22nd February 2017
By Rashleigh MacFarlane
The maximum number of students who can study at Falmouth University looks set to increase from 5,000 to 7,500 next week, as planning officials again ask councillors to lift the “cap” which is restricting the institution’s growth.
Councillors put off a decision last month so that the university could provide more information about its plans for “purpose-built” accommodation which should ease pressures on the Falmouth and Penryn housing markets. Local people have been finding it difficult to rent homes as the numbers of students has increased.
A report from planning officials says: “It is proposed that the maximum number of students is increased to 7500 Full Time Equivalents (FTE). The applicants have stated that this increase would be phased and linked to the provision of additional Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA).
“Members will recall receiving an outline of the proposals at a Technical Briefing on 11 November 2016 where members received a presentation from the University explaining the purpose of the application and questions were put to the applicants. Also on this agenda is a report into a Reserved Matters submission for 1,049 units of student accommodation.
“For members’ information however that number would count towards the proposed increase of 2,500. Arising from the consultation process for this application no objections have been raised to the proposal from any statutory consultees however the host, Mabe Parish Council, have resolved to ‘not support’ the application.
“Falmouth Town Council has resolved to object to the application however Penryn Town Council has resolved to
support the application. Members are advised that if this application is approved the effect would be to increase the total number of enrolled students that would use the universities’ campus.
“No built development permission is sought under this application, other than any outstanding elements of the outline planning permission which will be carried forward under this permission if granted.”
The application to increase student numbers from 5,000 to 7,500 will be debated at a planning committee meeting on Thursday 2nd March.