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Business centre and homes for the elderly plan for abandoned Helston site
10:52am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
Agreements are in place that could see the abandoned Helston Business Park turned into a business centre and affordable homes for older people.
The 15-acre site has been on the market since July and this week the Homes and Communities Agency, which took control in 2011, confirmed that there was “firm interest.”
A private sector developer is said to be keen to develop the site for business use, while housing association Coastline has also confirmed to the Packet that it is exploring the option of setting up an “older persons’ affordable housing scheme” on a small part of the site, to meet local needs.
Although a spokesman said he was unable to comment further at this time, the Packet understands the number of homes could be less than 20.
The latest update has been revealed in a letter to Helston Town Council from HCA executive director for the south and south west, Colin Molton.
He wrote: “The HCA has now approved an arrangement which would allow for both of these interests to be accommodated. Legal contracts are at an advance staged.”
Mr Molton added that this was a “substantial development site” for the area that would “inevitably take several years to develop out.”
Speaking to the Packet this week a Homes and Communities Agency spokesman said: “We want to see Helston Business Park brought into use in a way that will benefit the area and the local economy.
“Following our marketing of the site in the summer we have selected a private sector partner and are in discussions with them over taking responsibility of the site. We expect to reach an agreement early next year.
“Once this agreement is concluded more details about what is proposed will be developed and shared with local people as part of a planning application, which will be needed for the site.
“Stakeholders will be kept informed on progress as part of this important work.” The spokesman added that potentially this could be “really positive for the area,” with the site lying empty for many years.
Twelve years ago the business park – thought to have cost £2.7 million to create – was hailed as the saviour of Helston’s economy.
At the time it was claimed the park would support hundreds of jobs, but to date not a single business has moved onto the site, leading to it being dubbed the town’s “most expensive dog walking area.”
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