A developer wanted to construct ten, half million pound open market homes on the site to subsidise 21 affordable homes. The Parish Council took Cornwall Council and the developers to a Judicial Review in the Bristol Civil court on 21st November and won their case.
The cost of the case was part funded by local donation and part by the Cornwall AONB. Although the community was divided about the benefits of affordable houses planned for the site against the loss to the spectacular scenery, the judge decided that in granting planning permission, Cornwall Council gave insufficient weight to the AONB.
The planning permission was therefore quashed however the developer is still seeking permission for a similar scheme in December. Meantime Mevagissey Parish Council has commenced building its second phase of affordable homes on Vicarage Hill, bringing the total to 25 over the past 2 years, which they believe will satisfy most of the identified priority local need.
The new development has been situated on a carefully selected site in cooperation with Cornwall Council’s planning officers and Ocean Housing. Although these homes will inevitably be more expensive than the ones that were proposed on School Hill, they will meet affordability criteria without despoiling the spectacular cliff top scenery of the AONB.
Chairman of Mevagissey Parish Council, Mike Roberts, told Roseland Online, “The judgement handed down in this case should stand as a landmark decision for all councils and communities who are battling to save some of our outstanding landscapes from being exploited by developers who are using affordable housing as a means of obtaining planning permission that would not normally be granted.”