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Vote means 6,000 new homes can be built in West Cornwall

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

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WEST Cornwall can expect to see 6,000 new homes built in the 16 years up to 2030 after Cornwall councillors agreed a final figure of 47,500 new homes overall for the county.

After a lengthy debate at County Hall in Truro on Tuesday, members of the full council voted two-to-one in favour of the 47,500 figure, after an earlier Conservative group motion for 33,000 homes was rejected.

Broken down into different areas, it means that Penzance and Newlyn will need to find space for 2,150 new homes – although 561 can be taken from this figure as they have already been built or given planning permission.

The figure is 1,000 for the west Penwith rural area, although only 389 new applications will be necessary.

In Hayle, 1,400 new homes will be built, although again, 1,067 of these are already in the pipeline. In St Ives and Carbis Bay, the figure is 1,000 with 627 accounted for and in the outlying areas of Hayle and St Ives, the figure is 350 with 111 new properties.

Much debate has centred around the total figure of new homes planned, with officers recommending a higher number over a second option of 42,250.

Edwina Hannaford, Liberal Democrat portfolio holder for environment, heritage and planning, argued the case for the higher figure.

"We need an adopted plan, we don't want to rely on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as the primary policy for planning decisions; 47,500 will give us a fighting chance to gain control over our own planning policies," she said.

"We also need affordable housing; 27,000 houses already have planning permission and 7,000 of those have already been built, meaning the real figure is more like 27,500 houses over the next 17 years."

Steve Chamberlain, Conservative councillor and member of the planning advisory committee, tabled a motion calling for a lower target of 33,000 homes.

But, after a series of lengthy debates, councillors voted against the Tory-led motion by 78 to 28.

According to council officers, evidence has shown that local plans in other regions that did not include housing numbers based closely on national guidance were failing before or on examination.

Councillors voted in favour of 47,500 homes by 66 votes to 33, with Mrs Hannaford adding: "I believe the lower figure will only delay the process for several years and will leave Cornwall unprotected and open to harmful challenge."

The draft Local Plan will now go out to public consultation before a final version is submitted to the government's planning inspectorate for consideration.

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