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February 29, 2012

Local opinion split over housing plans

A COMMUNITY has been left divided over plans for a controversial housing development at a beauty spot.

Developers Mevagissey Bay View LLP said a detailed planning application for 31 homes in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Mevagissey will be submitted in the next couple of months.

A pressure group, Mevagissey Under Concrete (MUC), has been set up in opposition to the development.

A public exhibition was held by the developers and architects on Tuesday last week to gauge local opinion.

“We were very pleased with the outcome from the day, as a lot of scaremongering had been undertaken by the action group MUC,” said Justin Dodge, CSA Architects managing director

“Once people came to the exhibition, it was good to hear that the proposals were not as harmful as they had been told.”

He said more than 120 people attended the exhibition and claimed more than 60 per cent were supportive of the development.

Garth Shephard, from MUC, said he was sceptical about the affordable element of the development as the homes would have “perfect sea views”.

He continued: “We have to argue whether there is a need.”

Cornwall Council said, at present, there are 98 Homechoice applicants who have an assessed local connection to the parish of Mevagissey.

Mr Shephard added: “I think a lot of people’s objection is the sprawling across the landscape and taking away the scenery.”

When asked why he set up MUC, Mevagissey parish councillor Keith Dear said: “The planning situation is so convoluted anyway that unless you get prepared and get organised [applications] go by default.”

Parish councillor Esther Chesterfield said: “My main objection is the location. All the lorries and buses come down that road, including all the children’s buses. That’s dreadful.”

After the exhibition, Cornwall councillor for the Mevagissey ward Denise Mutton said: “I have got to keep an open mind.

“It appears to be a 50-50 split between those for the development and those against it, which I was quite surprised at because I thought most would be saying ‘no way’.”

St Austell MP Stephen Gilbert said: “Ultimately, as the local MP, I don’t hold any power over a planning application but I will do whatever I can to ensure the views of the community are heard.

“There is, without question, a need for more affordable housing in Cornwall but it’s vital that it’s in the right location and built on the right land.

“I’d like to praise Mevagissey Parish Council for their work to negotiate developments on more suitable sites in the village to ensure local people can remain part of the amazing village community.”

Posted on: February 29, 2012

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