Stadium hopes still alive says Inox

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The developer behind the proposed Stadium for Cornwall project insists the scheme is still very much alive, despite today’s announcement that the Council intends to take key land under its control.

Cornwall Council today informed the land’s owners, the Stephens family, and the developer, Inox, that it is requiring the parcel of land, known as ‘the Blue Land’, to be transferred to the Council to be developed into public outdoor sports facilities.

As part of the planning permission given for the Langarth Farm mixed use development, Cornwall Council was required to exercise an option for outdoor sports provision to serve the development in accordance with the Heads of Terms.

The Blue Land was one of three options on the table. In a statement issued this morning, the Council said “the option provides the best facilities and the best potential for future expansion and, is, therefore, considered to be in the overall best interests of current and future residents of the Langarth and Threemilestone area”.

But it is also the piece of land that has planning permission to build a stadium.

The Council said that its decision does “not necessarily preclude its development for a stadium in the future” but added: “While the Council has previously expressed its support in principle for a stadium funded by the private sector, no substantive plans have been put forward to build the stadium since the original planning permission was granted.

“Should a realistic proposal come forward in the future, the Council would consider the feasibility of exchanging the stadium site for similar alternative land in the Threemilestone and Langarth area for open space and public sports provision.

“We note Inox’s offer to extend the period of time in which the decision could be made. We thank them for this but note that it would require a change to the existing planning obligation and the consent of landowners. As we do not believe that additional time would lead to a better informed or a different decision, we do not think it would be beneficial to take it.”

Inox’s MD, Rob Saltmarsh, remains confident, however, that the Stadium for Cornwall project will still be delivered.

He said: “Inox is pleased that after careful consideration, Cornwall Council has selected the ‘Blue Land’ option for outdoor sports provision as part of the Langarth residential S106 agreement, which also has detailed planning consent for a community stadium.

“Inox is currently progressing plans for an enabling development application that would fund the construction of a stadium at no cost to the taxpayer and this application is expected to be submitted in the later part of 2014.

“Inox remains wholly committed to ensuring that the stadium is delivered and that it will provide for an exciting and exceptional environment for sport, recreation, education and local business development in Cornwall.”