Penvose Student Village Update:
Falmouth was well represented at Thursdays Strategic Planning Committee Briefing on Penvose.
In addition to myself three of our four County Councillors, Mathew McCarthy, Dave Saunby and Alan Jewell attended. Presentations were made by the Council Planning Officers, The University and CAD Architects. Questions were asked after each presentation. At the end of the Briefing the University and CAD left and a discussion with further questions to the Council Officers took place. Since the meeting on the 21st of Dec CAD had to a large extent addressed the issues raised regarding Highways/Pedestrian access and the use of agricultural land. They also confirmed that they were committed to a weekly rental of £100 per week and to whatever mix of Student year groups was required by the Council.
These positive points were however tempered by a lack of support from the University, and by new issues being raised by the Council Officers, who were reluctant to accept the proposed fast track timescale as being deliverable, and that the weekly rental could be guaranteed. They were also concerned that this development was not part of the DPD and could undermine the viability of other PBSA schemes already approved or in the pipeline. The meeting was closed after just over three hours with the next step being to reconsider the application at the 15th Feb Strategic Planning Committee meeting.
Those who have emailed Councillors expressing their support for the Penvose site will be pleased to hear that the large number received had been noted. It was also obvious through the questions being asked that the emails had been influential.
Since the meeting I have had conversations with various people including Rob Nolan who chaired the meeting, and have been able to advise CAD on which issues are likely to be important in swaying councillors to vote in support of the application.
All we can do now is maintain pressure on the Committee members by emailing them if you haven’t already done so and by turning up on the 15th Feb at County Hall to show support.
Student Accommodation, What Next?
The recent upheld planning appeals for Purpose Built Student Accommodation in Falmouth have been extremely disappointing to say the least. There is however a light on the horizon or should I say Sunrise over Treluswell.
The proposed Penvose Student Village for 2000 students dodged the Planning Officers recommended refusal at the Cornwall Council Strategic Planning Committee on the 21st of Dec. All members of the committee expressed their support in principle for the proposal, but were keen for more detail. They decided to defer a decision until their next meeting on the 15th of Feb so that the proposal can be reviewed in consultation with all interested parties including Falmouth and Penryn Councils. This consultation would be aimed at solving issues such as access and applying restrictions on student year groups to be accommodated.
By far the most significant element of the proposal is the target weekly rental for each student of £100. This is 25% less than the current average weekly rent for existing purpose built accommodation. This makes it by far the best credible alternative for students currently renting HMO’s which have an average rental of £90 pw . It has real potential to draw students out of Falmouth and Penryn in significant numbers. More importantly it has the potential to make the recently successful appeal sites become unviable for their developers who may have to consider the alternative of building flats and houses for local people. It would also buy us more time for the Cornwall and Neighbourhood Plans to be fully adopted, and discourage further unwanted attention from speculative developers.
Penvose Village is the best solution to our student accommodation problems and has no need for the compulsory purchase of any land.
We still have an appeal hearing for the Falmouth Coachworks Site on the 25th of Jan and should not give up on it. The Coachworks was always going to be the most defendable site and I would urge people to attend the hearing and show their support. The more people who attend the more weight to our arguments.
John Spargo (Vice Chair Falmouth Town Council Planning Committee)
Most members of the Smithick Ward will have heard the very sad news that Candy died earlier this week whilst away on Council business. She will be a massive loss to Falmouth and Cornwall. Her contribution as a campaigner for both during her years as MP and Councillor has been enormous, more than any other politician in that time.
There is a book of condolence in the reception of the new council offices on the moor for all those who wish to sign.
In the meantime anyone who was dealing with Candy on any urgent issues is welcome to contact me and I will try to help them.
In my role as councillor and deputy chair of Planning for FTC along with Candy as Ward member for Smithwick we have been fighting against various applications for Student accommodation. Four of these have now escalated into public inquiries, I shall be speaking against the proposed development of land at Fish Strand hill at the Public Inquiry which will be held at Falmouth Rugby Club on Tues 21st Nov starting at 10am.
There are also hearings relating to; Ocean Bowl 10am wed 8th Nov at the Rugby Club, Rosslyn Hotel thurs 23rd Nov and Falmouth Coachworks thurs 14th Dec. Please attend these and help protect our town. Just being there will send a big message to the Inspector.
Smithwick Ward Councillor and Vice Chair of Planning
Report to Smithick Residents Association from Candy Atherton, Labour Councillor for Falmouth Smithick 07/07/2017:
I am really pleased that we now have an active residents association and I look forward to working with everyone.
I am pleased to report that the planning application for the land behind St George’s Arcade has now been refused by Cornwall Council after I pointed out inaccuracies in the report. It has been removed from the agenda for the Central Planning Committee and we will now have to wait and see if there is an appeal. I will be attending Central Planning in St Austell on Monday 10th where other HMO properties are up for decision.
Since the last meeting of the Association I have spoken with Simon Penna, Head of Environmental Team at Falmouth Town Council, and he is now in touch with Sarah Jones to arrange training and equipment loan to help in clean ups around the ward.
Kimberley Park stage. Many of you will have seen that we have been using a temporary stage in the park for the Parklive events for the last few years. Hopefully this will be the last time as Falmouth Town Council have agreed to a request from me that we proceed with building a permanent stage this year. The design is modern and takes into account the possibilities of vandalism. I am really pleased this is happening.
Also the judges from Britain in Bloom visited the park this week and came back smiling about how wonderful the parks and gardens in Falmouth are. Falmouth is in the final of the Champion of Champions category – heady stuff!
Fingers crossed for the results later this year.