Falmouth set for £15 million student accommodation investment

Falmouth set for £15 million student accommodation investment

By WBgdavies  West Briton

A new player on the fraught student accommodation scene intends to invest £15 million in new buildings.

Clever Student Lets is in talks with university leaders about its plans to house about 900 students in the Falmouth and Penryn area.

Chief executive Henry Hutchins said the company mainly aimed to build two to four-bed flats but has not identified any sites at present.
The move, he said, would also lead to the creation of new office and job opportunities.

“British and international investors recognise the quality of the Falmouth University and we are looking to bring to the town some of the finest student accommodation lettings and services,” he said.

Cornwall and Falmouth Town Council member Candy Atherton said there was a place for some specially-built 24-hour managed accommodation, mainly on the campus in Penryn.

She said: “The better managed and more appropriate the better, but it has to be in the right place. “Falmouth is pretty much built out.”

Mr Hutchins said Clever Student Lets took a “holistic approach” with mentors and mediators and liaison team in place to “hold their (students’) hands”.

The letting agency wants to replicate the award-winning operation it runs in Plymouth.

“We have far more settled, happy students than is normal,” Mr Hutchins said. “We have got to make sure everyone in the environment is happy, not just the students.

“You cannot blame people (for feeling the way they do about students in Falmouth). It is their homes, their lives. But if everybody works together it can produce far happier environment.

“What we try to avoid is putting people in a tomorrow ghetto, students prefer smaller units.”

He said there was a fast-acting team which stepped in if problems were reported.

“If we get one phone call a whole system comes into force,” he added.

“There are clauses in the lease about being responsible and we also have parental guarantees so we can inform parents about their child’s behaviour.”

The news comes after a flurry of planning applications for new or converted housing for students sparked controversy, including the formation of the Save Our Falmouth campaign group.

He said the reason there were a lot of big developments coming forward was the high cost of land, but felt that design had a lot to answer for and “can have a massive impact on student behaviour.

“Falmouth is really overcrowded and there is not a great selection of accommodation.

“We give a great quality product and service and treat them like customers and they give us respect.”

Read more: http://www.westbriton.co.uk/falmouth-set-for-15-million-student-accommodation-investment/story-29432178-detail/story.html#ixzz4CSTN9tfg

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