Editor’s blog: A lost opportunity

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I very much enjoyed the first episode of Poldark on television last weekend.

I’m sure local councillors on the strategic planning committee did as well, as many would appear to be living in the 18th century.

How depressingly predictable yesterday’s (March 12) meeting was. For all the noises Cornwall makes about being a progressive and forward thinking place, it can be very much stuck in the past.

Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee had a golden opportunity to approve an application to build a supermarket on the edge of Truro that would have bankrolled the construction of the Stadium for Cornwall, without the need for a penny of tax payers’ money.

The benefits it could have delivered for local sport, education, and business were immense.

But instead the dusty hobbyists at the Council approved two alternative supermarket schemes (despite previous guidance indicating there was only enough room for one additional supermarket in the area).

The Inox application was clearly not without its faults, but the positives surely outweighed the negatives. The issues could have been overcome given the opportunity.

Unfortunately, for our elected representatives it is far easier to find a reason not to support grand ambitions, rather than the other way round.

Cornwall is the only county in the country not to have a half-decent sporting arena. Indeed, there are 116 sports stadiums in England with a capacity of 10,000 or more, but not one in Cornwall.

It is difficult to see where the Stadium for Cornwall project goes from here. It has taken more than six years to get to this point, but now its best chance of securing the necessary funding to build it would probably be to buy a lottery ticket.

And you have to worry for the future of the Cornish Pirates. It is barely sustainable as a professional rugby club at its current base in Penzance. Without the prospect of the Stadium for Cornwall to move into, its focus now will be on mere survival.

And without a professional sports team to play in it, a Stadium for Cornwall would just not be viable.

Nick Eyriey

1 COMMENT

  1. On the radio a council representative said that the Inox plan could not be approved because the 5 new outlets that they slipped into their proposal would have affected the town centre outlets by more than 10% (actually it could have made a difference of 20% to businesses in town) and therefore not eligible for approval by law. Also apparently their plan allowed for all the work to be done on the supermarket and houses before even thinking about the stadium. Perhaps they dont understand the planning procedure well enough? In addition, they seemed to say that the councils remit is the people of Cornwall and they don’t care if two supermarket chains choose to fight it out. Personally I think a stadium would be great for Cornwall but maybe a complete rethink will have to be done.

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