Here’s a report from the West Briton
‘Housing protests may backfire‘.
‘Objectors to … forecasts of massive increases in Cornwall’s housing needs were warned last week that their protests could achieve the opposite effect‘
Planning officers hastened to warn councillors that if they opposed the housing target being proposed ‘the Government would step in and change them and their figures were higher‘.
What’s so unusual about that, you may ask.
The report is from January 1988. Almost 30 years on and nothing has changed. Planning officers are still bullying elected members into adopting ridiculously high housing targets. Cornwall Council still seems depressingly useless in the face of the juggernaut of population growth fuelled by mass in-migration.
Except that the target the councillors were so worried about in 1988 was 39,500. Now we’re looking at least at 52,500, despite a lower rate of population growth over the past decade. Another difference is that councillors back in 1988 had sufficient nerve to over-rule their officers, telling them to go back and re-assess the forecasts.
In 1988 Councillor Harvey Lander said ‘we should go back to the Government and say we want special consideration. We are in a unique and special position’. The County Planning Officer denied Cornwall was a special case. Planning officers are still denying this. And the Council is still not making a strong and consistent case for special treatment.
While the developers laugh all the way to the bank.
Fact check: The population of Cornwall in the 1980s grew by 10.6%. Population in the 2000s grew by 6.5%. At the end of the 1980s the Council was proposing a target of 39,500 houses. In the 2010s it’s proposing a target of 52,500 despite lower growth. Why???