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Student flats plan for Falmouth industrial estate
A developer's plan to house 200 students on a Falmouth industrial estate has not found favour with Cornwall Council officers.
Andrew Risely, of Penryn-based Sustainable Developments (SW) Limited, requested pre-application advice from Cornwall Council on his proposals to build student flats on land to the north of Tregoniggie Industrial Estate.
Office space and a coffee shop - part of a so-called "private Innovation Centre" - are also part of the scheme.
The site earmarked for development currently stands vacant but was given permission for 42 modern "live/work" apartments back in 2005, which could be used by artists, sculptors, photographers and other live-at-home workers.
Yet Mark Dawes, of CAD Architects Ltd, argues in his supporting statement for Mr Risely that "the development as designed will be disproportionately expensive to fund" as it was "conceived in a wholly different economic climate."
"With constant pressure on existing residential resources, Falmouth Town Council have been considering an Article 4 Direction to give control over the siting of student accommodation," Mr Dawes said.
"[New student flats] will help ease pressure on existing resources and diminish the need for an Article 4."
"The availability of accomodation to non-students is creating difficulty," he added.
Mark Ball, principal development officer for Cornwall Council, was not swayed by these arguments.
"The principal concern is whether this edge of town site is an appropriate location for student accommodation," he said.
"The development of student accomodation here cannot be supported because of the employment aspirations for the site and the remoteness of the site in terms of the lack of accessibility to essential services and facilities offered by the town centre."
A similar pre-application enquiry in August 2011 was also rejected by the council on the grounds that the site was not close enough to the two main university campuses and would take up land that could be used for "employment sites."
A full planning application has yet to be submitted.
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