Archive for the ‘housing’ Category

The Cornish countryside is disappearing at an alarming rate. Our landscapes are being degraded and urbanised and the character of our towns and villages is changing forever. Tranquility, the environment and our heritage are ruthlessly ignored. Our young people are finding it more and more difficult to find an affordable home yet, meanwhile, housing continues to be sold off as second ‘homes’. Our hospitals and schools cannot cope and our roads are ever more congested. Unfortunately, Cornwall Council seems determined to ramp up housing and population growth even more.
There has to be a better way. But to change the actions of the Council, we have to change the actions of the Councillors.

We will be calling on candidates seeking election to Cornwall Council in May 2017 to sign up to the four pledges of a Charter for Cornwall.

* reduce Cornwall Council’s excessive housing targets and put local needs first
* restore social rented housing and increase genuinely affordable housing
* reduce the number of second homes
* support the devolution of strategic planning to Cornwall
We will then see who best to vote for to obtain a council more committed to Cornwall, its countryside and its culture.
For more see: www.charterforcornwall.com

You can help:

a) share this message as widely as possible.

b) suggest any amendments to the principles or pledges. The final wording won’t be decided until the next phase of the campaign in early February.

c) support the Charter for Cornwall by getting in touch with us and leaving your email address on our contact form.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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To read and then share as widely as possible!

No doubt, following analysis of the 2011 census results, more telling maps with be forthcoming from OurCornwall.

Our Cornwall

Posted: September 30, 2012 in environment, housing, social housing
Cornwall Council are planning another huge jump in the population of Cornwall over the next 20 years. Join us and oppose their plans to re-shape our land.. 
It’s Our Cornwall is a site dedicated to safeguarding Cornwall’s environment and defending its Cornishness. It stems from the dismay and frustration felt at the suburbanisation of Cornwall that has steamrollered over us since the 1960s. Its first aim is to encourage as many Cornish residents as possible to make their views known in Cornwall Council’s Core Strategy/Local Plan consultation. (This page has been initiated by one of the authors of Cornwall at the Crossroads, published by the Cornish Social and Economic Research Group in 1989.)
 General information Twenty years ago in Cornwall at the Crossroads we called for a breathing space so that Cornwall and its communities could take stock and plan for a properly sustainable future. Yet high rates of housing and population growth carried on and since 2009 growth pressures in Cornwall have moved up a gear. Local groups have been fighting plans for large building projects from Camborne to Saltash. 
Now, even though the rate of population growth has slowed down since the 1980s, Cornwall Council want to push it back up again. Since the 1960s the population of Cornwall has grown by 56%. Yet the Council is planning another 48,000 to 60,000 houses dotted around Cornwall. In just 20 years. Over two thirds of these new houses are not needed for local people but will go to in-migrants or be bought as second homes. 
This will increase the built-up area of Cornwall by over 20% in just 20 years. A stable population policy aimed at local needs while still permitting 80% of current in-migration would require less than 13,000 new houses. 
The long-term consequences of such a rate of growth are nothing short of catastrophic. Acres of countryside will be lost, traffic congestion will get even worse, our natural resources will be irresponsibly consumed. And the current population of 532,000 – up from 340,000 in 1961 – will be verging on a million by the end of the century. Twice the current numbers and more than twice the present built-up area! This is the bleak future our Council is planning for us. 
This insane agenda has to be halted. A policy of population-led growth has been pursued since the 1960s. It has failed – economically, environmentally and culturally. But our politicians only promise more of the same inappropriate and unsustainable growth. 
It’s surely time to say we’ve had enough. Local people feel they have little say in the future of Cornwall. The Council is committed to a strategy of housing growth that mortgages our future to serve the interests of up-country developers, large construction companies, landowners and supermarkets. Developer-led growth has to be replaced by democratic development, restoring to the people of Cornwall a sense of ownership over the future of our land. 
Click here for the Our Cornwall Facebook page. 
The Trelawney Alliance is administered by a Committee under the Chairmanship of Jean Charman to forward democratic opinions about intended developments with the ultimate aim of getting unnecessary plans overturned. We say NO to the proposed mass build of 48,200 new homes in Cornwall, but YES to affordable homes and social housing for local people. It is time to tell the developers that!

Dark reality hidden behind the picturesque scenery
Ashley Seager, Monday January 21 2008

The Guardian

Behind the picture postcard Cornish harbours,stunning countryside and attractions such as the Eden Project lies a harsh economic reality that makes life tough for ordinary people.

Such has been the upward pressure on house prices from second-home owners and the lack of well-paid jobs, that Cornwall now has the biggest gap in Britain between the average house price and the average salary, according to recent data from Hometrack. With the decline of the china clay industry, more and more people are dependent on low-paying jobs in tourism.

Richard Whitehouse, of the local St Austell Guardian, says the average house price in the region is £180,000 – not far off the UK average of about £195,000. “But the average salary is only around £14,000-15,000 a year, way below the national average. So for many people buying a house is simply out of the question if they have to find 12 times their salary,” he says. Wages are among the UK’s lowest at an average of £317 a week gross.

Countrywide figures show that one in 10 homes in Cornwall are second homes for people from other parts of Britain – many of them wealthy Londoners taking equity from their highly priced homes and snapping up cottages in pretty coastal villages.

But in places such as the picturesque village of Fowey near St Austell, the second home problem is all too clear. Full of boutique shops, the place is like a ghost town on a January afternoon. Almost every property near the waterfront seems to be advertising itself as a holiday let. “The vast majority of period properties down here are second homes,” says Jennie Elderkin, director of Fowey River estate agents.

The town is well kept, and there is no doubt that outside money is keeping the place in good order, with local tradesmen busy renovating properties.

The area is vibrant, with plenty going on and good schools. But a two-bedroom cottage by the water will set you back £300,000 – a price beyond the reach of most first-time buyers.

“Getting on the housing ladder on Cornish wages is well-nigh impossible. Many young people either rent or live with their parents,” adds Elderkin.

Small wonder, then, that Restormel borough council has made affordable housing its number-one priority, higher even than the regeneration of deprived towns such as St Austell, which have attracted millions of pounds of European Union funding in recent years.

Cornwall was once industrialised, with thriving tin mines and china clay pits. The historic South Crofty tin mine is to reopen in response to the rising price of the metal. But most jobs are in tourism, where low wages and winter lay-offs are endemic. The Eden Project, just outside the china clay town of Par, is unusual in that it stays open all year and employs some 500 local people.

Dave Smith, who lives in Par, says: “Most people who live here aren’t from round here at all. They have moved here from other parts of the country because it is a nice place to live.”

In St Austell, Ashley Potter, an estate agent, agrees that half of buyers are not locals. It is not as costly as trendier places such as Padstow or Fowey, he says, but it is hoped that a multimillion-pound redevelopment, financed by the South West Development Agency, will improve the town’s fortunes.