Planning Inspector give his early findings on Cornwall’s Local Plan

The Inspector who has been tasked with looking at Cornwall Council’s local plan has given his initial thoughts, officially called ‘Schedule of Post Hearing Changes for Consultation’ on the resubmitted plan. Previously, the inspector said our housing numbers was too small and needed to be increased to take into consideration dwelling not in full-time use, i.e. second homes and those in the churn of selling/probate.

The main key message is the Inspector is happy with the overall target of 52,500 dwellings However, to be clear over 22,000 already with permission and 11,500 already built which leaves around 30,500 yet to come forward. This figure was proposed by Cornwall Council in December.

I must point out this being a minimum figure in line with the NPPF. However, the good news is on the basis of the figure of 52,500 the Council believes it can now demonstrate a 5 year land supply

Another of the Inspector’s key change is to redistribute 300 dwellings from the allowance during this plan period for the Eco-Community at West Carclaze to the built area of St Austell. This is a response to reflect past development of the town in the adjoining Community Network Area and consideration of past delivery rates. This also includes a need to review the delivery of the Eco community if there is no progress within two years of the Plans adoption

The other changes include the threshold for negotiation for affordable housing has been brought into line with the Ministerial statement and upcoming national guidance i.e. above 10 units generally and over 5 units in designated rural areas and the AONB.

The next stage of the plans journey is the proposed changes will be published for consultation probably at the end of June for a six-week period with responses provided to the Inspector for his further consideration. Unless he considers there are any new issues raised about the proposed changes (he is not looking at the whole plan) he will issue his final report and recommendations to the Council towards the end of September.

The Plan and the inspector’s recommendations would then be presented to full Council ultimately to decide if it is happy to accept his proposed changes /recommendations and so move towards formally adopting the Plan or does not wish to proceed to adoption.

If we do not adopt a plan, we leaves ourselves open to not being able to show a five-year land supply and far worse, the Government imposing a plan on Cornwall.

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