Work has begun to transform a derelict former industrial site near Pool into a modular housing development to help residents threatened with homelessness.

Cornwall Council’s principal contractor, Cormac, is in the process of clearing the site at Cowlins Mill, Penhallick Road, Carn Brea, ready for the installation of ten one-bedroom modular homes.

They will be used as ‘move-on’ accommodation to support people on their journey towards settled, permanent, homes.

The innovative project - which is the first of its kind for the Council – is being led by the Housing Delivery and Development Team, with plans for two more sites elsewhere in Cornwall also progressing.

Falmouth Packet: Work clearing the site has begun.Work clearing the site has begun.

Olly Monk, the Council’s portfolio holder for housing and planning, said: "This development is part of our strategy to make sure that nobody need sleep rough in Cornwall and I am really pleased to see work has started in earnest.

"The use of temporary schemes such as the single-berth cabins in Truro and Penzance, which began during the pandemic and we are now expanding with sites at New County Hall and in Camborne, gave us the time to implement permanent projects like this and our hostel-type facility in Truro.

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"The redevelopment of Cowlins Mill is a key scheme that will offer excellent accommodation to those in the greatest need while we support them to find longer-term homes.

"This is just one part of the jigsaw as we continue to work hard to address the housing need across Cornwall."

Paying homage to the area’s industrial and mining heritage, the Council-owned scheme will see former workshops and offices converted into management, meeting and recreation space, and a pedestrian walkway from the site to Pool will be created.

At the heart of the site will be the 10 modular homes, designed and supplied by multi-award-winning modular provider, Zed Pods.

Falmouth Packet: What the development will look like.What the development will look like.

These are in the process of being manufactured by Zed Pods in a factory in Yorkshire before being delivered to the site later in the autumn.

The homes are permanent structures, built to a mortgageable standard, and are supplied with a new build warranty.

The new development of net-zero-carbon housing – another first for the Council – will celebrate the site’s heritage while providing top-quality accommodation, akin to a modern apartment, available for social rent.

Zed Pods chairman, Tom Northway, said: "We are delighted to be working with the Council on their first net zero carbon housing project, providing excellent quality homes for its most vulnerable residents."