Cornwall Council gives go-ahead to 140 new homes at Redruth
Controversial plans for 140 new homes at Redruth have been given the green light by planners despite a strong ground swell of local opposition.
Members of Cornwall Council's west sub-area planning committee decided on Monday afternoon that the town's affordable housing need was too large to ignore, and approved the application by eight votes to zero, with two abstentions.
Rhosnoweth Developments Ltd's proposal for 140 dwellings, including 56 affordable homes, at Treskerby, prompted more than 300 letters of objection.
Monday's planning meeting, which followed a site meeting, late last year, saw opponents make a final effort to persuade planners to reject the scheme.
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They claimed the community did not want it.
They did not want to see greenfield land disappear, and stressed the dangerous access to and from the site, and the flood and contamination risks.
Councillor Stephen Barnes outlined Redruth Town Council's opposition to the scheme and pleaded with planners not to put "the developer's money belt before the community's green belt".
Mike Eddowes, Cornwall councillor for Redruth Central, said that the £162,000 promised by the developer for highway improvements, which included realignment of the existing roundabout and a pedestrian crossing, was "wishful thinking".
The developer's agent, Angela Warwick, accepted there was opposition to the proposal, but insisted there was also support, particularly among those looking for an affordable home.
The developer, she said, had worked hard with Cornwall Council, Redruth Town Council and a working party made up of local residents to come up with an acceptable scheme
Affordable housing officer Louise Dwelly revealed that there were currently 1,012 people on the waiting list for an affordable home in Redruth, with, on average, 100 applicants for every property that became available.
She added: "We have strong confidence that the scheme would meet the pressing housing need in Redruth."
Planning committee members Ruth Lewarne and Bill Maddern accepted there were some difficulties with the site, but admitted they were influenced by Redruth's need for affordable housing.
Planning officer Mark Broomhead warned the committee that the Environment Agency had not raised the risk of flooding, nor had the Highways Agency expressed concerns over access to and from the site.
He said: "We would be up against it at appeal if you vote against."