Page last updated at 20:19 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 21:19 UK

Cornwall council gains housing powers under government

The South West Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which controlled housing plans in the region has been scrapped under the new coalition government.

The organisation identified areas across the south west which could be developed or regenerated over the next 20 years.

SWRSS planned for 460,000 new homes to be built before 2026 in the region.

Decision-making powers on housing and planning will now return to Cornwall Council (CC).

Mark Kaczmarek, CC cabinet member for housing, said: "It's brilliant that it's gone, it was never welcomed.

"Even with 68,000 houses, 25% of that might be classed affordable, so three-quarters might have been built to satisfy the outside market."

'Housing need'

But Andy Moore, Chief Executive of Penwith Housing Association, believes RSS has been unfairly criticised.

He said: "Without some kind of public and planning intervention, we're not going to be able to meet the right kind of people in housing need.

"The framework which was provided by RSS, whilst looking at the numbers, looked at issues and the portions in developments which should be affordable.

"Local councils often need assistance with government guidelines in order to resist developers who don't wish to provide the numbers of affordable homes in developments."

RSS planned more than 11,000 homes in Camborne, Pool and Redruth, which the Trelawney Alliance (TA) protested against.

Chairman of TA, Jean Charman, said: "When a developer comes to build, he will only develop 25% affordable homes so you're going to build 10,000 houses in an area where you only need 2,000."

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