Barratt homes plan at Pen Bethan, Hillhead Road, Kergilliack

A planning application to build 133 homes on a site near Falmouth have been put on hold again after councillors said concerns about the plans had not been addressed.

Barratt David Wilson Homes has applied for permission to build the homes on land at Pen Bethan, Hillhead Road, Kergilliack.

The plans had gone before Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee in November but were deferred after councillors raised concerns about the impact the development would have on local roads and concerns about biodiversity net gain.

However when the committee met again this morning to consider the application many councillors expressed their disappointment that little had changed.

One of the principle concerns is that the plans include a footpath to be installed on Kergilliack Road which would narrow the road to a single lane.

Councillors and objectors said that this would create a bottleneck and cause traffic congestion in the area.

Many also highlighted that a number of HGVs use the road along with buses in the summer which could cause problems.

Councillors had asked planning officers and highways officers to look at the issue and see if there was any alternative or solution to the problem.

However planning officers said that a similar plan was already in place for another development along Kergilliack Road which has already been granted planning permission.

And they explained that highways officers had said that they were happy with the proposals and had no objections.

On the issue of biodiversity net gain on the development, planning officers told councillors that the developers had agreed to pay a contribution to offset the biodiversity net gain elsewhere.

Alan Jewell, speaking on behalf of Falmouth Town Council, said that there were serious concerns about traffic in the area.

He said: “That road is going to be chaos if that footpath is put in.”

Cllr Jewell said that there needed to be a proper look at the road network in the Kergilliack area due to a number of separate housing developments taking shape with more traffic expected to be introduced onto local roads.

And he added: “It is a premature application until that road infrastructure is put in place it will be chaos on the road network.”

Malcolm Bennett from Budock Parish Council agreed and added: “We were led to believe that highways were rethinking this and coming back with a new plan, that is not the case.

“Highways could have come up with an overall scheme rather than each development coming up with its own arrangements – this is a missed opportunity.”

Local Cornwall councillor for the area, John Bastin, said: “We have been given a rehash or what we had before with no clear indication of how the problems highlighted have been addressed.”

Committee member Joyce Duffin said that she was “disappointed” that none of the issues which led to the previous deferral appeared to have been addressed.

However, the committee was warned that the developers had indicated that they would appeal on grounds of non-determination if the committee deferred the application again.

And planning officers warned that if the application was refused on highways grounds it would be difficult to defend at appeal as the council’s own highways officers had indicated that the plans were acceptable.

Committee member Mike Thomas said: “When I got the agenda I had to check if it was a rerun of the old one, it is repeating the same stuff. I am very disappointed.

“I know the area very well and go there quite frequently, I think the local members are absolutely correct.”

Cllr Thomas proposed that the application be deferred so that more work could be done with local members and highways in looking at the impact of the proposals on Kergilliack Road.

The committee agreed with 11 votes in favour and two against.