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Cornish MP suggests Princess Anne tells Prince Charles how to develop better

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: February 23, 2014

By Jeff Reines

three heads

Princess Anne is urged by Andrew George, MP, to give Prince Charles planning advice

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A Cornish MP has urged Princess Anne to "explain" her views on planning to her brother - the Duke of Cornwall.

Liberal Democrat Andrew George spoke out after the Princess Royal challenged builders' and councils' preference for the development of large-scale new towns and highlighted the benefits of limited expansion of rural villages, making use of facilities such as pubs and community centres.

Princess Anne was reported to have told the Rural Housing National Conference: "Is it really necessary to only think in terms of large-scale developments where you might add 10 or 15 thousand in a block where you require infrastructure to be installed? I’m not sure it is."

"You will need a new school, you will need new shops, you will need to create a community centre, but for many of the small-scale developments you already have those.

"They may be underused, and they may be your church hall, but with a degree of investment could provide a centre for so many other activities."

The Duchy of Cornwall, belonging to her brother, Prince Charles, owns huge swathes of the county, some of which is already planned to be developed with housing.

And Mr George, the St Ives MP whose constituency includes Penzance, Helston and the Lizard, agreed with Charles' sister, saying: "The Princess Royal is right. I used to do this kind of work before I was elected. Small developments of 5 to 15 - genuinely - affordable homes to meet demonstrable local need in perpetuity on the edges of local villages and small towns."

"Do you think Princess Anne will explain this [her views] to Prince Charles? He has a lot of land which could be used in this way."

He added: "The 'garden city' approach may work in other parts of the country. But the large scale swamping approach has failed in places like Cornwall. Turning Cornwall into a developers' paradise is part of the problem not the solution to meeting our desperate local housing need. Cornwall is one of the fastest growing places in the UK - more than doubled its housing stock in the last 40 years - yet the housing problems of locals have got significantly worse.

"The planning system is fuelled by greed rather than by need.

"The best way to meet local housing need is, first, to stop development, and to only allow developments on the edges of our smaller towns and villages which meet local need, and in perpetuity."

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2 comments

  • break  |  February 23 2014, 4:35PM

    I'd ask her to have a nag at him too,no harm in trying.Charles will just do as he seems fit anyway,we have no say in the matter,although we live here.I can't see how Charles can build places like that,he has a duty to leave some land to future Dukes.And if the was the queen just building willy-nilly in Britain,I'm sure people would have something to say.

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  • Jonny2010  |  February 23 2014, 4:05PM

    The Royals will continue to do as they please until the public in this country finally take charge and replace them. :)

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