A group looking at where homes should be built in Helston in the future has identified its preferred site – and it’s not the one currently being consulted on.

The Helston Town Framework Steering Group met to consider the three sites proposed in a plan from Cornwall Council.

The draft Helston Town Framework plan highlights the need for 900 homes to be built in the next 20 years – only half of which could be built in existing developed areas.

For the remaining 450 three potential areas for development were indicated – Trenethick (near to the former Gwealdues Hotel), Clodgey Lane and Nansloe. One, two or all three of the sites could in theory be developed.

This week the steering group announced its preference would be the Clodgey Lane site, which sits near to the yet-to-be-developed Helston Business Park.

Referred to as HX2 on the plan, this is also the site that a number of people said they would prefer when attending a public drop-in session about the Trenethick site, HX1.

This site, owned by developer Mark Rowe, was the first to be consulted on by the Helston North East Partnership group leading the project, which claimed it could cater for all 450 of the remaining homes needed.

However, Judith Haycock, Cornwall Councillor for Helston South division who sits on the Helston steering group, said this week: “After a great deal of careful consideration and analysis by both officers and members, it was decided that the Clodgey Lane site represented the most sustainable location for future growth, due to its proximity to existing services and facilities, such as the town centre; existing and proposed employment opportunities and primary schools; plus it is felt that the site gives an opportunity to provide much needed affordable housing for local residents.

“It was clear from the public consultation in 2013 that Clodgey Lane represented the community’s preferred site of the three, with various concerns from the public in relation to the other options.”

More work is being carried out in the coming months to finalise the Town Framework, which will also set out plans for future employment sites, as well as improved infrastructure.

There will be an opportunity to comment on the proposed housing site, as well as the wider strategy for the town, when the proposals are consulted on by Cornwall Council in autumn this year.

Responding to the steering group’s preferred site, Michael Griffin, project director for the Helston North East Partnership promoting the Trenethick site in the north east of the town, said: “Although the Town Framework is suggesting that HX2 is their ‘preferred’ option, this does not rule out the possibility of development of the HX1 site. Helston Town Council unanimously supported the HX1 site when they discussed the Town Framework in December of last year. We also don’t yet know whether the number of new homes planned for Helston on urban extension sites will increase further as Cornwall Council’s Local Plan progresses.

“For these reasons we propose to continue with community consultation to help us develop a masterplan for the HX1 site that can form the basis for the new housing development as and when that is required.”