• July 3, 2015



Cornwall faces a nightmare which is not of its own making – and it has to be stopped before it’s too late. The crux of this problem was encapsulated by a short speech by outgoing Cornwall Council CEO Andrew Kerr in a Council webcast on June 1st 2015, which shocked all who heard it. This is what he said, verbatim:

“We live in a developer-led world. We’re dependent upon developers coming in and saying they’re going to build houses wherever they’ve bought land, or wherever they’ve contributed to land. That doesn’t mean all developers are bad people. That doesn’t mean that all developments are wrong, but what it does mean is that we are not in control of our own development.”

If this is the case, if developers can do whatever they like, then what is the point of having a planning authority at all? This can never be acceptable. Developers, their aims, desires and profits, are not part of the democratic process, and cannot be allowed to make the rules, or dictate policy. Cornwall – the poorest place in the whole of northern Europe – cannot be permitted to simply provide a moneypit for them, and the voice of her people WILL be heard.

We already know that a whole list of large external developers and estate agents co-wrote the Cornwall Local Plan (Housing Requirement), with Cornwall Council’s blessing, and it has to be stopped. That part of the Local Plan is unacceptable. It should be withdrawn with immediate effect, and re-written right here in Cornwall, with no external interference, by people who know all the facts of local need, and with full regard for the inclusion of the Cornish people in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, which the Council and its corporate colleagues have thus far utterly, shamefully, and unlawfully ignored.

If this Council purports to represent its electorate, then it must be seen to do so, and start right now. Not tomorrow, next week, next month or next year – NOW! It must grow a solid backbone, and resist these unelected corporate demands with every ounce of its being. After all, that is what it’s there for! If that puts the Council at serious loggerheads with central government and the corporations, then so be it. It will take that amount of confrontation to solve this grave problem and eradicate it for good and all. Throughout history, the Cornish had a reputation for stubborn fortitude. It was only that which ensured our continued existence and survival, so let’s see it in full voice once again because we need it now like never before!

Individuals, groups and organisations including representatives of the Kernow Branch Celtic League, have come together and formed the Cornwall Alliance to take up the cudgels on Cornwall ‘s behalf. It needs to call an urgent meeting with senior councillors and officers, and with Cornwall MPs present, to thrash this out. It will take an all-encompassing movement like the Alliance to force the Council into seeing sense, and – just for once – serving its electorate, even if that makes matters very uncomfortable and confrontational for them at high-level – but it HAS to be done.

There is only one chance at this because, once Cornwall is ruined, it is ruined forever, while the money that is made vanishes eastward of the Tamar, never to be seen again on its western side, leaving irreparable devastation in its wake. Make no mistake, Cornwall has NEVER, in all the millenia of its history, faced a threat as serious as the one it faces now. The Councillors and Officers who claim to represent Cornish residents need to have it hammered home to them that, if they do not change tack, show real courage and leadership for the good of Cornwall , and not for the good of developers, then history will revile them for all time. They will become pariahs, their names a hissing in the street, their reputations – like the Duchy itself – ruined forever.

(Report for Celtic News by Craig Weatherhill, Kernow Branch)

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League was established in 1961 and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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