Sustainable growth at the heart of Cornwall housing conference

The question of how to promote growth across Cornwall which benefits residents and communities was the focus of a housing conference held in Newquay last week.

The Housing and Construction Conference: Growing Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for All was organised by Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), registered housing providers across Cornwall and the Private Developers Forum, and attracted delegates from across the UK.

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It provided the opportunity to highlight the strategic approach being adopted to growth across Cornwall, with sustainability at the heart of the plans for creating a local economy fit for the 21st Century.

The event, held at the Atlantic Hotel,  also provided an opportunity to market Cornwall as an investment opportunity for business from across the UK.

The day was chaired by Cornwall Council’s chief executive Kate Kennally, and delegates heard contributions from key speakers including council leader Adam Paynter, Ian Knight of Homes England and Miles Carden of Spaceport Cornwall.

Cornwall council leader Adam Paynter said:  "Last month the Office of National Statistics published projections that Cornwall’s population will grow by almost a fifth over the next 25 years, with the majority of that change in older households.

"So, we need to grow – to provide the homes that residents, present and future, need.

"We need new housing, of good quality across all tenures. Last year 3,400 homes were delivered in Cornwall, including over 900 affordable homes – one of the highest levels in the country. We also need to meet specific need through the provision of extra-care housing and wheelchair accessible homes.

"This housing growth must be matched by growth in the economy, in jobs and wages, in the physical infrastructure that serves and connects our communities and in the amenities and services that enrich them.  And we need to do this while safeguarding the unique attributes that we enjoy.

"If we resist growth, we will fail our communities, we will lose control and will see unplanned, disconnected and mediocre development.

"If instead we harness growth we can build our future with success."

LEP Board member Simon Caklais, who sits on the LEP’s Construction Strategy Steering Group and is Managing Director of Gilbert & Goode Construction in St Austell, said: “The conference was an important opportunity to look at how considered development can play a vital role in driving growth and prosperity.

“We also looked at what we need to do to ensure that the social, environmental and economic benefits of development are captured in our communities, and that we have the necessary skills and supply chain capacity to deliver our growth ambitions.”

Posted on 5 October 2018