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"Victory for common sense" as Lowertown homes plan rejected
10:48am Wednesday 31st October 2012 in Cornwall
THE REJECTION of plans to build eight homes on land between Helston and Lowertown has been declared “a victory for truth and common sense.”
Objectors have always claimed that if successful the application by Mark Heims, his sister Sarah Puckey (nee Heims) and Derek Towler would have “filled” one of the few remaining green areas that separate Lowertown from the more developed town of Helston. The trio wanted to build four single-storey affordable homes and four two-storey homes to be sold on the open market, together with vehicle access taken from the existing entrance to the field, on land adjacent to Granite Court.
Their planning consultant Stephen Bott had previously told Helston Town Council there was a need for open market and affordable homes in Helston and claimed this would be a “valuable contribution to the shortfall.”
However, the scheme has now been rejected by Cornwall Council planners under delegated powers. This decision has been welcomed by many residents of Lowertown and neighbouring Gwarth An Drae in Helston, who had formed the Lowertown Community Group to protest against the development. Mike Hales, chairman of the group, said: “This is a victory for truth and common sense. The green buffer zone between Helston and Lowertown did exist and the necessity of its continued existence is underlined by this decision.
“We now await the draft publication of the Helston Town Framework policy, which we hope will also confirm the green buffer zone and prevent any development in the fields between Lowertown and Helston for at least the next 20 years. “The one good thing about this planning application is that it has brought the community of Lowertown together and fostered excellent relations with our neighbours in North Helston along Gwarth An Drae, on the other side of the site.”
Helston Town Council’s planning committee had unanimously recommended the application be refused on the grounds of perceived access issues.
Other issues raised included being overbearing and not in-keeping with the rural community, issues of overlooking, loss of separation between Helston and Lowertown and the fact it was in an exemption site where development was not supported by the local community.
It is not known whether the applicants plan to appeal the decision. Mrs Puckey and Mr Heims had hoped to live in two of the open market homes to be nearer to their elderly father David Heims, who already lives nearby in Lowertown. Mr Towler also currently lives in the hamlet but wanted to move to one of the new homes.
More on the Lowertown homes bid:
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