CORNWALL council has been told to go back to the drawing board over its housing model and housing target in a report on its draft local plan by Secretary of State appointed inspector Simon Emerson.

In a letter to the council, Mr Emerson says additional work and changes to Cornwall Council's draft local plan will have to be made before it can be made "sound".

Following receipt of the letter, Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council cabinet member for planning said: “We welcome Mr Emerson’s letter which provides a clear and constructive way forward for the plan.

"While he recommends changes and further work, he has not supported calls for significant increases in the housing targets and has also accepted the council’s key argument that Cornwall does not need significantly higher housing targets to achieve economic growth.

"Encouragingly, Mr Emerson is clear that he thinks the plan can continue through his examination to adoption with further work.”

The next set of hearings will be postponed to give the council time to consider his recommendations.

"The Inspector recommends that the housing target should be increased but also cautions against planning for too many more houses that simply would not be built," said Ms Hannaford. "In addition, he recognises the council’s “very strong commitment to delivering affordable housing” which was demonstrated recently when we celebrated building the 1,000th affordable home.”

The inspector’s headline recommendations are to:

• Re run the housing model and update the housing target (currently 47,500) using the Government’s housing projections published this year.

• Increase the plan’s housing target to reflect the pressure from existing second and holiday homes and consider if further increase is needed to meet affordable housing needs.

• Be clearer about how the plan’s policies support the economic strategies and employment land, particularly how much and where.

• Adjust affordable housing targets to a more achievable level .

• Engage better with Gypsy and traveller communities to get better evidence of their needs.

The council says it will need to consider whether to agree to the further work as suggested and will do this over the coming weeks. Any proposed changes to the plan will go out to public consultation.