A letter has been sent to the government urging it to review a decision to allow 70 trees to be felled in St Ives to make way for a new development.
St Ives MP Andrew George has written to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles to request reconsideration of the planning permission for Treloyhan Manor.
Campaigners have taken to the streets several times since Cornwall Council approved the destruction of part of Treloyhan’s woodland to make way for 16 dwellings in an application put forward by hotel owner the Christian Guild.
Following a public meeting last month, Mr George agreed the application raised “exceptional concerns” and called on the minister to take action, saying: “Every planning application is unique, but I write about one that raises exceptional concerns and which I believe my constituents are correct in suggesting should be subject to a further review.
“In my 17 years as an MP I have not previously raised concerns in this way. That reflects just how exceptional I [consider] this matter.”
Three local residents who have campaigned to save the woodland, Rachael Levine, David Todd and Mike Rowbotham, also sent Mr Pickles a letter and a supporting document outlining their concerns over the application.
They criticised the planning officer’s report and said the application contravened several planning policies, showing a “considerable lack of due dilligence on the part of the local authority”.
They said the plan represented no public gain but a “significant public loss” due to the impact to the historic site, and concluded that it “also runs counter to both the spirit and the letter of the government’s NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) in the emphasis it lays upon localism. There has been massive local opposition to the proposed development, with protests outside the hotel and with further protests planned. It should be recognised that at a local level, the community of St Ives does not support and actively objects to such use of green, open space for construction of dwellings and considers that such development is undermining the local distinctiveness of our area.”
The latest demonstration against the plans on Saturday coincided with a Methodist preachers’ meeting at Treloyhan Manor.
The Christian Guild argues that the development is essential to ensure the future viability of the hotel.