Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Yet another “eco-community” update

As previously reported, the Examination into the Cornwall Local Plan will re-convene on 16th May. A timetable has now been released which presently suggests that the “eco-community” will be considered on 19th May.

The Inspector has issued a few further comments, which include the “eco-community,” and respondents to the Examination have until the middle of next week to respond.

His latest comments / questions on the eco-community were as follows:


4.16 I raised some preliminary questions with the Council in LI.ID.3 (and a further question in LI.ID.3.1). The Council’s response is in LI.CC.3. Written comments can be made on this statement within the deadline for pre-hearing questions.


4.17 Is the identification as a broad location in this Plan of a new community at West Carclaze/Baal justified in the context of the following:

- Progress/decisions already made in the context of previous/existing strategies eg China Clay Regeneration Plan and recently committed and planned public investment in the area (eg road improvement, Technology Park/ESRAM building)?
- The substantial area of currently despoiled land, but taking into account that there are the long term restoration conditions?
- The particular scale of development proposed (1,500 dwellings with 1,200 in the plan-period) – why is this scale necessary to achieve the stated benefits?
- Whether it is deliverable to achieve the expectations of the Plan.
- Irrespective of this particular proposal, does the overall strategy of the Plan/Council/LEP justify/require these 1,200 dwellings (in this plan-period) either within the China Clay CNA or the wider grouping of the 3 CNAs and or/the Regeneration Plan Area (see text in the Plan, version J.2, PP9, p157). If not assigned to West Carclaze/Baal where should they go?

4.18 Is the identification of Par Docks justified in the context of the following:

- Is it previously developed land as defined in the NPPF?
- Does stand or fall with the justification for West Carclaze/Baal proposal? Is there any real linkage between them?
- What needs to be overcome to enable development to start? Why is development likely to be late in the plan-period? If there is a high degree of uncertainty about delivery, should it be within the Plan at all, but addressed at the next review?
- Is flood risk sufficiently resolved to confirm the principle of development?
- If 300 is considered deliverable, but there is no justification for identifying Par Docks specifically in the Plan, would 300 need to be added to the requirement for St Blazey, Fowey, Lostwithiel CNA? If delivery is too uncertain to be counted in this Plan, should the 300 be reassigned to the wider Regeneration Area?

Detailed matters/requirements

4.19 In LI.ID.3, 3.3/3.4 I asked about the justification for the energy efficiency/renewable energy requirements etc of the policy. The Council’s response draws on the national picture, but does not explain why the requirements are specifically justified for this development when not sought in similar terms for any other development. In short, why only here/why here at all?

4.20 I also queried the 30% affordable housing requirement. The Council’s response confirms that this is above the zonal rate for the area of 25%. The Council will be aware that I have seen no evidence to support this approach and that the site developer Eco-Bos seeks 25%. Given the apparent close working between the Council and Eco-Bos, I would hope that this matter could be resolved by the parties before the hearing.

4.21 The table in policy 2a gives a total figure of 1,500 dwellings for the eco-communities and a footnote indicates that this is made up of 1,200 dwellings at West Carclaze/Baal and 300 at Par Docks within the plan-period. The Council confirms that it regards the capacity of the sites as 1,500 and 500 respectively. Should these figures be used in the Plan so as to indicate the full extent of the proposals, whilst recognising that not all will be delivered in the plan-period?

1 comment:

Edwina Cousins said...

Why is it being built at all? Why not build it somewhere else where there is more land and space. Cornwall is losing too much land whether it is despoiled or not, there is no need for more development.