Plans aimed at delivering the Stadium for Cornwall in Truro will go back to Cornwall Council’s planning committee next month (June 16).
Truro and Penwith College, The Cornish Pirates, Inox Group and Henry Boot Developments are working in partnership to deliver the multi-use stadium, which already has detailed planning permission at Threemilestone.
In March, Cornwall Council deferred making a planning decision on a retail-led scheme called West Langarth that would have paid for a £10 million 6,000 capacity stadium, which could be extended to 10,000 capacity in the future.
Councillors said before they could approve the scheme they wanted more information about ecological impact, traffic, archaeology and a Section 106 legal agreement that would guarantee the delivery of the stadium, saying they would reconsider it in three months.
Cornwall Council has told the stadium partners that the West Langarth application will be considered by an extraordinary meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee on June 16.
Martin Tucker, director at Truro and Penwith College, which has earmarked £2 million for the Stadium for Cornwall, said: “The team has worked very hard to make sure that we have responded fully to the concerns expressed by the members of the SPC.
“We are confident that the Council has everything it needs to make a decision. Having addressed the four reasons for deferral we are hopeful of a positive outcome because this is the only way a Stadium for Cornwall can be delivered by the private sector.”
“We know that Cornwall Council cannot commit any public funds. The Prime Minister has said the Government might be able to find ‘a bit of money’, but that’s not enough to deliver the stadium and Mr Cameron has made it very clear that there is not a bottomless pit of money.
“It is clear from comments made by Chancellor George Osborne that the Government’s preferred option is for the private sector to take the stadium delivery lead. Planning consent for West Langarth therefore remains critical for the stadium to become a reality.”
“We have listened carefully to members’ concerns and dealt with the matters raised”
Truro has long been identified as the only viable location for the stadium following a £78k Cornwall Council commissioned study of 27 potential sites based on transport, social, environmental and economic factors. The original stadium planning application in Truro and the current West Langarth enabling application have received more than 25,000 signatures of support from across Cornwall and beyond.
The consented stadium site is next to Inox Group’s £400 million Langarth Farm development, which will meet most of the infrastructure costs for the stadium, including road access, water, sewerage and electricity connections, saving millions of pounds in build costs.
Langarth Farm has outline planning permission and detailed consent will be sought by Inox Group for the first phase this summer, including infrastructure to service the stadium site.
Rob Saltmarsh, managing director of Inox Group, said: “We are proposing a private-sector led solution that can deliver a 6,000 capacity stadium from day one, with the option to expand.
“We have listened carefully to members’ concerns and dealt with the matters raised. Our further survey work has re-confirmed our application as being entirely fit for purpose. We have been in discussion with budget food retailers and non-food retailers and are confident that if we have the opportunity to take a planning permission to the market place, we will secure the operators we need and that a Stadium for Cornwall will finally become a reality in Truro.”
Peter Marks, chairman of the Stadium for Cornwall Group, added: “After the decision taken on March 12 to defer the West Langarth planning application, we had over 37,000 social media hits and an overwhelming response from members of the public, not only Cornwall wide, but worldwide. We have detailed planning consent for the stadium in Truro, we just need planning permission for the funding package now.”
The stadium would be operated by a Trust and would provide a wide range of sporting, leisure, business and apprentice facilities. Cornwall Council has estimated that the annual economic benefit of the stadium to the local economy would be around £3 million, with at least £800k per year being spent in the city centre by fans. This is based on conservative estimates of attendance figures.
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.
It would be home to The Cornish Pirates rugby club and 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.
The stadium partners have recently extended their previous invitation to Truro City Football Club in the hope they will also become users and trustees of the stadium, and are in discussions with the Cornish Sharks American Football Team and the Cornish Rebels Rugby League Club about them using the stadium and its facilities, after both clubs expressed an interest.