Concerns about the effects of noise from a skateboard park on surrounding homes has put plans for 50 new houses on hold.

Cornwall councillors decided to defer making a decision on proposals for the homes on land at Bedowan Meadows in Newquay.

A meeting of Cornwall Council’s central sub-area planning committee on Monday heard that the application by Treveth Holdings – a company owned by the council – would contribute directly towards addressing the housing crisis in Cornwall.

Planned for 1.96 hectares of rough grassland near Newquay Zoo, the proposal for 50 dwellings would include 17 affordable homes, 12 for rent and five for shared ownership. The meeting heard that 957 local families are in need of housing.

However, the meeting in Truro also heard “serious concerns” from Network Rail about its close proximity to an already busy level crossing and, particularly, concerns from residents and councillors about noise from nearby Newquay Skatepark. Councillors heard that discussions were under way to provide an acoustic barrier to lessen the impact of noise from the leisure facility and its car park.

Councillor for the area Kevin Towill told fellow members: “The aims and objectives of Treveth to bring homes to local people are to be applauded. However, it goes back to that phrase – location, location, location. I think this is a very cramped and awkward site to shoehorn 50 houses into. There’s a quite unsatisfactory access road, which is very narrow at the entrance, which I would say is very problematic.

“There are concerns raised about the noise from the skatepark. I have received numerous complaints about noise over the last few years. It is my belief that an acoustic barrier or fence may well exacerbate this problem. I know there have been some surveys done but I haven’t seen any evidence and I know residents of Treloggan have not been consulted.”

A report by Network Rail said the company would have “serious concerns” about the increased risk the proposed 50 houses would pose to level crossing safety to the south of the development site.

It stated: “The development is located within close proximity of Treloggan Footpath Level crossing. This crossing has one of the highest footfalls (up to 1,000 traverses daily) of any on the western route with many vulnerable users of all types including schoolchildren and at present is a high risk crossing. Last year there were nine near misses at this level crossing.

“With train services doubling as a result of the Newquay Metro, upgrades to the crossing have been carried out which include a red/green warning light system to somewhat improve any misuse. However, these upgrades do not reduce the consequences of collision of the chances of children planning on the crossing. The current warning system installed is now as good as the crossing can be without it being closed via a footbridge.

“Whilst we are aware it would not be feasible for 50 houses to fund a footbridge through financial contributions, we would suggest some form of mitigation to be included as part of the development in the form of level crossing safety information to new residents, included in welcome packs.”

Cllr Towill responded to the concerns: “The Network Rail comments are powerful and this again is further evidence that his area is saturated with residential housing and another 50 dwellings is going to add to pressure on that crossing. The town council has objected … and flooding is a major problem in this area, particularly on Towan Blystra Road, which hasn’t really been addressed [in the application].”

Olly Monk, town council member for the area, Cornwall councillor for south of the development and Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said he’d used the level crossing numerous times taking his children to and from school in the 14 years he’s lived in Newquay.

He added: “The crossing was upgraded in anticipation of the Saints Trail terminating there, which isn’t happening now, but it’s been upgraded and I’ve never seen any problems there. The skate park with the acoustic fence we’ve been talking about and finalising the details. Overall, in Newquay we’ve got 950 families in desperate need of accommodation and this will give homes to about 100 people. I think it’s a site that’s ideal to get some good affordable accommodation in the heart of Newquay.”


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Cllr Monk said he hadn’t received any overwhelming complaints from the public: “I had someone contact me from that very area saying that his family members were in desperate need of housing and then as soon as this planning application went forward he phoned me up to say he was really disappointed at the application going there, so you can see how hard it is to balance the need against the expectations of people of where we build. If we don’t use some of what I would call brownfield sites like this you’ll end up putting pressure on prime agricultural land.”

A number of residents have objected on the council’s online planning portal, citing the loss of a green site and highway issues among other concerns.

The planning committee decided that a noise report on the skateboard park’s impact on the wider area was needed with more details of where the acoustic barrier would be placed.