The Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in Falmouth is looking to expand and enhance its facilities, but exactly how has yet to be decided.

The internationally renowned club has outgrown its current facilities at Greenbank and is in desperate need for additional storage, pontoons, water access and more controversially, car parking.

Advice is currently being sought from Cornwall Council planning officers, the result of which will determine how the club moves forward with its plans.

Vice Commodore, Bob Collings, who is also a member of the club’s maintenance and development committee, said: “The committee was formed to look into what we could do and what, for the next ten years, we would like to do.

“We do not know where the money is coming from, but we have made a wish list which includes parking, storage and an extension to the dingy hard.

“We have put in an application to the planning officer to talk to him about what he feels we would be able to do and what we will not be able to do so we get some idea of where we can go. This is way before any plans have been drawn up.”

As well as the planning officer, the club will also be negotiating with the conservation officer and harbour |master over its plans.

These include extending the current dinghy hard towards the strip of beach it owns below Dunstanville Terrace, adding more pontoons and building an extension to the club house which would replace the wooden sheds which sit at the foot of the embankment.

The most controversial part of the club’s plans, which it does admit is a “low priority,” is a car park extension. Mr Collings said: “I know it is absolutely controversial, but we are lacking in car parking, we have only got roughly 20 spaces.

“Locally we have about 330 members and we want to increase that, but the one off-putting thing as far as members are concerned, is the car parking, or the lack of it, and we have to think about that.”

Mr Collings admits the club has thought about extending into the neighbouring gardens, but does not believe planning consent would be granted to convert it into additional parking.

The club hopes the community will support its plans to expand, and to encourage younger people to take up sailing, and will be consulting with them once definite plans have been drawn up.

Although, Roger Hollingsworth, the club’s Rear Commodore, Sailing, says the yacht club is a valuable asset to the town and is currently losing out on some major events because of its lack of facilities.

“I know from retailers (in town) that when we have major sailing events on here, they see a boost in their takings so we are helping the economy.

“The club is doing well and it is our success that is creating the need for more storage, more training facilities and more water access.”

Mr Collings added: “If we cannot progress, Falmouth will suffer. We are local and we are doing this for the |locality. We do not get any money whatsoever. We are doing it to enhance Falmouth, to bring more prosperity to Falmouth and to put Falmouth more on the map and bring more people down here. We have to improve the facilities, otherwise we are going to go backwards.”