The decision by developers to appeal against the refusal of plans to build up to 154 new homes on land off Bickland Water Road, is to be debated by Budock Parish Council next Tuesday evening.

Local residents are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held in the Village Hall at 7pm, and give their views before councillors decide how to respond to the appeal, which will be dealt with by way of a hearing over two days at the end of October.

Midas Commercial Developments lodged the appeal after Cornwall Council refused its application for outline planning consent for the proposed development on land known locally as Poolfield. Budock Parish Council and Falmouth Town Council both opposed the application when it went before them.
The scheme would see 92 homes built on the 3.7 hectare site between Budock Church and the main road, along with a further 62 affordable units, an area of open space and associated infrastructure.

Although Cornwall Council's planning officer urged councillors to approve the proposals, members of the central area planning committee rejected the application by eight votes to five.

The reasons for the refusal were the loss of agricultural land and the visual impact the development would have on the setting of the listed Budock Church. There were also concerns over whether the local road network could cope with the additional traffic, and the lack of space at St Francis School.

That decision has been criticised by planning consultant Russell Dodge who is acting on behalf of Midas. In his submission to the Planning Inspectorate, in which he details why he believes the appeal should be allowed, he says: “In terms of the decision by the local planning authority to refuse planning consent, there could not have been a stronger recommendation for approval by the professional officers.

“The local planning authority was presented with a comprehensive report 
from its professional officers in which reference was made to the 'high need for affordable housing in this area' and that 'this provision of affordable housing in an area of acute identified need weighs heavily in favour of the scheme.'

“The report also states that 'it is considered that a provision of 59 affordable dwellings is policy compliant in that the compromise has been made to accommodate an
education improvement.'

“In these circumstances for the local planning authority to flagrantly disregard
the comprehensive and balanced advice of its professional officers shows
contempt for the need to deliver open market and affordable housing in the

“The local planning authority has also acted irresponsibly in not realising the community benefit of the financial contributions to local infrastructure that would arise from the appeal proposal.”

Laurence Osborne, of Laurence Associates, has also said at the end of his lengthy submission: “I conclude that the benefits of the proposals heavily outweigh any potential harm.”