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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Kaczmarek Konundrums

Pirate FM today picked up the 'Our Cornwall' campaign to reduce the number of new houses that are planned for Cornwall over the next 20 years.

The report featured a statement by Dr Bernard Deacon who said:
"We live in a finite land with finite resources. We are irresponsibly building over green fields and destroying agricultural resources. We don't know what's going to happen in the next twenty years never mind the next fifty/one hundred years and yet the Council's quite happily concreting Cornwall."

In reply Cllr Kaczmarek stated:

"We're trying to keep the numbers down as low as possible while recognising that unless we do something in a positive way to generate housing, employment and supporting renewable energies, the government will say 'your figures are far too low' and they will decide for us."

Cllr K's reply poses several riddles.

1. He is insisiting on a MINIMUM of 48,000 new houses despite the fact that Cornwall Council's advisory committee, made up of democratically elected councillors, reccommended just 40,000. How is this keeping the numbers down as low as possible?

2. Is Cllr K simply picking the figure 48,000 in order to pacify Westminster or because he thinks it is the best plan? Is he trying to make us think that he is actually protecting Cornwall? Come on Cllr K you should be putting Cornwall first and resisting Westminster impositions. If you are saying that Westminster will make unreasonable demands on Cornwall then you should be fighting our corner instead of horse trading. However, if you think your plan is right then please don't use Westmimster as a scapegoat for your beliefs.

3. If Cllr K believes in supporting employment and green energy production why is he supporting the leviathan incinerator which will cost Cornwall millions? Alternative waste disposal methods could save Cornwall £12 million per year over the next 25 years yet his arrogant Independent/Conservative cabinet refuses to listen to the people of Cornwall (or its elected councillors) and prefers to press on with plans for dinosaur technology and a project that will be legally redundant by 2020.

Cllr K tells us that there are 25,000 people on Cornwall's housing register and that it is imperative to build 50,000 houses to help these people.

So we need to build 2 houses for every person. This is despite the fact that only a small percentage of the 25,000 are actually in a high (or even medium) category of need. Many simply want a slightly bigger house or would like to move areas.

At the same time we are expected to believe that building these houses is going to address the needs of the people on the register when they can't afford the houses to be built. A non-sensical solution to a serious problem which is exaggerated to provide an excuse for concreting Cornwall.


  1. 40,000 to 48,000 homes over the next twenty years is almost the same rate of building as we have had over the LAST twenty years, so it's a NO CHANGE policy, and we will be very lucky if it meets the increasing demand.
    The actual percentage of Cornwall's land area that will be used for building is minute.
    Councillor K is looking at the facts and making sound decisions.

  2. Is there an official, or unofficial, figure of currently empty or less than 50% occupied houses in Cornwall? Bringing those into use for those who want to stay, live and work here would be a start. It is much kinder to the environment, keeps communities together and gives a better chance for Cornish towns to be at the centre of Cornwall's economy rather than constantly fighting against out-of-scale superstores that bring little in real terms to Cornish prosperity. The issue of empty or partially lived-in housing is the elephant in the room across the UK but for obvious reasons are more acutely felt here. It would be useful for the argument against unnecessary housebuilding in inappropriate locations to have these figures too.

  3. Hi Graham.

    First of all 40,000 - 48,000 is not a range being considered. The official figure is stated as a MINIMUM of 48,000 and there is much evidence that the Council cabinet actually wants 60,000 plus new houses.

    Secondly 48,000 is definitely an increase in the building rate compared to the last 20 years it is NOT a NO CHANGE policy.

    Thirdly Cornwall's population is increasing due to in-migrants. In other words the demand for hiousing is from in-migrants not for people already living here. The 48,000 PLUS new houses are there to accommodate wealthy people moving to Cornwall (or to provide holiday homes) and not for the people here who are in need of housing. If you are happy with policies that encourage this situation then that is, of course, your prerogative. However, I would go with the idea that 'enough is enough' and it is now time to change policies and to protect Cornwall's environment and people.


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