Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Local Plan debate

Conservative councillors will be pressing for a reduction in the number of houses in the 20 year Local Plan due to be discussed at Cornwall Council next Tuesday (14th January).

The contentious plans which have been the focus of protests at County Hall are based on recommendations from officers of 47,500 new dwellings in Cornwall up to 2031 with an alternative option for 42,500.

Cllr Steve Chamberlain a Conservative member of the planning advisory committee has tabled an amended figure of 33,000.

Cllr Chamberlain said, ‘The lower figure assumes that population growth in Cornwall continues at the same rate over the next 20 years as it has over the 10 years prior to the Plan. It still represents a very large amount of growth, particularly when we know that the number of people moving to Cornwall continues to decrease. Nevertheless, if we propose a figure lower than 33,000 it will be more difficult to justify to the Planning Inspectorate’.

An independent housing assessment reporting to the Council in July concluded that affordable housing needs were not being met under the present arrangements. Developers are required to offer a percentage of affordable dwellings and the effectiveness of this has been much criticised by councillors.

The amended overall figure still allows individual communities to increase housing numbers to meet their own needs.

“This is a baseline figure, not a maximum one,” said Cllr Chamberlain “and it does give more control back to local people.”

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