We know there is a need for affordable housing in Mylor Parish, but the question is where should it be sited? Jonathan Griffin looks at the issues and options as we launch a new survey about potential development sites.
In response to our all-household survey in spring 2018 73% of respondents said they want housing that local people on lower salaries can afford to part-buy or rent. Our further survey of housing needs in summer 2018 showed that there are 50 people on the waiting list who have connections to the Parish.
So our research has shown that there is a clear need for more affordable housing. We must ensure that such housing is appropriate for local needs and make sure that developers do not build houses that will benefit them financially but leave the community still without the housing people require.
The question of where such housing might go is still contentious, however. That is why we are conducting an important short survey during May to ask for opinions on potential development sites. If you are one of those who signed up last year to receive such surveys it will have been emailed to you by now. If you have not yet seen it please check your junk folder. You can request further copies here.
The NDP team will be at the Mylor Fair on 11 May and the Flushing Craft and Produce Market on 25 May to take views in person too. The survey closes on 27 May.
To provide homes for another 50 families will inevitably mean that we have to give up some highly-valued Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) land. In our housing needs survey people said that new housing should be within walking distance of the centres of either Flushing or Mylor Bridge; some general suggestions were made as to possible locations, which you can read about here.
We now need to be more specific about locations but we also need to know where development should NOT go.
The NDP housing group has produced a ‘Landscape Character Assessment’ that splits our local landscape up into four main types:
- Steep-sided river valleys, both arable and pasture, and woodland. These are largely those areas close to the creeks and rivers which we must surely protect at all costs since they are unique
- Rounded plateaux, arable and pasture. These are the hilltops like those around Trefusis headland and Mylor clump. Building on the tops of hills is deeply frowned on in Cornwall for many obvious reasons: not least aesthetic, and the little matter of exposure to winter winds
- Wet woodland and pasture. No one would think of building in wet woodland and pasture, especially with sea levels likely to rise
- Undulating ridges and slopes. These are the areas which are largely devoted to farming and help make our landscape so attractive.
There are no easy choices. When we asked you to rank these in importance, you said all of them were ‘high value’.
Then there are the needs of wildlife. We need corridors so that wildlife can move about between the various pieces of undisturbed ground and we need to preserve areas of natural woodland.
Put together, this makes the choice of where to develop very complex but this is your chance to have your say.
Look out for the survey and let us know what you think. We will report back on the results in June.