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Scandal of the Cornish homes for Londoners

By West Briton  |  Posted: June 13, 2013

By Craig Blackburn

Bungalow

Scandal of the Cornish homes for Londoners

Comments (17)

LONDONERS are being rehoused in bungalows in Cornwall that locals are barred from occupying in a scheme branded a "scandal".

Critics said the restrictions should not exist at a time when there are so many people in need of social housing in Cornwall.

The properties in Illogan, mostly semi-detached bungalows, were originally built by the former Greater London Council in the Sixties.

They were transferred to housing association DCH – formerly Devon and Cornwall Housing – in the Eighties under the Seaside & Country Homes scheme to provide elderly Londoners with retirement homes in Cornwall by releasing family-sized properties for affordable rent.

The leasing conditions mean only London residents are allowed to live in them.

Stephen Richardson, an Illogan Parish Council member and spokesman for Mebyon Kernow, said: "It is a scandal, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.

"The real issue is that successive Westminster governments, aided and abetted by local governments, have encouraged this sort of thing to go on.

"It is time that this sort of scheme was reviewed and local people were allowed access to social housing in the place they call home."

The issue emerged after two of the 40 properties on Penwartha Road were mistakenly advertised on Cornwall Council's social housing register.

Local resident Kevin Adams, 64, was "absolutely devastated" after he was led to believe he had been offered a bungalow, only to be told it could only be leased to a Londoner.

Mr Adams, who has lived in his 89-year-old mother's front room since last September, told the West Briton: "We were dancing for joy when we heard we had been nominated for a bungalow. How my hopes were dashed when I heard that there had been a mistake.

"I was absolutely devastated, as was my mother."

Councillor Mark Kaczmarek, former housing and planning Cabinet member for Cornwall Council, said: "It does hit a raw nerve.

"It hit a raw nerve 40 years ago but now, when there are so many people on the housing register in need, it is just not right that these houses are being advertised for London people only.

"It is sad that these conditions can't be changed."

DCH apologised for the error, saying it withdrew the properties "as soon as it realised" and before they had been formally offered.

It said it built more than 100 affordable homes in Cornwall last year, with plans for up to 1,500 over the next five years.

The Illogan bungalows are currently advertised alongside two-bedroom flats in Perranporth on the Housing Moves website, which promotes the Seaside & Country Homes scheme properties to London council and housing association tenants aged over 60.

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17 comments

  • PaddyTrembath  |  June 15 2013, 10:58AM

    Big_Ger Wrote:- "Well Paddy it may just be that you spend more time amongst the complainers, and look for negative things." Actually, I send my time amongst ordinary people, with ordinary problems and concerns. I do not "look for negative things", but when I notice a negative, I do not ignore it. How else are things supposed to improve if no-one complains about the "bad" stuff? I know for a fact that back in the seventies the local, to me, conservative association debated this very issue and came out against such developments. Although their reasons for this would probably be different to mine, it still goes to show that people have been talking about this issue for a very long time. Big_Ger Wrote:- "I have never seen an article in this paper about these homes, which were built by a London council for people from London, being complained about." I have been talking about the whole issue of this type of development, and housing usage, as I thought your OP was. If you wish to confine the discussion to those individual addresses in Iloggan, then I have to be honest, I do not know of any specific articles about them, but I am sure that if you were to speak to a local Iloggan resident, who has lived there for any length of time, they will, most assuredly, be able to educate you in the truth of the matter. Big_Ger Wrote:- "Still the fact is that they were built with money allocated to a certain group, Cornwall council must have approved that regulation, and when the exchange of ownership happened, that condition musty have been restated." And your point is............ A wrong doesn't become a right with the passage of time. Big_Ger Wrote:- "Fifty plus years on is an odd time to be complaining about it." As I have already shown, people have been complaining about this. When should people stop complaining about a wrong? Should they stop after 30 years? 20 years? 10 years? Or should they only stop complaining when the wrong has been righted? Which raises the question, "How do you stop the wrong re-occurring?" Big_Ger Wrote:- "@ "Errol_Flynn", no one is being discriminated against." Debatable, it all depends on your definition of "discriminated".

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  • Lafrowda  |  June 15 2013, 10:33AM

    In Devon there is housing that is for sale but confined to those who have a period of local residency.

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  • Big_Ger  |  June 15 2013, 8:37AM

    Well Paddy it may just be that you spend more time amongst the complainers, and look for negative things. I have never seen an article in this paper about these homes, which were built by a London council for people from London, being complained about. Still the fact is that they were built with money allocated to a certain group, Cornwall council must have approved that regulation, and when the exchange of ownership happened, that condition musty have been restated. Fifty plus years on is an odd time to be complaining about it. @ "Errol_Flynn", no one is being discriminated against.

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  June 14 2013, 6:52PM

    Big_Ger, in the past I have read letters complaining about this very issue in both the Cornishman and the West Briton. I have heard people discussing this issue in many different places, from pubs to schools, to just walking down the street. I even remember watching a piece on the TV about this, some time back in the seventies, although I can't remember which channel it was on now. It may well be the first time you have noticed it being raised, but.......... Things don't only become real when the media decide to express an interest in them.

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  • Errol_Flynn  |  June 14 2013, 3:12PM

    Isn't it against the law to discriminate against someone on the basis of where they are from? This should be challenged in the courts.

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  • Big_Ger  |  June 14 2013, 10:16AM

    Maybe this is why there aren't any affordable homes? http://tinyurl.com/n2qaevm

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  • Big_Ger  |  June 14 2013, 10:11AM

    I've been here in Cornwall for that time Paddy. Seeing as this is the first time the issue has been raised in this paper, whoever you claim has been complaining, they haven't done much good have they?

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  June 14 2013, 9:29AM

    Big_Ger wrote:- "A London council, built homes for Londoners, here in the sixties, and NOW people are complaining? Dear God!" Actually, people HAVE been complaining since the sixties. Where have you been for the last 50 odd years?

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  • break  |  June 13 2013, 8:51PM

    I'm not sure if something like this already exists,but why can't we have home's built just for us Cornish?Or would that be labeled as discrimination?

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  • Doitdreckley  |  June 13 2013, 7:17PM

    DCH as far ass I can see have not denied that there are homes specifically for Londoners, they have only aplogised for offering the house when the person concerned was supposedly not eligible.

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