Plans for a new student village are underway

Sarah Redman looks at the new plans for a new student village, to be built to the north of Penryn Campus.

Plans for a new student village are currently underway. With proposals including facilities and beds for 2000 new students, the project aims to reduce the strain on the local housing markets of Penryn and Falmouth towns.

The proposal, created by CAD Architects, the architect firm behind Glasney student village, includes beds for 2000 students, a hotel, food market, restaurants and bars, a GP surgery and a park and ride scheme.

The Treluswell student village would help support the universities’ application to increase the student cap from 5,000 to 7,500. Following this application, students and local residents alike took to the Cornwall Council planning website to object to the proposal. Of the 156 public comments received, an astounding 144 were objections. Most of the objections were on the grounds of a lack of service provision and a substantial change in the population make up of Falmouth and Penryn towns.

Many of the consultees also objected, including South West Water, Penryn Town Council, Falmouth Town Council and Mabe Parish Council. Penryn Town Council commented that, should the change in the cap be granted, “the total number of students enrolled would be equivalent to the resident population of Penryn, it could result in a dilution of the quality of

education provided and would have a detrimental impact on local infrastructure such as health, schools, roads, amenities, employment, transport, emergency services and housing.”

Accompanying the application to raise the student cap is an updated Penryn Campus Masterplan which outlines the potential for a new residential space of up to 1,049 units. This additional housing on campus is a solution preferred by many local residents, for instance Mr Richard Blyth comments that, in his objection to raising the cap, “It has been states that there is more space on campus to build accommodation but developers cannot make as much profit there”.

The project would be built on a greenfield site of 55 acres of land between the Truro to Falmouth railway line and the A39. There is no information in the proposal to suggest that the build will be carried out sustainably, a factor which, up to now, has been an integral part of all plans for the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project.

Sustainability has always been a key focus for FXU and this has been pushed to new heights by Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, FXU President for Student Experience who was re-elected last March.

Kieran Cutting, FXU Community Officer, said:  “I think it has the potential to have a lot of merit – it has provisions for extra facilities, which is great because it reduces the pressure that students place on local services which are already strained. Mostly, though, I think it still leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t think there is any incentive for second and third years to live there, it’s being proposed on a greenfield site and it’s so cut off from the towns.”