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Posts tagged ‘Affordable housing’

Cornwall Council Rejects Falmouth Housing Plans

Revised plans to build a housing estate off Bickland Water Road in Falmouth were rejected by a Cornwall Council planning committee this week by 11 votes to 2 with one abstention.

In a report prepared by Cornwall Council’s planning officer, the new submission, which reduced the number of houses from 153 to 94 and included a landscaped corridor to maintain views of Budock Church in the distance, was recommended for approval.

Councillor Grenville Chappel of Falmouth Town Council spoke to object to the development and recommended the revised plans be refused stating: “Budock Church is a significant heritage asset and the impact of the development will affect the setting and change the character of the land and the current views of this iconic grade two star church will be lost.”

Steve Russell, director of Midas Developments said: “Since our previous scheme was dismissed at appeal, we have reviewed the decision and the commentary of the panel inspector and worked closely in our professional team to fully address the previous reasons for refusal.”

Mr Russell added that the revised proposal had addressed the two main issues of concern: “The planning inspector confirmed that the development did not adversely affect the character and appearance of the area when viewed from Bickland Water Road, nor would any development be visible from Budock Water.”

Revised plans for the Bickland Water Road housing development. Picture source Julia Conway

Revised plans for the Bickland Water Road housing development. Picture source Julia Conway

 

Councillors raised concerns about the road junction at the proposed site believing it to be on a dangerous bend and that schools in the area were nearly full to capacity. There were also concerns about drainage and flooding with a recent photograph of the site known as Bull Field showing it to be waterlogged after the recent rain. In addition, it was raised that the development would cause the loss of greenfield separation between Falmouth and Budock Water village.

In summing up reasons for refusal, a committee spokesman said: “The proposed development by reason of its location and localising effects would result in a highly adverse impact on the rural setting of Budock Church, a grade two star listed building which relies on the protection of its wider rural setting.”

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Falmouth Housing Development Recommended For Approval

A controversial new housing development scheme on the outskirts of Falmouth has been recommended for approval by Cornwall Council planning officers.

Midas Commercial Development Ltd submitted revised plans for the construction of 94 houses off Bickland Water Road on land adjacent to St Budock Church. The plans include the provision of 33 affordable houses.

Although the original proposal for 154 houses was recommended for approval by the planning officer in February 2014, the planning committee objected on the grounds of the harm that the development would cause to the character and appearance of the area and that it would have an adverse impact on the setting of the church.

In December 2014 Midas Commercial Development Ltd appealed against the refusal by Cornwall Council to grant planning permission but the appeal was dismissed. The main issues were the effect of the proposed development on the setting of St Budock Church which is listed grade II* and the effect on the character and appearance of the area.

Since then the building company have scaled down the development and made the most recent application in September 2015 which takes into account the impact of the development on the views of the nearby church.

Midas director Steve Russell said: “We’ve worked hard to take on board the Inspector’s concerns and have come up with a scheme which we hope councillors will feel able to support.

'Bull Field'  the site of the proposed development. Photo source Julia Conway

‘Bull Field’ the site of the proposed development. Photo source Julia Conway

“We have significantly reduced the number and density of homes to create more open space, and are maintaining the historic footpath to the church. Crucially, we are proposing to gift two fields next to the church to the town council which has been identified by them for use as a cemetery. This would be legally binding on us as part of any planning permission and would not only protect the rural setting of the church, but also maintain separation between Falmouth and Budock.

“We believe this scheme would make a valuable contribution to Falmouth’s future housing needs including 35 per cent affordable homes, for which there is acute demand in the area.”

Falmouth resident Steve Tribes said: “I strongly object to these plans. The rural landscape around Falmouth is in danger of being systematically destroyed. Budock Water is in danger of becoming engulfed by the spread of housing estates. If this development goes ahead it will join Falmouth and Budock Water together.

“The proposed site is the buffer between Falmouth and Budock with the ancient little church town, which consists of St Budock Church and former old farm buildings at its heart. If building is allowed on this site it will destroy a quiet, peaceful, rural landscape, with lovely views across the field to the church, forever.

“The increase in traffic along Bickland Water Road would also be a major problem. It’s already a problem, due to the nearby school, industrial units and existing road junction. The building of 96 new houses on the proposed site would make matters much worse.”

Alison Goodman said: “I would really like to show my support for the new housing scheme. I have always rented and if the market stays the way it is, I will do so for the rest of my life. This is really disheartening, so it’s great to hear about affordable housing being proposed locally.”