A former Falmouth retired seamen’s home that was turned into student accommodation will soon be welcoming holiday guests despite objections from nearby residents.

First Step Homes, the owners of Armyn House in Bar Road, have been given permission for dual use of the property for holiday accommodation during the summer holidays.

Armyn House, formerly Falmouth Seafarers’ Centre, was originally a retirement home and hostel for retired seamen but was converted to student accommodation in 2011 at a time when these uses fell within the same use class.

The property currently has ten flats used as student accommodation.

The company will keep the existing student accommodation use for the majority of the year, as occupied currently and use it for holiday accommodation for the unoccupied period between the end of the academic year and the beginning of the next during the summer months.

The property is currently unoccupied during summer when students return home at the end of the academic year.

“A dual use permission allows the proposed uses to be used interchangeably for a period of ten years from the date of permission,” said planning consultants Carney Sweeney. “After the ten year period has expired, the use of the building reverts to the use of the building at the time of expiry.

Aerial view of the siteAerial view of the site (Image: Carney Sweeney/Cornwall Council)

“If the building is in use as student accommodation on the date of the ten year anniversary of the planning permission, then it can only be used for student accommodation thereafter.

“Visa versa, if it is in use as holiday accommodation on the ten year anniversary, then only that use can continue.”

No physical alterations to the building are proposed.

“The nature of the student accommodation occupancy, in terms of comings and goings of residents, will be very similar to that of holiday let use,” said Carney Sweeney.

“As such, the proposed dual use will not have any additional harmful impacts to the area or surrounding neighbours due to their being no discernible difference in the nature of the use of the property.”

Permission was given despite objections from nearby residents. Mr Richard Blyth raised concerns about parking and noise.


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He said: “Letting it out in holiday periods will add to parking congestion in the vicinity affecting local residents - there only a few parking places at the property - students are encouraged to use local transport.

“It is also potentially a source of holiday maker late night noise. It is surrounded by residential properties and late night partying would be a considerable annoyance.”

Miss Vilte Kirsaite also objected saying allowing holiday lets would further reduce the availability of affordable housing for them.

“The dual use could lead to increased noise, traffic, and strain on local services, negatively affecting permanent residents.”

Despite the objections the application was given conditional approval by Cornwall Council.