100 new homes in Launceston rejected by planning chiefs
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 100 homes at Launceston and extend the town cemetery have been rejected by council planning chiefs, who heard that there was "not a good word to say about it".
Hallam Land Management Ltd had wanted to build the homes, 40 per cent of which would have been affordable, on land north of Upper Chapel. The county's planning department had recommended that they be given permission.
However, local residents were strongly against the plans, which would have seen traffic increased on narrow roads in the area, including the route past St Catherine's School and Launceston Police Station.
Launceston Town Council and the adjoining St Thomas the Apostle Parish Council were strongly against the application, and arguments put forward by members of the community as well as local councillors won the day.
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One resident who would have been affected, Beryl Parish, from Chapel, said the development would have a detrimental effect on the lives of at least 400 families.
"When local knowledge is ignored it results in disastrous consequences," Mrs Parish told the committee meeting in Truro. "I beg you now to listen to local people with local knowledge."
The agent for Hallam told the committee that it had taken care to secure a high-quality development with substantial green space, including a play area and extension of the Launceston cemetery.
He said Hallam was mindful of the local traffic concerns but said most of them referred to the school and police station at drop-off times.
Graham Facks-Martin, from Launceston Town Council, said he was astounded at the recommendation of approval by Cornwall Council officers.
"The area of housing is unsuitable due to access; this area is not suitable for the development of 100 homes."
He suggested that any access to the scheme should be off the old A30 to the west of Launceston, and added that there was already approval for 600 new homes in the town.
Terry Jones, clerk of St Thomas by Launceston Parish Council, said "there was not a good word to say about it".
"It should be rejected on the grounds of traffic, infrastructure and surface water; each of which is its own unique problem," he said.
"It is totally wrong, it is not practical, wanted and not needed," said Mr Jones.
Adam Paynter, Cornwall councillor for the area, said: "Launceston is not a Nimby town. It is open to development, with recent applications for 600 houses and a supermarket – but definitely not here. Launceston is open to sensible development but this is neither sensible nor sustainable."
Launceston Mayor David Gordon said residents had turned out to voice their concerns.
"It is unsuitable as the housing requirement needs can be met from other more suitable sites," he said
Mr Gordon said the population of Launceston had risen from 7,150 in 2001 to 9,216, and the site was unsuitable for development because access roads were blocked by parked cars and suitable only for one-way traffic.
Councillor Alex Folkes said the road outside nearby St Catherine's School was "impassable" at peak times and had concerns about adding to traffic congestion locally.