Falmouth and Penryn town councils have been discussing the number of houses required over the next 16 years, but while one wanted less than proposed by Cornwall Council, the other wanted more.
The Cornwall Local Plan will set out how Cornwall Council will consider planning applications, will set targets for growth and the broad distribution of development that reflects identified needs.
Paul Webber, from the local plan team, told Falmouth councillors: “It sets out the policies which guide how and where development should take place up until 2030. It influences where people live and work and what facilities are available to them. We try to strike a balance of what is best for most people.”
In the initial draft of the plan, it had been suggested that Falmouth and Penryn could accommodate 3,200 new homes and the rest of the Community Network Area, which takes in surrounding villages, a further 800.
After representations from the local councils however, those numbers have been reduced to 2,600 and 500 respectively. The affordable housing allocation has been set at 40 per cent of the total development.
Falmouth Town Council had wanted the housing number dropped to 2,300 with a 50 per cent affordable allocation. When debating the revised local plan submission last week, councillors agreed to concede to the 2,600 houses, but will still be pushing for the 50 per cent affordable target.
Councillor Candy Atherton said: |“We do have a housing need in |Falmouth for people who cannot afford to buy and we don’t have enough social housing.”
On the housing number allocation she added: “We are about the only town in Cornwall that has had a reduction and we did quite well to achieve that – let’s not push too far and put our head above the parapet unnecessarily.”
The council has reinforced its previous submission that it would rather see the buffer zone between Falmouth and Penryn developed as opposed to the green areas separating the villages.
In Penryn, however, the town council has unanimously opposed the reduction in house numbers and requested the original figures be adopted.
Councillor Martin Mullins said: “One part of me is happy we haven’t got to build more, and another part of me says what about people screaming out for houses? We’ve a moral obligation to provide houses for people. How we do it is another matter. If we aim high then don’t get as high, we’ve not lost as much.”
Councillor Chris Smith: “Arguably we have more need because we have students and locals screaming for housing. If these figures drop back it will impact Penryn and Falmouth.”
Cornwall Council will submit its revised Local Plan – strategic policies, to the Secretary of State in October and it will go out for public examination next April before being adopted later in the year.