Carn Thomas Housing Could Take Years To Get Funding

Old school site at Carn Thomas, earmarked for housing scheme

Old school site at Carn Thomas, earmarked for housing scheme

The man in charge of the project to redevelop the old school site at Carn Thomas says it could take years for the right funding to become available.

Peter Moore, Chief Executive of the Cornwall Rural Housing Association says the Carn Thomas site presents a number of challenges.

Earlier this year our Council agreed to partner with the mainland housing association that has previously built social homes on Bryher, St Martin’s and St Agnes.

They’ve handed over the land on a temporary basis and the association will take on the responsibility for raising the funds and any risks associated with the building project.

A bid for funding to build 23 housing units has been made to the Homes and Communities Agency, which is currently offering money from the Department of Health.

If that money is made available, the building would have to be completed by Spring 2015, which is a tight schedule.

But Peter says this isn’t the only option for funding, although other sources could take time.

It’s a long road to travel, he said, adding that the off-island housing took eleven years to reach fruition. And if the numbers don’t add up, there’s no guarantee the scheme will ever get off the ground.

However if funding is not available soon, it’s unclear who will take on the responsibility of maintaining the site as the existing buildings start to deteriorate.

Aisling Hick is the person responsible from our Council for the project. She says the housing is no longer being described as ‘extra care’ but instead will be ‘specialist care’ which covers a wider range of ages, including vulnerable adults under 55 years old.

That’s echoed by Peter, who says the development will be aimed at the elderly but will not be a care home, like Park House.

The government is trying to encourage support for people to live independently for as long as possible without having to move to traditional care home-type accommodation.

Everyone would have their own independent living accommodation although there would be some communal areas.

Peter says the design is still in the very early stages and the architects are trying to work out what can be put on the site because it’s very constrained. They also need to find out if there’s sufficient demand on the islands to fill the accommodation.

He’s promised they’ll hold a public consultation before submitting any planning applications.

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