Cornwall’s west planning committee today refused to approve plans to build 94 homes and a 60 bed care home on Tregenna Fields, to the west of Camborne.
Many people were united in opposition to this development. I was allowed to speak as part of the development is in my Cornwall Council ward and had to start my piece with stating my support for more homes and development in Camborne, which is not always popular.
I think Camborne is a very underrated town with a lot to offer residents: a lot of heritage buildings, and fascinating history that makes us a World Heritage site, the quoit, the Flat Lode Trail, Tehidy Woods, the Red River Valley and easy access to the fantastic North coast.
The right development will attract more people to live in our town and bring employment and opportunity for those already here.
Tregenna Fields is not the right development. It would put paid to the emerging plans to build a relief road to the west of Camborne and build mixed retail, industry and housing with good access. It would direct even more traffic through residential areas of my ward, past a school and along a small road through housing for disabled and elderly people. Cornwall Council in my view has a responsibility to these people.
The site is also a green field site in a town that has lots of plots of brown field land available. I made my arguments as best I could.
The good news was that the planning committee, despite the recommendation by the officers to approve it, listened to the protest and rejected the application with only one vote in favour.
I believe our planners were right to make a stand on this – developers make more dosh from green field sites so they prefer them. We need regeneration and well thought out development.
It was a bit worrying that the planning officers dismissed the Camborne, Redruth and Pool masterplan, plus the hours of Community Network planning and consultation as ‘not really plans’ and it was baffling that Nine Maidens school will benefit from the education contribution in order to provide more places in Camborne schools. I must have misheard as that would be plain potty.
No doubt the developers will appeal so this is not the end of the story and I will be joining others in working to defend the refusal.
Well done to all who spoke so well at the meeting: local campaigners Dave Biggs and Ivor Corkell, newly elected Pendarves Councillor John Herd and Cllr Jeff Collins who spoke on behalf of Camborne Town Council, who recommended refusal.