Homes plan next to A30 approved despite noise concerns for poorest residents

Cornwall Council had received 29 comments posted about the plans on the council’s website, with 28 against and one in support

Plans to build new homes in a village next to the A30 have been given approval despite concerns about the impact of noise from the busy road.

Westcountry Land & Homes had applied for outline planning permission for the development of 37 homes, including 11 affordable properties, and a shop on land in Mitchell.

The application went before Cornwall Council’s central sub-area planning committee this morning with planning officers recommending that it should be approved subject to a Section 106 agreement, which relates to details of contributions to local infrastructure.

There had been 29 comments posted about the plans on the council’s website, with 28 against and one in support.

Mark Roberts, a resident of Mitchell, said there were widespread concerns in the village about the proposed development.  He said the site was “not sustainable” for such a development and had “poor connections” with the village.  Mr Roberts also said the proximity to the A30 would mean people living in the new homes would have to keep their windows closed to minimise noise from traffic.

St Newlyn East Parish Council had objected saying that the noise levels would be “unacceptable” and there was a lack of infrastructure in the village to support the development.

Justin Dodge, agent for the applicants, told councillors: “This is a very logical proposal to make the best and most appropriate use of the site.”

Committee member John Fitter said reference had been made to the fact that the land was not suitable for agricultural use.

He added: “That, in itself, is not a reason to develop it into housing if there are other reasons for why there should not be housing. That land, to me, is a green buffer between the village and the A30.”

Cllr Fitter said he was also not happy with the impact of the noise and the suggestion that those who move into the homes would know the A30 is nearby, saying those who move into the affordable homes may not have a choice.  He said: “We also have social housing on the site, quite frankly people who are offered a house to rent there, they will take it. They want a home and provide a home for their children they don’t have the luxury that some have of choosing where that home is.”

However Councillor John Dyer reiterated that the land was not suitable for agriculture and also highlighted that a map included with the application report showed there were homes nearby bordering the A30 which do not have trees screening as this site would have.

He said that was enough to convince him to support the application.

The committee approved the application with nine in favour and four against.