The Land’s End? The Great Sale of Cornwall by Bernard Deacon


This book should be required reading for all those who reside in Cornwall whose lives WILL be affected by the policy makers, and how the cultural effect of those policies are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy the very aspects of Cornishness.

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“This book does three things. First, it outlines how Cornwall’s planners and local elites put the interests of future second home owners and in-migrants before those of current residents.  The economic failure of this policy is outlined and the environmental consequences of growth identified.  The book then moves on to discuss the cultural impact of policies that are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy aspects of Cornishness.

Ssh, don’t mention the Cornish: The cultural consequences of  endless growth

Second, it pursues the question of why a failed, unsustainable and damaging population-led policy is still being adopted.  It finds that some interests gain financially, others swallow a simple ideology of growth, while in addition central government and an over-reliance on tourism help lock us into a spiral of unsustainability.

Finally, it reveals the democratic deficit that exists in Cornwall, before exploring some potential strategies that could replace a developer-led agenda with democratically-led policies that put Cornwall and its people first.”

. . . policies that are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy aspects of Cornishness.

Back cover:

Cornwall is for sale. Its coastal communities are sold to second homeowners.  Its scenery is sold to tourists. Its fields are snapped up by developers hungry to profit form the demand to move to Cornwall that tourism fosters. Even its distinctive place names are swamped by the imposition of English names in the new developments.

We remain trapped in an insane spiral of housing and popuation growth that threatens the Cornishness of our land.

The built-up area of Cornwall has doubled since the 1960s. The population has risen by about two thirds. However, as the pressures on its environment, its culture, its communities, its wildlife and its infrastructure reach a tipping point, all that the policy-makers offer is more of the same.

This book spells out how we have not learnt the lessons of the past half century.  We remain trapped in an insane spiral of housing and popuation growth that threatens the Cornishness of our land.  It is a warning plea.  A warning that current policies must change before its too late. And a plea to people to help save our land. It is a book that not only policy-makers but all those who cherish the distinctivness of Cornwal should read and ponder on.

Bernard Deacon was Senior Lecturer in Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter and was one of the authors of Cornwall at the Crossroads, also published by the Cornish Social and Economic Research Group.

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