ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AUG 8, 2014
Section 5 of Going West: Housing, migration and population growth in Cornwall suggests that the planners’ inability to empathise with the meaning of Cornish landscapes helps to create a dismissive attitude to Cornish landscape and culture.
Here’s where I come all over emotional …
“This may quantitatively be the case but it betrays an alarming lack of awareness that it’s precisely these familiar stretches of countryside that hold the most meaning for people. They are not just blocks of land on a developers’ map. For those brought up in Cornwall or who have lived there for decades they are the landscapes that give our lives meaning. They may be the fields and woods in which we roamed as children, the paths we walked through as we held hands with our first boy/girlfriend, the lanes we cycled through.
Local landscapes are the memory banks of local communities. Their destruction to meet demand from other communities hundreds of miles away and the need for profits for developers and builders, most of them equally distant, mean more than a small reduction in the quantity of countryside. From the perspective of the existing population, every new settlement tears up some of our roots. Every time local concerns are dismissed or derided as ‘nimbyism’, usually by those who live nowhere near the affected areas, we are reminded of the soulless and authoritarian face of the juggernaut of growth.”