Packed St Ives meeting resolves to take protest to Parliament
At a packed meeting called by local MP, Andrew George, St Ives residents resolved to take their protest against plans for new homes at Treloyhan to the Government.
The meeting heard not just from the local MP, but his invited guest, Baroness Kate Parminter – former Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England – and from Councillor Rita Lait and Lucy Davis from the St Ives Neighbourhood Development Plant team. The meeting was chaired by St Ives Councillor, Morag Robertson, who also chairs the local Community Land Trust.
Feelings were strong at the meeting held in the Council Chamber at St Ives where there was standing room only. The meeting resolved to take the following actions:
- Submit a “protest” to the Secretary of State (Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP) against the granting of planning permission for homes to be built on Treloyhan Manor which in the draft Neighbourhood Plan should be protected as a “green corridor” for the town. A local group will collate the evidence and case for a review of the decision which will be presented to the Secretary of State by Mr George.
- Request a “moratorium” on any further major planning applications in the area until the Neighbourhood Development Plan has been approved – anticipated to be in approximately six months’ time.
- Call on Cornwall Council to publish records of all of the funds which have been collected under Section 106 Agreements where a contribution should be made to “affordable homes” and to show where those monies are spent.
Mr George and Baroness Parminter will, this week, follow up their commitments to the public meeting with questions and representations to Government Ministers.
Mr George said: “It seems that a worrying precedent may be set if the planning authority is saying to a business that, if it is in financial difficulties, it can come to the planning authority which will grant planning permission in circumstances where it otherwise would not!
“The Government had agreed a moratorium on developments since the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework for 12 months from April 2012 in order to give local authorities and communities the opportunity to bring forward local plans or neighbourhood development plans. But it is quite clear that Government requirements mean that the process for producing these plans takes a great deal longer. This has left a vacuum of at least a couple of years when the broad ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development ‘ is encouraging developers to railroad their schemes through before the plans are in place. This has to be stopped – especially in those pressurised environments with sensitive sites which deserves protection, like St Ives.
“I was encouraged by the response to the meeting. Many people had already contacted me and my office to send their apologies for being unable to attend, though they would have liked to if they could. We clearly need to galvanise the concerns of local people and ensure that the voice of the town is heard.”