Plans for a development which will combine a housing complex for the elderly with a new community centre have been revealed for an underused and unkempt area of land at Bosvale in Falmouth.
Falmouth Rotary Club has teamed up with the Abbeyfield Society and together they have come up with the scheme which would see the existing Bosvale Community Centre replaced and housed within an “extra care” facility for the elderly.
The plans, which are in their very early stages, show 75, one and two bedroomed apartments – some of which will be offered for sale while the rest will be for rent and filled with the help of Cornwall Council.
The Rotary Club bought the three acres of land in the mid 1970s and has refused to give into pressure to sell it for commercial development. It has donated the land to Abbeyfield, who will fund the £11million development.
(BELOW) A map showing the rough location of the proposed new development in Bosvale, Falmouth
Falmouth Rotary president, Peter J Griffiths said: “After long, hard deliberation, looking at all the options, we decided the very best use of this prime building land would be not to sell it to commercial developers, but to donate it to a trusted charity.
“There will be no commercial people making a profit, no shareholders taking a profit. I think it’s the way people would prefer us to deal with this land. It’s land that has been totally underused and been left to get overgrown.”
As well as incorporating the new community centre and 75 flats, the development will also boast a restaurant, shop and other communal areas which will be open to the public and will be set in landscaped gardens.
Rotarian Nigel Druce said: “Although Abbeyfield is a charity concerned with older people’s needs and meeting them, this is not just a scheme for older people. Right from the very start this was a scheme available for the whole community. We are trying not to create something where older people live in isolation, but something people feel they can enter and take part in.”
Abbeyfield’s director of development, Ian Thomas added: “We see this as the first stage of Abbeyfield’s investment in the county. If we can establish a thriving, viable large extra care facility it gives us a stepping stone to perhaps move on and deliver services elsewhere in the community.
“We have had informal meetings with various stakeholders and partners and so far I have been delighted with everyone’s response to it.”
The scheme has the support of the Bosvale Community Association who will gain a new community centre. Councillor Steve Eva, who is on its committee, said: “The building that we have at the moment is not fit for purpose and the truth is that if this new building wasn’t on the horizon we would probably be gone within two years.
“We have no disabled access, no disabled toilets and the kitchen is not practical. It has always been a dream of mine and the committee to have a new building.”
A pre-application consultation will be lodged with Cornwall Council by the end of the month and a formal application will then follow. If given approval, the development will take about 18 months to build and will provide 30 jobs.