Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Local Plan at Cabinet

Today, Cornwall Council’s ruling (Independent / Liberal Democrat) Cabinet considered the latest draft of the Cornwall Local Plan – see my blog from 17 November for more information.

I took the opportunity to invite the ten members of the Cabinet to remove the so-called “eco-community” allocation (for West Carclaze and Baal) from the document, and reallocate the housing to other parts of Cornwall.

As with the recent PAC meeting, I reminded councillors that:

- An “eco-community” proposal had been included in the Cornwall Local Plan because central government had included a St Austell “eco-town” in a Planning Policy Statement. But since the PPS has recently been withdrawn, councillors could legitimately reconsider whether the allocation was appropriate.
- If the level of housing proposed for the China Clay Area (including eco-community) was allowed to go forward, it would mean that the housing stock of Clay Country would increase by 87% over four decades (from 1991 to 2030).
- The “live” application for a 1,500 unit eco-community does not have local support. It has been opposed by over 1,000 representations, two local parish councils and St Austell Town Council.
- Last month, the China Clay Community Network Area had written to Cornwall Council seeking that the unitary authority withdraw its backing for the "eco-community."

Sadly, no-one on the Cabinet took up my challenge and argued against the "eco-community."

The document will now be referred to Cornwall Council on 15th December.

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