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Church backs down on new homes' plan

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

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PROPOSALS to build on a church-owned playing field in St Mellion have been abandoned following an initial consultation period with Cornwall Council.

The news has been greeted with delight by campaigners who have fought the plans since their inception.

David Watson, communications officer for the Diocese of Truro said: "A pre-planning application was submitted for two small residential developments on glebe land in St Mellion but, following the consultation process with the council, this is no longer being pursued."

Paul Teale, chairman of the St Mellion Tenants' and Residents' Association, said: "We are delighted that the church has seen sense and decided not to apply for planning permission.

"People in the village regard it as the only open ground space for family recreational purposes."

The Glebe field is a popular spot for families and hosts community events such as the Cherry Feast, which takes place in July.

Posting on Cornwall Council's online planning portal, Sue Taylor said: "I believe that if planning went ahead the community would fall apart. Families have used the glebe field for football, cricket and even sledging when it snows."

Several objections made by local residents related to the lack of infrastructure to cope with an increase in the number of vehicles travelling through the village.

"The village of St Mellion just can't cope with any more traffic," Mr Teale said.

Following the initial consultation, the church said it may consider using the land for alternative purposes.

Mr Watson added: "There is now an exploration – again through the pre-planning application process – about the possibility of building a new rectory on the existing parsonage land."

Mr Teale has made a request to St Mellion Parish Council to look at the possibility of the parish purchasing the land.

"We want to preserve it as an open space for the community," Mr Teale said.

Helen Dowall, the clerk of St Mellion village council, said: "The council is meeting next week and it will be discussed then."

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