Flooding fears could sink Helston homes plan
9:00am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News
Flooding fears could be at risk of sinking plans to develop a Helston eyesore into eight homes.
Helston Town Council's planning committee was asked to consider the latest version of an application that would see a barn converted into a home and an extra seven homes built on land at St Johns Road.
The land currently has a number of redundant buildings, including a former workshop, old storage shed and animal stalls.
An application was first submitted in 2009 and this is the latest version from applicants Mr Speck and Mr Pearce.
However, the town councillors recommended refusal of the plans, as they believed the scale of the development increased the flood risk in a flood plain to other homes in the area.
Earlier in the evening councillors were spoken to by one of the applicants, in a bid to allay previous concerns. This included confirmation that the Environment Agency (EA) believed the development would be acceptable.
In answer to arguments that it would be an overdevelopment of the site, he said the scheme had been reduced from ten homes to eight and he had decided to allow more green areas and two car parking spaces per property.
Over concerns about “grey” water (sewage/outflow) water backing up, he said the water board had asked to install a large bore water supply to alleviate problems and further work could be carried out if necessary.
All traffic would use the old farm entrance, with no need to go into St Johns Close.
He argued the development would be an improvement to the site and provide “much needed housing for Helston.”
There were mixed feelings from neighbours. Two, in support, said they did not have concerns over an increase in traffic, as previously the site had been used by companies that regularly attracted 60 to 70 vehicles - far more than eight homes would result in.
During flooding at the end of November it had taken only 15 minute for St Johns to flood, but the yard was not affected.
However, another resident said she was afraid two of the properties would overlook her garden and was concerned that visitors' cars might be parked in St Johns Close.
She also questioned how an oil tank, which she believed would be buried under the site, would be removed.
Since that meeting Judith Haycock, Cornwall Councillor for the Helston Central division, has written to the county's planning department to say although the site was “in desperate need of development” she agreed with the town council's concerns over developing in a flood zone.
She called for confirmation from the EA that there was adequate floodplain compensation, to ensure any development did not affect other properties in the area.
Mrs Haycock had further concerns over the height of the terrace of five properties proposed as part of the development and asked that if the permission was given there be no building work before 9am and after 5pm, at weekends or on bank holidays.
A final decision will be taken by Cornwall Council.