Cornish sustainable property developer Verto has submitted a reserved matters planning application for a “world first” zero carbon student village at Penvose, Falmouth.

The student village was approved by Cornwall Council’s planning committee three years ago and has since been upgraded to a zero-carbon proposal which is now before the local planning committees to finalise the detail.

Penvose Zero Carbon Student Village, which will be the first of its kind, will house up to 1,858 students and provide a host of retail and leisure facilities for students and the local community. This is set to include food outlets, business start-up units, convenience shops, GP surgery, day nursery, gym/yoga studios, and hotel. In addition, there will be new sports facilities including tennis and squash courts, plus an all-weather pitch.

Andy West, head of land and planning at Verto, claims the facilities will also look to address and improve the rising issue of poor mental health among students.

He said: “During the pandemic we have seen reports of an increasing number of students feeling isolated, away from home and friends, often living in below par accommodation. We believe that by creating a village environment with first class accommodation and facilities, we can help foster a new student community and alleviate some of these issues.”

Additionally, according to the developer, the site will not only offer high-quality zero carbon student accommodation but will also alleviate strains placed on the local community, including freeing-up of much valued car parking space, as well as housing stock in the towns of Falmouth and Penryn.

West believes the development will help the local area in a number of ways. He added: “Student numbers in Falmouth are set to soar over the coming years and this puts huge pressure on housing in Falmouth and Penryn.

“The development will host a dedicated student hub for living, studying and socialising, that is both on the edge of the town and near the campus. It will provide purpose-built accommodation to meet the needs of the growing student population, many currently living in HMOs across the town. We believe it will also free up much needed housing for local residents.

“Not only that, but we estimate, based on the size and scope of the property, that the completed zero carbon development would also create circa 400 jobs in the local area.”