A LOCAL housing organisation delved into the waves off Looe beach to raise awareness of its new housing initiative.

Three Seas, a new Cornwall-based organisation which helps to create housing for local people in their communities, hosted a media day which saw local residents, visitors and team members hoisting banners in and around the town.

The banners displayed a message stating ‘Save the coastguard flats for local homes. Invest now.”

A big banner was displayed for all to see
A big banner was displayed for all to see ( )

These banners were also paraded through the town, along the streets and towards the sea where they were then handed over to the Looe Sea Swimmers who took them out into the chilly waters off East Looe beach.

Guy Cooper, from the Looe Sea Swimmers, said: “The Looe Sea Swimmers together the Polperro Maids got together to show support for ‘Save the Coastguard Flats’ project. This listed building is a beautiful example of architecture which are also very well constructed. Unfortunately some of the flats have fallen into disrepair and this initiative is aimed to bring them back into use for dwellings - but more importantly for local people.

“With youngsters not being able to afford to live in the town now due to housing shortage being influence by the second home market, these will be offered to local people on a ‘points based’ system which will favour people from Looe.”

The aim of this event was to showcase to local people the launch of a community fundraising initiative which is looking to raise the last £250,000 needed to secure the Looe coastguard flats for housing.

A banner was displayed near Buller Quay car park
A banner was displayed near Buller Quay car park ( )

Three Seas manager, Simon Ryan, said: “It’s a lot of money and a big ask, we know that. But we also know very well the strength of feeling and the depth of support we’ve got in this town, from residents and visitors alike.

“We hope that hundreds of people will be able to buy our £100 shares and become genuine part-owners of the housing. This is investment, not donations – people truly get to be pat of the thing, and help safeguard it permanently for locals needing homes.

“We are so impressed by the sea swimmers – taking the banners to sea was their idea. It looked amazing, on an incredibly cold and blowy day, with massive waves blasting everyone. Thank you so much to the group, and to everyone who’s supporting us!”

The trust has secured a subscriptions arrangement, allowing people to buy their £100 share in monthly instalments over a year – making it possible for more people to get involved and support the project.

If it is successful, the group expect to complete the finances and finish the build up in July, for a September start on the building work and tenants moving in from next April.