Land in Falmouth could be developed into much-needed housing for elderly people in the town as part of a "multi-million-pound" new project in Cornwall.

The proposal involves land at Bosvale, owned by Falmouth Rotary Club, which was part of a previous scheme that was ultimately not developed. 

The club has now confirmed it has recently concluded an ‘option agreement’ with Cornwall Council, for the potential development of the land.

An option agreement gives a developer the option to buy land if planning permission can be obtained on it, without the risk that they will be compelled to buy it if no permission is granted.

The field was bought by Falmouth Rotary Club in 1974, from the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, and was given the name 'Bosvale' to recognise its location between Boslowick and Swanvale.

Rotarians raised funds to create the Bosvale Community Association (BCA) and provided it with a long-term lease at a peppercorn rent on part of the land, for its community building.

However, the Rotary club said it has “become acutely aware” of the need for specialist housing in Falmouth for older people.

In 2012 Rotary joined with a major charity to explore the idea, and planning permission was granted for such a development, but the charity eventually decided to concentrate on developments in other parts of the country.


The club said that recently, however, Cornwall Council was looking at ways to build a network of facilities "similar to the charity’s model".

It is said to have approached Falmouth Rotary Club about Bosvale being in the plan, with the club saying the overall scheme “should result in a huge multi-million-pound investment in housing for the elderly in Cornwall.”

The club added that the council has now taken on the project together with a major specialist in meeting the housing requirements of older people, and it would be seeking detailed planning permission for the land in the near future.

Falmouth Rotary said that under the agreement the Bosvale Community Association would be "fully protected," adding that the association would be granted a new sub-lease by the council to ensure the future of its community headquarters, which would also be refurbished. 

Richard May, chair of the Bosvale Community Association, said: “We are feeling very confident with the ongoing sustainability of the community hall.

“Cornwall Council's proposed care development on the main part of the site will support our charity, by improving the facility for all the community groups who use the centre to deliver their wide range of activities.

“The centre will be refurbished with replacement doors, windows, a new kitchen and full redecoration inside and out.

"The activities delivered from the centre will be available to the new residents of the care development."

David Stuart, president of Falmouth Rotary Club, confirmed that such a development is something the club has been keen to get off the drawing board for a number of years and said he hoped it would progress as a positive step for the community.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “We are working with our strategic partner Mears Limited to progress a detailed planning application for this site so that we can provide much needed affordable extra care housing for our older population.”