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Cornwall needs to decide own planning and housing policies
The leader of Mebyon Kernow has re-affirmed his call for Cornwall to be able to decide its own policies for planning and housing. Cllr Dick Cole’s latest intervention came after the UK Government launched a consultation on plans to “boost housing supply,” which includes the introduction of a “standard method for calculating local authorities’ housing need.”

The consultation document says the new “standard method” would not immediately apply to Cornwall because the Cornwall Local Plan has just been adopted. This Local Plan has a target of 52,500 new properties for the period 2010-2030 (2,625 new properties per annum) but the “indicative assessment of housing need” would set an annual target of 2,889 – which equates to a target of 57,780 if spread over a twenty-year plan period.
Cllr Cole said:
“The top-down imposition of ‘standard’ approach to housing growth would take local planning decisions even further away from local communities, and I do not believe that Government officials inside the M25 corridor know what is best for Cornwall and its people.
“MK is committed to a lower and more sustainable housing target, with development geared to meet local needs, and planning policies that defend the Cornish countryside.
“We want to see a Cornish National Planning Policy Framework to replace the NPPF produced by central government, which would allow housing and other targets to be agreed locally without interference from Whitehall.”
Background information

But what does this mean for Cornwall?

The Cornwall Local Plan (which was formally adopted in November 2016) has a target for the period 2010-2030 of 52,500 new properties – a figure that was higher than that proposed by the unitary authority. This equates to an annual target of 2,625 new properties per annum.

In the consultation paperwork, the UK Government sets out its “indicative assessment of housing need” based on their new formula. It sets an annual target of 2,889 – which would equate to a housing target of 57,780 is spread over a twenty-year plan period.

The Government is also consulting on a “proposed transitional arrangements.”

This states that if the local area has “no plan, or plan adopted more than five years ago” (or an emerging plan that has not yet been published and has not yet reached publication stage), there will be no transitional arrangements.

However, if a Plan has been adopted within the last five years – as here in Cornwall – the “new standardised method” will not come in immediately, but will be used when next reviewing or updating the Plan.
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By Dick Cole. Published on 15th September 2017.

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