PA23/08629: A new alternative provision school provider could be coming to Bodmin. 

Poles APart AP (Alternative Provision) is seeking to create a new mini-school in the town, to cater for up to 15 students of a primary or secondary school age who have become disengaged and are experiencing mainstream or special education as challenging and detrimental to their health and wellbeing. 

They have submitted a planning application to Cornwall Council for the change of use of a former bank building which in recent years has been used as office. 

The application, concerning the former TSB bank building at 9 Mount Folly, would see the permitted use of the building change from an office (class E) to an educational facility (use class F1). 

In the documents submitted as part of the change of use application, Poles Apart say that the building would have up to six staff members who would provide tuition to the students within the building if the change of use application was approved. 

The applicants told Cornwall Council: “In facilitating the educational use, the existing two-storey building would be utilised with the current layout maintained and the existing spaces simply fitted out to create classrooms. All other rooms, including toilets and storage would remain in their current arrangement. 

“The site’s operational hours would be from 8am until 4pm, with classes held between 9.30am and 2.30pm. There would be a maximum of six members of staff at the site at any time, catering for no more than 15 pupils. 

“No external amenity area is required as the classes run the entire period and are intended to be conducted within the building, although some rear external space is available for use. 

“The applicant intends to provide a much-needed intervention service within the town and wider district. At present, Poles Apart AP is solely based in Plymouth and Exeter, making it difficult for young people to access who are further located within Cornwall. The change of use would create an additional and more local base for those in need of the service.”

It would be the first entry into Cornwall for the alternative education provider, which describes itself as thus: “Poles Apart AP is an alternative provision with a difference and we are proud to be working with young people across Devon and Cornwall. 

“During the global pandemic, a small group of motivated individuals realised that a new approach was needed to help young people reach their full potential. We work with young people from year 1 to year 13. 

“Reintegration is a big part of what we do and our reintegration worker has had some great success in working with students and schools, assisting both parties to achieve the best outcomes.

“Poles Apart AP delivers a range of engaging, modern programmes and sessions. We provide core subjects, outdoor learning (including forest school), history, geography, catering, beauty, construction, art, and music, and we can adapt to facilitate most people’s dreams and needs. We also provide therapy, and we encourage work placements and reintegration.

“With bases in Plymouth, Exeter and Tiverton, we have access to a broad range of outdoor environments. Learning opportunities are abundant and being active and outdoors is a major part of what we do. We also offer a range of indoor options, and we guarantee that we will find subjects or activities that inspire.

“Our staff are selected for their specialist skills and their ability to inspire and engage with a range of young people.

“We group our students according to several factors and each student will have their own goals and bespoke timetables.

“Our flexible but focused approach to teaching and learning helps our young people to engage, develop strategies and explore long-term goals.

“We focus on life skills and career pathways during Key Stage 4 and support the interests and goals of our young people. We are already seeing our young people flourish within their post-16 placements.”

PA23/01272/PREAPP: Pre-application advice has been sought for the construction of four detached dwelling houses along with an access road and parking on land west of Woodridge, Morwenstow, Bude. 

Mr Brian Redwood asked the authority for information on his application, to ascertain what it would take for permission to be granted, or in the event of there being issues, what can be done to overcome it. 

He told Cornwall Council about the land he proposed to redevelop, saying: “The site is a single field parcel of agricultural located in the centre of Woolley, Bude, Cornwall at OS Grid Reference: SS 255 166, it measures 0.2ha (2,320m2). 

“The site comprises cleared vegetation, since my ownership it has not been used for anything other than amenity space, it is bordered by hedges to the north, south and west, and by fencing to the east, it has an existing access in the northwest corner and planning approval for a new entrance on the North side. 

“Outline planning for four dwellings was approved in 2020 under planning ref PA20/06812.”

It appears that the previous planning permission, is set to expire imminently. 

The previous planning permission, for outline application for up to four new dwellings with all matters reserves except for access was given conditional approval previously, with the following conditions being stipulated. 

These were: “An application for approval of reserved matters must be made no later than the expiration of 3 years from the date of this decision and the development hereby approved shall commence no later than 2 years from the final approval of the reserved matters or, in the case of approval on different dates, the final approval of the last such matter to be approved. 

“Reason: In accordance with the requirements of Section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and in accordance with the requirements of Articles 1, 2 and 4 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

“The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the plans listed below under the heading “Plans Referred to in Consideration of this Application”. 

“Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning. 

 “No development shall take place until details of access construction, including width, gradient, surfacing and drainage details, designed in accordance with CC Highway Construction Details/Construction Specification, have been submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The access shall be constructed in accordance with the agreed details and retained as such thereafter. 

“Reason: To ensure adequate access off the adjoining highway in the interests of highway safety, in accordance with Policy 27 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010-2030 (Adopted 22nd November 2016). 

