Tuesday, 1 June, was a real red letter day for Threemilestone as work officially began on the exciting plans to extend the village’s community centre.
During the past few months Cornwall Council has been working with the Langarth Garden Village project team and other partners to support the plans to extend and upgrade the current community centre as part of a wider programme of community investment projects in the Threemilestone and Highertown area.
At the end of last year Cornwall Council agreed to provide £500,000 towards the costs of the scheme, enabling the much needed and long-awaited extension to move forward. Planning permission was granted in January 2021.
Now work is beginning on the first phase of the project.
“One of the Council’s key priorities has been to ensure that local facilities and services in existing communities such as Threemilestone do not come under pressure as a result of the Langarth Garden Village scheme, and that Langarth supports improvements for existing residents as well as new ones,” said Oliver Monk, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.
“Improving the community centre will bring great benefits to Threemilestone, providing more space for community events and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the building which lies at the heart of the village. I am delighted to see work start on delivering this exciting project.”
Local Cornwall Councillor Dulcie Tudor said: “I’m really pleased that the people of Threemilestone are seeing tangible proof that Cornwall Council is committed to ensuring the village won’t be left behind and is ready for the Langarth development of up to 4,000 homes due to be built out next door.”
“This is just the start and I look forward to the start of the build for the planned car park, school sports hall, football pitches, the new road layout and crossings here on the centre of the village along with café and E bike hub.”
While Threemilestone already has a very successful community centre, which is used for a wide range of sporting, activity, club and other social events, the hall was built to support around 1,000 people in the 1970s. With a population of more than 4,000 today, and the village continuing to grow, it is no longer big enough to cater for all the organisations which want to use it. There are also currently no public toilets in the village, with the nearest ones in Chacewater, two-and-a-half miles away.
The plans include creating a new public external accessible toilet, new entrance lobby with area for sheltering and waiting, a baby change room, a changing room with shower facilities, new male and female toilets with accessibility, and a recycling store.
“I am very excited to see the start of work on the extension which will benefit all residents and other users from both within and outside the village” said Mike Ashcroft, the Chair of the Community Centre Management Committee. “Following my election as Chair, a review of existing facilities and ‘life expired’ equipment was undertaken, and areas of concern quickly addressed.”
“This resulted in identifying what was needed to facilitate an ever-increasing demand on the centre. An embryonic plan and ‘wish list’ were then developed with the support of various bodies, including the Community Fund, Truro City and Kenwyn Parish Councils and Cornwall Council members and officers.
“This is the first phase of delivering that plan. My thanks go to all involved in achieving this much-needed improvement and development of our centre.”
The works, which are being carried out by MIDAS, are due to be completed by early October 2021.
Mark Jones, Operations Director for Midas Cornwall, added: “As a local lad I’ve been watching Langarth develop over the years from a concept to what we see now – an exciting new community.
“With friends in Threemilestone I’m delighted that, unusually before the new development starts, the existing community is seeing investment to manage the growth in demand for local facilities, in particular the ever-popular community centre. My team and I are extremely proud to be putting ‘the first spade in the ground’ on such an important day.”
Further plans for the village include removing the central roundabout, providing more parking spaces to improve access to local businesses and health services and a new pedestrian and cycleway link to connect Threemilestone village directly to the new Langarth Garden Village. All of this will be complemented by new green spaces, landscaping and tree planting.