Developer in 12 homes plan

A developer defeated at a judicial review in a landmark case brought by Mevagissey Parish Council is again proposing a housing development at a village beauty spot.

Mevagissey Bay View LLP, part of Westcountry Land, applied for planning permission for 31 homes on land next to School Hill, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 2012.  Cornwall Council granted planning permission but the parish council, amid concerns about the impact on the coastal scenery, took both the developer and the county council to judicial review in December 2013, and won the case. Now, Westcountry Land & Homes is preparing a new planning application, this time for 12 homes, seven of them affordable, on the same site.

Westcountry Land & Homes director Justin Dodge told the Cornish Guardian that the previous judicial review decision was due to a “procedural failure” during the processing of the application by Cornwall Council, and said that this decision “does not preclude planning permission being granted”.  He added that following the judicial review decision a second application for an almost identical scheme was submitted to the council, and the key issue raised by planners related to the impact on the landscape.

The developer has since employed an independent landscape consultant to review the site and come up with a ‘landscape-led’ design that has the new homes set back from the coastal path and cliff top, which was an aspect of the previous design that came in for criticism from local people and councillors. “The new scheme is for only 12 houses in total, and therefore is a third of the size of the previous application, it also covers a much smaller site area,” he said.

“The new proposals follow the building line of the existing neighbouring houses, and is now a linear development, following the line of School Hill. This has therefore significantly reduced views of the proposed development in the wider landscape, specifically from the South West Coastal Footpath and makes it more in keeping with the existing settlement pattern.”

Four of the affordable homes included in the scheme would be for rent, with the remaining three offered for discounted sale.

“Affordable housing is such a critical issue and in such high demand in Mevagissey that schemes like this are very important, to encourage local people to stay in the area, with a focus on low-cost housing, specifically for local people,” said Mr Dodge.

“The site is in a great location for affordable housing, being immediately adjacent to the school and with good vehicular access and public transport. We are very proud of the quality and design of this development, which utilises local materials and draws inspiration from existing buildings in the village, to make sure that it is very much in keeping with the locality.”

A planning application is due to be submitted to Cornwall Council in February.