Our Cornwall Statement on Cornwall Council’s Local Plan
Our Cornwall is an alliance of various groups fighting unnecessary over-development in Cornwall. We believe that the Council’s Local Plan is an irresponsible, ill-conceived and damaging plan for the future of Cornwall.
Since the 1960s Cornwall’s population has grown by almost 200,000 people or almost 60 per cent. That’s four times faster than Wales, three times faster than England and 73 times faster than Scotland. However, rapid population growth has clearly not worked to produce the economic benefits its supporters claim, nor provided sufficient affordable homes. Regardless of this, the Council’s Local Plan proposes to continue increasing our population at an alarming and unsustainable rate.
The Local Plan proposes at least 42,250 houses over the next 20 years. On the basis of the last ten years experience, one third of the extra housing stock will be sold as second homes and holiday lets. To illustrate the pressure that Cornwall is under, the number of residential housing planning applications per capita being submitted is three times the average in England. Moreover, 85% of these are then approved, compared to an approval rate of 75% in England. To meet local need and to accommodate projected population growth, including in-migration, Our Cornwall calculates we only need to build 29,000 new houses during this period.
The current plans proposed by Cornwall Council mean that we will have to build the equivalent of five new Truros in the next two decades alone. Continuing this trend means Cornwall’s population will approach one million during the lifetime of people being born today, the equivalent of 22 new Truros!
We believe this is far too high a price to pay. Those things that make Cornwall special – its heritage, its culture, its landscape, its biodiversity – are placed under serious threat. The Council’s plans ignore this and instead will produce:
- massive, soulless estates on green field sites
- traffic congestion and declining town centres
- irreversible environmental damage and loss of tranquillity
- significant loss of agricultural land and landscape degradation
It has been said before – enough is enough! This million-people population strategy will destroy those things that make Cornwall special. Our Cornwall argues for an alternative, longer-term strategy which provides for a stable population and a sustainable future. We urge you to support our call for the housing target in the Local Plan to be reduced to 29,000.
Agan Kernow – Our Cornwall
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