A new doctors’ surgery, primary school and bypass road are being offered by developers as part of a proposed housing development on the outskirts of Helston – but only one is likely to become a reality.
More than 170 people visited two drop-in sessions at the Guildhall last Friday and Saturday, to see early plans for a development in the Trenethick/Gwealdues area of the town.
It is one of three sites identified in the draft Helston Town Framework plan by Cornwall Council, which also highlighted the need for 900 homes to be built in the next 20 years – only half of which could be built in existing developed areas.
Developer Mark Rowe’s land near to the former Gwealdues Hotel, also known as HX1, is the first to be consulted on, with the Helston North East Partnership group leading the project claiming that it could cater for all 450 of the remaining homes needed.
If this happened, the developers have suggested that a doctors’ surgery or primary school could be built to cater for the increase in population, or alternatively a road could be built to bypass Trewennack. It is a scheme suggested before by Cornwall Council but never seen fruition.
These were ideas that came out of initial workshops held last month.
Members of the public were asked to choose which would be the most important to them, as it is unlikely to be possible to have all three.
Early indications are that a doctors’ surgery could be the most favoured, although results from the event are still being collated.
The fear of flooding was one of the most commented on concerns, with one person writing: “I am not an architect but surely all this tarmacing of land has a large bearing on the flooding that is happening far more frequently?”
Some questioned the need for the development at all – with one asking: “Are all the existing buildings in Helston area fully occupied?” – while many people preferred the HX2 site in the framework plan, next to Helston Business Park.
Terry Channon, from Millennium Way, said: “We’re so much against it, especially coming up to where we live. It’s just mind-boggling the fact they think we need that much housing.”
Visitors to the drop-in sessions were also asked more specific questions about design and layout. The majority of people were against “live-work” units being part of the development, or there being any employment space.
Project director Michael Griffin said: “In the obvious places we expected people to object we got objections. However, even those in principal against it were still making some helpful, positive contributions to what they thought would make a good development.”
More workshops will be held now, including some of the residents that attended the drop-in, to create a draft plan incorporating the thoughts from the sessions and addressing issues raised.
Another public session will then take place on this, which is expected to be just after Easter.