Delight and dismay as Mawnan homes rejected

The rejection of plans to build houses in Mawnan Smith has been met with delight by many, but dismay by others who are desperate to own a home in the village.

Westcountry Land & Homes had re-submitted its proposals for 42 homes, half of them to be affordable, for land at Goldmartin Field, off Sampys Hill. It’s original application had been refused by councillors in October and the company’s second attempt failed last week.

The chairman of Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee, Councillor Roger Harding, used his casting vote to reject the scheme, eight votes to seven. The reason for refusal was that the development would be in a prominent position within the area of outstanding natural beauty and would be detrimental to the visual amenities and landscape character of the area.

Local member, Councillor Neil Hatton has spoken against the scheme and said afterwards: “The need for such a large development was questionable. Mawnan already has a lot of empty houses and it does not need another 29 open market houses, but it does need some affordable housing – this is the dilemma.”

The application had attracted almost 130 comments on the council’s website with most of them objecting to the plans, but many also supporting them.

George Whitbread said: “I grew up, went to school and have always lived in Mawnan Smith. Because of the very high property prices in the village, my girlfriend and I have to move in with my parents. We both work full time but cannot comprehend buying a house of our own in the village unless affordable housing is supported and provided.”

William Salisbury said: “I feel that this development will bring new life to the village and thereby help to invigorate local businesses, bring new members to village clubs and associations, new support for the school and generally enliven the village community.”

Among those opposing the scheme was Rod Allday who said: “The proposed development will cause clear, unmitigated harm to the intrinsic landscape qualities of this protected landscape and fails to satisfy the major development test within an area of outstanding natural beauty.” Diane Plowright said of the proposed development: “It is superfluous to the needs of the village. We already have new property which is being very difficult to shift and the infrastructure will not support it. The proposed site is higher than the existing properties and will dominate the skyline.”