Newquay car park could be turned into 'modular homes' for homeless

Tregunnel Hill Car Park Credit: Google maps

Cornwall Council is looking to use another car park to provide accommodation for homeless people in Newquay.

Plans to place 18 modular accommodation units at Tregunnel Hill Car Park will go to the council’s planning committee next week.

Planning officers have recommended the application be approved, despite objections from local people.

The objections mainly concern the loss of parking spaces in Newquay town centre.

Cornwall Council is currently aiming to provide more modular homes for homeless people to try and cut the amount of money it is spending on emergency accommodation.

It was revealed last month that the council is spending £40,000 a day on budget hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation.

Last month the council approved plans to use another of its car parks in Penryn for some modular housing.

The plans for the Newquay car park would see 18 “move on” units being placed at the site, taking up 120 of the 409 parking spaces.

The planning report reads: “The scheme will provide accommodation for former rough sleepers on their pathway to settled housing.

“The residents will have ‘low to no’ support needs, having already received first-stage support, and will continue to do so throughout their time living at Tregunnel Hill, Newquay.

"The intention is for residents to consider the properties as their homes (for the medium term), before moving to permanent, fully independent housing.”

Cllr Olly Monk said: “Due to the unprecedented amount of people in the Newquay area who are having to be housed in temporary and emergency accommodation I support the application for 18 modular housing units being installed at Tregunnel Hill car park.”

Newquay Town Council said it was aware of the housing crisis and wanted to support schemes which helped those in need. But it was concerned about the loss of parking spaces in the town.

It said: “However, it is also recognised that the proposals have produced local objections and it is clear that reducing the available parking capacity is a cause for concern amongst residents.

"Rather than being an under-utilised car park (as the site is described in the application documents) members consider Tregunnel as a highly important seasonal parking asset that accommodates many thousands of summer visitors every year, thus playing a key role in helping to facilitate Newquay’s valuable tourist economy.”

The town council said it would support the scheme if given a firm assurance that the loss of 120 spaces would be mitigated by suitable alternative parking provisions.

Cornwall Council’s central sub-area planning committee will meet on Monday (12 December) to consider the application.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporter Service/Richard Whitehouse