Developer says majority of residents support 226 homes on Menehay fields

The majority of Falmouth residents attending a public consultation on plans to build 226 new homes off Bickland Water Road have supported the scheme, according to developers.

A public consultation carried out by Falmouth Rugby Club and Westcountry Land & Homes found that 85 percent of those taking part supported plans to use the club’s Menehay site for housing, which would release funds to safeguard the club’s future.

Falmouth Rugby Club has stated it cannot afford to develop the Menehay site, and it needs to repay its lenders and secure an additional pitch to allow the club to grow.

James Instance from Falmouth Rugby Club said: “We are of course delighted to hear that people are behind us.

“We must secure our future at the Rec for our children and their children. It’s clear this is where everyone wants to be.

“This will enable us to develop a community sporting facility fit for the 21st century with a new clubhouse, catering facilities, RFU approved changing rooms, grandstand seating and floodlights.

“These facilities will mean we can host representative rugby. There’s a lot of love for rugby in this town and the funds from the housing will help us buy a second pitch with space for all teams from age six to seniors.”

Falmouth Rugby Club has partnered with Devon and Cornwall based developers Westcountry Land & Homes to promote the proposals. The affordable housing will be delivered by Devon and Cornwall Housing with a range of two, three and four-bedroom family homes with private gardens. A small number of one and two-bedroom apartments will fulfil affordable housing requirements.

With specific regard to the local landscape in Falmouth and its ever-growing popularity as a tourist destination, the developers say the site will be greener than most new housing schemes in the county with enhanced landscaping and dedicated areas of public open space and play areas.

Westcountry Land & Homes director Justin Dodge said: “We are aware of local concern for wildlife on the site and the desire to retain as much green open space as possible. The biodiversity will actually be enhanced by the development, especially with the substantial landscaping we have incorporated.

“We acknowledge that it will change the landscape and that many people would prefer the land to stay as it is, however we are mindful of this and our proposals include an extensive network of walks in this area. In fact, there will be more public pathways and walks available on the site than there are now.”

The 79 houses which make up the 35 affordable homes at the development will be prioritised for people with a local connection.

A new roundabout will provide access to the homes from Bickland Water Road with safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists and traffic calming features contributing to the council’s highways improvement strategy for the town.

The land at Menehay previously had a covenant placed on it preventing any building on the fields.

However, when Menehay Manor House came up for sale three years ago it was bought by Westcountry Land, which had the covenant removed before selling on the house again, but keeping the paddock.

A planning application has been submitted to Cornwall Council and is due to be determined later this year.