Pickles rejects plans for St Austell urban extension

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has thrown out an application to build an urban extension of 1,300 homes on the edge of St Austell in Cornwall.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles
Communities secretary Eric Pickles

Pickles’ decision was in line with the recommendation of a planning inspector who held an inquiry into the proposals, by developer Wainhomes, in December last year.

Pickles ruled that the scheme would have met a probable shortfall in Cornwall Council’s five year housing supply, and would have provided employment land and improvements to infrastructure.

But the decision letter said: "Overall, he concludes that these and other benefits are not sufficient to outweigh the conflict with the development plan and the Government’s strong desire that decisions about the future strategy for an area should be taken by the local community through the LDF process."

He said that the loss of part of the countryside and of good quality agricultural land were key factors in his decision.

The developer had proposed 1,300 homes, around 9,000sq metres of industrial, office and distribution space, a 60-bed care home, strategic landscaping and a community transport hub.

The full decision letter can be read here.

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