Fighting Those Who Wish To Concrete Over Kernow

News From Kernow Matters To Us:

KMTU members with other organisations have battled those who wish to concrete over Kernow.

With our membership growing on a daily basis as a sense of unease grips the people of Cornwall over so many issues, we pay tribute to those members who have fought hard to slow the concreting over of Cornwall.

Despite bullying tactics employed by the authorities, our folks have appeared and spoken at planning meetings, written to MPs and to Cornwall Council and have now lodged several procedural complaints with the authorities. Hereunder is a letter written by one of our members, a businessman, to the media:

Dear Sir,

Last month, I attended the EiP meeting at the Atlantic Hotel, Newquay.

Half a dozen local people, including Cornwall and Parish Councilors, businessmen and residents made representations to the planning inspector – Simon Emerson - in order to help him gain a better understanding of the housing issues we have, here in Cornwall .

Apart from a crowd of some 40 concerned individuals sat in the gallery, there were around 30-40 developers, their agents and lawyers present too, and all making representations relating to specific mass new housing estates and overall housing targets.

In addition, Cornwall planning Chief, Phil Mason, and a small band of his team were also present.

The experience was frustrating and depressing in equal measure.

Having flown down from Bristol – where he is based – to Newquay airport, the inspector was incredibly biased and blinkered in his dealings with the two groups of people attending (those against mass numbers vs the developers pushing for higher targets).

Whilst smiling, joking and generally at ease with the crowd of unelected, unaccountable and non-local agents and lawyers, the inspector was rude, dismissive and incredibly short and patronising with those that came to help him understand Cornwall, in their own time.

Having seen the results of his consultation (just published), we can now see that ALL advice and concerns from local people, at every level, have been completely dismissed and/or rejected.

So we are left with a situation where the developers will continue building totally inappropriate mass housing developments – very often exepensive 5/6 bedroom executive homes (but beware the shockingly poor quality and finish – I say this from personal experience of a Wain Home) – on previously productive farmland or green belt land, adding to the exponential growth of shocking issues – especially for a “rural area” – of traffic congestion on major trunk roads, dangerously full back roads, oversubscribed schools and surgeries (for both dentists and GPs), and Treliske Hospital being variously broke, on black alert (4 times this year alone), full up and/or disease/infection-ridden (by their own staff’s reports).

In addition to which flooding & sewerage are becoming a significant problem (SWW are admitting more and more publicly that they “cannot cope”), and air quality has been described as poor in at least three areas of Cornwall , so far…

Not bad for a poor, rural and backward ‘County’!

All for the pursuit of “growth… Obviously at any cost.

Meanwhile, Cornwall drops in the ratings for poverty (from second worse area in the UK, to worst), leads tables on food banks and housing affordability, continues the sell off of its limited stock of council and housing association homes, is hugely underfunded for each school child compared to the UK average and has a near bankrupt council clutching at straws to raise a little council tax…. by supporting developers in their attempts to build as much as possible (however unsuitable and unaffordable) to please shareholders, and of course their own managers.

A case in point: Persimmon just announced a profit windfall to be shared out between the executive over the next 5 years, of £600 million; not bad for a company that is subsidized, both by Westminster and the EU with tax-payers’ money (and no wonder so much of that Cornwall-bound Objective 1 money went missing!).

As we watch the council planning department come up with all sorts of brilliant ideas to manage the growing chaos (ie. one set of traffic lights or two?), many despair at this beautiful, resourceful and unique part of the world being environmentally and socially irreparably damaged, to suit short term political goals and help the construction industry reap huge profits for a few fat cats, in the very short term.

Simon Emerson, Peter Bainbridge, Phil Mason (he of the Tregurra £4 million overspend mess) and the many other political and planning culprits in this sad story of serious social engineering (eg. why are we developing - mainly unaffordable housing and second homes - at around 3x the national UK average?) are caught up in a system that is not only badly broken but seriously morally bankrupt.

My heart bleeds for Cornwall (to be renamed CornWain?) and I cry for our children who will reap the mess we’ve allowed to be sowed…

Best regards,

Iwan Le Moine



Photo: Truro City bursting natural banks in every direction: West at Langarth/Threemilestone, South at Tolgarrick & Higher Newham farms and Northeast at Tregurra/Tresillian.


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