Wednesday, 27 January 2016

"Landscape we love may soon be lost"

MK member Michael Bunney has a letter published in today's Cornish Guardian under the above title. It was a great letter and for those of you who haven't seen it, it was as follows:

Julie Fox was absolutely right in last week’s Cornish Guardian about the lack of democracy in our planning system.

Carefully considered local decisions are overruled by planning inspectors based in Bristol or London.

The “local” plan, with its targets for house building, will be enforced on Cornwall by the Westminster Government. If the Government don’t like what Cornwall comes up with, it will simply throw it out.

The ability of the Government and planning inspectorate to overrule any plan we come up with in Cornwall makes the whole process a farce.

Cornwall is gradually being concreted over and in every parish there is a real battle to preserve our beautiful countryside and coast.

Cornwall is prevented from delivering robust plans for proper affordable housing for local people by a planning system that fails to understand our Duchy. 27000 local households are now on the waiting list for affordable homes, yet we are not allowed policies to prevent the hearts of our villages being turned into second homes.

Surely, now more than ever, we need a Cornish planning framework decided by local people to serve our housing and development needs. I fear that, in a generation, the beautiful Cornwall we know could be lost forever and still local people will be waiting for affordable homes.

Mebyon Kernow will be planning their campaign for the devolution of planning policy for Cornwall in St.Dennis on Friday 12th February. I will certainly be joining them.

I urge everyone who believes in local decision-making to join us before it is too late and we lose the Cornwall we love for ever.

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