Appeal allowed for Helston’s ‘HX1’ outline planning application

In a blow to those against HX1 planning applicaton and Cornwall Council, the planning inspector has allowed the appeal against Cornwall Council and has granted outline planning permission for up to 340 dwellings (including at least 40% affordable homes) and a building for use for B1 offices and a medical practice on the HX1 urban extension site, west of Trewennack, Helston, Cornwall.

From reading the inspector’s report, the planning inspector took into account the Helston Town Framework Urban Extension Assessment and the emerging  Cornwall Council Local Plan. In a blow to both these plans, the planning inspector said “Neither carries significant weight as a policy document”

Why the Local Plan carries little weight is because during the examination of the emerging Local Plan the inspector of the Local Plan recommended the plan should be suspended for various reason including insufficient housing numbers. In response to this recommendation the Council has suspended the Local Plan process. In the report the planning inspector made comment about the housing requirement in the Local Plan submission for 47,500 dwellings over the plan period is inevitably going to rise. The Local Plan Inspector found the need for a 7% uplift to cater for second and holiday homes. This means Helston’s requirement would increase due to the additional requirement for more dwellings.

This is further complicated as only three sites in Helston were taken forward as suitable for development. One HX3 has not, and unlikely to progress further fully due to land ownership. That leaves HX1 and HX2. Neither of which can individually accommodate the required number of dwellings for Helston. Put simply, the Council cannot demonstrate a five-year land supply. In the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). If a Council cannot demonstrate the five-year land supply, then planning should be granted.

So what does this mean for the site, well before the diggers can move in, a full planning application has to be submitted. But as it stands with this appeal decision, planning is acceptable in this area, and it would be highly unlikely for full planning not to be granted.

Furthermore, Cornwall Council also had costs awarded against them will have to pay the applicant, Jackamax Limited the costs of the appeal proceedings described in the heading of this decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 comments

  • Gill Zella Martin

    From an objective point of view:

    Why and by whom was HX1 site identified as one of three possible sites initially, if Cornwall Council were going to refuse planning permission for it?

    Cornwall needs complete devolution in order to prevent the planning decisions of Cornwall Council from being overridden.

    I think it is wrong that the appeals procedure allows costs against Cornwall Council. It puts them in a position whereby it is a case of approve a planning application or risk costs. I do not believe that is conducive to always making the right decisions.

  • John Marshall

    Will the developer stick to the minimum 136 affordable homes in this development or will that requirement be reduced over time?

  • Andrew Wallis

    From the report, it looks like the site will have to deliver 40% affordable

  • Steve

    Shouldn’t have refused permission then CC wouldn’t have been awarded costs. There was never any reason to refuse it. Now CC are trying to excuse their inadequacies.

  • Steve

    I’ll answer your question Gill because Andy wont answer you. It was Helston TC that chose the three sites and identified them and they probably didn’t think CC would be stupid enough to refuse planning on hx1.

  • Steve

    Something you should know Gill about Andy, if he cant answer your question then he won’t and if he can answer it he still wont. I wouldn’t bother asking anything in future. Planning especially is an unknown quantity to him. He knew this would get turned over at appeal but here he is surprised they got costs. Now you’re learning how how the current admin waste money.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Steve, you talk utter rubbish and from an ill-informed position too. This application was decided at the strategic planning committee which consists of 21 councillor. They made the decision. Appeals are tricky, as they can and do go against common practice.

    As for planning, I have spent near 10 years dealing with planning, so I do know the subject.

    If you want to talk rubbish which contains very limited facts, start you own blog, as for me I have had enough because you bring nothing to any of the subjects but ill-informed views. Furthermore, commenting on what you perceive as my thoughts is laughable because you are poles apart from reality. So much so, I will not be posting any more of them. Protest as much as you like, in email, but I have made a decision.

  • eddie

    The thoughts of local residence not taken into account!!! No new school as they believe there to be enough school places around helston….. yes that’s what i was told at the consultancy in the early planning stages. 1 primary age child per 9 households….. laughable considering they are building family homes. CC let this go to appeal by sitting on their hands. Someone somewhere is earning money from this?? Its not even in Helston but lies in Wendron………. politicians regardless of level are just in it for themselves.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Eddie,
    This Application was refused by councillors. Yet the planning inspector thought different. Cornwall Council fought against the appeal and lost due to the Gov making planning like this easy to get.

