Friday, 18 March 2011

The Stadium for Cornwall

Earlier this week at a meeting of Cornwall Council’s Cabinet, the Cabinet voted to work up a full business plan for a stadium near Threemilestone for the Cornish Pirates and others (see above).

There was considerable support at the meeting, though a number of members expressed concerns about the costs and the long-term viability of the venture. Most Cabinet members stated that there were questions that needed to be answered and were looking for more information in order to do just that.

I take the view that Cornwall has as much right to first-rate sporting facilities as elsewhere in the United Kingdom and I fully support getting a Stadium for Cornwall. Indeed, I would like to see a National Stadium for Cornwall.

At the meeting however, the information presented to councillors included references to plans for 1,700 houses nearby while there were also rumours about another supermarket for the locality.

In fact, I did get extremely frustrated by the debate at County Hall. Little was said about the potential associated development and a number of times the meeting was told this wasn’t about planning when it was! I indicated that I wished to speak but was not amongst the councillors who were called.

It was my view that it was disappointing that, firstly, there was little mention of existing planning policies. And secondly, no thought was given to ongoing work on new policies for Cornwall.

Truro Councillor Rob Nolan is presently chairing a working group that is looking at the future development of Truro and surrounding areas. It is investigating the scale of housing that would be appropriate in and around the City and where such development might go, in order to inform future planning policies to guide development in this part of Mid Cornwall.

But Cornwall Council has already darted ahead of this process by submitting a planning application for a park and ride scheme on the eastern side of Truro (including housing), while a range of other large schemes are being promoted on sites around Truro.

It is my view that Cornwall Council has a lot of work to do to ensure a more joined-up approach to planning and the development of planning policy for the future.

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