As work goes ahead to meet the conditions of planning permission for a new student block, residents of Penwerris Lane in Falmouth have voiced their displeasure over the development.

Plans to build a 134-bed student accommodation building in the narrow lane of one of Falmouth's most deprived areas have evoked strong reactions from a large number of people who believe it is an unsuitable location.

They say that parking issues in the lane will only be exacerbated because the development, at the site of the former Coachworks garage, will not have any parking spaces to serve the 134 proposed student beds.


Residents say the design is not in keeping with the area

Brian Pegnall, who is a member of the Penwerris Residents Association, said: "The increase in traffic is going to make it much more dangerous. There are a lot of children round here.

"It's about developers looking for a fast buck. Basically Falmouth's being used as a cash cow. It's not about the students or the residents, none of us want it and none of the students want it."

Another resident who preferred not to be named said: "I'm very pro student, they bring vibrancy to the town. But I hear so many local people now saying 'I can't afford to live in Falmouth'.

"I'm not a NIMBY, but it needs to be a development that is in keeping with the local area and residents' needs. This site was designed for housing. It's a desperate need, and that's what the site should be used for."

In an effort to mitigate potential parking issues, Grainge Architects said in a design and access statement that "all tenancy agreements will specifically prohibit tenants from bringing cars to university."


The development will be built near Falmouth's Old Hill estate which was once the poorest in Cornwall

As for moving days at the beginning and end of the academic year, the planning inspector said that cars will be allowed to park in the courtyard one at a time in 20 minute slots to load and unload students' possessions.

Inspector P N Jarratt said: "This will require careful management but I have no reason to believe such an arrangement would not work."

Addressing the need for local housing, the design and access statement also said: "The proposed development will help alleviate pressure on the existing housing stock within the area by providing much needed purpose built student accommodation, freeing up domestic properties for local people."

The plans on Cornwall Council's online planning website garnered 160 public comments of objection and permission was originally refused by Cornwall Council's planning department in May 2017.

In their notice of refusal, the council noted that the proposal was contrary to their own plans for student accommodation in the area.

The statement said that: "by reason of its location within the town of Falmouth the proposal would be contrary to the council's strategy for providing a range of sites in and around the existing university campus at Penryn where students can both live and study in and around the same location".

In March of 2018, the plans were given the go-ahead after a successful appeal by the applicants.