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February 22, 2012

Group to fight plan for homes on green fields

A NEW pressure group is campaigning against a proposed development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) at Mevagissey as public consultation on the scheme is launched.  The proposed development by developers Mevagissey Bay View LLP is on land outside the village envelope. It would have access from School Hill and would consist of 31 houses on a greenfield site.  Of these, 21 would be affordable homes, made up of 16 houses and five apartments.

A public exhibition was due to be held yesterday at Mevagissey Activity Centre to inform residents of the draft plans and gather their views (see next week’s edition for full coverage). A recently established group, Mevagissey Under Concrete (MUC), composed a leaflet urging residents to make their views known.  It argued the development would spoil coastal views, be visible from the sea, and would clear the way for future development on adjacent fields.  MUC was instigated by Mevagissey parish councillor Keith Dear, who would now have to declare an interest in the development if it was discussed at meetings and has surrendered the right to vote on it. He was unavailable for comment.  Mevagissey resident Francis Williams, who owns land that adjoins the site, said: “It is likely opposition will become increasingly vocal as the development will inevitably ruin one of the few remaining uninhabited parts of the coastline on this bay.  “We might just catch a glimpse of a roof; it won’t really affect us but it’s going to decimate the coastal path.  “It’s quite a big deal. It would really screw up that part of the coastline. I love the coast path to death and it would be a terrible shame if it fell apart.”

Justin Dodge, CSA Architects’ managing director, said: “The driving force is a review recently carried out by Cornwall Council which identified a current need for 51 affordable homes in Mevagissey.  “The site is immediately opposite the school and the head teacher has called to say she is supportive of a scheme that brings new young families into the village.  “As part of our planning application we have commissioned a specialist landscape and visual impact assessment.  “The area of Mevagissey is covered by a blanket of AONB which, within the county, is afforded a designation to ensure any new development is of the highest quality.  “Every square inch of Mevagissey and Portmellon is covered by this designation. If you can’t develop any greenfield site in Mevagissey, you can’t fulfil the affordable housing need.”

Michael Roberts, chairman of the parish council, said: “At this stage it would be inappropriate for me to comment.  “We had a presentation on the plans at a previous parish council meeting. The development was outlined but we had no discussion as there is not yet an application to discuss.”

Posted on: February 22, 2012

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