Falmouth's sports centre and housing scheme “in jeopardy”, says MP
THE FUTURE of a community sports centre and affordable housing scheme is in jeopardy after Cornwall Council removed the item from its last Cabinet meeting, a Cornish MP has warned.
The sale of the former Budock Hospital site was agreed in principle in July by Falmouth Academy, NHS Property Services and Cornwall Council.
The agreement for the Falmouth Academy Consultation Project, which also includes a new roundabout scheme at Union Corner, was due to be confirmed at the September Cabinet meeting.
The MP for Truro and Falmouth, Sarah Newton, expressed her concerns for the future of the “vital” development in a letter to the leader of Cornwall Council, John Pollard, last week.
“The decision to remove the item from the agenda will delay progress by at least three months, jeopardising the successful completion of the sale, the delivery of the project, and the Union roundabout scheme,” said Mrs Newton in the letter.
The project relies on the sale of the former Budock Hospital site.
If it goes ahead, the development could deliver a community sports facility, 89 affordable housing units at Union Corner and a new roundabout scheme.
According to Mrs Newton, Cornwall Council has already described the Falmouth Academy project as “vital” and has stated that it was needed to “improve capacity and facilitate local housing and employment development.”
The MP said she understand that the need for further consultation but was “surprised” at the “self-imposed delay” despite Falmouth Academy’s consultation with all interested parties.
She added that the academy’s proposals for the site had been carried out in conjunction with Cornwall Council’s property, planning and transportation officers.
Falmouth Town Council had also expressed its support for the project.
“I very much hope that this decision can be urgently reviewed to allow the Budock Hospital sale to be completed, to the benefit of Falmouth Academy, Falmouth town, and affordable housing provision within Cornwall,” said the letter.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for finance and resources Alex Folkes said: “Unfortunately Cornwall Council has not concluded the full consultation process it is obliged to fulfil.
“This causes a small delay but we are confident it will not affect the success of the project.”