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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Westminster Building Corp

The Executive Summary of the MK response to the Core Strategy:

Cornwall Council’s Core Strategy has been produced within the wider context of irresponsible planning and unjust housing policies, devised and implemented by central government. These policies have lead to unsustainable growth within Cornwall, while inequality has grown and working people are increasingly denied access to housing that they can afford in their own communities.

Mebyon Kernow utterly reject the policies of the central government and we will continue to oppose them.

Within this context, our response to the consultation on Cornwall Council’s Core Strategy and includes the following points:

· Mebyon Kernow considers that the Core Strategy is not distinctly Cornish. It fails to understand what makes Cornwall culturally distinctive.

· Mebyon Kernow considers that the Core Strategy is not sustainable. Its claims to be “green” or “sustainable” are false and undermined by the promotion of unsustainable levels of housing growth.

· Mebyon Kernow objects to the proposal to set a twenty year target of 48,000 new properties for Cornwall.

· Mebyon Kernow considers that the projections used by Cornwall Council to justify their proposed levels of housing to be flawed.

· At this time of low economic performance and decreased levels of in-migration into Cornwall, Mebyon Kernow seeks a breathing space from the large-scale development of open market properties and, instead, the prioritisation of affordable local-needs housing.

· Mebyon Kernow members remain concerned at statements from the administration at Lys Kernow suggesting even greater growth than that outlined in the consultation document.

· Mebyon Kernow considers that the Spatial Strategy does not deliver a “dispersed” approach to development as claimed. MK objects to the centralisation of large degrees of housing around existing urban centres, as well as the eco-town and eco-communities proposals.

· Mebyon Kernow considers that the policy statements on employment, land and assets, historic and natural environment, etc, are poorly-defined and likely to be undermined by the level of growth proposed.

· Mebyon Kernow objects to Cornwall Council’s proposals on waste, which are still based around a single mass-burn incinerator for municipal waste.

We would respectfully call on Cornwall Council to rethink its attitude to both development and its planning policies. A good start would be to radically reduce the housing target set out in the present Core Strategy consultation document.

This is just the first page summary of a sixteen page document which argues for an entirely different approach to the 'build as many houses as possible' approach of the Conservative Cornwall Council.

The Core Strategy is a Conservative strategy. Before their electoral success in 2009 and 2010 they were keen to rubbish Labour's Regional Spatial Strategy, with George Eustice calling the RSS call for 68,000 houses to be built across Cornwall 'bonkers'.

Now the Conservatives openly want to build a MINIMUM of 48,000 houses and behind the scenes are looking at building 60,000 or more.

In response to this George Eustice wants to wait for 10 years before doing anything or wants to build on brownfield land (that is brown according to Cornwall Council planners but looks green when locals take thier dogs for a walk) before green.

The Lib Dems:

"have not submitted a 'corporate' response to the consultation as we took the view that our individual Councillors were free to respond as they saw fit depending on their individual views of the needs of their locality. As we are not the Tory party no responses have been vetted."

Clearly it's not an important enough issue to spend time on as a party wanting to get things right for Cornwall.

What was Labour's response to the Core Strategy? You might think, given their previous desire to cover Cornwall with 68,000 houses, that they would be critical and call for even more houses than the minimum 0f 48,000 that we have been promised.

In fact Labour, like the Lib Dems, have not taken the time to present any response to the CS at all. Instead the Labour Party say that:

"The Labour Party in Cornwall encouraged members to make their own submissions on local aspects of the Core Strategy and fed into the Community Network Area and local council responses via our town and parish representatives."

Labour go on to claim:

"this whole issue has become a political football, which has not been constructive in the development of a strategy that will serve the interests of people in Cornwall."

Well if it's a political football there's only one party kicking for Cornwall!

This whole consultation once again goes to prove that the only party with Cornwall's interests at heart is Mebyon Kernow.

All of the Westminster parties are clearly happy to support their London superiors in the pursuit of unsustatinable hyper-development.

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