Cornish holiday park meant to provide emergency housing empty for nearly two years

The holiday park has remained closed since it was purchased by Cornwall Council in January 2022. Credit: BPM Media

Homeless families will finally be able to move into a holiday park in Cornwall, nearly two years after it was bought for emergency housing.

Sandbank Holidays, near Hayle, has remained empty since Cornwall Council purchased it in January 2022 as part of a £15m property package to provide temporary housing.

Now – almost two years on from the purchase – the site is still unoccupied.

Neighbours of the holiday park said the council contacted them in August with the news that people would be moving in over the “coming weeks”, but that has not happened.

A resident of Upton Towans, where the former holiday park is based said: “The place is still empty even though Cornwall Council said it would be moving people in within two weeks and works would be carried out. More than a month has passed now.”

Cornwall Council have said: “We’re identifying clients to move into the properties with a view to moving people in over the next fortnight.”

Sandbank was used by the council as emergency accommodation during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the Government’s Everyone In scheme. 

Following the purchase of the site, a spokesperson for the council said it was being refurbished and would be used as “dedicated” temporary accommodation once complete.

People living in the area expressed frustrations almost six months ago in May 2023, when it was revealed the site containing 16 apartments and three bungalows, was still empty

One resident, who did not want to give their name, said: “I can’t believe it is still empty. There is no sign of it being ready in the next few weeks.

"What gets me is that the previous owners had a planning application to turn it into residential use refused by the council in 2020.”

In August, a spokesperson for the council said that work which included the removal of asbestos has taken longer than “originally anticipated” with the final works “in the process of being completed”.

“We anticipate that all works will be complete within the coming weeks, at which point we can welcome the first residents to the properties.

“Providing housing for our residents is a top priority as Cornwall continues to experience extreme and unprecedented pressures on housing."

Cornwall Council also said: “The steps we have taken to improve the situation include the provision of emergency and temporary accommodation so that residents are not housed in B&Bs or hotels.

“But we are also working to provide housing through investment in our own stock of accommodation including the holiday park, new modular homes, buying and refurbishing disused properties and providing dedicated ‘move on’ accommodation to support former rough sleepers, to help people find settled, permanent homes.” 

Credit: Lee Trewhela, Local Democratic Reporting Service.