Plans to build Treneere Estate April 1938



At a special meeting on Friday Penzance town Council adopted building scheme at Treneere involving a total expenditure of over £146,000. the Council propose to build 316 houses. for these the tender of Messrs. E. Dennis and sons —the lowest —was accepted at £120,000. The tender of Messrs. Northcott and Sons, Exeter, was accepted in £26,112. for the construction of roads and sewers. The question of time was a dominating feature of the proceedings.

The present rate of subsidy expires at the end of 1938, and the Council desires to get as many houses as possible erected and occupied by that time in order to get the advantage of the subsidy. In order that no time should be lost, the members the Council not on the Housing Committee had, assembled to the of the Housing Committee before : the latter had concluded their deliberations. It was stated that the contractor had guaranteed to complete the houses by next Christmas. The Mayor (councillor. John Birch) presided.
The Town clerk explained that the meeting had been called to receive the report of the Housing Committee adopted at their meeting held that evening: The committee considered the tenders received for the erection of 316 houses and shops at Treneere. The committee recommended that the tender of Messrs E Dennis and Sons the lowest be accepted £120,000; and that the tender Messrs. E Northcott and Sons, of Exeter, for the construction of roads and sewers at £26,112 be accepted. The committee recommended that the following rents be charged:
2-bedroom flats. 5s 6d per week, the tenants paying the rates;
2-bedroom non-parlour houses, 6s per week;
3-bedroom houses non type, 6s 3d per week;
4, bedroom non-parlour type, 6s 6d or 7s per week;
3 bedroom parlour house, 12s per week;
Shops 19s. per week.
In all cases the tenants pay the addition the rents. The Town Clerk explained that the rents were based the present subsidies, which were conditional upon the houses being occupied before 31st December 1938 . Five tenders were received, and that of Messrs. Dennis was the lowest. Ald. Trenwith (chairman the Housing Committee) moved the adoption the report. The matter had been under consideration for a long time, but many difficulties had been encountered, with the result that the time which the houses could be erected in order to secure the present subsidy was very short. He believed they had a very comprehensive scheme, and that the layout was one of the finest possible for a building estate such as that.
Thanks were due to the architect s department for this, and though the layout of the Gwavas Estate was very fine, he thought the lay-out of Treneere would be improvement even on that. Thought the rents suggested were by means prohibitive compared houses in which people were living today with practically no accommodation at all. The end 1938 the present subsidy would cease and a new form of subsidy would be inaugurated by no means as favourable as the present one, and was the aim of the committee to get much relief as humanly possible.
They had an assurance from the contractor that they would complete 144 houses by the end of December. That would accommodate the larger proportion of those who would be displaced. They were Anxious that no stone should put in the way of the that scheme, and anyone who was responsible for any delay must bear their responsibility. Councillor . Melbuish seconded the adoption the report, he was sure it would be a splendid job.
Councillor Vere said he was under the impression that they were going have the price the land disclosed. He presumed they had taken that into consideration fixing the rents of the houses. They could not fix the price of the houses without knowing the price of the land. Ald Trenwith reviewed the position, and the progressive steps the Council and the Housing Committee had taken, and pointed out that an enquiry had been held into the price of the land Whilst they did not Know the exact penny what the land would cost, they could rest assured that the Town Clerk had based his figures on what he thought would be the possible price. they could not afford to wait a week longer even for that. Councillor Vere said that was not a satisfactory answer it would appear that the chairman was trying to convey the impression that he (Councillor Vere) was impeding the building of houses. That was not so; but did not want the Housing Committee to come before them at a future date and ask for a supplementary estimate to meet any shortage because of the rents fixed. They could leave the rents until they knew what the land was going to cost. Councillor Melbuish took it that the figures were approximate. Councillor Johnson asked it was a fact that the difference between the amount offered by the Council and the amount the owners were prepared to accept represented 10s per year each house. The Mayor said the figures given were not definite; they were approximate; they were not a guess, but approximate estimate they could reasonably expect to be true. The Town Clerk said the rents would be fixed after the houses were built. Ald. Jackson asked what was the difference between the number of houses the contractor guaranteed to build by the end December and the number of displacements they knew must take place. The Town Clerk: About 50. Ald. Jackson expressed they hope that every endeavour would be made during the construction of the 144 houses the contractor guaranteed get the other 50 built, as the matter of the subsidy was very important. Councillor Vere said they were proposing to build 316 houses. Of these they might get 140 built by Christmas, if they were lucky and he hoped they would be. What would happen to the remainder? Would they lose the subsidy? The Mayor: We shall have the subsidy. Councillor Vere; We are going to lose money. Has that been taken into consideration ? Ald Trenwith: We shall not loose; money. On those houses that are occupied by the end of December "we shall have the greatest amount of subsidy. If we wait till the new Act comes into dealing with overcrowding, we shall get bigger subsidiary under that Act than we are getting at the present time.
The committee's report was adopted
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In today's money 6s and 3d is worth £19.71 :cool:
?What method did you use for such a conversion?
It is interesting to note that in 1938 the "average" wage was around £1 18s 6d, meaning that their rent amounted to about 16% of their wages. But now, with the "average" wage being around £450 council rents work out to around 25% of the wage! (using approximate figures from the internet) An "average" Cornish wage of around £288, gives us about 38.2% of the wage! More than double that in 1938!
It would be interesting to see similar comparisons across the board, Bread, Potatoes, Beer, Transport, etc. I think it would help explain why many working people have to rely on benefits to make ends, almost, meet these days.


I used the Historical inflation calculator from the financial website "This is Money" Scroll down to the Price then and now calculator. :)
Yes it would be great to see the comparisons. I might be able to put up some food prices from the local papers of the time soon ;)
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