Union Corner housing plans win the support of Falmouth councillors

Falmouth councillors are supporting plans to build 104 new homes on land at Union Corner, but have expressed their concern that residents could be left without access to doctors, dentists and nearby schools.

An original application from Westcountry Land & Homes for the former Falmouth School sports pitch was opposed by the town’s planning committee who wanted to see access to the site from the new roundabout rather than Kergilliack Road. Councillors also felt the proposed loss of hedges would be detrimental to the area. Last week, new plans went before councillors which showed the hedges retained and some of the houses near the roundabout reduced from three to two storey. The access is still off Kergilliack Road but has the backing of Cornwall highways who said creating a fifth arm to the roundabout was “unfeasible.”

Councillor Alan Jewell said: “We are on a hiding to nothing to try and stop this. This is one of the allocated sites and it’s going to enable the school to develop their site. I don’t think we have a leg to stand on.” While councillors supported his motion to offer no objections to the new application, members did voice their concerns over the lack of amenities being provided by developers in general. “Falmouth is going to be put under pressure for schools, doctors and everything else,” said councillor Vicky Eva. “They came to us with a pre-app and we told them at the time that they needed to be putting more than just a road in and they have completely ignored it. Why have pre-applications if they are not going to listen to what local members are saying?” Councillor Steve Eva said sites had to be found for housing otherwise the government would “go ahead and do it anyway,” but shared concerns about the lack of infrastructure. “Personally I think this is a premature application,” he said. “We need to find out what spaces we have got in each school in Falmouth and Penryn and at each doctors’ surgery and dentist. Until we have that information we do not have the right to turn this application down.”

Town clerk, Mark Williams, told councillors there is a “global capacity” within the town’s five schools to cope with children that would be housed within the developments earmarked along Bickland Water Road.

The application, which has prompted 256 letters of support, will now be determined by Cornwall Council.