Yesterday I spent the day at New County Hall.
I attended the launch of Our Cornwall's campaign against unsustainable, inappropriate hyper-development in Cornwall along with many other mebers of Mebyon Kernow. MK is the only party that has a bespoke policy on housing and planning for Cornwall and is the only party that is prepared to put Cornwall's culture, environment and future first. We are a pary of activists on the big issues that affect Cornwall and we are prepared to invest the time and effort to make a difference.
A prime example of this is today's Planning Policy Panel meeting. Dick Cole has researched and produced an alternative plan to the core strategy. This has taken hours of tireless work and is based on fact and up to date statistics as opposed to the inflated and twisted statistics used by officers to call for 49,000 houses to be built in Cornwall over the next 20 years. The Councillors on the panel have approved Dick's plan which presents a case that 38,000 houses would be an appropriate figure given extant planning permissions and using the same rules that officers say they have to apply.
Now 38,000 houses is probably still a figure that is really way too high - but the point is that it is 11,000 less than the ridiculous figures that the cabinet and planning officers want to impose. My point is that, while Westminster parties supply us with a lot of rhetoric when it comes to development on their patch, they do nothing of any consequece to stand up for Cornwall. MK through Dick Cole has given us a chance to back away from 49,000 houses.
The problem is, of course, that the cabinet is likely to pay as little attention to its councillors (delegated to advise the cabinet) as it was to listen to the democratic voice of the full council over shared services. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the cabinet don't ignore the Planning Policy Panel and plump for a round 50,000 - just to make the maths easier!