An application to build 340 homes in the north of Helston could be submitted as early as the end of this summer.

The latest proposals for land near Gwealdues, owned by Mark Rowe and referred to as the HX1 site, were on show to the public last Wednesday.

It is the second time that the Helston North East Partnership group has met with the public to get their opinions on the number and style of houses in the proposed development.

Since the last drop-in session, back in March, the amount of proposed homes has dropped from 450 to 340, although the plan to make 40 per cent of them affordable remains the same.

Although there were still some residents opposing the plans in principle, there was a “positive contribution of ideas” according to the group carrying out the consultation.

Charles St George, group board director of PPS Group, said they had listened to the public comments and one of the key changes was over access.

This would be off the A394, Falmouth Road, with the existing Rowes Lane closed to vehicular traffic and a new road put in adjacent.

Not only would this provide access to all the development link roads but could potentially be the start of the long-debated Trewennack bypass, although this would be a project Cornwall Council would have to take up and fund.

There would be no entry through Pen An Drea, as first thought, due to concerns from residents that their road would become a rat run.

Between the existing houses and the new development it is proposed to run a strip of parkland, with “dry ponds” that would fill up in heavy rain, to alleviate concerns over flooding.

This was not enough for some visitors to the exhibition, however, with one writing: “I still feel there is a flood risk. Why build on prime agricultural land when there is a shortage already?”

Another wrote: “Will the runoff from hard surfaces, roofs etc be returned to the sewers, and where will the sewers run?”

At the last consultation session visitors were given three options of benefits that could arise from the development – the bypass, a primary school or a health centre.

Last week it was revealed that the health centre was the option being carried forward in plans and a GP practice had already expressed interest.

A separate building is planned for next door, to provide office space.

There was some support for the surgery on feedback forms left by visitors last week, with one writing: “Helston desperately needs better medical facilities so I am in favour of a new, larger medical centre being built.”

If successful the development is likely to be built in two phases – the first 180 homes in phase one, followed by the remaining 160 plots.

The project team plans to submit an outline planning application for the whole site to Cornwall Council later this summer, together with a report on the consultation process.

If this is approved a second application, with reserved matters and showing detailed designs, will be submitted. The earliest work could begin on site is mid 2015.

The site in question is a piece of agricultural land owned by farmer and developer Mark Rowe, through his company Jackamax, and one of three highlighted in Cornwall Council’s draft Helston Town Framework as potentially suitable sites to develop.

The framework 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.

Members of the Helston Town Framework have looked at all three possible sites and have chosen HX2, near to Helston Business Park, as their preferred option. The third site is land near Nansloe.

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