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Plans to build 99 new homes close to Cornish mine rejected

Plans to build 99 new homes close to Cornish mine rejected

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:53pm 24th September 2019.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy reporter

Proposals to build 99 new homes close to a mine which could be reopened have been refused planning permission.

An application had been made for outline planning permission to build the homes on land at South Crofty on Dudnance Lane in Pool.

But planning officers had recommended that the plans be refused as there were fears that if the mine does reopen noise from it could affect residents.

Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee met yesterday to discuss the application and voted 12 to one to refuse planning permission.

The committee heard that the plans would go against the council’s minerals safeguarding development plan as it had not been shown that South Crofty would be able to operate with the homes next to it – particularly in relation to noise limits.

Planning officers also told councillors that there had been no provision of affordable housing included in the plans or any contribution to education provision.

However the applicant, Alan Shoesmith, told the committee that he was willing to include affordable housing in the 99 homes and that details of this would be included in a reserved matters application if outline permission was granted.

The committee heard from a representative of Strongbow Mining which is behind plans to reopen South Crofty Mine.

He said: “The reopening of South Crofty Mine will provide a huge economy boost for the local area.”

Councillors heard that the homes could put the plans at risk and that Strongbow objected to the planning application.

They were told that the mine would already be subject to “strict operating conditions” and these could hinder the project further if homes were built so close to the mine site.

LDRS south crofty mine homes
Aerial view of the South Crofty Mine site in Pool - the site proposed for housing which was refused is to the north west of the mine site

 

Mr Shoesmith said that outline planning permission had already been granted to build 99 homes on land adjacent to the application site.

He said: “This application (with the other one) will bring about the regeneration of 12 acres of brownfield land and deliver 200 homes.”

He added: “It isn’t a choice between housing and the mine – we can have both. Our acoustic specialist says that it is perfectly possible to have both.”

Mr Shoesmith said there was “no genuine planning reason to refuse planning permission for this application”.

Philip Desmonde, Cornwall councillor for the area, said he supported the application.

He said the only issue was regarding potential noise from the mine and this had been addressed by a “highly credible analysis” provided by Mr Shoesmith.

Cllr Desmonde said he didn’t understand why development was still being allowed on other sites close to the mine if there was such an issue.

He also suggested that traffic from the road would cause just as much noise as the mining operations.

The Conservative councillor also highlighted that Cornwall Council had agreed to provide £1million of funding towards the South Crofty Mine project.

Planning committee member Mark Kaczmarek said the minerals safeguarding policy which had been adopted by the council was “very, very important”.

He said it was important that the committee considers the impact on potential residents and also highlighted that it was industrial land.

Cllr Kaczmarek proposed refusal saying that the committee could not be seen to be going against the council’s own policies.

He was supported by Graham Coad who added: “To have housing that close to a working open mine is madness.”

The committee voted 12 votes to one in favour of refusing planning permission with one abstention.

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