A "post-Coytal" Thought

Posted by Mark on 19th Jan 2014

Last Thursday was a massive day for St Austell, Cornwall and a key day for how the NPPF is interpreted by councils up and down the country, as highlighted in Graham Shones’s recent blog:


Amongst nerve shredding scenes for all there, the controversial Coyte Farm shopping park proposals, were refused on the casting vote of the chair of the Cornwall Councils planning committee, following a deadlock of members who had voted 10:10. 

Local opinion is clearly split on the issue with councillors unable to agree on a majority view.  However, rightly, the councillors who rejected the application put aside political issues or influence and focused on planning policy as it was debated in the chamber. 

So where do we stand now? 

In the worst of all worlds, no further forward.  

The developer may appeal or may just resubmit their application and try to influence decision makers with further PR and spin.  

The later course would be a regretful, an insult to the established planning process and just further lead to antagonism that has to be avoided. 

Given the size of this scheme it should have been reviewed within the context of the emerging local plan and perhaps should be scrutinised by a planning inspector, should the developer feel aggrieved and wish to appeal.

However there is an alternative. 

together-St Austell (www.togetherstaustell.co.uk) has shown that there is an inclusive, sustainable strategy for St Austell’s growth that will build on, rather than compete with, what is already there. We are proud to be a part of this; it is an open initiative that is lead by local businesses that anyone can chose to join. 

I hope people disappointed with the decision will engage and help shape their town and would encourage the Coyte Farm developers to get involved.  We have never been against appropriate out of town development and as discussed in the chamber, there are a number of sequentially preferable sights that they could invest in.

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