A proposed development of 35 houses opposite a primary school would have a significant impact on village safety, councillors and opponents argued at a meeting this week.

Cornwall Council’s central sub-area planning committee was considering a two-year-old application by A and J Warne on Monday for outline permission with all matters reserved for the properties with a minimum of 50 per cent affordable homes on land opposite Grampound Road School on South Street in the village.

The meeting heard from Grampound Road resident James Catherall . He said: “The site is flagged as vulnerable to groundwater flooding and significant issues with drainage including a high water table and a lack of infrastructure for excess water. It’s a heavily used road with excessive speeds and more traffic through our small village meant we finally got a chicane which is incredibly close to the entrance of the potential new building site. Personally, from living in the village, I can see this only creating more issues with people not being able to slow down or driving too fast through the village.”

Liz Barker, parish councillor, agreed: “Ladock Parish Council unanimously objected to this planning application two years ago and the list of reasons given is still valid. These include serious drainage and sewage issues due to high ground water levels, an increase of traffic on an already extremely busy road adjacent to a school, a major gas main and real concerns over the present surface water drainage for the existing nearby properties which crosses this site and could be easily compromised.

“There has been a significant number of housing developments in Grampound Road in recent years, with the Windmill Hill development nearing completion, consisting of 36 dwellings, 18 of them being affordable homes. We are therefore concerned that any further development will put a significant strain on the infrastructure of the village.”

Rob Gould, agent for the applicants, said that consultation with the parish council during covid were broadly of a positive nature, acknowledging the future need for additional housing. He said any further concerns re: traffic and drainage would be discussed and designed after permission was granted, but they would include extending a 30mph zone and enhancing the traffic calming measures.

Mr Gould added there are currently 94 households seeking homes within the parish. 

Karen Glasson, Cornwall councillor for the area, shared the concerns of the parish council and local residents. She said vehicles would leave the site onto a road with limited visibility and speeds higher than they should be. 

The committee was told that the many reasons it eventually suggested for refusal, including the highways concerns and loss of agricultural land, wouldn’t stand up at appeal. The committee adjourned for 10 minutes so officers could discuss the issue. As the meeting reconvened, councillors were warned by officers of the high risk of costs on appeal. The committee agreed unanimously to refuse on the grounds the loss of top-quality agricultural land outweighed the benefits of the scheme.