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Council 'needs to start building homes soon'

The Council's Senior Manager for Planning has said the Authority "absolutely needs to start building homes as quickly as possible".

Demolition of the Secondary School - by SCY TV

Craig Dryden made the comment in response to a question about use of the former Secondary School site at last week's public meeting on St Mary's.

The Carn Thomas site is one of several areas allocated for potential affordable housing in the draft Local Plan.

Craig said: "We are working on a housing delivery plan. In conjunction with some of the allocations in the Local Plan, we’re looking at how best to develop sites, whether individually or in tandem with some of our other greenfield sites. We want to make sure we get the right balance of and the right types of affordable homes, not just at Carn Thomas but on some of our greenfield sites.

"As you’ll know through the Local Plan, we can’t just build affordable homes in isolation. We need funding mechanisms as well so there will be a mix of open market homes, but obviously we’ll be doing everything we possibly can to get as much other funding as well. That ultimately is the biggest problem, how we finance the building of these homes."

When asked if any second homes will be allowed, he said: "As you’ll also know from the Local Plan, if we allow open market homes our preference will be to make sure they are to be used as permanent residences so they can’t be used as second homes or holiday homes. That in itself will make them more affordable to the community as well. That’s an approach that other national parks have taken and also you'll have seen it in St Ives. So they won’t be truly open market, there’ll be a sort of soft condition to make sure they’re only used as a permanent residence."

On the subject of a possible timeframe for new homes, he said: "It’ll take as long as it takes but obviously we’re keen to build more homes. One of the issues I have with the Local Plan is it covers the period from 2015 to 2030. We’re already into 2018 and we haven’t built very much since 2015 so what we’re doing is building up more and more pressure. We absolutely need to start building homes as quickly as possible. We can’t necessarily do that in isolation. It's a bit easier with Carn Thomas as it's in our gift but we want to work in close partnership with the Duchy as they are key to some of those other sites."


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