Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall has called for all aspects of planning policy and decision making necessary in Cornwall to be devolved to Cornwall.
Planning policy is currently dictaed through the National Planning Policy Framework from Westminster. There is an inbuilt bias in the policy in favour of development because the Westminster parties see house building as a way to solve economic problems and as a way to appease the corporations and wealthy property developers that back their parties financially.
Mebyon Kernow believes that houses should be built purely to meet local need and not simply to generate profit for the big building firms.
Planning applications are dealt with mainly by unelected planning officers who are instructed to follow central government policies and guidelines. In the few instances where our democratically elected representatives are involved with decisions they are often warned about going against the advice of officers due to the costs involved when developers appeal their decisons. All too often the developers win their appeal - the system backs profit-making against community wishes.
It is time to bring all aspects of planning policy and decision-making home to Cornwall.
We should have a national assembly which could produce a strategic, community led policy for development in Cornwall - which would then be implemented by a reformed local government. Power over development should be in the hands of our locally elected and accountable representatives - not in the hands of big business backed by central Westminster government.
And this issue is so vital here in Cornwall that we need this devolution of power even ahead of a national assembly. We need to set our own policy and to to have all the mechanisms and appeals based here in Cornwall and overseen in a truly democratic way.
If you want to see an end to the concreting over of Cornwall, the only hope is to vote for Mebyon Kernow and send that message up the line to London.