Plans for an “affordable housing led” development in a village have been refused planning permission in a narrow vote.
Cornwall Council’s east sub-area planning committee rejected the plans for a site in Pendoggett, St Kew, by six votes to five.
The outline planning application was seeking permission to build up to eight new homes on land off Pendoggett Road in the small village. But councillors refused permission, saying that the site was unsuitable for the development.
Council planning officers had recommended that the application should be approved saying it was considered to be an exception site so ideally should have 100% affordable housing but no less than 50%.
The application did not state how many affordable homes would be provided – such details were to be provided at reserved matters stage once the viability of the scheme had been determined.
Councillors heard that there was a recognised need for affordable housing in the parish and that the provision of such homes “weighed heavily in support” of the application.
St Kew Parish Council had objected to the plans stating that there was “no real need for affordable housing in this area”.
They also said that there was a lack of services in the area and that residents would be dependent on cars.
Robin Moorcroft, Cornwall councillor for the area, said in a statement that the site adjoins the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is in an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) which should be protected.
He also said that the site was Grade 3 agricultural land which is considered to be good quality land for agriculture purposes and so should be protected for farming.
Cllr Moorcroft was also concerned that the open market homes on the site could become second homes or holiday lets.
Like the parish council, the Cornwall councillor was also concerned about access to local services and the lack of places at local schools. He said there was a lack of public transport and any children would be unable to walk to school.
Committee member Jennifer Cruse said she was not in support of the application and again echoed the concerns about the lack of local facilities. She also questioned whether there was sufficient local need for the homes.
John Fitter said that he did not think it was a sustainable location and said that residents would be reliant on cars to access services.
He added: “To put affordable housing in this location, in my opinion, is not the right way forward.”
But Adam Paynter disagreed and said that it was important that affordable homes are provided in rural settlements and not restricted to more built up areas. He said that as an exception site, it would be suitable for homes to meet the local need.
Dominic Fairman agreed and said that it was often difficult to get affordable housing provided in rural areas saying it was “a struggle”.
However when put to the vote the committee agreed to refuse planning permission with six votes in favour and five against.
Credit: Richard Whitehouse / Local Democracy Reporting Service.