Opponents to plans to build 40 homes on the last ‘green buffer’ between Falmouth and Budock say they are ‘hugely disappointed’ after an inspector allowed an appeal by the developer.

The decision comes four months after an appeal by Persimmon Homes against Cornwall Council’s decision to refuse the application for land that borders the new Eve Parc development off Bickland Hill was heard.

Persimmon had applied to build 40 homes, including 14 affordable, on the site but it was originally refused permission by Cornwall Council, supported by Budock Parish Council, on the grounds that it breached the local Neighbourhood Development Plan, despite support from the planning officer.

Allowing the appeal, planning inspector J Ayres said as far as she was concerned the proposal would comply with the local plan, directing housing towards sustainable locations.

She also dismissed concerns that building on the site would mean the loss of good agricultural lands as had been claimed.

“The proposal would not be harmful to the character of the area, and whilst it would result in the loss of agricultural land I consider the harm associated to be very modest. The scheme would sensibly extend and round off the Eve Parc,” she said.

However the Cornwall councillor for Budock, David Saunby said he was hugely disappointed by the decision. He said the Government Inspector has ignored the Budock Neighbourhood Plan.

“We have to question whether or not this result will put all neighbourhood plans in jeopardy, and not worth the paper they are written on, if they are to be overruled by a government inspector from Bristol,” he said.

“Myself and fellow councillors thought we had done enough at the public two day appeal hearing just over four months ago at Tremough Campus in convincing the inspector to dismiss the appeal, but with Persimmon bringing out all their big guns including a barrister we knew that we were going to be up against it, but still felt it was an appeal we could win, but sadly the inspector thought otherwise.”

He said residents in Budock he had spoken were “devastated” that the green buffer zone will now be filled with housing.

John Bastin, elected member for Constantine, Mabe and Mawnan and a member of Budock Parish Council said he found the decision “incomprehensible”.

He also raised concerns that a four month delay in making the decision allowed the inspector to include material from a new National Planning document released in December 2023. “I find this an incomprehensible decision that has indeed left me with many unanswered questions,” he said.

“Why when the hearing took place in September and we were promised a decision in October did it take until February to release a decision? I have never known an appeal decision to take this long.

“At the close of hearing the inspector made it very clear that she could no longer accept further evidence or information. Why then did she include material from a new National Planning document released in December 2023 to help support her final decision?

He said he thought they should strongly consider challenging the outcome that paid “little attention to the values and wishes of local people”.

A Persimmon Homes Cornwall & West Devon spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have secured approval for 40 new quality homes in Budock.

“As part of the scheme at Bickland Hill, 14 much-needed properties will be transferred to a local housing association provider to help tackle Cornwall’s chronic housing waiting list.


This is when work is due to start to convert the Falmouth M&S into luxury flats

“We will also make a number of significant financial contributions in the community, including over £100,000 towards school places or school facilities within the local area.

“Further funding will also be made available for primary healthcare facilities, local sports areas including the potential improvement of outdoor sports at Trescobeas playing field, the cycleway works on Bickland Water Road, and the Fal and Helford SAC Strategic Mitigation Plan.

“The approval of this development will boost the local economy, support jobs, improve amenities, and is ultimately great news for local people who are seeking the dream of home ownership.”