Frequently Asked Questions – archived
These FAQs were put together and updated regularly to answer questions about the Mylor Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) and related matters, between autumn 2017 and winter 2021.
AHWP = Affordable Housing Working Party (a Mylor Parish Council working party)
CC = Cornwall Council
MPC = Mylor Parish Council
NDP = Neighbourhood Development Plan
SG = Steering Group (for the NDP)
What is a Neighbourhood Development Plan?
NDPs give communities power to create a plan that will shape the future of their local area up to 2030. An NDP includes: the public’s preferences for the building of new homes, including affordable homes and where they are sited; provision of shops, schools, and workplaces; protection for the environment, and what else the community will need such as roads, parking, and facilities, when new housing developments.
The process of creating an NDP gives local people a say in the types of development that will take place, and provides a guide for planning authorities and other relevant bodies on what the community sees as priorities. Read more about neighbourhood plans here
What area does Mylor’s NDP cover?
The NDP has been commissioned by Mylor Parish Council, with a Steering Group to manage the process of compiling it. It covers the whole Parish of Mylor: the main two villages of Mylor Bridge and Flushing, also Mylor Churchtown, Little Falmouth, Tregew, Trelew, Restronguet Weir, Restronguet Passage, Perran Foundry, Carclew, Angarrick and Trevissome, and all the surrounding areas within the Parish (see map). See more on the area covered here, on Cornwall Council’s website.
Why is it important for Mylor to have an NDP?
It will be the first level of planning law, giving the planning authorities valuable information, based on evidence, of what the community needs and wants now and in the future, up to 2030.
When did the Parish Council decide to make an NDP for Mylor?
In 2015 there was Parish-wide survey to inform a Parish Plan. Parish Plans came before NDPs and had no ‘teeth, when it came to planning. The Parish Plan did give useful information about parishioners’ needs and wishes for the future, but it was purely aspirational. When the Parish Council voted to commission the NDP, in July 2017, the Parish Plan was a useful base on which to build.
What’s the process to make the NDP?
It takes several years to make an NDP. It is a formal process and has to go through a series of stages. Mylor’s NDP was authorised back in 2017 by the Parish Council and then sanctioned by Cornwall Council. Community consultation began in autumn 2017 and continued with a survey of all households in the Parish in spring 2018. A survey of housing needs was carried out on the Parish’s behalf by Cornwall Council in summer 2018, and a further survey of parishioners’ preferences for housing development sites in summer 2019. At the same time, the Steering Group carried out research into the needs and opinions of local people on specific topics: community facilities including schools; traffic, parking and transport; business; the environment and historic built environment, and of course housing. Affordable housing for local people is at the heart of the Plan. Once the research was completed and all the surveys analysed, members of the Steering Group drafted the Plan. The Parish Council reviewed it in early 2020 and approved it for public consultation over the late summer of 2020. This is known at the Regulation 14 consultation. Comments from the public are now being reviewed by the Parish Council, aided by a consultant and the Steering Group, and adjustments will made to the Plan where necessary, supported by evidence. It will then go to an independent examiner before being put back to the community by Cornwall Council for a final six week consultation, known as Regulation 15. Finally, the community will vote in a referendum. If approved, the Mylor NDP will be ‘made’, which means it becomes the first level of planning law.
What is the role of the Steering Group?
The Steering Group was delegated to do the work on the Parish Council’s behalf. A Chair, Administrator and Treasurer were voted for at a Parish Council meeting in July 2017, and a call was put out in September 2017 for volunteers throughout the Parish to help with the work. The Steering Group has carried out the surveys, engaged with the community at events, meetings and exhibitions, and has drafted the Plan based on the evidence of what the community and related research has said is important to the future of the Parish. The Steering Group does not make decisions but provides advice and evidence to help inform the Parish Council’s decisions about the Plan.
Are Mylor Bridge residents trying to stop affordable housing being built?
No, but they should have a say over which site should be developed in Mylor Bridge, and what type of affordable housing, just as residents of Flushing are having their say.
Will new affordable homes in Flushing be delayed?
They should go ahead as quickly as possible. The NDP surveys carried out since 2017 have provided evidence that the site at Tregew Meadow is acceptable to the majority of people in Flushing who have commented. This has helped speed the process.
I have been told that unless houses are all built at the same time, Flushing residents will lose out to people from Mylor Bridge
The affordable houses that are being built are based on the needs of the whole Parish of Mylor. This is a much larger area than just Mylor Bridge and Flushing. The decision to base the houses near the two main population centres was because that is where facilities such as schools and shops are placed. People living in other parts of the Parish are just as entitled to housing as those living on one of the main villages. The NDP covers the whole Parish of Mylor.
The recently proposed Saltbox site is closer to the village centre in Mylor Bridge than Robert Rundle Way 2, so it’s the best choice, isn’t it?
Robert Rundle Way (RR2) is closer to the school and village centre and is better protected visually from viewpoints around the village.
Why the delay in deciding on a development site in Mylor Bridge?
There is no actual delay. The site put forward by the Parish Council’s Affordable Homes Working Party is not supported by evidence of community preferences. Research carried out for the NDP showed other sites to be higher priority for the community, and these will be considered once the NDP is completed.
Surely building all the sites at once is better because all the villagers who need affordable homes will get them at the same time.
That is not true. Only eligible names on the housing register will get them, after which the choice goes to nearby parishes. The NDP does not determine who will get affordable homes, nor will it determine how many, or where they are built. These will be decided by Cornwall Council and the Parish Council has a say. The NDP provides a guide to what the Parish wants and needs.
Is it true that the Steering Group members are self-selected and unaccountable?
