The developers behind plans to build up to 154 new homes on land known as Poolfield off Bickland Water Road in Falmouth, have appealed against Cornwall Council’s refusal of the scheme.
Midas Commercial Developments have lodged an appeal with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate and the case is scheduled to be dealt with by way of a hearing, with two dates at the end of October set aside.
It was last November that Midas first applied for outline permission for the proposed development which would see 92 homes and another 62 affordable units, along with open space and associated infrastructure, built on the 3.7 hectare site between Budock Church and the main road.
In a planning statement which accompanied the application, it was claimed: “The vision for the development is to create a sustainable community with a defined sense of place that responds positively to the distinct character of the area.”
It added: “While there is a negative economic impact associated with the loss of the 3.7 ha of agricultural land this is more than off-set by the overall socio-economic benefit from the proposed housing development. It is considered that the positive benefits of the proposal in terms of the demonstrable need for market and affordable housing outweigh any adverse impact.”
While Cornwall Council’s planning officer recommended approval, the application was opposed by Budock Parish Council and Falmouth Town Council. Falmouth councillors felt building up to 154 new houses on land off “the M25 of Falmouth” would be a “step too far” and wanted to see other more appropriate sites developed first.
Councillor Steve Eva had said: “This is grade two land. I am not stupid and naive enough to believe there will not be houses there at some time in the future, but before we build on green fields there should not be other available space. If we start building there it will probably be a step too far.”
Budock councillors also recommending the application be refused because of the loss of public amenity and the loss of grade two agricultural land. They were also concerned about the increased traffic load on Bickland Water Road and the implications this would have for pedestrian safety, particularly in relation to children at nearby St Francis School.
When the application went before Cornwall Council’s central area planning committee in February, councillors were encouraged to approve the scheme by officers, but went against advice and rejected it by eight votes to five.