Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee today voted to approve the Truro 'Eastern District Centre' application for a Waitrose Supermarket, Cornwall Food Centre, Eastern Park and Ride, Waste Recycling Centre and housing.
I don't sit of this committee and didn't attend the meeting and so will not disagree with the overall 11-8 vote in favour of the application.
But I am particularly disappointed with one aspect of the outcome. This was a green field application to be built on land outside the Truro development boundary. As such, the policy agreed by the Cabinet is that every single one of the houses should be an affordable home - 100%. What percentage has been agreed - 35% We are, quite literally, giving away the farm.
Cornwall Council faces a housing waiting list of 23,000 families. We need to take urgent action to get this number down. But we do ourselves no favours if we allow developers who can afford more to get away with giving only around a third of the homes they are building to local families on the housing waiting list. It means we will have to build more and more houses for incomers to get the affordable homes we need.
I have always argued that the proposals of the core strategy for new homes in Cornwall of 48,000 or more is wrong. I've said that we can get this number down by enforcing the higher levels of affordable housing that the Cabinet agreed two years ago. Yet again, it would seem that the council has let developers get away with murder.