Pete Burton, Dr. Bernard Deacon and Julie Fox have recently launched ‘The Charter For Cornwall’ – a reaction against the huge numbers of housing projects which appear to be in the pipeline across the territory. Housing projects that, simply are not thought through properly. No regard seems to have been paid to the additional strains that would be placed on already busy roads, overburdened medical and education services, poor transportation facilities and a further dilution of Cornish heritage and identity.
The group behind the Charter have stated: “Across Cornwall local groups have been campaigning against massive, speculative and unnecessary housing projects. Over 7,000 people have signed the CPRE’s petition Save Cornwall’s Green Fields, calling for a change in the planning system. Over 70 town and parish councils have supported Cornwall for Change, which is demanding a change in direction at Cornwall Council.”
Each week, I receive the Falmouth Packet newspaper sent to me up-country, and each week I despair at the numbers of pages devoted to planned new developments around Falmouth, Penryn and Mylor – most of which are part of the obscenely short sighted plans to allow thousands of extra students to study at the Tremough campus. If only a tiny percentage of these plans go through, this one beautiful corner of Cornwall is going to be ruined for ever. But the housing plans go way beyond the Falmouth area.
There is now pressure being applied on all candidates seeking to be elected to Cornwall Council in May to sign up to these four pledges:
i) reduce Cornwall Council’s excessive housing targets and put local needs first.
ii) restore social rented housing and increase genuinely affordable housing.
iii) reduce the number of second homes.
iv) support the devolution of strategic planning to Cornwall.
It remains to be seen how many of the would-be councillors will sign up to this, and how many will hide behind the claim that numbers of new homes are forced upon them in terms of numbers from Westminster. History tells us that Westminster doesn’t “get” Cornwall. It’s time for Cornwall to take control.
For more information on the charter, see www.charterforcornwall.com