CPRE Cornwall produces a regular newsletter for members called Cornwall MATTERS.

The latest issue is February 2023 below

Cornwall Matters February 2023

First of all, may we remind all members that our AGM is on Saturday 25th February at Woodland Valley Farm near Ladock. Your invitation to attend has been mailed out so do come along and have your say, and hear Martin Howlett and Chris Jones talk about Sustainable Farming and the Beaver Project. Please let us know by 13th February if you are able to come. Details are in the pack and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. Your guests are also very welcome.

Our new website  will be launched this month. We hope it will be more attractive and easier to use: we would welcome your comments or suggestions so please let us know what you think.

Our list of current planning matters shows an excellent success rate, proving that where a measured and carefully researched response from us is called for, the planners are able to turn down inappropriate (and sometimes downright outrageous) proposed developments. Our advisors and our administrator work as a team to present the case and to support local campaigners: we are proud to say they have established a reputation for authoritative analyses in the cases they take up.

❤️And a big THANK YOU for your support – we very much appreciate the on-going commitment of our members as we seek to protect rural Cornwall and support sustainable development to meet local needs.

Photo: Cornwall Council
 A Mayor for Cornwall?

Stephen Horscroft outlines the pros and cons:
You can find Cornwall Council’s consultation on whether people would want a Mayor and a devolution package here:

The consultation runs until the 17th February and the link includes a prospectus and a questionnaire on whether or not people agree. Mayors have become a more prominent feature in how parts of local government in England are delivered in recent years. Arguably, Government is keen to work with one person (directly elected through a first past the post system for a fixed period of four years), rather than through a Council leader who,  in Cornwall’s case, has often been selected by a coalition of councillors. Currently, the Council votes on its leader annually with the incumbent usually (but not always) re-elected.

Everyone can read the prospectus for themselves but the relevant highlights for CPRE Cornwall include the delivery of a ‘Cornwall land commission’ to increase the delivery of new affordable homes on public sector owned land; a focus on offshore wind; integrated rail and bus ticketing; the ability to lever in private sector funding to protect the natural environment, and the promotion and protection of Cornish culture. Cornwall Council is badging their offered Deal as the next in a series of devolution deals that it has negotiated with Governments since the mid-2010s but, as always, the devil is in the detail. Delivery could not take place without the acceptance of a Mayor, while over a 30 -year period new money for specifics works out at around £13m a year.

From the point of view of Cornwall’s natural environment there are a lot of important issues in this consultation. On the one hand, acceptance of a Mayor may mean another step in the journey toward greater autonomy for Cornwall. On the other, this would be a very powerful individual who could put more distance between themselves and elected Councillors. Furthermore, rejection could give a message to Government (mistakenly) that Cornwall is not interested in devolution. While there is no guarantee that Cornwall Council will use the results of the consultation to bind its decision-making process on the Mayor and ‘deal’ with Government, clearly results one way or the other will send a strong signal.



Image: Cornwall Council
Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Planning

Following widespread consultations in 2021-22, the Climate Change Development Plan Document has now been finalised and will go forward for adoption. You can read it on their website under climate emergency DPD. The assembling of this comprehensive plan for action was one of three priority projects set out in 2019, the other two being the Forest for Cornwall: 8,000 hectares of trees and hedges, and developing renewable energy sources including the Smart Grid Wind Turbine – now already providing 40% of the county’s electricity.

The document sets out the Council’s strategy as well as what can be done by local councils and how individual households can do their bit. Although it is certainly a substantial document (63 pages) it is well worth looking at it for the details about how we can take the concern we are all feeling into real and effective action.

The ‘One CPRE’ Consultation on the National Policy Planning Framework 

CPRE national office is asking us to express our views so that we can feed in to the ‘One CPRE’ response to the government consultation on revised changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), issued on 22nd December 2022. This comes under the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill (LURB) and is an important opportunity to influence government policy to prioritise sustainable, environmentally friendly and predominantly brown-field development.

CPRE national office writes:
‘CPRE has campaigned for a strong, effective and transparent planning system for nearly 100 years. During that time, the successes, merits and weaknesses of the system have ebbed and flowed, but it has always held to certain core values based around accountable decision-making and the balancing of private development interests with the provision and protection of public goods.

When it was first introduced over a decade ago, the NPPF set out to streamline the English planning system and introduce a “presumption in favour of sustainable development”. Taking the NPPF at its word on the issues it aims to address, there are some aims for which we have long campaigned for and would warmly welcome positive change. For example, from CPRE’s perspective, a critical outcome is to achieve sustainable land use and minimise the unnecessary loss of greenfield land to build development, whilst improving the provision of genuinely affordable homes to create thriving rural communities.’

‘The proposals give us all great cause for concern, but as far as possible we are preparing a response that puts forward our recommendations for how to modify and improve the proposals, rather than merely criticising them.’
‘….our initial concern continues to be the extraordinary power grab and centralisation of planning powers the National Development Management Policies represent. We are also disappointed that the government is wasting this opportunity by not bringing in a genuine brownfield first policy or providing the protection of high-quality farmland from development that had been promised. Instead, we have an overly technical and difficult to engage with consultation which for the main part is seeking to delegate many of the difficult decisions, most notably how housing need is to be calculated, to yet further rounds of consultation and revisions to the NPPF’.

Photo: CPRE
CPRE’s energy and rooftop renewables discussion paper.

