The Roseland Neighbourhood Plan group have  taken the issue of a high amount of second home ownership and lack of affordable housing for local people head on in their Neighbourhood Plan and through a Trust is now leading to affordable new homes for local people on the ground.


The Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall has a population of 3,200 residents. Roseland is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has thousands of visitors each year.

People looking information boards at the Roseland consultation

Affordable housing was one of the key issues raised by residents in the formulation of the neighbourhood development plan.

Neighbourhood planning for affordable housing

The Roseland neighbourhood development plan passed referendum in 2015. Cornwall Council has since adopted the plan.

The need for affordable housing made up a key part of the Roseland Neighbourhood Plan.

Neighbourhood plan  consultations showed that a staggering 87% of respondents would support the building of affordable housing to meet the needs of local people.

With 40% of the dwellings showing ‘no fixed residents’ and the majority being used as holiday-lets and second homes, there is a distinct lack of affordable housing across the Roseland.

While the residents rely heavily on tourism, the key concern is that people who work and live in the Roseland are being priced out of the housing market. Many residents work in agriculture and rural activities, but are unable to live where they work due to lack of affordable dwellings.

Cornwall has one of the greatest disparities between wages and the cost of housing and there was a real commitment from the neighbourhood planning group to begin to tackle this.

However, the Roseland is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and this makes development difficult. It was key that viable land was found and that landowners would support the local need for more affordable dwellings. The Neighbourhood Plan developed policy for affordable housing. This involved supporting the use of holiday lets, conversion of hotels and guesthouses, the re-use of redundant buildings and the construction of new affordable housing for people with a local connection, all managed by the newly refocused St Just Community Land Trust.

The chair of the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group became the chair of the Roseland Community Land Trust, ensuring that at the heart of all development was the principle that affordable housing needed to work at a local level.

People digging and laying foundation at Roseland

The trust are hoping to build 12 to 14 properties for affordable rent on part scrubland and part agricultural land, with a mixture of dwellings to cater for single people and families. The land will be acquired from land owned by Cornwall Council, neglected brownfield sites and private landowners. There will be a development of derelict barns and former dwellings along with the addition of new buildings designed solely for affordable housing, ensuring they are in keeping with the surroundings.

Projects are underway, with a small development of dwellings being considered in St Mawes, and land currently being confirmed in Trewithan.

Public consultations have taken place and it is hoped that under the guidance of the Community Land Trust these developments will provide a solution to the lack of affordable housing on the Roseland.

Jon Smith, Former Chair of the Neighbourhood Planning Group and current Chair of the Community Land Trust says:

“It was positive because we delivered a plan.  Planning is always a contentious issue close to peoples hearts so the need to ensure residents understand what is happening is vital.”

“Community-led Housing is paving the way. Six self-builds are already completed and the community led housing group are now working on building fourteen affordable houses in St Mawes.”

“Building these houses shows we can do it ourselves. It shows self-reliance. It’s a truly great thing.”