Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Core Strategy

In my column in this week's Cornish Guardian, I have tried to promote Cornwall Council's consultation on its Core Strategy. As the Chairman of the Planning Policy Panel, I have been heavily involved with the work behind the document.

The article is quite neutral and aimed at encouraging people and communities to tell the Council what they think. It is as follows:

Cornwall Council is presently undertaking its first consultation on its Core Strategy, which will form part of Cornwall’s Local Development Framework. This may not sound exciting, but it is extremely important. The Local Development Framework will be the planning blueprint that will guide future development in Cornwall between now and 2030.

The Core Strategy will be a wide-ranging document, but this initial consultation primarily asks two key questions.

The first one is “how much” housing do you think would appropriate for Cornwall over the next twenty years. The consultation document notes that, over the last two decades, an average of 2,250 new properties were built each year.

It sets out three possible levels of future growth – Low (38,000 dwellings; 1,900 per year); Medium (48,000 dwellings; 2,400 per year) or High (57,000 dwellings; 2,850 per year) for comment. It also challenges people to come up with their own suggestions about the right levels of growth for Cornwall.

The second questions asks “where” new housing developments might be located.

Local people are asked about their views on three broad alternatives. The document seeks views on whether the new housing should be (i) concentrated in and around key towns (ii) dispersed more evenly across Cornwall or (iii) positioned close to areas containing key employment sites.

To be frank, the consultation is very mechanistic, but Cornwall Council is obliged by the Government to present alternatives. The reality is that whatever is finally agreed upon, it will undoubtedly be much more complex, varied and suited to the priorities of individual areas and communities.

I am the Chairman of the Planning Policy Panel at County Hall which will be looking in detail at the responses. I will certainly do my utmost to ensure that all local views are taken into account in a fair and open manner, as the policy document is developed.

As far as I am concerned, this consultation represents a wonderful opportunity for you to tell Cornwall Council what you want for Cornwall and your home areas over the next twenty years. Please take the time to have your say.

To find out more about the Core Strategy consultation, you can go to Alternatively, you can request the documents from the Strategic Policy Team, Cornwall Council, Circuit House, St Clement House, Truro TR1 1DT or from

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