NORTH Cornwall’s MP has given his reaction to a proposed new 58-home development in Bodmin.
Wainhomes South West have applied to Cornwall Council to build 58 properties on land at Pandarosa Farm in the St Lawrence’s area of Bodmin, located opposite Bodmin Hospital.
However, in the application, the developer said it would solely be an open market development, with no provision for affordable housing or social rent.
The new development, if approved, is set to comprise of ten two-bed dwellings, 20 three-bed dwellings and 28 four-bed dwellings.
Wainhomes stated in its planning application that it would not provide affordable housing, claiming it would not be financially viable to do so. A previous application for 90 homes on the same site, which would have included affordable housing, was withdrawn in 2019 by the developer.
It told Cornwall Council: ““The proposals will also provide the land required for the delivery, by the Council, of the new primary school envisaged within the allocation of the wider site and the Adopted St Lawrence Concept Masterplan.
“The submitted viability assessment demonstrates that the provision of this land means that the delivery of affordable housing on the site is not viable and therefore justifies the proposals being solely for open market sale. Therefore, the application is considered to be in accordance with the most current planning context for Cornwall.
“Planning permission should be granted unless any significant adverse impacts can be demonstrated that would negate emerging policy and outweigh the benefits of development, when assessed against national and local policy.”
Locals have objected to the plan on the Cornwall Council planning portal. Mr and Mrs Read wrote: “We wish to strongly object to this proposal for a number of reasons that we list below.
“Firstly, the ever-continuing housing development around Bodmin is blighting the surrounding countryside and this proposal is another green field site.
“Secondly, the continuing enlargement of the housing footprint of Bodmin is directly putting pressure on our infrastructure such as Schools, Doctors, Traffic and parking etc.
“Thirdly, we understand that the sewerage treatment plant at Nanstallon is currently operation at near capacity. With all the on-going and proposed housing developments, what measures are the council undertaking to upgrade the existing facility?
“When Wain Homes were granted planning permission of the Borough View development, part of the planning consent was on the understanding that Boundary Road would be improved/upgraded.
“Boundary Road is not wide enough for the volume of traffic it takes daily and there are often difficulties for lorries/buses on the bend below the hospital section of the road. There was no improvement of Boundary Road, just a new road put straight through the middle of the new development.
“Part of the new build included a children's play area which is no more than 25 yards from the road. We would suggest that the toxic fumes from the all-day traffic being so close to the play area, is bordering on the illegal or, in the best light grossly ill thought through. Wain Homes have recently had to re-surface the road through the estate, this road being only laid two years ago.
“The re-surfacing works over a distance of some 300 metres took a staggering four months to complete, during which time Boundary Road was closed which caused huge disruption to the general traffic flow of the area. Given Wain Homes poor track record how can their planning application be considered.
Finally, the proposed site had until a few years ago, been used agriculturally. Since then, we have noticed an increase in wildlife returning to the field, such as deer, mice, snakes, butterflies, and a variety of birds. The proposed development will destroy this wildlife environment.
“In conclusion, we are dismayed to see new housing developments in green field sites being carried out the length and breadth of Cornwall. Surely it is time to pause on this relentless erosion of our beautiful countryside.”
Scott Mann, the Conservative MP for North Cornwall, gave his reaction to the application. He said that he was in support of affordable housing and had taken part in measures to promote it during his time at North Cornwall District Council and more recently Cornwall Council, prior to becoming a member of parliament in 2015.
He said: “In my time on the planning committee at Cornwall Council and North Cornwall before that, I didn't support an application with less than 30% affordable housing, in fact on North Cornwall District Council we delivered 50% affordable housing on sites because of a motion I put down on there.
“It will be up to the council now to determine if this is appropriate. We have worked with many housing providers in recent years to deliver much needed local homes in many towns and villages in North Cornwall.”
The latest plans can be viewed on the Cornwall Council website under reference PA23/07573.