Cornwall Council has secured planning permission for its latest site for one-bedroom pods which will provide homes for the homeless. 

The council’s plans to place 18 modular units at a site in Long Rock, near Penzance, were approved on this morning.

The new homes will provide short and medium term supported accommodation for former rough sleepers and will be built along with a management building with facilities for staff and security.

The new site is on a former highways depot which had been used by Cormac in Newtown Lane, Long Rock.

Cornwall Council has been using its own land for single units which can be used to help provide accommodation for homeless people due to a sharp rise in the numbers of people needing help. The council says that using the units is more efficient than paying for bed and breakfast or budget hotels to house people.

The units are fully equipped and are also seen to be a way to ensuring that people can remain independent and are able to prepare to move into more permanent homes. The council already has sites in Truro, Penzance, Newquay and Penryn and is planning more.

There are currently more than 700 households in temporary emergency accommodation which can often have no catering facilities or be located away from where people need to be to access work or training. The council wants to place more units in locations where there are most people affected.

Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee unanimously approved the proposals for the site in Long Rock. 

John Martin, Cornwall councillor for the area, said that initially he was quite concerned about the plans but said he now supported them.

He highlighted comments from Ludgvan Parish Council, which supported the planning application but was concerned about the site being too far from local services. Cllr Martin said that he shared those concerns but said: “I have since read the details of the report and I am fairly satisfied that there is the provision of a footpath and a new bus stop.”

Councillors heard that the proposed site was on a main bus route which would mean that residents would be able to access local services easily.

Committee member John Keeling proposed that the application be approved, in line with officers’ recommendations, saying that it would help meet a recognised need for more accommodation. The application was approved with 10 votes in favour, none against and no abstentions.