Monday, 20 February 2012

Core Strategy

Don’t know what’s it all about, I read something in the paper, it won’t effect me, I can’t be bothered, it’s only something Cornwall Council are doing, it won’t  mean anything, it will be forgotten in a few months, it’s just another consultation.

Comments above ring a bell?

So why is the Core Strategy important?

Well, within this document is the future of Cornwall, the future of your town or village, even for many your street.

Identified within this document are the sites scattered throughout the Duchy as to where housing is going to be built, developments take place and there are a lot of them.

Doing nothing now is not an option. In favour or against if YOU do not make your views known NOW it will be too late.

Let’s jump forward a year or two.

Developer wants to build 400 houses on a site, which is just across the road from where you live, currently the site is used by you and all your neighbours to walk the dog, children play there, it’s the only bit of green space open to all on the edge of the estate where you live.
Planning application submitted by developer, you form an action group, write to newspapers, set up website. Lobby local councillor, councillor asks what colour do you want the doors, what?
Cornwall Council officers at the planning meeting, point out that the site was identified within the Core Strategy as suitable for housing, at the consultation on the Core Strategy 100% of the comments for this site were in favour, (there may have only been two comments, both from developers). Local councillor has nowhere to go, can object, but it’s in the plan, no one objected.

Cornwall Council wants to build 48,000 houses and their media department is working overtime to convince you and me that these are needed. Read here about that need

When you look at the Core Strategy, imagine that every area marked as an area for development is actually an outline planning application, if you want your view to be heard NOW is the time. 


  1. Some perspective would be useful here Dennis, in case anyone thinks 48,000 homes are about to be landed on PZ. If you read the core strategy proposals for Penzance and Newlyn, the number of new homes proposed between now and 2030 is 1,754. That's over 18 years. Do some maths and you will see that the numbe per year would UNDER 98 HOMES FOR BOTH TOWNS EACH YEAR (pardon my capitals).

    Are you or any other town councillors telling us that these two towns and surrounding villages don't need this? Really?

    Aside from the people sleeping rough in the woods there are lots of homeless families here and of course many younger people desperate to find somewhere to rent let alone buy. Hand up anyione reading this blog who knows that all their children and their friends will easily get a home around here over the next 18 years?

    Is the Town Council ready to support younger (under 50?!) local people who need homes? Or is it going to be opposing any scheme opposed by a NIMBY campaign led by retired home owners?

    Remember, these homes will also pay for the affordable ones that are part of the mix. If you haven't noticed, central government funding for new housing is at a huge low. We need more market housing in any case.

    Anoyone been down Alexandra Road recently? Those homes near the Mennaye were opposed by NIMBYs. Now there are local people living in them.

    I am looking forward to your blogs supporting the best of the new developments in years to come!

    Tim Dwelly

  2. Tim.

    I think you are being very unfair to the author. It doesn't read as a call to arms for those against development, it is actually quite a balanced piece on the need to engage in the process.

    The aim of the article is simply to draw attention to the fact that the core strategy, which is probably the single most important document on development produced in Cornwall, is out for consultation and that if you think it is not about you, your community and your place you're wrong. I think that is a laudable aim.

    And can you dispute the final statement? Areas as marked for development do indicate that an application from a developer would be looked upon favourably. Shouldn't the people in those communities have a chance to see what is being proposed in their areas and therefore a chance to comment on those proposals...isn't that what the consultation process is intended for?

    And i think somebody trained as a journalist should know better. The post clearly identifies the 48,000 as the Cornwall total. Not once does the author suggest that '48,000 homes are about to be 'landed on PZ'.

    I think you are being a more than a little naughty here. I don't know the authors politics, I just happened across the blog because the subject is right in my wheelhouse at the moment. I could only judge on what was said in the post. The only bias i can see in the whole exchange is in your reply. I think that you are the one in need of perspective.

    To reinforce what the author is saying, I recently came back from a s106/CiL training session where they mentioned that there is something within the Core Strategy called the Infrastructure Plan and if communities, through the consultation process do not identify their key infrastructure requirements, the receipts from CiL will not be spent on meeting those needs. That hasn't clearly be articulated to me or my colleagues before.

    It is also true that most communities do not understand that the existing LDFs and their 'saved' policies will be wiped out by the adoption of the Core Strategy potentialy leaving a vacuum created by the lack of detail in what is after all a high level document, that can be filled by as much good as bad. It is right for communities to be made aware of this and consider putting forward Neighbourhood Plans that fill this space and identify the type of development they want to see and not leave it up to developers to set the agenda.

    The CC MAY have gotten across that there is an ongoing consultation process but to my mind they haven't come close to identifying how relevant and important this is to us all therefore the author is to be congratulated for trying to fill this space.

    To quote something I heard elsewhere The 'Devil is in the lack of detail!

    A parish councillor.

    1. Dear 'A Parish Councillor'

      Thanks for coming back but for transparency why not say who you are? (!)

      I stand by my comments, which are not all aimed at Dennis but generally pointing out that the anti-development voice is usually the loudest (as we saw with the harbour). That doesn't mean it is the voice of the community. Just because those that support new homes don't write letters don't write letters to the paper or to planners doesn't mean they do not exist.

      In fact the housing need registyer shows I think around 1,000 peopel in this area without a proper home. The current plans will not go anywhere near meeting that need, it's worth pointing out.

      In my view the most effective parish/town councils get involved positively in helping to meet local housing needs. Given that we are not talking about big numbers here, where does Penzance TC think homes should be developed? It's a simple but important question



      PS I am a former empoyee of Shelter, for info

  3. It's easy to bandy around the term NIMBY to anybody wanting to take an active interest in helping to ensure only the most sustainable sites are developed within the wider Penzance area. Good spatial planning is based on balancing housing and employment need with wider environmental and social issues and all members of that society should be able to have their thoughts and voices heard. There are many community groups and individuals currently wanting to help and get involved with the important decision on where these new homes should be developed, but are instead are being met by certain individuals with accusations of NIMBYISM. Those living in glasshouses aka large country dwellings in rural countryside, miles away from the communities they purport to represent should perhaps not throw bricks!!