Business leaders are supporting a proposal to create a purpose built student village on the outskirts of Penryn.

The backing comes after concerns were raised about the impact that a proposal student site on Kernick Industrial Estate would have on local jobs.

Two of the businesses already face parking disruption on the estate, which they believe is caused by students, and are worried about future issues.

Mark Bolitho, founder and director of Blue Flame Heating based on the Kernick Industrial Estate said: “The growth at Falmouth University is a huge success story and should be celebrated. The students also provide a massive economic boost for the area.

“With growing numbers it is vital that the students are provided for, but it is also important that the needs of local people are met. That includes work and employment space, as well as housing.

“We are extremely concerned about proposals for developing student accommodation on Kernick Industrial Estate. As a business that employs over 100 people who support customers all over Cornwall, we already struggle with parking on the estate during term time.

“To bring more students into what is an important employment area has the potential to be detrimental.

“That is why we support Penvose Student Village as it provides the perfect space for students, frees up homes in the town for the locals and protects valuable working space and jobs.”

Bolitho’s views on parking, as well as safety, have been echoed by another business on the site.

Steve Toyer, who runs a specialist Land Rover repair and maintenance business on Kernick Industrial Estate, said: “We think that the university’s growth is great for the area, however, we are concerned about proposals to provide student accommodation on Kernick.

“There are issues of safety and parking, which is already a problem, as well as the potential impact on businesses here who may have restrictions put in place.

“We think Penvose Student Village offers a good solution to these issues and allows Kernick to continue to be a focus for business.”

With a shortage of quality units in Cornwall, a business space specialist believes that the industrial estate should be left for business.

Harry Hart, director of Specialist Business Units Ltd, said: “We know from our work developing office and industrial commercial spaces that there is a real lack of quality competitively priced industrial units across Cornwall.

“Developing student accommodation on a site that is vital to employment and the economy in Penryn and Falmouth is a real concern.

“It is important to provide a solution to student growth, which Penvose Student Village can do, without impacting on opportunities for local people.”

The proposed £170 million Penvose Student Village phased plan includes up to 2,000 student beds, parking, sports facilities, a park and ride, convenience store, coffee shop, day nursery, satellite GP surgery, mini hotel and family restaurant/pub.

Mark Dawes, from CAD Architects, who is working with the development company behind the proposed solution, said: “We’re very pleased that businesses that understand the importance of Kernick Industrial Estate are supporting our scheme as the only real viable option.

“As well as providing a solution to housing an increased population, we are the only scheme that puts local businesses first.”