Broadmoor Farm at Saltash has for some years been earmarked by our vision-deficient planners for ‘development’. Now, its 45 fields and 300 acres of farmland and woods have been discovered to be just the ‘right place’ for ‘growth in housing and jobs’. The Commercial Estates Group (CEG) want to build 1,000 houses, plus roads, a school, health centre and employment space for all the new residents who will go and live there.
The poor old Cornish Guardian breathlessly and uncritically reported this ‘could create up to 1,000 construction jobs for locals’. This turned out however to be 100 jobs for ten years, rather different!
Isn’t there a slight problem with this, however? (And see coserginfo for others.) The latest draft of Cornwall Council’s Local Plan allocates 750 more houses to Saltash by 2030. As around 160 of these have already been built or are being built that leaves just 490. Yet, here we have a plan for 1,000! Even the previous Plan target, with an even more unnecessary 49,000 houses (8,000 more than were built from 1990-2010) only allocated 900 to Saltash. Have the planners pointed this out to CEG?
CEG is of course the people who are not building 500 or so luxury second homes at Carlyon Bay despite having had the permission to do so for some time now. Is their plan for Saltash intended to make some profits that can be re-invested in the stalled Carlyon Bay scheme? They may well be in need of this as the CEG made a pre-tax loss of £1.7 million last year, up from a £1 million loss the year before. Even the directors’ ‘emoluments’ fell from £1.6 million in 2011 to £1 million in 2012.
This cash-strapped company is one of the few to be involved in both of the twin prongs of the developers’ strategy for exploiting Cornwall. This is how it works
- Clear the indigenous population from the coastal areas, which are then reserved for gentrification and for tourism (preferably up-market) by various land protection designations (AONBs and the like). This process stepped up a gear during the 2000s with the big surge in second home ownership in Cornwall. However, belatedly realising that a poorly paid workforce is required to service the gentrified zone, the planners are now pushing for a higher percentage of high density and often poor quality ‘affordable homes’ for these same areas.
- Expand the inland towns by building place-less suburbs. The construction of these are gradually monopolised by a small clique of upcountry corporate developers who offer more
bribesplanning gains to the planners so that can convince elected members to vote the unnecessary unaffordable housing through. The surplus is then aggressively marketed upcountry, using Cornwall’s ‘green’ imagery and a tourist industry that funnels millions of temporary residents annually across the Tamar.