Residents living near a student development site in Falmouth have been left "trapped in their homes" and at their wits' end after claiming work is continuing well past permitted hours.

It is over the ongoing construction of 134-bed student accommodation The Quarry in Penwerris Lane, on the former Coachworks site.

The situation has become so bad that this week Cornwall Council has stepped in to issue a breach of condition notice on the construction company and site owner, forcing them to stick to the original working hours.

They have 28 days to comply before they risk prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.

AGR Living Falmouth was granted permission for the building by a planning inspector back in 2018, after taking Cornwall Council's earlier refusal to appeal.


Building work began later that year and is still ongoing, although the accommodation is being advertised as opening in September 2020.

However, neighbouring residents claim contractors URBN Construction have been breaking conditions over working hours and parking in the heavily residential area.

One of them, Sarah Hertzog, said: "They have worked all the way through Covid - we haven't had any respite. And continually they've pushed the envelope of what they're allowed to do."

She said the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which set out the working conditions and regulations for the build, had stated work should only take place between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and Saturdays 8am to 1pm.

However, she and many other residents have claimed that workers were on site earlier and stayed well into the evening on Saturdays - regularly finishing past 5pm and sometimes as late as 7pm - and had also worked three Sundays in recent weeks, which was not permitted under the plan at all.

Falmouth Packet:

A resident says they took this photo of a worker on site at 5.35pm on a Saturday

"We're a very quiet residential area. It's just caused so much distress for us that live here," she said.

Sarah is not alone in her concerns. Anne George said another condition was there should be no workers parking in the area, with buses laid on to bring them onto the site each day, but claimed: "Contractors parked in the road from day one.

"We now have to park further and further away from our house if we haven't got a driveway."

And Sarah Westwood agreed: "It's been a nightmare. We have the skip lorries and trucks going in and out every day."

Falmouth Packet:

At one point a fire engine struggled to get through

It has even been claimed some residents have been left trapped in their houses due to vehicles being parked outside.

Contractors had been attempting for a third time to officially alter the working hours and conditions before the council issued the notice.

Work was delayed last year due to several landslips on the former quarry site, which required pinning.

Residents have been supported by Falmouth Cornwall councillor Jayne Kirkham, who told the Packet: "Cornwall Council planning department have rejected applications for extended building hours due to the fact the build is in such a residential area, but the developers appear to have gone ahead with building outside the CEMP hours, regardless.

Falmouth Packet:

A pedestrian and car struggle to get past a van parked on the pavement

"There have also been problems with contractors parking around the site, despite provision for parking away from the site being made in the CEMP. As a result, some residents have even been trapped in their homes."

She said she was pleased with the latest action from the council, describing it as "suitably strong."

The Packet has contacted URBN for a response on two occasions.

Falmouth Packet:

Construction traffic parked in the area