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News Archive > General > Huge yes vote for town plan

Huge yes vote for town plan

By Warren Wilkins 17th April 2019

Huge yes vote for town plan
Photo: Beth Perry

FOUNDATIONS have been put in place to stop inappropriate development in Newquay after a referendum held on Thursday showed 93% of those who voted were in favour of a vital planning document coming into force.

There were 2,865 votes in support and 203 against the Newquay Neighbourhood Plan (NNP) to help Cornwall Council decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.
Residents voted at various polling stations dotted around the town, which saw a turnout of 18.07% in an electorate of around 17,000.

Residents, through questionnaires, helped Newquay Town Council devise the Neighbourhood Plan that will now be used to help shape future development in Newquay. The Plan is set to become part of the statutory planning policy framework and will have the same legal status as the Cornwall Local Plan, which planning officers, planning inspectors and councillors will have to take into consideration when making their decisions.

Numerous policies are incorporated in the Plan to protect against inappropriate development, enhance and save the town’s industries as well as its heritage, cliffs and beaches.

The document includes key principles to ensure that all new development fits well and enhances the existing character of Newquay and contributes to creating a better place to live, work and play.

Development will also have to foster a sense of community and encourage interaction between residents.

The Newquay Neighbourhood Plan is set to have a shelf life up until 2030 when residents are set to go to the polls once again to decide whether they support a neighbourhood plan devised around that time.

Cllr Joanna Kenny, the chairman of the Newquay Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, believes the vote in the referendum is a good endorsement of the Plan.

Cllr Kenny said: “The referendum result is a good foundation to help stop
inappropriate development. The policies within the Plan will protect the town from
unsuitable and unpopular development.

Over 93% support for the NNP is a great result. A respectable but not brilliant turnout. We were told when we started that for a dry subject like planning, a town of our size would be lucky to get more than 10% of people
interested.   

“Real thanks to our local volunteers who delivered leaflets and encouraged people to turn out. Cllr Mike Gardiner, chair of the Newquay Council Planning Committee, and I watched the votes being counted and it was obvious that more people voted in the coastal areas most at risk from unsuitable development than did the more settled estates inland. I am proud to say that Pentire produced the most votes on the day.

“While the plan still has to go through the last administration step of being formally “made”, from now this vote means that planning officers and appeal inspectors are legally bound to apply our local NNP policies in any planning application in the Newquay parish; our policies ranking equally with those of the higher-level policies of the Cornwall Local Plan.

"Indeed, being more recent, our local policies may outrank or at least reinterpret the higher level policies. That doesn’t mean that inspectors may not come out with some novel
interpretation of the policies.

"We’ve already seen some of that and it does not resolve the problem where the decision depends on a purely subjective opinion on whether a building looks right, which still remains in the power of a planning inspector.   

“The work has not finished. Amongst other things, the NNP has declared the parish coastline as a Coastal Change Management Area. So now we have to look at just how we are going to manage it, not only immediately, but for decades and generations to come as the cliffs crumble.  And being the first to do this, we’re going to have to work out how for
ourselves.

“The NNP will last for 12 years when there will be another Plan devised and voted on. People’s ideas might change by then so it is not a once and for all referendum.”

By Warren Wilkins 17th April 2019

Tim Lovell 3rd June 2019 21:42
Now Colan parish council need to follow the example and start work on a neighbourhood plan to counter the growing pressure on the community by inappropriate proposals such as the recent pre-app proposal by Kinsley developments for a 950 unit caravan and lodges park at quintrell downs..now withdrawn.
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