At their cabinet meeting yesterday, Cornwall Council agreed to sell the 11 Coastguard flats in Looe to Three Seas Community Land Trust for a price of £1. This will ensure these properties remain available as affordable homes in our town.
The council’s cabinet approved a recommendation to release the Coastguard Flats (a Grade II listed building worth £640,000) in Looe to the Trust to avoid costly maintenance. Refurbishment of the North Road building was deemed “financially unviable” by Cornwall Housing in 2021 and the building was declared surplus to the council’s needs.
With support from Looe Town Council and our Cornwall Councillors Edwina Hannaford and Armand Toms, Three Seas Community Land Trust stepped in with an offer to carry out a full refurbishment of the properties at a cost of over £1m, to be achieved by grant funding, available from Homes England. Councillor Hannaford said: “Providing secure affordable housing is incredibly important for the people of Looe. The lack of affordable housing in Looe is a real emergency, replicated across Cornwall.”
Councillor David Harris, Cornwall Council’s deputy leader, said: “This will retain much-needed affordable housing provision in Looe.” He said an open market sale would likely have resulted in “the loss of affordable housing provision in Looe”, impacting negatively on the housing service by “increasing demand for temporary accommodation”. He added: “A community-led redevelopment scheme would ensure the flats would still be used for affordable housing provision.”