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Services shake-up could cost council taxpayers £1m per job

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 28, 2012

Cornwall Council chairman Pat Harvey, left, receives an open letter from Dr Bernard Deacon at the launch of the Our Cornwall campaign at Truro

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A major Cornish coalition has issued a wake-up call for the brakes to be put on ceaseless house-building programmes and population expansion.

Our Cornwall, which comprises 45 groups as diverse as the CPRE, numerous parish councils and the Celtic League, yesterday staged its first major rally.

An estimated 200 people turned up at New County Hall in Truro to present an open letter to councillors and make their feelings known to the Strategic Planning Committee.

The group voiced concerns about proposals to build at least 48,000 houses in the county over the next 20 years. It says the issues and implications of population expansion in Cornwall are being ignored by civic leaders.

If it continues unchecked, the number of residents in Cornwall will nearly double to 1,000,000 by the turn of the century.

Bernard Deacon, spokesman for the alliance, said there was a "ground swell of opinion" which should not be ignored.

"We have issued a challenge for councillors to stand up and be counted," he said.

He added that an alternative must be found to "economically bankrupt, environmentally irresponsible and culturally disastrous policy of never-ending housing and population growth".

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said it understood concerns over the number of proposed new homes for Cornwall.

"However, we need to develop a plan for Cornwall for the next 20 years which will address how we are going to meet the needs of not just those currently on the Homechoice register, but also our future residents.

"The most recent census estimates indicate that there are 109,000 people aged 18 and under in Cornwall, many of whom are likely to need housing in the future."

The spokesman said that they needed to put together a way of dealing with the issue or face having a solution imposed.

"Without a plan which is robust enough to be supported at a public inquiry, future development would be judged against the Government National Planning Policy Framework and housing development targets would be imposed on us."

The spokesman added that the "reality is that Cornwall will continue to see change and pressures for growth".

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  • caroclemens  |  September 30 2012, 4:32PM

    Why is our planning department acting against the interests of the Cornish public and why are some councillors meekly accepting their lame arguments for collaborating with the developers? Do the maths, councillors. The Council spokesman failed to say that the projection for natural populaton growth is that it will stabilize or fall slightly. We do not need more houses unless they are for well-off people from elsewhere and we have already had 50 per cent growth by migration. We need a strategy of local needs only and ideas on how to help locals buy the houses that are already there. Wake up Cornwall.

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  • williaia2  |  September 28 2012, 10:05PM

    That Council spokesperson states the obvious but seems not to have any ideas other than to continue building. Housing which is unaffordable for young will be advertises and sold to those outside of Cornwall will not solve the problem. These houses are advertised all over the UK and even further afield and will attract those who are better off that see Cornwall as a desirable place to live. It exacerbates the problem. Every coastal town now has high percentages of their housing stock being used as second homes or holiday lets and this trend will continue to increase if not stopped in some way. This will mean the Council will continually be trying to catch up with providing affordable housing and, don't forget those people moving into Cornwall will also have children needing housing in the future thus adding to pressures.

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