In context, Brendan Fitzgerald speaking at Falmouth Town Council meeting, Monday 30th January 2017

“First and foremost I would like to bring your attention to the previously consented application of 2011. Following an earlier application that was turned down four years prior to this I liaised heavily with Graham Webb the planning officer at the time who in turn gave recommendations to the developers to come up with a design befitting that of a conservation area. The results can be viewed online and whilst not perfect it gave more than a nod to conservation. This was not objected to and dually passed.

During the pre application stage of this proposal I contacted Tim Marsh the current planning officer to liaise with the developers to produce a design that would be as good as if not better than the previous application from 2011. The results could not be further from the previous scheme, gross overdevelopment paying no attention to the fact that this site sits in conservation area 1, Falmouth’s oldest conservation area.

When I met with the architect one week before the application became live I was blatantly lied to about the scale of the development, this subsequently led to a meeting with the developers and, whilst an effort has been made by lowering one section of the building in the amended plans, at the other end it has been raised from four to five storeys resulting in an even bigger building accommodating even more numbers than before.

This is not taking into consideration the large townhouse the developers are putting in under a separate application drawing 0200b, obviously to make this one appear to be of a lesser mass which would house at least another ten students bringing the total to in excess of 130.

The previous design included nine 1 bedroom and 11 two bedroom apartments with 20 parking spaces. According to national statistics this would house 40 people, this application would accommodate over three times that amount of people.

Overdevelopment isn’t just about height, it’s about scale and massing. if you look at the plans for the previous application you will see a design with a variety of roof elevations designed to not impose on neighbouring properties and provided three landscaped areas covering 610sq m of grass and hedgerow. The current application has none, is of far greater mass and is designed by architects and developers with no knowledge or love of this historic town to cram as many occupants in as possible.

To summarise this application is gross overdevelopment, the design is not in keeping within Falmouth’s oldest conservation area, it is not in keeping with the forthcoming neighbourhood plan, will cause parking and access chaos, there will be a loss of public views from the top of Fish Strand Hill, it will have a detrimental effect on local residents with increased noise and light pollution and will create an imbalanced community.

Finally I have set up a residents association in direct opposition to these plans and already have over 30 members, there are 120 public objections online, not one in support.

We are all custodians of this special town, if these plans go ahead the building will outlive us all. I will rest easy in the knowledge I have done my bit to stop it, it will be shame on those that do not follow a similar path.”

West Briton article, 31/01/2017      Falmouth Packet article 01/02/2017

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