Falmouth University have backed plans to develop a new multi-purpose student accommodation building in Kernick Industrial Estate, Penryn.

Developers Studytel claim the project will generate £750 million over the next 50 years, as well as providing accommodation for 522 students and 147 new jobs in the area.

The plans have the full support of the university, and Falmouth University COO Peter Cox said: “This project not only offers high-quality student residences on a site directly adjacent to the Penryn Campus, but provides much needed employment space on Kernick Industrial Estate. It also takes in to account the wider economic needs of Cornwall.”

The proposed accommodation block will be the first phase in a comprehensive plan by the university to provide adequate housing for students after the cap on student numbers was lifted to 7,500, a move which faced significant criticism from the public.

A representative for the university claimed that this new development would move students out of the town centre and therefore free up accommodation for locals.

However, activists such as Save Kernick Industrial Estate believe that the university’s plans to build in the area are a threat to local businesses.

When asked about the new plans, Dan Edwards, the man behind Save Kernick Industrial Estate, said: "This ridiculous notion of people living in harmony alongside B2 industrial is fantasy. Would you be happy living in a flat next to shot blasters or welders and fabricators?"

He went on to say: "The university and associated developers are being driven by pure greed buying cheap industrial with absolutely no consideration for the future of business and industry in Cornwall."

Hoping to offset the loss in employment caused by building over existing sites, the proposed building will also offer a co-working space for local freelancers and businesses to rent, which could serve as a hub of creative industry, and developers claim that this co-working space will provide a significant boost to employment in the area.

The developers are still waiting for final confirmation from the planning authorities before starting the project, but hope to get the green light by the end of the month.

The land which the developers hope to build on is already owned by the university, and has a wooden walkway leading directly to the Tremough Campus.

Members of the public are invited to a series of consultation events at the Exchange building at Tremough Campus from March 12 to March 14 between 10am and 7pm to learn more about the project.

The new building is estimated to be completed by 2019/2020 if everything goes according to plan.