Cornwall’s Local Plan Should Reduce Speculative Development

Posted on: 8th October 2016

Cornwall’s Local Plan should reduce speculative development was the theme of a recent planning conference at Kingsley Village. I delayed in publishing this because we were shown a wonderful little video that summed the whole situation up and I was hoping to be able to post it but will have to add it later!

Housing Developments in Cornwall

Are we really about to ‘concrete’ over Cornwall? The reality is that just over 0.5 % of Cornwall is housing and just over 5.5% is ‘developed’. 80% is farmland and 30% is protected as AONB. The Local Plan takes our ‘developed’ land to 6%.  

Below is the speech of the relevant Council portfolio holder, Liberal Democrat, Edwina Hannaford.


Today is a culmination of nearly 12 months of hard work since the planning peer review last November. I would like to thank officers and members for their forbearance and cooperation, at times it’s been  difficult, but the prize of a sustainable Cornwall is within our grasp.

In response to the 15 recommendations in the peer review under the guidance of the planning improvement board, we’ve had 2 all member briefing, 6 member work shops, 4 officer workshops and team meetings and with senior officers. We’ve changed our Constitution to ensure all members on planning committees have planning training before they can serve on a committee. We want to hear your views on reducing the size  of our strategic and area committees and use that capacity to improve the quality of development. With Phil Mason Ihave been visiting all 19 community network areas to present our vision for the future of planning Cornwall and  how we plan to deliver the local plan.


When I started this role my watchwords were collaboration and balance, this hasent changed and when the Leader asked me to improve communications with our communities 2 years ago I relished that challenge.


The adoption of the Cornwall Local Plan is finally within our grasp with the Inspectors final report received this week crucially says if approved by full council, our plan is sound, critically he says he thinks we can demonstrate a 5 year land supply.

This is significant and a game changer and will give us the tools to build a more sustainable Cornwall, resist unwanted speculative development and raise the quality bar.

After all, planning should be about helping to meet the needs of communities and create better places for people to live and work.

We want to create sustainable communities and not just housing estates.


For too long planning has been something that happens over there, it hasn’t been at the core of the corporate authority. For some, Planning is a Marmite issue, some love it, some hate it. Thankfully I love it! I want us to concentrate on putting the Local Plan and our planning service at the centre of a sustainable Cornwall. But in order to do this we have to move quickly from strategy to delivery. 


For me the Cornwall Local Plan is central to building sustainable communities. 

It will help facilitate 38000 new jobs, new homes to meet the needs of our residents,  new schools, infrastructure, protect and enhance the environment.

It will help make better places where people want to live, work and play. The Council strategy has at its core the aim to bridge the gaps in society and make a positive difference to people’s lives. the Local Plan is Cornwall’s delivery plan for growth and development, with the Council’s strategy at its heart.


Growth can be a force for good; it provides the investment needed to meet the needs of our residents and funding for our services; even more important when support grants are replaced with business rate retention by 2020.

But we must shape and direct this growth appropriately. We have some great examples in Cornwall of new communities, in the planning stage and being built, but for too long, not having a plan, we have been bombarded with speculative housing developments that has damaged trust in our communities.