Stadium for Cornwall update

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The partnership aiming to deliver a Stadium for Cornwall says it is working up revised proposals which it intends to present to Cornwall councillors in May.

Two weeks ago (March 12) the Councils strategic planning committee deferred making a decision on a retail-led scheme at West Langarth that would have paid for the stadium.

Instead it was minded to approve two rival supermarkets and almost 1,000 houses west of Truro.

Now the backers of the stadium project say they are re-working their scheme to see if it can still deliver a big enough windfall profit for the stadium and remain viable without a major supermarket.

They are also addressing the other issues that councillors raised.

Truro and Penwith College, The Cornish Pirates, Inox Group and Henry Boot Developments are working in partnership to deliver the multi-use stadium at Langarth.

Julian Painter, director at Henry Boot Developments, one of the UK’s leading property development companies, said: “A supermarket would have provided funds sooner and generated more value. That is no longer an option but we are not giving up. It’s been made more difficult and it will take longer, but we want to save the Stadium for Cornwall.”

Painter said there was potential to split the original supermarket unit into smaller units, one of which might still be food retail but on a smaller scale, and potential to get more value from the other non-food retail units which would mean securing pre-lets from interested retailers.

Plans for a sports hub at West Langarth would have to be scaled back, so there would be no community sports building or artificial floodlit pitch, but there would still be three grass pitches for community use, he said.

Painter added: “We can’t now deliver the wider community sports hub concept, that we had envisaged, but what we are trying to do is keep the hopes of thousands of stadium supporters alive and squeeze enough value from the development to deliver around £8 million of funding.

“With the £2 million on the table from Truro and Penwith College, that would give us the £10 million needed for the 6,000 capacity Stadium.”

“A supermarket would have provided funds sooner and generated more value. That is no longer an option but we are not giving up”

Meanwhile other work is ongoing to address the reasons for deferring the West Langarth planning application. A nesting bird survey is well underway and this week an excavator will dig 16 50-metre trenches to check for archaeological remains. Traffic survey work is also ongoing, with results expected from Cornwall Council’s consultants in the next few weeks.

Feedback is still awaited however from Cornwall Council on the draft Section 106 legal agreement which would guarantee delivery of the Stadium.

This was submitted last November but no formal comments have been received from Cornwall Council other than in a report sent to councillors the day before they deferred the West Langarth application.

Painter added: “We have been asked to address a number of issues including nesting birds, traffic data, archaeology and the draft s106 agreement.

“Although we still believe these issues could have been conditioned as part of a consent, we are cracking on as quickly as we can. It is disappointing therefore that while we are getting on with everything else, we have still not received any feedback from the council’s lawyers almost two weeks after committee.”

The stadium partners have requested that the outline planning application for West Langarth return to the planning committee for determination on May 14.

As well as a home for the Cornish Pirates, the Stadium for Cornwall would include a permanent base for Truro & Penwith College’s business centre, elite sport and hospitality and catering teaching facilities, with a training kitchen and restaurant, open to the public.

There would be a 200 capacity conference centre, meeting and function rooms, offering a platform for business and cultural events, including trade shows and fairs, as well as a venue for private parties, functions, weddings and concerts.

The stadium partners have recently extended their previous invitation to Truro City Football Club in the hope they will become joint tenants of the stadium.

For more information and to get involved visit: www.cornwallstadiumvision.co.uk