by Martin Galforth
Developers Gallliford Try are looking to build another 39 houses above one of Cornwall’s most beautiful harbours – Portreath.
They say half of them are ‘affordable’ – but that’s by their definition.
Personally – I no longer listen to what developers say about their noble intentions in digging up more and more of Cornwall and erecting more and more profitable structures.
My question now is – are any of these homes really needed?
Holiday lets and second homes already make up one in seven of the houses of Portreath parish
Does anyone actually believe that these new 39 homes on the hill are going to address the Duchy’s social ills.
Or that any more building in Britain will help solve poverty or homelessness?
Galliford Try’s housebuilding arm is Linden Homes.
In its response to the council’s consultation on the housing target last year – this organisation said they wanted a ‘higher level of housing growth’ than even the council was proposing
Try’s most recent half-year profits were up 18%
I no longer believe there to be benefit of any kind in any new house-building except to those in the business of building houses.
The cynicism of these businesses is grotesque.
Taylor Wimpey asks us to ‘Love Cornwall – Love Taylor Wimpey’.
Could this be the same company that in its representation to the Council on its Local Plan (sent from Bristol) said ‘there is no justification for placing a limit on the scale of housing growth within Cornwall on environmental grounds’ – and called for 60,000 houses?
Could it be the same firm that helped draw up the council’s Strategic Land Availability Assessment, which reckons 105,000 houses over 15 years is ‘sustainable’?
Or maybe it’s the firm that declared a 39% increase in profits last year – as a result of the Government’s Help for Shareholders scheme?
And that’s nothing: Taylor Wimpey’s PR is positively subtle and respectful compared to some.
The transparently entitled ‘Cornwall Living’ have gone as far as to appropriate Cornwall’s national flag as they flog posh seaside homes to those sufficiently loaded to qualify for them.
Their ads boast: “Cornwall has a vast range of properties for sale and Cornwall Living lists homes for sale in St Ives, Falmouth, Truro, Padstow and Newquay”.
Then beneath the treasured St Pirans icon a fruity strapline seduces wealthy customers with the words: “Cornwall Living; an inspirational view of all our beautiful county has to offer, giving you the opportunity to live the ‘Ultimate Lifestyle By The Sea’.(!)”
I posted a couple of paragraphs on social media about this recently – and the response was enormous.
One of the more interesting comments online on the issue of Cornwall council’s accommodation of aggressive developers is from Cllr Edwina Hannaford.
She posted: “In plumping for a housing target of 47,500 Cornwall’s planning ‘officers strongly advised that the overall housing numbers should reflect national demographic projections so as to be robust’.
“Why are the officers so keen to accept inaccurate projections as ‘robust’?
“The last four of these overestimated Cornwall’s population growth in the 2000s – by 59%, 69%, 28% and 28%.
“How have they got away with manoeuvring councillors into adopting a hopelessly weak negotiating position while refusing to make a special case for Cornwall?
I don’t know about you – but after seeing how strongly everyone else feels on this issue – I’m all the more hopeful about adding my name to a rapidly growing online petition that calls on councillors to stop this destructive nonsense dead.
It’s just a click away HERE. If you’re concerned about too much building in the Duchy, please do add your name too.