Homes plan would ‘urbanise’ open Cornish countryside in mining area

A new development of three homes in Leedstown has been refused planning permission after councillors said it would “urbanise” an area of open countryside. Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee unanimously rejected the plans when it met this morning.

Steve Edwards had applied for permission to build three homes on land north east of Dean House in Leedstown. Planning officers had recommended that they should be granted permission as they were acceptable.

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However the application had attracted objections from Crowan Parish Council and local Cornwall councillor Loveday Jenkin. The World Heritage Site office had also raised concerns about the site being a former mining area.

The parish council said it objected as the site was outside the development boundary as set in the parish’s neighbourhood development plan which defines areas which are suitable for development. It also said that the “three large dwellings” would “give little benefit to the community”.

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A representative of the applicant said the site should be classed as rounding off and was enclosed on three sides by other development. They added: “It will provide some much-needed housing in a sustainable location and should be supported.”

Cllr Jenkin did not consider the development to be rounding off and said a previous development on nearby land had already been approved because it had been classed as rounding off. She said it was “extending into the countryside”.

She said: “There is absolutely no way that the open countryside on the site should be considered an extension of the village. If this is developed there is nothing to stop the rest of the land around there from being developed.”

She said that while, from plans, it would look like there were more houses in the area, the buildings were in fact barns, garages and sheds. Cllr Jenkin said: “It is not a built-up area. If this area is developed it will allow other areas to be developed. This is open countryside for a reason. This is mining land, that whole area is old mines.”

And she added: “This is urbanising something that shouldn’t be urbanised, it is not rounding off. It is not going to benefit the people of Leedstown, it is not providing affordable housing. It is not going to do anything other than urbanising an area of open countryside in the World Heritage Site.”

The planning committee agreed and voted to refuse the application as it was urbanising an open countryside site; is outside the development bounding; is undesirable development which was unjustified for any special circumstances; and lacks affordable housing. The committee voted nine in favour of refusing with none against and no abstentions.

Cornwall Live