Jul 29

45 fields? Or ‘housing and jobs’ for a growing population?

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!

Broadmoor Farm at present - 'undeveloped'

Broadmoor Farm at present – ‘undeveloped’

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?

The site adds about a third to the built-up area of Saltash

The site adds about a third to the built-up area of Saltash

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 bribes planning 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.


  1. Chris Cansfield

    Lets be quite honest here, this scheme is nothing more than a cunning plan to make loads of money. With a gullible Council who will grasp at any opportunity to create so called local jobs they are half way there. When the Bonds first bought Broadmoor Farm some 20 years ago it was quite clear then it was’nt for the farming potential but for its strategic position next to the A38. This parcel of land should be earmarked as a site of outstanding natural beauty, not allocated for wall to wall housing which will, mark my words, contain a disproportionate number of 4 / 5 houses. They might throw in some shared equity, but that will still not address the need for more “Council housing” ( but there is’nt any money in that is there)?

  2. John Bond

    Over the past thirty years Carkeel has experienced an exponential growth in traffic through the village as a consequence of ongoing development of numerous estates north of Saltash. This despite the total unsuitability of this road being classified as an ‘A’ route, (being narrow, winding and very dangerous), the traffic is now heavy and continuous. For local residents it creates continuous and deafening noise and is extremely dangerous for anybody attempting to visit the local shops on foot. Many cyclists do attempt to pass through Carkeel and I have witnessed very serious situations where impatient truck drivers have pinned vulnerable bikers against the hedge.
    The Broadmoor Farm development will do nothing to relieve this situation unless it can dissuade drivers from using this section of the A388. If the development must go ahead, it is essential that traffic does not gain access to the site via Carkeel. Hopefully cyclists will have a safe pathway with secure access to Saltash. There has been little or no provision over the past thirty years for cyclists in this area, so perhaps there could be cooperation to provide their security, (at least in part), for a connection between the Tamar Bridge and Callington.

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