Cornwall Council is in the final stages of securing a new contractor to develop affordable housing on the site of former properties on Urban Terrace in Callington. 

Fifteen properties on Urban Terrace were evacuated in the autumn of 2018, when two residents complained of damp and subequent testing conducted identified the presence of mundic block — a cause of structural deterioration and weakening in concrete (used to build between the 1900s and 1950s) from the decomposition of minerals contained within it which were sourced from mining waste, thus rendering them unsuitable for habitation. 

The Council then immediately declared the houses unsafe to live in and re-assigned the residents of these properties to homes in Callington and other nearby towns at short notice. 

Ten of the homes were under Cornwall Housing ownership and five were privately owned.

Planning permission was submitted via Cornwall Council’s planning portal to build 15 new affordable homes on the site, however, these plans were put on indefinite hold after the contractor Cornwall Council originally secured went into receivership. 

A notice attached to fencing currently surrounding the site reads: ‘This site is due to be redeveloped to provide affordable housing for Cornwall Council in early Autumn 2021. Any issues with site security in the meantime should be reported to Cornwall Council.’

Since the former properties at the site were knocked down, no work has been conducted and it currently lies overgrown.

At Callington Town Council’s most recent meeting on Tuesday, June 28, an email sent by Cornwall Councillor for Callington and St Dominic Andrew Long (who could not be present) read out by assistant town clerk Tina Clahane said: “Following the demolition of Urban Terrace, the contractor appointed went into receivership and this has led to a delay. I can confirm Cornwall Council are in the final throws of agreeing a contract with a new contractor with the anticipation that subject to final signing off of the contract, work will begin in the next couple of months.

“Once contracts have been exchanged we will be organising a publicity campaign for the town as a whole and one-to-one communications with the closest residents to keep them in the loop.”

Cllr Long subsequently said: “Until all paperwork and contracts are signed, we can not reveal the name of the new contractor as this is commercially sensitive information. We are going through the process now and hope we can make the announcement and a start date to begin work by next week. The new contractor has done work for Cornwall Council before so they are known to us. 

“The new site will comprise 15 new affordable homes with parking bays.”