Planning Application Successful for Essential NHS Key Worker Accommodation in Truro

The Development
On 14 January 2021, AXIS prepared and submitted a planning application to Cornwall Council for the development for NHS key workers and medical student accommodation.

The proposed development is on land off the A390 Tresawls Road in the Gloweth area of Truro. It is within a 5 minute walk of the Royal Cornwall Hospital and the associated medical and dental student education facility known as the Knowledge SPA.

The development would provide accommodation for 89 NHS key workers and medical students, which would be provided across three separate blocks of accommodation.

Visualisation of key worker accommodation. Source: CAD Architects

Essential Accommodation Needed
The development would meet an identified need for this type of accommodation. The student accommodation at the Royal Cornwall Hospital is oversubscribed each year and has a waiting list. There is not enough staff accommodation and the hospital is planning significant expansion, which will not include more accommodation.

In fact, the need for new accommodation is so great that the Royal Cornwall Hospital prepared a letter in support of the application detailing how the lack of staff accommodation, coupled with rising house prices and rental rates in Cornwall, is leading to issues with staff retention and the ability to attract staff from overseas. This lack of accommodation has the potential to significantly undermine the operation of the hospital.

Sustainability Features
Cornwall Council has declared a climate change emergency with an aim to become carbon neutral by 2030. The development was designed by AXIS and CAD Architects with this in mind:

  • The development is largely car-free with car parking provision only available for visitors and disabled residents
  • It is situated in a highly sustainable location near to services and amenities, with a regular bus service, and in walking distance from the hospital
  • The site would include a range of other sustainable transport measures including a travel plan, and a car and e-bikes club which would facilitate hourly hire of cars and e-bikes
  • The development would include a range of biodiversity and ecological enhancement measures that would lead to a 10% increase in biodiversity on the site
  • There would be around 70 cycle stands and e-bike parking spaces which equates to almost 1 space per room
  • The building design is also sustainable and would include solar panels, ground source heat pumps, green roofs and the use of recycled, reclaimed, and energy efficient building materials
Visualisation of key worker accommodation. Source: CAD Architects

Planning Permission Successful

Martin Pollard – AXIS Technical Director

On 2 August 2021 Cornwall Council’s Central Area Planning Committee resolved in favour of granting planning permission for the development.

Said Martin Pollard, Technical Director at AXIS, “We’re delighted to have secured planning consent for this essential, high-quality development that directly supports Cornwall Council’s carbon neutral targets and climate change emergency, whilst providing considerable benefit to NHS key workers and medical students at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.”

The formal grant of planning consent will be confirmed following the completion of a S106 Legal Agreement – AXIS is currently assisting in its preparation.

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