Calstock urged to ‘use your vote’

By Sarah Pitt   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 20th January 2022 8:41 am
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PEOPLE in Calstock parish will go to the polls today to vote on whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the Calstock Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan.

If more than 50 per cent tick the ‘yes’ box on the ballot form, the plan will become an official planning document.

It will be used by Cornwall Council to decide planning applications across the parish up until 2030.

Both ‘vote yes’ and ‘vote no’ camps have been campaigning in recent weeks.

The plan’s starting point is there should be no new housing estates.

The Yes Campaign says that as 400 new homes have already been built over the past decade, largely along the A390 at St Ann’s Chapel, the parish has absorbed enough housing.

Alastair Tinto, chair of the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan Committee but speaking in his capacity as campaign coordinator of the Vote Yes campaign, said: ‘This is putting great strain on services. The surgery is under pressure. The sewage works can barely cope. There are parking problems throughout the parish and there is regular flooding from run off on the A390.’

However, the ‘no’ campaign believes the plan will prevent them building homes for their children. It would ban building on green spaces between the villages and hamlets of the parish although it does allow for affordable housing to be built on ‘exception sites’ within settlement boundaries.

This has prompted vociferous comment on social media, with calls for the plan to return to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, Calstock Parish Council remains neutral — but is urging people to vote. There are four polling stations open today between 7am and 10pm; Harrowbarrow Village Hall, Calstock Village Hall, Gunnislake Parish Hall and the Tamar Valley Centre at Albaston.

Deputy parish clerk Clare Bullimore said: ‘We would just like to encourage people to use their vote. After all the hard work that has been carried out by voluntary members of the community it would be nice is people made the effort to turn out for it.

‘I would like to acknowledge all the hard work that has gone into the plan. Work started on the neighbourhood plan in 2013 so it has been a long time. There are lots of policies, about the local landscape, economy, tourism, heritage and housing, renewable energy and flood management.

‘It is not all about housing, so take a look at the plan, look at all the policies and make your mind up.’

Leaflets about the plan have been posted through every letterbox in the parish and you can read the plan in full online at plan4calstock.co.uk and calstockparishcouncil.gov.uk

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