Rooftop solar panels have been proposed as the solution to getting more renewable capacity into rural areas and in late 2022 national office produced a discussion paper and asked for feedback from the grass roots. See and if any members in Cornwall did respond, we would be very interested to know what they said. Our own responses included the following:
1. Does the draft briefing provide sufficiently strong evidence to make the case for a greater emphasis on rooftop solar in government policy? Is there further evidence or statistics available (i) on potential rooftop or other brownfield solar capacity in England; (ii) showing how and why countries such as Germany have done more to utilise rooftops?
Yes but could do with more emphasis, listing industrial, agricultural and retail buildings as well as car parks. We are strongly against the use of farmland for solar panels. Green fields need to be protected for sustainable food production and the forthcoming up-graded (we hope) schemes for wildlife friendly farming. We would like to help with research to gather supporting evidence from our area.

2.The draft briefing does not currently say much about energy efficiency. Is there anything more that CPRE could be doing about this specific issue, which isn’t already being done by other organisations or coalitions?
Only by encouraging the membership and the public to be aware of the issue. If a simple statement of CPRE policy on this could be provided, local branches could publicise it.

3. Do the draft recommendations capture all the policy changes we want to campaign for to achieve more rooftop renewables? If not (i) should the recommendations be added? (ii) Should others be added?
Maybe the strategy could emphasise the need for using all possible/suitable rooftops first, and the energy-efficiency aspects could be added as a second stage? This first simple message could be hammered home in the hope that public opinion could fall in behind our campaign and then be led on to the next priority?

And we added these further notes:

  • Green fields need to be protected for food production, even lower grade agricultural land as people move to rural areas
  •  Storage batteries are at least £2000. Panels £5k+. Too expensive for most people at the moment although there is no capacity in the fitting market as others who can afford it are on waiting lists to tackle the cost of living. Therefore, a good spur for community schemes such as the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network.
  •  Financial incentives (payment per exported Kwh) have been reduced for domestic users. Profits going to companies. Needs to change.
  •  Agree with the proposition of a land use strategy. Needs to be devolved and mandated through Local Plans and include biodiversity as a land use need.
  •  Best and most versatile agricultural land’: needs to go beyond that as growing local populations in counties with net migration pressures (such as Dorset or Cornwall) have to develop more climate change and severe weather resilience and feed growing local populations who cannot afford supermarket prices. Data on deprivation available from IMD but also now from 2021 census.
Photo: Cornwall Council
Recent Planning Successes
13 Conker Road, St Erth Praze.
12 motorhome spaces, reception, 4 WC/shower blocks.
Planning application PA22/07670

North East of Treen Farm Campsite, Treen.
Change of use of agricultural land to private holiday site for 2 caravans, 2 tents and parking area
Planning application PA22/00697

Rame Head
Prior approval notification – Agricultural building
Planning application PA22/09821

Men’s Institute, Breage.
Appeal against refusal of planning permission
Appeal reference APP/3298232.

Queen’s Arms, Breage.
Appeal against refusal of planning permission
Appeal reference APP/3292785.

Objections lodged with Cornwall Council  – Awaiting Decision

Perran springs touring Park, Goonhavern
Static caravan bases, 2 conversions,1 extension
Planning application PA22/03090

Penhale Camp, Camp road, Holywell Bay
Holiday accommodation and leisure facilities.
Planning application PA22/02896

Penhale Camp, Camp road, Holywell Bay
9 new dwellings 3 refurbishment  dwellings
Planning application PA22/02794

Gorran Churchtown
17 dwellings, access, parking, open space.
Planning application PA22/02389

Gwithian Towans, Hayle
Single holiday home in AONB
Planning application PA22/10476

Hotel Bristol, Narrowcliff, Newquay
180 apartments, 44 bed aparthotel, retail units
Planning application PA22/10572

Trelissick Gardens, Feock
New 250 space carpark, crossing, access
Planning application PA22/10184

Land North West Of Polscoe, Fowey
Convenience retail store, access, vehicle parking
Planning application PA21/06771

Trefresa Farm Rock Wadebridge
Hotel, restaurant, cinema, spa, 9 huts,13 lodges
Planning application PA20/10041

East of Wellington Place, Carnon Downs
5 dwellings and site access
Appeal reference APP/3295228

Leans Field,Trevarrian, Newquay
Change of use of land for Drive-in Cinema
Appeal reference APP/3295146

The Chalet, Boat Cove Lane, Perranuthnoe
Demolition and replacement of existing chalet
Planning application PA22/10767

Land Adjacent to Higher Lane, Mawgan, Helston
Residential development for up to 20 houses
Planning application PA22/07887

West Cornwall Golf Club, Lelant
Club house, 30 bed hotel, spa,50 bed aparthotel,
Planning application PA22/01752 PREAPP

Trewiston Farm Caravan Park, St Minver
Additional 36 plots, installation of caravans
Planning application PA22/05179

Prow Park Business Village, Newquay
Change of use of land for parking and containers
Planning application PA22/05334

Land North Of Tredavoe, Newlyn Penzance
Agricultural access track, 2 bay extension
Planning application PA22/05468

Carbis Beach Apartments, Carbis Bay
Six new Aparthotel apartments with facilities
Planning application PA22/04841

The Queens Arms Inn, Breage
2 dwellings, new vehicular accesses
Planning application PA21/12480

Barn Hill, Cadgwith, Ruan Minor, Helston
Construction of a detached dwelling
Planning application PA21/12133

Hospital Cross Helston
Retail/food outlets, access, parking, yard.
Planning applications PA21/07481

Halgavor Moor
Residential development of up to 540 dwellings.
Planning application PA20/10618
Paused by Natural England 05/22


Cornwall Matters October 2022

To see earlier issues, please go to the Archive page under Resources.