Clark blocks housing scheme in Cornwall AONB
Communities Secretary Greg Clark has dismissed an appeal over a proposed cross-subsidy residential development of 18 dwellings earmarked for a site at St Just in Roseland near Truro originally refused by Cornwall Council. The scheme was for 10 affordable and eight open market homes on land in the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The SoS recovered the appeal because the site was covered by a neighbourhood plan which when the inspector wrote his report had been passed by a referendum, but had not been made by the council. The inspector recommended that the development should not go ahead.
Both the SoS and the inspector noted that there was no guarantee the policies in the neighbourhood plan would deliver the local housing required and the planning authority could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land. The decision letter acknowledged there was a clear need for housing in the area and an acute need for affordable homes.
However this was trumped by the “significant” harm which the scheme would cause to the character and appearance of the area and the landscape and scenic beauty of the AONB. And in that respect the proposals were contrary to saved policies of the development plan, policies of the neighbourhood plan and also a key policy of the AONB management plan.
Clark went on to conclude that the harm to the AONB outweighed the local benefit to the supply of housing in the area.