The grammatically incoherent Eco-Bos is the prime example. This is a partnership of the Swiss-Egyptian developers of luxury tourist bolt-holes for the rich Orascom, the French minerals and quarry giant Imerys and the Eden Project tourist theme park.
Orascom’s chairman Samih Sawairis oozes self-righteousness on the Eco-Bos website.
Cornwall is a very special place – rich with cultural heritage and identity … Sustainability is at the heart of our proposals … it runs through all our plans, in both the preservation of natural and cultural environments, and also in the creation of low carbon communities.
Contrast this public face with their blunt response to the Council’s Core Strategy consultation. There they say that Eco-Bos
strongly opposes the low growth option … There is an urgent need to stimulate economic growth in Cornwall … Cornwall is likely to remain a popular destination for many people who want to relocate… the Core Strategy has to [create] the right conditions for sustained economic growth … [it must] encourage and secure the necessary private sector investment that will help to secure Cornwall’s future prosperity … [therefore Eco-Bos] strongly supports higher growth
Eco-Bos in effect welcome a growth rate that will increase Cornwall’s built-up area by around 12% a decade! This is an acceptable, indeed necessary, growth rate for them. To save ourselves, we must first destroy ourselves.
Reading Eco-Bos’s submission, hardly distinguishable from the rest of the developers, we can conclude that
- the most critical sustainability they’re interested in is sustainable growth (which involves high levels of in-migration)
- and the ‘eco-communities’ project engenders more in-migration
Orascom was welcomed effusively by Tory Alec Robertson and his Independent crony Graeme Hicks back in 2009 when it was handed the responsibility of delivering the ‘eco-town’ wheeze dreamed up by New Labour to give a green gloss to the ongoing anglicisation of Cornwall. Like the Lib Dems’ incompetent decision to award the waste PFI contrast to SITA and in the process dump an incinerator on the people of St Dennis, this is clearly proving to be nothing short of disastrous.
As Eco-Bos itself now admit the ‘eco-villages’ scheme generates extra in-migration and second home pressures. The Core Strategy Housing Issues paper states that the Council
will need to determine whether this (eco-towns) is the right approach for Cornwall.If it’s boosting in-migration and second home demand then what more evidence do they need that it’s plainly the wrong approach?
If Cornwall Council’s increasingly threadbare ‘Green Cornwall’ vision means anything, then it would end this arrangement immediately. Even if locked into the current eco-town scam, it should seek genuinely environmentally and socially responsible companies to deliver it and stop pouring public money into the bank balances of those whose ‘vision’ for ‘transforming’ Cornwall ultimately involves destroying it.