“Developers Paradise” planning policy won’t work in Cornwall

Posted on: 3rd December 2012

The MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, has warned Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP that his prescription for meeting housing need will not work in Cornwall.

Last week Mr Boles launched a planning initiative which he believes would make it easier for the Government’s housing targets to be met.  He effectively called for the brakes to come off housing development and to take up an extra 2-3% of land in development.

However, Mr George has long argued that simply building more houses doesn’t in itself meet local housing need in places like Cornwall.

Mr George said:  “Over the past 40 years the housing stock in Cornwall has more than doubled – it is one of the fastest growing places in the UK (after Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire) – and yet the housing problems of local people have become significantly worse.

“We know that, in places like Cornwall, simply building houses does not provide the answer.  What we need is planning laws which strengthen the hand of responsible councils and communities to ensure that local housing need can be met and that a developer-led housing market is not simply exploited to largely satisfy the desires of the wealthy who can buy properties for investment and for recreational purposes.”

Mr George’s most recent report on housing pressures in West Cornwall was produced in May 2008 entitled “Local Need or Developers’ Greed?”  Simply building many thousands of houses has not solved Cornwall’s housing problems, he argues.