PA13/09686: Construction of 10 new dwellings, access road, parking and creation of new access to a highway, Chenhalls Road: Mr D Trevorrow
The Parish Council objects to this application because:
1. the proposal does not, in the opinion of the Parish Council, satisfy the current need for affordable housing in the locality, especially in the Parish itself.
This opinion has been formed because neither the applicant nor Cornwall Council will release all the information submitted by the applicant in support of this aspect and so Councillors have to rely on their local knowledge. Their local knowledge is informed by the lack of people who have approached them, who may be interested in this proposal, together with their experience of housing need derived from what happened with recent affordable housing schemes built in St Erth – primarily at Ercus Way. The points made in paragraph 10 of the June 2012 appeal decision letter on a similar scheme here are considered to remain valid and so support the Parish Council’s objection relating to local housing need.
2. the site is poorly integrated into the physical framework of the village which is an issue which can’t be overcome.
The physical conditions are exactly the same now as they were with the previous applications and so the last Inspector’s concerns in paragraph 13 are equally applicable now. Councillors felt that the sketch layout was quite mundane in its design and alien to its immediate surroundings on the edge of the village, creating a “hard edge”.
The last Inspector’s conclusion that “…it would be a single terrace in a relatively isolated location, unrelated to the rest of the village and thus not well integrated with the settlement’s overall structure” is seen as a compelling objection that has not been resolved by the current scheme.
3. the Council was very concerned about creating a precedent if Cornwall Council is minded to approve what it believes to be, in effect, “Phase 1” (for which there is anecdotal evidence) and that such approval would encourage the spread of development over the rest of the applicant’s land, bearing in mind the extent of the applicant’s ownership and the lack of physical “defensible barriers” if the current application site were developed.
On this question of precedent, the Parish Council notes that the applicant owns more land than outlined in blue on his site plan, because he retains strips which were said to have been sold to residents along School Lane as a “buffer zone”. The Parish Council is concerned not only that this misleading error in the application but also (and more importantly) that this part of the applicant’s land would be later built on to the detriment of neighbours’ residential amenities.
In other words, the proposal in itself and the precedent it would create would be poorly related to and not integrated with the form and pattern of the settlement and so would unacceptably harm its character, appearance and setting.
4. the Parish Council believes that the application does not represent the best way of addressing current local housing need. This is because not only of its location but also it includes a relatively high proportion of open-market houses in order to cross-subsidise just a small number of affordable houses.
So, in summary, the Parish Council considers that this scheme does not provide enough benefits to local housing need to outweigh its adverse physical and neighbourliness effects, and that there are better alternatives to satisfy current needs in the Parish.
However and notwithstanding these objections, if Cornwall Council is minded to approve this application, the Parish Council seeks the following:
1. that a Section 106 obligation regulating, in the usual way, the phasing of affordable housing, who can occupy it and its rental and sale prices be agreed
2. that this obligation includes the additional benefit, offered by the applicant, by transferring the freehold interest of some of the site to the Parish Council for community use; and
3. that the Parish Council would wish to see this application be determined by the Planning Committee if the Planning Case Officer is minded to approve it under delegated powers.
Thank you for your consideration of this response.
Clerk to the Council