We oppose development on Cornish common

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We have objected to a proposed holiday-development on registered common land near Cardinham, about four miles north-east of Bodmin in Cornwall. The land is within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on Bodmin Moor. Other objectors are the Ramblers and Cornwall Council’s own Commons Registration Officer.

Dr and Mrs Smirthwaite of Moor Cottage, Cardinham, have applied to Cornwall Council for planning permission for a holiday-let development comprising five ‘deluxe moorland retreat units with associated development and landscaping’. The development site is registered common land where the public has the right to walk.

Open country at Cardinham (not the development site)© Copyright Gareth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The development will have an adverse effect on the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the nearby Area of Great Landscape Value and on registered common land and public access and enjoyment.

All of the development site is registered common land, an ancient and special land type which is an important part of Cornwall’s history and culture, and where the public has the right to walk. The applicants would need the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for deregistration and exchange of the common under section 16 of the Commons Act 2006, and we do not believe they can provide suitable replacement land for the common to be developed.

The public has the right to walk over the common, on which it is proposed to construct the development, and therefore people will suffer severely as a result of the loss of the common and access land. We are dismayed that the applicants appear not to recognise the significance of the common land and access land on which they propose to site his development.

There is a public bridleway running alongside the site, and the development will be visible to walkers and riders, whose enjoyment will be impaired.

It is evident from the ‘Landscape Character and Visual Impact Assessment’ that this development will be an eyesore in this wild landscape and is completely inappropriate in this location.

We have urged the council to reject this development which would have a highly-damaging impact on registered common land, public access and the amenity of this beautiful area.

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