks, of the financial incompetence of Northamptonshire County Council. How much of this is true, we don’t know. What we do know is that Local Government has suffered considerable cutbacks due to Government imposed austerity.

What we also know is that Northamptonshire is suffering a population boom. Now some assert that more people mean more revenue But in the real world, more people also mean more demand on services. Areas with above average population growth face considerable problems in terms of keeping up with demand.

Does that remind anyone of any other area?

It is estimated that the county has had above (national) average population growth in recent decades. In the last 30 years the population of Northamptonshire has increased by just over 30% compared to a 16.8% England average. Most recently, the highest rates of population growth in the county have been in Corby (also high for the country) and, as such, the town is projected to experience the greatest percentage increase in the county over the next 10 years. By 2024 it is project that the population of Northamptonshire will have grown by approximately 9%; faster than the projected 7.5% increase for England.

Cornwall has a people-led, higher pollution, pro-climate change policy!

With more and more evidence stacking up on the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on degrading the climate, you might wonder why nothing is being done.

One explanation could be that policymakers don’t understand the issue or hope it will go away.

Perhaps they don’t care.

Whichever option it is, nothing is being done to reduce emissions and stop the temperature from rising.

In Cornwall, a people-led growth policy is being deliberately encouraged. In other words it’s a people-led, higher pollution, pro-climate change policy!

A domino-like cascade of melting ice, warming seas, shifting currents and dying forests could tilt the Earth into a “hothouse” state beyond which human efforts to reduce emissions will be increasingly futile, a group of leading climate scientists has warned.

This grim prospect is sketched out in a journal paper that considers the combined consequences of 10 climate change processes, including the release of methane trapped in Siberian permafrost and the impact of melting ice in Greenland on the Antarctic.

The authors of the essay, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stress their analysis is not conclusive, but warn the Paris commitment to keep warming at 2C above pre-industrial levels may not be enough to “park” the planet’s climate at a stable temperature.

They warn that the hothouse trajectory “would almost certainly flood deltaic environments, increase the risk of damage from coastal storms, and eliminate coral reefs (and all of the benefits that they provide for societies) by the end of this century or earlier.”

“In the context of the summer of 2018, this is definitely not a case of crying wolf, raising a false alarm: the wolves are now in sight,” said Dr Phil Williamson, a climate researcher at the University of East Anglia. “The authors argue that we need to be much more proactive in that regard, not just ending greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible, but also building resilience in the context of complex Earth system processes that we might not fully understand until it is too late.”