Monday, 11 March 2013

Development and immigration in Threemilestone

Development and immigration in Threemilestone

11/03/2013 Adam Desmonde


Currently traffic around Threemilestone is already very busy.



The issues regarding the proposed developments in Threemilestone areimportant and I've spent some time considering them. As part of thisprocess I've;
  • Attended and reviewed County Council meetings on the subject,
  • Spoken to local estate agents,
  • Helped out at one of the information days which have been held around Threemilestone and Truro informing people of the details of the Neighbourhood plan,
  • Spoken with Parish Councillors on the matter.
Taking some of the key issues in turn;


Affordable housing

There is certainly a great need for affordable housing in Cornwall. Personally I had to work and save for years before I was able to purchase a home in Cornwall and whilst I was able to afford the deposit the mortgage and period of the borrowing is painful. This problem persists but I am not convinced that the developments in question are going to solve the issue by providing sufficient affordable homes. It is possible that a greater volume of properties in the area will help to lower the average cost of homes in our community however I personally find it unlikely that this will be to any effective level.


Environment

Cornwall's key industry is tourism and whilst I am committed to generating more High Tech jobs in the County (specifically within creative industries), tourism will always be one of our greatest sources of income. This industry is of course intrinsically linked to our environment. 

In addition as someone who has worked and lived in a number of cities I can say hand on heart that the green fields, forests and beaches which cover our county are incredibly precious and must be protected.

I am therefor always concerned when I see any large scale development plans (such as those around Threemilestone) which involve destroying those resources and will always look to brown field sites first and demand the strongest justification for green field development.


Demand/immigration

My opinion on immigration is that it is a good thing. Through immigration our Country is able to attract entrepreneurs and highly skilled individuals to either create business and jobs or fill needed roles within our society. However, unchecked immigration without limits or sufficient oversight, which simply sees people moving to our Country and County without meeting high standards is something I strongly disagree with.

I look at Countries like America and Australia who have many factors such as jobs, quality of life and even weather which make them highly attractive in terms of places to settle, as examples of effective systems. One cannot simply move to these places and must meet stringent and demanding criteria before being considered.

On the subject of demand, currently if you visit estate agents in Threemilestone and Truro there is no lack of houses for sale, indeed properties can take years to sell. My concern therefore with the volume of housing we are currently considering for Threemilestone is that it may be meeting demand from people outside of the County who will not be moving to our area to generate jobs or investment. 

Cornwall is one of the poorest areas of the United Kingdom and therefor if we are simply increasing the density of our population without creating new jobs we are going to create serious problems for our society.


Other issues

There are other issues to consider such as the impact of traffic on the existing roads around Threemilestone from the residential development and the commercial developments, the impact on local shops from the proposed new shopping centre. The impact on sewerage and drainage. The impact on local bus routes around Threemilestone which are currently reported to be very good.

All of these important subjects are currently being assessed.


Conclusion

I've covered a lot of ground above, but I think this is because it is a very important issue. We have to balance the needs of our community with the protection of our countryside and our society.

As someone who was one of the first students at Truro College I can remember when that whole area were woods and fields. They are now of course composed of estates, the new Richard Lander School site and the vast Truro College.

Time has shown that in general these developments and the impact on the area have been positive. What is vital with the current development proposals is that our Councillors listen to all sides of the case, get the best possible information and then take it to the people who asked them to represent them to ask for their opinion.

This must be carried out in an impartial way and with the benefit of experience in the subject.
As someone who has been involved in property development (I currently have no interests in Threemilestone although I have worked with Richard Lander School on the development of a resource centre for disabled children) I would use the skills I have in regards to business, construction, project management, local knowledge and communication to ensure that we reach the most democratic and sensible decision for Threemilestone.





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