This page looks at what is probably the key housing issue in the parish. Further topics will be developed during the NDP process. (For the moment, here is information on the Community Infrastructure Levy and its relevance to the NDP.)
What could a Perranzabuloe NDP aim to achieve in terms of housing?
The purpose of this document is to sketch out what we could aim to do in the NDP given the national and local planning context. As a starting point, let’s take the key observation that probably the majority of the community would like to restrict development of new housing from the high levels seen in the last 8 years or so, particularly on large housing estates on the periphery of Goonhavern and Perranporth. Evidence for this comes from the 2012-2013 Perranzabuloe Community Plan and in the level of objections to planning applications for large-scale development.
The Cornwall Local Plan, approved in November 2016, is central in this discussion. Many houses have been built in the parish over the last 10 years – haven’t we built enough to satisfy the requirements of this plan?
To satisfy the basic, overall housing figure, yes.
The Cornwall Local Plan presents a requirement for 52,500 houses in Cornwall over the 20-year plan period from 2010 and when this figure is pro-rata’d down for Perranzabuloe, the “minimum NDP housing target for conformity with Cornwall’s Local Plan” for the parish comes out at 352.
How many have been built so far in the parish since 2010? According to Cornwall Council’s monitoring team, 334 to the end of March 2018. The trend in completion rates is striking:
- The most recent two year’s figures are dominated by the Taylor Wimpey development on Liskey Hill in Perranporth and the Wain Homes site on the Newquay road out of Goonhavern.
In addition to these completions, 120 dwellings were under-construction and 327 not yet started (on sites with planning permission) at the end of March 2018. So the number of houses likely to be built within the next five years or so, omitting new permissions that come forward over that time, totals to 748. (In case you’re checking my arithmetic, the 748 figure allows for the standard deduction of 10% to allow for outstanding permissions that won’t be built, based on county-wide experience.) Clearly this is already twice the ‘minimum target’!
Does this mean that we could have a policy in the NDP that would say no more major developments, at least for the next 5 – 10 years?
Put simply, no. This is the firm advice given to us by Cornwall Council Neighbourhood Planning Team supporting our NDP Steering Group. In brief, there are probably two key aspects:
1 The presumption in favour of sustainable development in the National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 14, if you are interested in the detail) and the requirements that an NDP should plan positively to support local development (para 16) are frequently cited in during consideration of planning applications at committee]
2 The number of people on the ‘housing list’, the Home Choice Register
Cornwall Council (CC) planners have stressed to us the importance of considering local need for affordable housing (AH) in addition to the Cornwall Local Plan (CLP) ‘minimum housing target’. AH is defined as: social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.
The argument is that when the next application comes into the Council for a new large housing site in Perranzabuloe, the existence of high demand for affordable housing in the parish – as evidenced by the number on CC’s Home Choice Register – will weigh heavily in favour of that application, putting other site-specific considerations aside. Cornwall Council’s Affordable Housing team will support the application on these grounds. (This is seen frequently when applications are discussed at planning committee.) We have been advised that applications that propose to provide affordable housing in areas where the number on the Home Choice Register is large, are likely to be approved either by committee or at appeal.
- In relation to the importance of the Homechoice numbers, please read this note on “Does the Crantock decision in June 21018 mean that NDPs are useless?”
But doesn’t all this mean that the Local Plan ‘minimum target’ is totally irrelevant?
Yes, it does seem so in practice particularly in coastal areas of high demand such as Perranzabuloe. We get the impression that this is a widely held view among CC’s development control officers.
What about the issue of sewerage infrastructure? Surely they can’t go on building houses with the problems we are experiencing with sewage overflows in Perranporth?
The BETI team is currently investigating this issue further and a separate section on this website will take that forward. Generally it is rare in Cornwall for applications to be refused on grounds of inadequate foul drainage and sewerage infrastructure.
Okay, so what then can we do with our NDP to influence major developments around Perranporth and Goonhavern?
The approach suggested by CC planners if the community is very concerned about the level of development is as follows:
- Define Settlement Boundaries around these main villages, and
- Adopt a Rural Exception Site policy
This is the approach adopted by nearby parishes experiencing similar pressures – St Agnes and Crantock NDPs. They have been suggested as good examples to follow.
The key advantage of this approach would be that any sites approved for housing on the grounds of the high level of local needs for affordable housing would attract a higher proportion of affordable housing than standard sites. As ancillary effect of this, housing developments on such sites will be less attractive to mainstream developers and this may slow the rapid rate of development, if this is what the community wishes to achieve.