Initial plans for around 150 student beds on the site of Falmouth Coachworks in Penwerris Lane have won conditional support from a Cornwall Council planning officer.

Konrad Aspinall approached the council for pre-application advice on proposals for three blocks of student accommodation on the 0.21 hectare site and has now received a response from senior development officer, Chantal McLennan.

The initial scheme put forward at this stage includes the demolition of the existing buildings on the site and the creation of three individual blocks of accommodation arranged around an amenity courtyard.

One four storey block would front Penwerris Lane, another would be built adjacent to the site's southern boundary and a five storey block would sit to the rear of the former quarry. There is no parking proposed, only three drop-off spaces and an area of bike storage.

In her response, Ms McLennan says: "The site is previously developed land within the urban area of Falmouth and is within acceptable walking distance of a number of essential facilities and services. The site is therefore considered to be a sustainable location where the principle of residential accommodation would be supported.

"The proposal must not result in an incongruous development that causes material harm to the character and appearance of the area or have wider landscape impacts. Any development must ensure that neighbouring gardens and windows are neither overlooked nor overshadowed and that overbearing and loss of outlook is avoided. Careful consideration will need to be given to the impacts of noise disturbance upon the neighbours."

With regards to the lack of parking, Ms McLennan adds: "One of the key issues associated with a large number of units of student accommodation is that of parking and the impacts upon the local

roads caused by students parking their cars. How this issue would be managed needs to be carefully considered and a management plan needs to be put in place and secured as part of any permission in order to manage this appropriately. A planning application would need to provide full details of how this issue would be managed on an ongoing basis."

While Ms McLennan has indicated that the site is considered "acceptable" for student accommodation, this does not mean any future planning application will automatically be approved. It will have to go through the usual consultation process which will include the application going before Falmouth Town Council's planning committee.