The spectre of compulsory purchase hangs over a Treliever business after Cornwall Council announced plans to buy two nearby properties to expand the Penryn Campus.

Landowner John Tozer has been living with the possibility that his farm and equestrian centre could be taken over for a new 'creative village' attached to the universities, which could include grow on space for business start-ups, extra accommodation or teaching space.

The council has now begun looking at getting directly involved with the purchase and development of the site, and claims it is strategically important for the future of the county, but Mr Tozer has said its motives appear to be "ideological."

On Wednesday [8.11], at an appeal over a separate planning appeal, one of the council's principal planning officers, said the council was "putting much importance on this land, to such an extent that it's now... becoming directly involved with the acquisition and development."

He said this was due to the "high economic impact of FP-M3 [the name given to the site on current plans for land use] in terms of capturing and returning economic growth coming out of the campus."

The reason for including accommodation on the site would be to make it financially viable as Cornwall Council becomes involved in the lucrative local student letting market.

On the same day as the planning hearing the council released an agenda for its next cabinet meeting, including discussions on buying two

privately owned residential properties "as a part of a wider site assembly in the future" in order to prevent the land being ransomed to the council at a later date and undermining "the ability to maximise these economic opportunities."

But Mr Tozer has said he has "no intention of selling up," telling the Packet, "we intend to stay here," but adding that he is prepared for compulsory purchase and "we have been ready for that for about a year or so."

He said: "Our advisors are telling us if there are options elsewhere [for the creative village] that would provide the same facilities, they have much less chance of compulsory purchase. It's a bit of an ideological plan that the planners have got.

"They want to create this science park, this creative village here... but they could do it on the Penvose development, they could move onto brown field sites.

"I don't see that this development is going to happen overnight, the university has still got quite a lot of space on their own campus. There's enough accommodation in the pipeline if the college stick to their commitments... which is one of the conditions for the cap to be raised."

A report on Cornwall Council's prospective purchase of the two market properties at Treliever states that Cornish economy "continues to lag behind the rest of the UK, in part due to an historic over reliance on low value sectors," and the creative village will provide "a positive contribution to addressing these challenges."

The development keep graduate entrepreneurs and businesses in Cornwall, particularly the fields of creative and digital technology, but the costs would be "prohibitively expensive" if private sector-led while council part ownership would allow greater control over the quality and future investments and decisions to benefit Cornwall.

The purchase of the two properties at Treliever will be discussed at Cornwall Council's next cabinet meeting on Wednesday at 10am, which will be available to watch via the council's website.

Cornwall Council did not answer questions from the Packet over whether it planned to compulsorily purchase the land, why it favoured Treliever over other sites, and whether its plans for the village were affecting decisions on other student planning matters, citing commercial confidentiality.

It said in a statement: "This site has been specifically identified by the council for economic growth in light of the entrepreneurial growth in technology and innovation coming out of the new business growth and innovative research and development happening at and being generated by the two universities in Penryn."