Bodmin residents win battle to save recreation area
RESIDENTS living on a housing estate in Bodmin are claiming victory in their battle to stop construction vehicles destroying their only recreation area.
People living in Gilbert Road have been told by housing developer Barratt Homes that it no longer intends to apply for planning permission to use the open space as an access route for vehicles to construct more houses on the Canyke Fields' site.
If Cornwall Council had approved the application, the recreation area would have been off-limits to residents for at least two years.
Residents had sent a 97-signature petition to the planning authority, urging it to turn down the request from Barratt Homes.
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In a letter to Gilbert Road resident Vicky Orchard, Barratt Homes' managing director Tim Larner said: "We have assessed the likely success of a planning application and do not propose to progress this proposal.
"The residents of Canyke Fields Road have received my confirmation that we will be utilising that road to access the new development. I trust this decision is good news to yourself and I am sorry for any inconvenience while we investigated this aspect of the development."
Mrs Orchard said she and other residents were "over the moon''.
"All the residents in the area came together to try and save what is our only recreation area from being used by large vehicles and we have won.
"The support has been terrific, not just from neighbours, but from (Cornwall councillor) Lance Kennedy, MP Dan Rogerson and Steve Rogerson, I can't thank everyone enough," she said.
Another resident, Derek Atkinson, also welcomed Barratt Homes' decision not to proceed with the planning application.
"It really is excellent news because people's lives would have been severely disrupted if the open space had been used as an access route. I also think we could well have seen accidents involving vehicles if it had gone ahead."
Mr Atkinson had sent a letter on behalf of Gilbert Road residents to Cornwall Council pointing out that the recreation area was well used by local people, particularly children, and saying that the movement of large lorries or plant crossing the open space would present an unacceptable risk to children and pedestrians.
Mr Atkinson said dust, mud, fumes and noise caused by heavy traffic driving past residents' homes would cause a further unnecessary hazard considering that an established route is already approved.
Cornwall Council had told the housing developer it would have to submit a formal planning application because using the open space as an access route would have breached a condition of its original planning consent for the houses.