Mixed reaction to Helston development plan
4:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A mixed reaction has greeted an exhibition in Helston that looks at the future of the town.
The Helston Town Framework considers everything from housing to education and healthcare.
It suggests that an extra 900 homes - 40 per cent of which should be affordable - will need to be built in the town over the next 20 years.
It was believed around half of these could be built around the existing “urban area.”
For the rest, three sites are being considered for development: the Bulwark area, Bosnoweth near the link road and the Trenethick area to the north east of the town.
These are the areas that a steering group felt would be best suited to development and where the most benefits would lie.
As yet no land has yet been identified in any of these areas and landowners will be approached depending on the feedback given during this ongoing public consultation.
There were concerns from some people over potential flooding issues at the Trenethick site, which runs alongside a river, with many people favouring the Bosnoweth site as it was adjacent to the already existing Helston Business Park.
It is hoped an extra 650 jobs will be created, partly through development of this site.
Anne Cantillon and Sally Major live in Manor Close and their homes border the proposed Trenethick site.
Anne felt if this piece of land was developed it would be “encroaching” on a previously untouched area and said: “What next if they build that one - is the next field going as well?”
Sally said she was a little concerned about the value of her house being reduced, as currently it had an advantage to some others on the estate because it looked out over fields.
“We had searches when we bought our property,” she added.
Scott Hesketh, who is an architect in the town, felt the Helston Trenethick site would be “a bit too remote”, but supported both the Bosnoweth and Bulwark areas for development - although he felt the latter might be controversial.
He was also glad to see the green space between Helston and Lowertown preserved.
With this potential increase in population, it was also considered whether schools and doctors' surgeries could cope with the influx.
The document believes that an extra 120 primary school places will be needed and there was “very limited capacity” within the existing schools to cater for that.
Expanding St Michael's Primary School and Nansloe Academy was the “preferred option.”
An estimated 200 extra secondary school places would be needed and while Helston Community College could currently accommodate another 120 or so pupils, “some expansion would still be necessary in the longer term.”
It was believed one extra GP “might be required” and work was underway to see if the town's two existing health surgeries had the physical capacity to provide the extra services or if another surgery was needed.
Dental services were also being looked at.
In terms of energy supply, it was felt an addition electrical substation would be needed, but the growth would have minimal impact on water and gas supply.