No. The original Chair, Administrator and Treasurer of the Steering Group were formerly appointed by MPC with a vote in September 2017. A call then went out to the community for volunteers to help with research for the NDP. The Steering Group was formed from volunteers who stepped forward to help from all parts of the Parish. They have carried out research and have run community events, surveys, meetings and exhibitions. Most of the people who helped from the start are still involved. The SG reports to MPC and its terms of reference are on the NDP website.
I’ve heard that the SG have written the Plan to suit what they want.
That is incorrect. The Plan is based on three years of community consultation, through surveys posted to all households in the Parish, focus groups, discussions at public meetings, and events and exhibitions that have involved local people in discussions about the future of their communities. That has all been complemented by specialist research, for example into ways to protect and enhance the environment around any new developments. The Steering Group has pulled it together into a set of policies, based on evidence from local people’s views and wishes, and expert advice.
Why does the Steering Group want to delay affordable housing?
It does not. The NDP Steering Group supports affordable housing because that is what the community has said it wants and needs.
Who stands to gain if the NDP is delayed?
It is hard to see who might gain apart from, conceivably, developers or landowners. What we can say with certainty is that without an NDP, planning authorities including MPC’s planning committee have no guidance from the Parish as to what is required, or desired in the Parish. The major reason for wanting the NDP finished is to have the village boundaries tightly drawn to protect the AONB. Without that, our AONB is vulnerable to inappropriate development.
I’ve heard that the SG wants to finish the plan as quickly as possible. Why the rush?
SG has worked on it since 2017 and it is nearly finished. There is no reason for further delay. The NDP, when passed into law, will draw the boundaries tightly around the villages so that any housing projects in the AONB have to be led by affordable housing. This will result in a much higher percentage of truly affordable homes, something the community needs.
MPC say that SG released a confidential letter to the public. Is that true?
No, it is not true. The SG was not responsible for the letter in question being made public, and it was not marked confidential. The letter was obtained by a member of the public from Cornwall Council and placed in the window of the Post Office in Mylor Bridge in October 2020. The same parishioner wrote to MPC on 19 October 2020 and Cornwall Council on 23 October 2020 taking responsibility.
The letter was made public on 14 October, one month after it was received by the Parish Council. SG’s view is that the letter should have been shared with SG as it was relevant to the Plan and to earlier requests for information about the activities of MPC’s AHWP.
What are the Steering Group doing now? Have they stopped work?
SG has resumed work, having been told by MPC to stop back in September 2020. They have reviewed the 150 comments that were made by the public during the Reg 14 consultation in summer 2020 and are now working on the legal documents that have to be submitted with the final Plan.
I’ve heard that the NDP won’t be finished for another year. Is that true?
No one can say for certain but we hope it won’t take that long. The final Plan is going through a process to complete it for examination by the end of March. Once submitted, it will be examined and checked again for legal compliance. Cornwall Council will hold a final six-week consultation, known as ‘Regulation 15’, during which the public can give views. Once that is complete the Plan will be put to a community referendum.
Why isn’t there anyone from Flushing on the Steering Group?
There isn’t at the moment, but Flushing residents have been members of the Steering Group in the past, as well as members who live in Mylor Bridge and other parts of the Parish. For various reasons they have stood down, for example because of a conflict of interest. A Flushing resident has recently offered to help with some of the current work, which is much appreciated. Parishioners have had their say throughout the process since 2017, in surveys, meetings and events, and the NDP represents the views of the whole Parish. At this stage, as we get close to finishing the Plan, the remaining work is quite technical and dry. Anyone who wants to make comments is welcome to ask at any time, and to attend our meetings (on Zoom at the moment). There will be a further public consultation on the Plan run by Cornwall Council before it is put to the community at referendum.
How can I stay informed and give my views?
You can keep an eye on this website, our Facebook page, and regular updates in The Magazine on the Parish Council news page. At this stage the major work of research and consultation with the community is complete, and the Parish Council is reviewing the comments that were made by the community on the full draft Plan. Adjustments will be made as necessary, so the finalised Plan fully reflects the community’s views. Parishioners will have a further opportunity to give views during the Regulation 15 consultation, to be run by Cornwall Council.
Have only adults contributed?
Our mass survey in spring 2018 was completed by residents over the age of 16. We have spoken to people of all ages since autumn 2017 and we have heard from young adults and families, especially those in need of affordable housing in the Parish. Many have fed into the research.
What were the results of the main survey?
The results of the mass survey held in spring 2018 are here. 817 people responded to the survey, giving us a high return of around 42%-45%. Cornwall Council then ran a further survey on local housing needs, which showed that 73% of respondents think there should be more affordable housing for local people.
In May 2019 we held a short survey to find out what people think about potential sites for affordable housing, and which sites they would prefer to preserve because of factors such as scenery and wildlife. Our blog gives insight into the results.
How do I know the Plan is based on what the community wants?
The Plan is entirely based on consultation with the community and supporting research. It is not the work or opinions of a few people, members of the Steering Group or the Parish Council. Everything in it is informed by the community’s wishes. Every household in the Parish was invited to take part in the mass survey, the survey of housing need and the Regulation 14 consultation. Other surveys and meetings were held, including in focus groups, and opportunities to take part and ‘have your say’ were publicised in The Magazine, on posters, social media and this website.
What difference will the NDP make to people who live and work in Mylor Parish?
Once it is made into law, the Plan gives planners and developers a clear message about what the community wants and what it does not want. For example, it is clear from the research and surveys that the Parish does not need more new open-market houses. What it does need is affordable homes for local young and growing families. On this and other aspects of life such as amenities the local economy, traffic and parking, and the environment, the Plan provides the Parish Council with a Plan to implement so that people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy our beautiful area as a place to live and work.
Who can I contact if I want more information?