CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 540 homes on land in Bodmin has been reignited after the developers behind the proposal submitted amended proposals.

Wainhomes South West Limited, have submitted updated plans to Cornwall Council for the proposed estate near to Halgavor Moor Farm, a proposal vociferously opposed by locals in the town, who argue that it would destroy essential land.

The 25.5-hectare (63 acres) site lies to the south of Bodmin and is next to the Dragon Leisure Centre and Bodmin College.

Among the amended plans is a proposal to reduce the amount of affordable housing within the development from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

This would see a reduction in the number of affordable houses on the 540-house site, if approved, from 162 affordable dwellings to 135, a reduction of 27.

The proposals by the developers have been doggedly opposed by residents nearby, under the banner of the ‘Save Halgavor Moor’ campaign.

Of 164 comments received by Cornwall Council from members of the public in response to the proposals, 164 comprise of objections while only one is in support of the proposals.

Anger from locals stems around the potential loss of natural wetland and the impact that such a large development would have on local services.

Mrs Sandra Chivers said: “I strongly object to this proposal on the grounds of, firstly and foremostly, the great risk of flooding. This is marshland and a natural wetland for wildlife and no matter what steps are taken to overcome this, it will not bode well, especially with our changing climate.

“We are chasing our wildlife away from Bodmin at an alarming rate already with the large amount of residential building that has gone on over the last two years and the sheer size of this proposal will have a devastating effect on this.

“Another concern is volume of traffic on an already busy road. The increase of vehicles and therefore pollution will be huge and frankly unacceptable.”

Another objector, Mrs Laura Hudson added: “It is absurd that any further housing developments are being considered when there are no additional school spaces or doctors’ surgeries.

“Trying to justify it by saying it will provide homes for local people is nonsense. There are not enough jobs in Bodmin paying a salary which allow most working people to get a mortgage on one of these properties so they will be left for buy to let investors to buy and make money from.”

Because of the new submission being of a substantial enough difference to necessitate a new round of consultations with bodies such as education, town councils and other public bodies, it will once again go before Bodmin Town Council’s planning committee at a meeting to be confirmed.

However, in their last response, the town council, which was robustly opposed to the plans said: “Cornwall Council Planning Committee is advised that the strength of local feeling is such that a robust argument will be presented to the furthest possible powers to seek natural justice (procedural fairness) in having community voices heard regarding this planning application.

“The lack of a holistic master plan in Bodmin is having a serious impact on the effects of the local infrastructure when development happens, this application is no different in this respect, especially where schools, Doctors surgeries, road safety and other amenities are already deficient in meeting local needs because of additional pressures placed on them by continued mass development. Additionally, this only serves to undermine local policy by failing to promote healthy and safe communities and is relevant where sports facilities that provide social and recreational grounds disappear, relevant in this case.

“No consideration has been given to other more suitable sites where flooding is less of a risk to residents. Primarily, its damaging impact on the local community, visual impact on the local character of the location and to its ecological, physical surroundings.

“It was proposed to not support this application as below: Cornwall Council state in their submission to the Inspectorate when this development plan was put under examination that the delivery of the entire site Bd-UE2a/b will not be permitted until the new Carminow Road junction and route to Bd-UE2b site to Lostwithiel Road is in place.

“The NPPF section 158 has a specific section on flooding and it recommends that a sequential test is used to determine if a site is appropriate.

“The aim of the sequential test is to steer new development to areas with the lowest risk of flooding. Development should not be allocated or permitted if there are reasonably available sites appropriate for the proposed development in areas with a lower risk of flooding. The strategic flood risk assessment will provide the basis for applying this test. The sequential approach should be used in areas known to be at risk now or in the future from any form of flooding.

“We have Callywith urban extension which has not been started and St Lawrence urban extension which has not been exhausted, and both much more unlikely to flood than Halgavor Moor.

“The developers and Cornwall Council's responsibility to ensure an appropriate contaminated land Risk Assessment is completed prior to the commencement of any development. This Risk Assessment must comply with the requirements as set out in Cornwall Council " Land Affected by contamination, developers guide July 2017" and Part II A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2000 provide the legislative framework for the management of contaminated land.

“There is a specific responsibility to do test digs and come up with preventative measures to either remover the contamination or mitigate it, which can be evidenced to be used as any future planning approach.

“It was RESOLVED unanimously by the planning committee that Bodmin Town Council do not support this application PA20/10618

“It was RESOLVED to request the Town Clerk to request the application comes before the next available Strategic Planning Committee.”

Primary Care Cornwall and Isles of Scilly asked for more clarification, stating in their latest response: “On review, from the information available via the planning portal, it looks like this application remains at the same no. of dwellings, however the ICB's initial assessment was based on 30 per cent affordable housing as per the affordable housing response dated 19th January 2021, whereas latest revised Design and Access Statement dated December 2023 refers to 25 per cent affordable housing.

“Therefore, please could you clarify the latest position in terms of percentage for affordable housing to assure the ICB's impact assessment accurately reflects this proposal. To confirm, if the percentage of affordable housing has changed, the ICB will be required to re-assess on this basis.”