Battle lines drawn over Lowertown homes plan
Objectors to a “towering inferno” housing development at Lowertown have claimed that vandals are attempting to “silence” them.
The claim was made after posters publicising a meeting of Lowertown Community Group were “repeatedly” torn down over the weekend. Mike Hales, chairman of the community group, said: “What are these people afraid of?”
The meeting is due to take place today, Wednesday at Trannack School at 8pm. At it will be discussed the application for outline planning permission to build eight homes on the outskirts of Lowertown, adjacent to Granite Court, and create vehicle access.
As reported in the Packet last week, the application from Sarah Puckey, Mark Heims and Mr D Towler is for four single-storey affordable homes and four two-storey open market houses. Of the latter homes, the applicants would live in three of them. Mr Hales claimed the scheme was “widely opposed” in the Gwarth An Drae area of Helston and throughout Lowertown village. Those opposed say the site is part of a green buffer zone between Lowertown and Helston.
Mr Hales said: “The battle lines are drawn. The Lowertown Community Group, which represents most of the opponents, will fight this plan at every step right up to the highest levels if necessary.”
He said the road across the site would have street lighting “blazing away” – something never before seen in Lowertown – adding: “The result will be a ‘towering inferno’ swamping the approach to our village. It should never be built.”
He claimed there was “no need” for the development, with up to eight houses already for sale in Lowertown at the moment. The community was “resolutely opposed to it” added Mr Hales, who alleged that the parish councils bordering the site had “made it clear” that Lowertown did not need any affordable homes. There was also concern over the proposed houses being “considerably higher” than neighbouring homes across street and would “tower over the neighbourhood,” with separate fears over access.
“Access to the site would involve building a road junction on a narrow stretch of the Lowertown lane, which has no speed limit and is on a blind approach from S-bends and an offset railway bridge. There is not even room for two cars to pass at the proposed access point.
“It is an accident black spot waiting to be created. Cornwall Highways department confirmed to us only a few weeks ago that there is no possibility of funding for traffic calming measures along this lane,” said Mr Hales. “These developers are not interested in preserving vital countryside and are intent on wrecking the village to which they affect so much attachment.
“They don’t care that their plans will compromise the strip of countryside which helps to provide respite and recreation for the people of North Helston and a means of easily reaching the Cober Valley countryside. They don’t care about destroying the habitat of much-threatened wildlife including bats, which nest nearby and are probably protected.”
Mr Hales said Cornwall Councillor Alec Robertson, whose electoral division the site falls within, had been called upon to ensure the proposal was considered by the whole planning committee.
He had also been asked to “resoundingly reject it,” with Mr Hales claiming: “That is the wish of his constituents and he will ignore them at his peril.”
Neighbours have until September 18 to pass their views on to Cornwall Council , which aims to determine the application on October 18.
The applicants have claimed, through a report from their agent Stephen Bott, that the development would “meet a significant local need for affordable housing,” with the “significant gap” between Lowertown and Helston remaining. The plans indicate two of the homes “lowered” into the site to reduce the floor levels and ridge heights, thereby “minimising the impact of the development in the area” it is claimed. The scale, density and pattern of the proposed development have been described as “consistent” with nearby existing residential development in Lowertown.