Opponents of Housing in Cornwall
Opponents of Housing in Cornwall have got things a little wrong and are directing their anger in the wrong direction. They spread alarm by suggesting that Cornwall is being concreted over but more importantly are encouraging people to object to a Local Plan being put forward, in the misconception that will lead to a reduction of house building and the wings of developers being clipped. Sadly they are so wrong and the very opposite is true. I would encourage anyone who is impressed with their paid adverts in the press, they are called Your Kids Future, Cornwall, to come and speak with me at one of my drop-in surgeries.
They are now lobbying Cornwall Councillors by email, who they blame for the Government planning rules and guidance. Below, is my reply to them:
I would suggest you target the wrong elected representatives of Cornwall as it is the Conservative Government that is stacking the odds against Cornwall being able to provide local homes for local people in favour of lining developers pockets and risking new homes becoming second homes. Democracy delivered all 6 of Cornwall’s MP’s as Tories, contributing to their Government majority and therefore an ability to set the planning rules. In my view and indeed the view of some local Tory Cornwall Councillors, those rules are shifting in an inappropriate direction for Cornwall.
I am part of the Community Land Trust movement and we are very concerned about the Governments Starter homes initiative as this will undermine the work of Land Trusts that, through voluntary community effort, deliver local homes for local people, in perpetuity. Starter homes will only be discounted for the first sale and after 5 years will be able to be sold at a significant profit. Starter homes do not appear to be going to have a local connection condition, for even the first sale so people from outside Cornwall will be able to buy them.
If you target local Cornwall Councillors, who understand well the local housing challenges and do their best against the National policies, you risk losing the very people who understand how to stand up for Cornwall and local people.
Can I suggest you turn your fire on Cornwall’s MP’s and try to get them to understand that Cornwall does not need more and more homes for sale that local people cannot possibly afford on local wages. We need a higher proportion of good quality, secure tenure, rented homes and need local powers to control homes going from permanent homes to second homes. As a Council, we are seeking those powers, to be managed through our local planning system but Government has refused, to date.
I hope this helps you to more effectively and appropriately target your efforts.