‘Don’t kill stadium plan’ plea

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Cornwall councillors are being urged not to kill off plans for a Stadium for Cornwall when they meet to vote on three rival supermarket planning applications next week.

Inox Group, which already has planning permission for a Stadium at Threemilestone, said it was “astonished” that councillors were not being given the opportunity to consider plans that would pay for the stadium during an extraordinary planning committee meeting to decide on a new supermarket for the city.

Last month Inox submitted its own supermarket-led planning application, pledging to ring-fence the proceeds for the construction of a stadium via a legally binding Section 106 planning agreement if approved.

Stadium for Cornwall

But rather than wait until that application can be fully considered alongside the three other supermarket schemes, an extraordinary meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee has been tabled on September 26 that will only consider the other proposals.

Rob Saltmarsh, MD of Exeter-based Inox Group, said: “We are astonished that councillors are being asked to make a decision now which could kill off the Stadium plans altogether, for the sake of just a few weeks’ delay.

“We know from our discussions with supermarket operators that there is only scope for one more store in Truro. Morrisons have said that if the proposed Asda scheme at Willow Green goes ahead then they would abandon any plans for Truro. And the Council’s own retail consultants said as recently as August that only one store of the scale proposed is likely to proceed.

“If councillors approve one of these schemes next week then Truro’s supermarket demand will have been met for the foreseeable future. That would kill off our enabling development plans and with it the Stadium for Cornwall.

“It is a great shame that councillors have been put in such an invidious position. I only hope they defer making any decision next Friday until such a time as they are given an opportunity to consider our proposal alongside all the others.”

“We need a supermarket in our scheme to fund the Stadium for Cornwall. The other schemes need a supermarket purely for developer super-profit”

Saltmarsh said he was even more perplexed given that the Inox plan would yield by far the biggest community benefit for the city.

He said: “All of these supermarket schemes, ours included, will have some impact on the city centre. But it is only our scheme that will offset some of that impact through the additional revenue that the Stadium would generate for Truro, which is estimated at millions of pounds.

“And of course it would provide a range of other sporting and community benefits for the whole of Cornwall for years to come.”

Saltmarsh said that was why the Truro Chamber of Commerce, in its comments about the three applications going to next week’s committee, had said in its formal submission to council officers: “The Chamber would not support any proposal that does not financially support the Stadium for Cornwall. The stadium would do much to enhance business in the Truro area.”

Saltmarsh added: “We need a supermarket in our scheme to fund the Stadium for Cornwall. The other schemes need a supermarket purely for developer super-profit. I hope elected members realise that.”