Halgavor Moor

This story hit the headlines in 2020 and rightly so. Plans to massively urbanise around Bodmin have gone largely unopposed but the intention to consume the beautiful Halgavor Moor was a bridge too far. CPRE Cornwall, Environmentalists, Bodmin Town Council, the local MP and the residents were united in their opposition to this blatant destruction.

The massive project threatened nature across the board. Whilst the allocation of this land for building was deplorable, such safeguards as were built into the allocation needed to be properly fulfilled by the developer, to mitigate the brutal treatment being metered out on to our wildlife and ecosystem. Support the Environment Agency’s objection and concerns was based on the lack of sufficient information or adequate answers to the serious environmental consequences of this proposal. There appeared to be no adequate plan to responsibly accommodate building houses on this site, much of which is wetland, where elsewhere there are a substantial number of mature trees and Cornish hedgerows.

At an emotional public meeting in Bodmin, attended by over 400 people, including the campaign coordinator Christine Howard, Cornwall Council Planners were left in no doubt about the strength of opposition to building on Halgavor Moor.

“We are being asked to submit to an urban wasteland of unemployment and second homes. This will do nothing for Cornwall except pollute our rivers, increase CO2 emissions and destroy yet more of our natural world, the balance of which is so essential for our well-being. For the sake of decency and common sense, now is the time for Cornwall Council to listen to the wishes of local people and environmentalists alike. If not, we will fight this for the months and if necessary, years to come” – CPRE’S then Chair, Richard Stubbs

Whilst we regret Cornwall Council’s decision to allocate the pristine Halgavor Moor as building land, they did so subject to a proper environmental impact report. This report or reports would include consideration for Halgavor Moor’s many mature trees, its role as a significant area of wildlife habitat and how suitable this largely wetland site would be for housing, along with the implications for its drainage polluting the River Camel.

The independent reports that the developer has been required to commission clearly show the futility and in fact the sham, of this site’s suitability for building houses. Additional reports have also been produced, from the Environment Agency and from Natural England both of which express concern at the Developer’s Planning Application’s lack of answers or apparent commitment to the substantial environmental challenges involved. In Cornwall CPRE’s opinion, for the developer to say ‘We are going to put together an action plan’ is simply not good enough.

In addition, the developers have put through a plan which would involve some land not even allocated for building. If this was agreed it would discredit the whole allocation process and the public consultation that went with it.
We are therefore asking the elected councillors who are entitled to vote on this ill-considered planning application, to do so with their conscience and turn this application down – outright.

Cornwall CPRE has already demonstrated that the Council is over-providing for the building of new houses and Halgavor Moor is a perfect example of this. No mitigating plans by the developers can conceal the transformation of this ancient Cornish moor into a suburban housing estate. Anyone can work out that if you concrete over 27 hectares of green fields and cut down hundreds of trees, that the destruction of our declining wildlife and the environmental damage, including the generation of CO2, will be huge.

Even in the two years since this land allocation, public awareness and support for the value of nature and our Cornish landscapes has gone from strength to strength. Cornwall Council is deeply committed to this project, too deeply in our opinion but in light of the new thinking on the environment, they have a clearly justified route to rejecting this planning application. This is because the over provision of housing on such a site would clearly be in breach of their own high profile policy on Climate Change.


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