THE RESPONSE of Bodmin Town Council to a controversial application by Wainhomes to build 540 properties at Halgavor Moor has been decided. 

In a meeting of the town council’s planning committee, held on February 14, the council resolved to maintain its objection to the proposal. 

Their decision to object came on the back of two spirited and engaging planning meetings, with over 100 people attending the two meetings where the application was discussed. 

The MP for North Cornwall, Scott Mann, addressed Bodmin Town Council members and the public in attendance about his own concerns for the proposed development. 

He described the plans as the ‘most inappropriate planning application he had seen in his time both as a Cornwall Councillor and later as the MP for Cornwall’. 

In the address, the MP added: “While I don’t generally come along to planning meetings, I had so much representation and correspondence it thought it important I came along to give a flavour of what is in my inbox. 

“I completely value local democracy, so I’m not here to tell Bodmin Town Council what to decide, but to put across what we’re being told. 

“In all my years as a Cornwall Councillor and an MP, I believe this is the most inappropriate development I’ve ever seen. Looking from the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework), it seems abundantly clear to me that the required sequential tests have to be followed, and I do not believe they have been. 

“I believe this site to also be in marshy, boggy land in a valley, when there are many more appropriate sites in Bodmin and North Cornwall that could take housing as opposed to this. 

“It is an inappropriate development in a flood risk area, when developments should be directed away from high-risk area where development is necessary, and any sites should be safe for a lifetime without increasing that risk, so, from my perspective these plans are in contravention of the framework”. 

Mr Mann further described how he believed the proposals had the potential to cause issues with phosphate levels in the River Camel, the impact on biodiversity and wildlife in the area and potentially in breach of North Cornwall District Council-era saved policies, specifically EMV1 which only permits development in the countryside that do not have a significant effect on the character of the landscape. 

Former mayor, Cllr Jeremy Cooper, not a member of the committee but attending in his capacity as a councillor, criticised Wainhomes for what he alleged was ‘inaccurate’ claims of public consultation, stating that in his view, they’d avoided public consultation and engagement. 

The meeting was also addressed by Christine Howard, of Save Halgavor Moor, who listed a number of reasons in her view why the Wainhomes proposals were against planning legislation, in addition to a number of other residents giving their view of opposition to Bodmin Town Council. 

After a discussion between the committee upon the cessation of the addresses by some of those present, the town council chose to maintain its objection and raised a number of legal points they request of Cornwall Council to follow when considering the application, which has had over 300 objections. 

The decision was greeted with applause by those in attendance. 

In addition, the Council requested that the decision is ‘called in’ to the strategic planning committee by Cllr Jenny Cruse, the Cornwall council member for Lanivet, Blisland and Bodmin St Lawrence, meaning that if the request is submitted and approved, it would be decided by council members at Cornwall Council as opposed to planning officers under delegated powers. 

The full plans can be viewed on the Cornwall Council planning portal under reference PA20/10618, where over 300 objections have been lodged.