More details and images have been revealed for proposed student flats to be built on the site of a Cornish pub currently still trading.

As reported by the Packet last week, developers want to build student accommodation and a convenience store next to Truro Railway Station, where the Railway Tavern currently sits.

While converting empty pubs into houses has become increasingly common in recent years, somewhat unusually the pub in this instance hasn’t actually shut yet.

However, Treveth, Cornwall Council’s property development arm, has already acquired the site in Station Road, with the pub due to close in September.

A public consultation event took place yesterday (Wednesday) for people to hear more about the proposals, which include 40 to 50 student beds in different accommodation types, and a 400sqm commercial space that is likely to be a convenience store.

More images were revealed at the drop-in event at Truro Community Fire Station, which included two possible designs for the front of the building for people to give their preference over.

Falmouth Packet: Two possible designs for the buildingTwo possible designs for the building (Image: Treveth)

As part of the consultation, Treveth stated: “We have received support from local universities who recognise the need for student accommodation in the locality and the appropriateness of providing such a facility next to one of the city’s main transport hubs.

“It is advised that there is currently an undersupply of rooms in Truro, with demand forecast to increase in the coming years, therefore there is a clear need for the scheme to come forward.

“The conversion of the Old County Hall to provide student accommodation was also approved last year.

"As part of this, Cornwall Council recognised the need for student accommodation, citing the following: ‘The provision of student accommodation will relieve pressure on the existing rental and for sale housing sector in Truro which is a benefit of the proposal and will support Truro’s primary position within the retail hierarchy in Cornwall. This then aligns with the Securing Homes for All A Plan to respond to Cornwall’s Housing Crisis’.”

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Treveth also referred to the need for those studying at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in the city, saying: “Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske is a teaching hospital with students from both Plymouth University and the University of Exeter studying in Truro.

“With the NHS needing ever increasing numbers of staff, both universities are expanding the number of students studying medicine, nursing and dentistry in Truro.

Falmouth Packet: One example of what the building could look likeOne example of what the building could look like (Image: Treveth)

“The only PBSA (Purpose Built Student Accommodation) in Truro at Treliske is at capacity, so to mitigate the impact on the local residential market, additional PBSA is needed.

“The site has been selected not only as gateway building for those arriving in Truro via train, but also as a site where student residents will have no need for private transport, meaning no additional strain will be put on parking availability in the immediate residential area and wider road network.

“Truro Station offers train links nationally, as well as locally to the University of Falmouth’s Penryn Campus.

“The station also offers quick and direct bus links to both the centre of town and Treliske hospital.”

It estimated that roughly 50 students living in purpose built accommodation such as this would free up 15 houses of multiple occupation, or family houses, which could be returned to the local property market.

“In addition to supporting our local NHS, the combined number of students studying and living in Truro is now in excess of 500, contributing more than £5m to the local economy annually,” added the developer.

The intended timeline for the project is for Treveth to submit a full planning application this May, ahead of the Railway Tavern closing as a pub in September.

The aim is to receive planning consent by the end of the year, in order to start work on the site in early 2025, with a view to have the building ready to be coupled by early 2026.

Falmouth Packet: An alternative designAn alternative design (Image: Treveth)

Treveth said that throughout recent history there had always been a building on the site, although the ‘form and built footprint’ had evolved over time.

“The original Railway Office, which is believed to date from the mid 1800s, is visible in the 1880s map adjacent. The Railway Tavern building, which has been added to over time, has enveloped the former office building.

“To the north of the site the former sidings and goods shed have been replaced with car parking areas and more recent residential development in Brunel Court.

“Residential housing along Richmond Hill would have been built from the early 1900s as seen in the 1930s map,” it explained.

An online feedback questionnaire is available to complete at up until the close of the consultation on Friday, April 26.

To request further information or view the consultation materials in a different format, email or phone 01872 706010.