'Money-grabbing' developers are told, get your hands off!
MORE than 50 Newquay residents sent a clear message to housing developers on Saturday – 'hands off our town'.
The group, which included primary school youngsters and pensioners, were protesting against the Duchy's plans to build 170 homes on fields by Tregunnel Hill.
But many said that they had come to vent their anger at council planning bosses and "money-grabbing" developers in general.
The plans by Prince Charles to concrete over one of the town's few remaining green spaces were simply the final straw, they said.
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The Cornish Guardian reported last week that demonstration organisers June Fullwood and Dave Sleeman had decided to rally the troops after learning that proposals for a children's play area on the site had been scrapped and the number of affordable homes had been slashed by ten per cent.
A petition against the royal plans, which was started by campaigners just two months ago, has already gained more than 500 signatures.
One protester, Mena Day, summed up the anger expressed by the protesters saying: "It's disgusting. I wish Prince Charles was here so I could throttle him."
Those who braved the elements to brandish their placards and make their voices heard above the wind reeled off a list of reasons why they were objecting to the plans.
Some said Newquay's infrastructure – such as the roads, sewerage system, schools and doctors' surgeries – couldn't cope with an influx of homeowners, who would potentially add 170 extra cars to the town's infamous traffic problems.
Others were furious that wildlife such as birds, foxes and badgers were being squeezed out as the door was shut on the 'nature corridor' leading from Fistral beach to the Gannel.
The majority agreed that the houses would not be affordable for most people living in Newquay and looking to get on the housing ladder.
Paul Walton, of Henver Road, said: "There will be no green land left in this town soon. Newquay will end up being a concrete city. This housing development is just not needed. How many vacant properties do we all have in this town?
"I doubt there's any chance of reversing the decision. The 'powers that be' around here just do what they want, regardless of what the public says."
April Marsden, of St George's Road, added: "It's cut and dried. We went to all those meetings to try and stop the nonsense of these developments but nothing came of it.
"No one who was born here in Newquay can afford to buy a property.
"There's no way this can be good for the town. The authorities and developers are just seeing dollar signs."
Dawn Tarran, of Crantock Street, said: "I was born in Newquay and I care about Newquay. But I just see everything getting worse at the moment. I feel like we're constantly fighting." Speaking shortly after the demonstration, Mrs Fullwood said: "I really appreciate everyone turning up. It really shows the strength of feeling people have that they would stand side by side like this to say 'enough is enough'.
"These are three beautiful buttercup meadows. In a few months they will be ablaze with yellow. To concrete over them would be dreadful."
She said she had counted 44 species of birds that use the fields and hedgerows. A badger set had already been moved by the developers, but the animals had left.
The Duchy chose not to comment on Saturday's demonstration saying all the issues raised had been addressed when the original application was considered.