Council’s plans to develop a car park in Penryn will displace thousands of vehicles per year, says a new report

Cornwall Council’s plan to develop half of Commercial Road car park, Penryn's main car park, to build homeless pods would result in the loss of parking for around 10,000 cars per year according to a new report produced recently.

According to the planning application the pod development would result in the loss of over half the car park, reducing the capacity from 80 to 37 spaces.

The report used a drone to carry out an aerial survey to measure the impact of this reduction, by counting the number of cars arriving each day that would be unable to park if the scheme went ahead.

The results suggest that six thousand to ten thousand vehicles per year would be affected based on current parking levels.


The report’s author Professor Michael Cant said: "There is a core of around 25 vehicles that park there overnight, so it only takes 12 cars in the morning and the car park is already over the 37 car capacity proposed by the scheme.

"That usually happens by about 9.30am. Every car that arrives after that point would be unable to find a parking space.”

Professor Cant said that the huge number of displaced vehicles is the result of high turnover in the car park.

"Even if it looks like the number of cars present is about the same for several hours at a time, in fact cars are arriving and leaving all the time, so that 30 or 40 cars would be displaced over the course of the day.


"Local business owners have tried to raise the alarm about the impacts of the loss of parking.

"This survey shows that these impacts are likely to be even more devastating than these business owners currently realise."

Penryn Town and Cornwall Councillor, Tamsyn Widdon said: "Unfortunately the planning committee are only going to take into account the data that they've collected in the past year.

"The issue I have is that we have plenty of people parking where they shouldn't park in Penryn, clogging up traffic, preventing the buses from getting through, and parking on pavements.

We have a serious problem with people parking where they shouldn't in Penryn, and rather than taking that parking away because it's underused we should be enforcing the parking rules and making people make the effort to use the car park rather than blocking pavements.

Cornwall Council Planning Committee is due to vote on the plans on Monday 24th October. Prof Cant’s report and aerial survey is available to view on the Penryn Town Council website.