A village that has quadrupled in size since its much-used community centre was built is to get an extension to cater for demand.

Plans to extend the community centre in Threemilestone have been granted planning permission by Cornwall Council, as part of the wider Langarth Garden Village project and investment projects in the Threemilestone and Highertown area.

While Threemilestone already has a very successful community centre, the hall was built to support around 1,000 people in the 1970s. With a population of more than 4,000 today, and the village continuing to grow, it is no longer big enough to cater for all the organisations that want to use it.

Outside of lockdown the building is used by the community for a wide range of sporting, activity, club and other social events. These include education and training courses, local markets, arts and crafts activities, exercise classes, including keep fit and dancing, performances, and a range of contact sports.

The centre also includes a bar and kitchen which enables people to socialise and host family and other celebrations and events.

The popularity of the community centre and the rising population in the village means there is a growing waiting list of organisations wanting to use the hall. There are also currently no public toilets in the village, with the nearest ones in Chacewater, two-and-a-half miles away.

The plans approved include creating a new entrance foyer with an area for people to wait and shelter from the weather, and a digital information screen, improved access, an additional meeting room and storage space, fully accessible toilets with a 'changing places' facility with hoist, shower, and baby changing facilities.

The building will have solar panels on the roof to provide green energy, and a Covid-secure air filtration system.

Work will begin on the first phase in spring this year, with the community centre extension expected to be completed by summer 2021.

At the end of last year Cornwall Council’s Cabinet agreed to provide £500,000 towards the costs of the scheme, enabling the long-awaited project to move forward.

Councillors also supported the use of funding from developers’ contributions – known as Section 106 agreements – for the Langarth Garden Village scheme to provide new playing pitches in Threemilestone and carry out improvements to the public realm in the centre of the village.

Councillor Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for planning and economy, said that one of the key priorities when Cornwall Council took on the Langarth project in 2019 was that local facilities and services in existing communities, such as Threemilestone, did not come under pressure as a result.

He said: “Improving the community centre at Threemilestone will bring great benefits, providing more space for community events and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the building which lies at the heart of the village."

Mike Ashcroft was appointed chair of the community centre management committee 19 months ago and soon afterwards carried out a review of existing facilities and ‘life expired’ equipment – which showed an ever-increasing demand on the centre.

An embryonic plan and ‘wish list’ were then developed with the support of various bodies, including the Community Fund, Truro City and Kenwyn Parish Councils and Cornwall Council members and officers.

He said: “I am super excited to see the commitment to improve the village facilities that will benefit all residents and other users from both within and outside the village. My thanks go to all involved in achieving this much-needed improvement and development of our centre.”

Further plans for the village include removing the central roundabout, providing more parking spaces to improve access to local businesses and health services, and a new pedestrian and cycleway link to connect Threemilestone village directly to the new Langarth Garden Village.

More information about the Council’s investment in projects in Threemilestone is available on the Langarth Garden Village website www.langarth.co.uk/investing-in-threemilestone/