What was either a very silly or an utterly confused news item was today heard on Radio Cornwall. It was reported that an anonymous group of planning inspectors and councillors brought in to advise Cornwall Council had rather amazingly concluded that the Council was ‘anti-development’.
This ridiculous assertion is about as far from the truth as it’s possible to get.
If Cornwall Council is ‘anti-development’ then how come so many more houses were built in Cornwall in 2014/15 than in England in relation to our population? This wasn’t some blip either. Over the whole period since 2005 developers have been busy building houses in Cornwall at a rate almost twice as fast as in England.
If Cornwall Council is ‘anti-development’ then how come outstanding planning permissions have soared in number recently, from 14,488 in 2011 to 24,181 earlier this year, as developers greedily landbank on a massive scale?
Was Radio County making some sort of weird, very bad taste joke? Or had they got it hopelessly wrong? Maybe the group of planners really meant to say ‘pro-development’ but it was a slip of the tongue. Or they were misheard.
Or is there more to this curious tale than meets the eye? Interesting to say the least that this absurd factoid appears in a news item on the precise day that councillors were being urged to ramp up the 20 year housing target to 52,500, a huge 16.4% increase on the previous build rate. And that was already much higher than across the Tamar. Looks like the usual disinformation at best, blatant lying at worst.