PLANS for 30 properties on land at Stratton could win the support of Cornwall Council’s planning officers.

Greenslade Taylor Hunt (GTH) have submitted a pre-application planning advice enquiry to Cornwall Council on behalf of the applicant Mr Mike Pearce to ascertain the authority’s view on a proposed development at the site, located on land north east of Parc Fer Close, Stratton, Bude.

The proposal would see the construction of 30 homes of a mixed tenure of both open market and there would also be provision for a public open space within the development.

However, Bude-Stratton Town Council (BSTC) sent in concerns about the pre-application proposal, saying that, in its view, the site was a rural exception site where it would like to see 100 per cent affordable housing of one and two beds as per local housing need. It added concerns about tree felling on the site amid a recent petition to save the trees.

In the pre-application enquiry to Cornwall Council, the applicants gave a description of their plans.

They said: “The proposal is put forward as a residential development for 30 dwellings comprising an appropriate mix of open market and affordable housing.

“This development would sit alongside the previously consented development directly to the north. The affordable housing would be provided at 30 per cent of the overall housing number. The split of tenure has not been determined at this early stage however it is considered that the development can deliver the requisite number of affordable homes at an appropriate tenure split.

“It is expected that each of the proposed dwellings will benefit with car parking spaces allocated at the commensurate rate and will feature high quality outdoor private amenity space.

NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board (ICB), said that due to nearby GP surgeries being oversubscribed, it would require a contribution from the developer towards healthcare provision in the area of approximately £20,160, dependent on the final plans.

In response, the planning officer from Cornwall Council warned the developer they might wish to engage with Bude-Stratton Town Council after the town council submitted ‘unsolicited’ comments about the enquiry.

They told the developer: “Whilst Bude-Stratton Town Council have submitted unsolicited comments towards this enquiry as follows.

“BSTC (Bude-Stratton Town Council) view this site as a rural exception site and would wish to see any future proposal being for 100 per cent affordable housing, with one or two bed homes, to serve the existing housing need in line with the recent CC housing needs survey. Strong concerns were raised re the impact of rain water runoff in to the river Strat/Neet given the historic flash flooding events in the area.

“Huge concerns were raised re the impact on the bio-diversity of the site. According to Cornwall Councils interactive mapping software, the site sits within an "area of great landscape value". BSTC believe that the land in question should be treated with the utmost environmental respect and protections.

“The hedgerow provides suitable habitat for dormice and their presence in the site area was confirmed during surveys undertaken in 2019. As such they are likely to be present within all hedgerows within this site.

“BSTC would wish to condition the retention of as many hedgerow /arboreal habitats as possible, in order to protect the likely presence of dormice and retain a key foraging habitat for bats.

“BSTC believe that the destruction of viable and thriving habitats, is completely unacceptable Within the Cornwall Local plan (p.60 Housing) it states that "the natural and historic environment is one of the areas greatest assets and this needs to be carefully managed in order to protect and enhance the tourism offer.

“BSTC wish to see the strongest possible protection for the trees/hedges. There has been strong public feeling to save these trees at this site recently (a petition of over 350 signatures). Not only is the felling of healthy trees and hedge removal ecocide but it will irrevocably alter the character of the ancient Holloway, into the historic town of Stratton.

“Please note these are not Cornwall Council comments and the advice contained within the remainder of this letter still stands. However, it appears any development of this site may not be looked at favourably by Bude-Stratton Town Council therefore it may be prudent for you to engage with them prior to any submission.”

The planning officer concluded: “Based on the information supplied I can advise that an application for the development of the land is likely to gain officer support. The number of dwellings I am able to support on the site will be subject to layout and ability to provide the necessary supporting infrastructure and amenity spaces.

“These views are officers own. Any advice given by council officers for pre-application enquiries does not indicate a formal decision by the council as local planning authority.”