“The development shall be undertaken in accordance with the conclusions and recommendations reported in the ‘Ecological Impact Assessment’ dated July 2020 (prepared by J.L Ecology Ltd and received 12.08.20).

“Reason: To enable the local planning authority to retain control over development, in order to safeguard bats and birds as protected by law, and improve habitat in accordance with Policy 23 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010-2030 (Adopted 22nd November 2016) and in accordance with Paragraphs 174 and 175 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.”

The amended pre-application advice enquiry is awaiting the consideration of Cornwall Council’s planning department.

PA23/07573: Bodmin could be set for more houses in the St Lawrence’s area of the town after Wainhomes submitted a planning application to construct 58 residential dwellings. 

The developer, which had to recently close a road through its adjacent development on Greenvalley Road for a number of months to remedy construction issues on the road, has applied to build on land east of Pandarosa Farm, St Lawrence Road. 

The location of the development will see land opposite Bodmin Hospital between an already-built development by Coastline Housing and the Wainhomes development on Greenvalley Road mostly filled in by the new properties. 

The new development, if approved, is set to comprise of 10 two-bed dwellings, 20 three-bed dwellings and 28 four-bed dwellings. 

However, none of the properties would be set aside as ‘affordable’, with Wainhomes telling Cornwall Council it would not be viable to do so. In an accompanying planning statement, it states: “This application proposes to deliver 58 open market dwellings. 

“The submitted Financial Viability Assessment prepared by Vickery Holman, demonstrates that having given due regard to the revenues and costs associated with the proposed development, the development cannot provide any affordable housing.”

In its planning statement, Wainhomes argued: “The proposals will also provide the land required for the delivery, by the Council, of the new primary school envisaged within the allocation of the wider site and the Adopted St Lawrence Concept Masterplan. 

“The submitted viability assessment demonstrates that the provision of this land means that the delivery of affordable housing on the site is not viable and therefore justifies the proposals being solely for open market sale. 

“Therefore, the application is considered to be in accordance with the most current planning context for Cornwall. 

“Planning permission should be granted unless any significant adverse impacts can be demonstrated that would negate emerging policy and outweigh the benefits of development, when assessed against national and local policy.”

A previous proposal by Wainhomes on the same land for 90 dwellings was withdrawn in 2019. That development, which was met with local opposition, included affordable housing for rent and sale within its proposals. 

At the time, it said: “(Wainhomes will) provide 30% of all dwellings as affordable housing which will 27 dwellings of the 90-unit development. It will provide 19 homes to Affordable Housing for Affordable Rent, sell 8 affordable houses to local people as Intermediate Housing in line with the Council’s pricing strategy in force at the time any dwelling is offered for sale. It will be sold under Equity Percentage Arrangements discounted freehold or leasehold sales or shared ownership lease products tailored to best assist buyers to secure affordable mortgages.

“Staircasing will be encouraged to 100%. Wainhomes will recycle staircasing receipts into providing more affordable housing in Cornwall. 

“The mix of 1, 2, 3, and 4 bed Affordable Housing dwellings – across both tenures identified in clause 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 – will be developed through discussion with the relevant Housing Officer.”

Consultees, including Bodmin Town Council, are yet to comment on the latest proposals, however the town council opposed the previous development, stating: “Bodmin Town Council does not support this application and would request that it is at the very least considered by the Strategic Planning Sub-Committee.

Bodmin Town Council has a number of concerns referencing policies within both the Site Allocations DPD and the Cornwall Local Plan which this application does not appear adhere to.

The Site Allocations DPD Additional Policy Requirements point ‘j’ on p255 of the document states: “Planning permission for the development of only part of the site will not be granted, unless it is in accordance with a masterplan / concept plan for the entire site. This should be informed by a historic landscape assessment.”

“In addition Infrastructure; Education; Point 11.37 on p243 states “Bodmin’s primary schools currently have a combined capacity of just under 1500 places and by the end of the Plan period it is anticipated that the proposed growth will generate a need for a further 530 places. 

“This will be delivered through a small expansion of Berrycoombe School; together with a new two-form entry school located within the St Lawrence’s Urban Extension (see Policy Bd-H3).”

The Council added that it had concerns about transport on Boundary Road. 

The latest plans can be viewed on the Cornwall Council website under reference PA23/07573.

Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall said of the plans having no affordable housing provision: “In my time on the planning committee at Cornwall Council and North Cornwall before that, I didn’t support an application with less than 30% affordable housing.

“In fact on North Cornwall District Council we delivered 50% affordable housing on sites because of a motion I put down on there.

“It will be up to the council now to determine if this is appropriate. 

“We have worked with many housing providers in recent years to deliver much needed local homes in many towns and villages in North Cornwall.