Secretary of State Backs Affordable Housing for Mevagissey

The Secretary of State has backed Cornwall Council’s decision to agree planning permission for 31 homes in Mevagissey.
The aerial view of the proposed development in Mevagissey
The aerial view of the proposed development in Mevagissey
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* Cornwall
* Affordable Housing
* Mevagissey

* Property
* Construction

* Cornwall - England

Feb. 20, 2013 - PRLog -- The Secretary of State has backed Cornwall Council’s decision to agree planning permission for 31 homes in Mevagissey.  

Truro based Westcountry Land secured the planning permission in November 2012 but Mevagissey Parish Council asked the Secretary of State to review the decision.  

The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP carefully considered the impact of this proposal with the Department of Communities and Local Government before rejecting the request.  His conclusion was that there are no sufficient reasons to call in the application and therefore the application should be determined at local level by Cornwall Council.

Westcountry Land Director John Schuttkacker knows that this decision will have a life changing impact on the families of Mevagissey that need affordable homes.

“Cornwall Council voted emphatically for the scheme in October. This new statement from the Secretary of State means that our application can finally be approved and we can now deliver truly affordable homes to the local families of Mevagissey.  

The village’s popularity with tourists has resulted in people who work there struggling to find themselves a home.  The new houses will have a starting price of £71,250 and we hope to be onsite by the end of the year, with families moving into their new homes within two years.”

Planning Minister Nick Boles has recently been outspoken on the need for affordable housing, seeing it as, “the biggest social justice crisis we have."

He reasons that people not able to buy their own home, “is a result of our decades-long failure to build enough houses. And the root cause of this is our decades-long refusal to release enough land for development.”  On BBC TV’s Newsnight Mr. Boles suggested, “all we need to do is to build on another 2-3% of land and we'll have solved a housing problem."  Mr. Boles has set out new policy making it clear that “the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively.”

Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing hard to get the construction industry moving and admits that, “we have a massive housing shortage.”  He is also keen to shorten the planning process.

"When it comes to the planning system, I think it has got very furred up by the huge numbers of statutory consultees and the endless process of consultations.”

Mr. Cameron has argued that rules are being abused to frustrate economically vital developments and a “massive growth industry” of seeking judicial reviews of planning decisions has been fuelled by solicitors and campaign groups.

He has said that many applicants are guilty of “time-wasting” and bringing “hopeless cases” simply to waste developers’ time.

It has taken Westcountry Land two years of public consultation to prepare the case for planning permission for three acres in Mevagissey.  Cornwall Council agreed planning permission in recognition of the village’s acute need for affordable housing.  

John Schuttkacker of Westcountry Land concludes, “This announcement from the Secretary of State rejecting a call-in enables Cornwall Council to now formally approve this application which vindicates the quality and content of the planning application by Westcountry Land and the decision by the planning committee.  The request from Mevagissey Parish Council for the Secretary of State to review this decision has delayed the project by four months.  This announcement now allows 21 affordable homes to be built for local families without further delay.”

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