  • eddie

    All I’d like to know now as this ‘farse’ is being allowed to happen and the developer walks away with millions is all through this the flood plan has been a joke….. large water capture tanks to feed into soak aways….. great but physics has not changed… water will still migrate to the lowest point and with the new houses on slopes the existing houses of manor way etc will have higher risk of flood than they already do as its on a flood plain. So we live with that risk…. then when it happens pay higher insurances than we already….. absolute joke. Did anyone see the poor folk around the uk flooded last year???? If the coyncil had refused earlier this would not have gone to appeal at central goverment. Because they failed to determine it allowed developer to throw its money behind an appeal to central government. Failure by our elected souls to make a decision earlier! !!!! I went to the high school for the strategic planning committee to consult with Helstonians….. as they introduced themselves the closest member to helston was Truro. …. do they really give a monkeys about the thoughts of people in helston?? No.. its one less chance of 340 houses being built next to them!!!!!!

  • Andrew Wallis

    Hi Eddie,

    The Strategic Planning Committee is as the name suggests, covers the whole of Cornwall and does not have local member representation. As you know, there were three sites identified in Helston. The prefered site is HX2. However, because the Council cannot prove a five year land supply, the Council is always on a sticky wicket because national policy says planning should be granted if you cannot evidence a five-year land supply. This is why the Local Plan is so important. However, the inspector ruled that the 47,000 dwellings in the next 15 years is not enough for Cornwall, and he recommended a 10% increase on the numbers.

    The Coucil cannot refuse it earlier as the whole planning process is a regulated function, and therefore, the rules have to be followed. Which the Council did. If the Council had refused the application on what is known as delegated responsibily, then the applicant still has the right of appeal (as do all planning applicants no matter the scale and size). I believe the result would have been the same, as the inspectors report is clear in the reasoning for the approval. I am more than happy to share the report with you if you drop me an email.

    The Government has deregulated planning so much it is hard for a Council or its councillors to stop. This is a concern for me and many of my colleagues who feel planning legislation is geared towards the developer. These are national policies which all Council’s have to follow.

    I hope this answers some of your concerns, Eddie?

  • eddie

    So councillor who do we see when our homes are damaged due to flooding??? When insurance companies hyke the prices for insurance? Where does the boundary lie between wendron and helston??? Who will ensure the developer has responsibilites for flood defence? Yhe medical centre is a white elephant…. the developer does not have to build it until the end of the developement….. it only has to wait 6mths and if no takers for the facility it can develope that into housing, doctors etc are in vast supply…. no!!!! Its the worst site for town…. one full of charity shops, betting shops and pubs…. nothing else, mainly because the town council has objected to any progession for years. Yet again our elected souls blame everyone else everything wrong in the county…. just like central goverment is still blaming the last labour goverment for problems today. Someone somewhere grow a pair and sort it out!!!!

  • JMP

    It’s a shame Cornwall Council were awarded costs for listening to residents and recommending refusal, but the government has allowed the appeals procedure so the developer won. There’ll always be people that don’t want to share their area with development but were quite happy to purchase a property that was originally built on farmland itself!
    The houses need to go somewhere if Helston is to get any affordable housing and meet its housing targets set by government.

  • JMP

    Having had time to read all these comments properly on here now, I’m sure I’m not the only person in thinking that if a councillor goes to the effort to explain things to people on here, it would be nice if people offered him the same respect he he offers them. Cornwall Council don’t make all the rules, the government intervene, and there are some planning issues that can’t be altered however good a councillor is at his job, particularly when the area doesn’t even come under his jurisdiction.

  • Thomas

    As an objective Cornishman I am concerned that the costs award will be for the appellants entire Inquiry expenses, including that of their QC, Anthony Crean, and are expected to be in the region of £100,000, if not significantly more. As Officers recommended approval (and it was Members who overturned Officers and refused the application) there is clearly either an unacceptable understanding of planning legislation amongst Members of the Strategic Planning Committee or such a poor relationship between Members and the Head of Planning that Officers had little influence in the decision.

    I do not understand how pursuing the defence of an indefensible position is good value for the Cornish taxpayer.

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