Rugby housing and land speculation

The majority of Falmouth residents attending a public consultation on plans to build 226 new homes off Bickland Water Road have supported the scheme, according to developers. A public consultation carried out by Falmouth Rugby Club and Westcountry Land found that 85 per cent of those taking part supported plans to use the club’s Menehay site for housing, which would release funds to safeguard the club’s future.
Falmouth Rugby Club has stated it cannot afford to develop the Menehay site, and it needs to repay its lenders and secure an additional pitch to allow the club to grow.

James Instance from Falmouth Rugby Club said: “We are of course delighted to hear that people are behind us.
“We must secure our future at the Rec for our children and their children. It’s clear this is where everyone wants to be.
“This will enable us to develop a community sporting facility fit for the 21st century with a new clubhouse, catering facilities, RFU approve changing rooms, grandstand seating and floodlights.

“These facilities will mean we can host representative rugby. There’s a lot of love for rugby in this town and the funds from the housing will help us buy a second pitch with space for all teams from age six to seniors.”
Falmouth Rugby Club has partnered with Devon and Cornwall based developers Westcountry Land to promote the proposals. The affordable housing will be delivered by Devon and Cornwall Housing with a range of two, three and four-bedroom family homes with private gardens. A small number of one and two bedroom apartments will fulfil affordable housing requirements.

This looks like a major disaster on all fronts. First the club borrowed money to purchase land so it could move it seems. It then decided to stay on its existing site but needed to pay off its creditors. To do this it wants to develop the land which it seems is already owned by Westcountry Land?

A vital question is whether thsoe at the public meeting were supporters of the club and did not take the wider implications into account?

It looks as if Falmouth RFU club has made a major mistake and wants to develop land for housing to get out of the financial hole it finds itself in. Whether land is suitable for housing should not be determined by the financial problems of a private organisation. The land in question is an important green area on the edge of Falmouth and should be returned to agricultural use.


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