Backers of a multi-million retail-led development on the edge of Truro that will fund the £10 million Stadium for Cornwall say they are “deeply disappointed” that the scheme is now being challenged in the courts.
Planning permission for West Langarth was issued by Cornwall Council to developer Inox Group and Henry Boot Developments in July this summer, paving the way for detailed negotiations with retailers interested in occupying the scheme.
Inox Group is working in partnership with Truro and Penwith College, The Cornish Pirates and Henry Boot Developments to deliver the multi-use Stadium for Cornwall at Threemilestone.
But now a London-based property investment company called Helical, which has its own retail-led plans to redevelop Truro City Football Club’s ground on Treyew Road nearby, has mounted a legal challenge and is calling for a judicial review of Cornwall Council’s planning permission for West Langarth.
It had been hoped that construction work on the stadium would begin next year, but any legal challenge could mean lengthy delays.
Inox MD, Rob Saltmarsh, said: “It’s deeply disappointing that Helical has chosen this course of action especially given the importance of the stadium for many thousands of people in Cornwall. We can only assume it is to protect their commercial position at Treyew Road, despite their previous claims that they could proceed without retailers having signed up.
“We are confident that our retail application has been soundly determined by the Council and that the Council will robustly defend its decision-making process.”
Julian Painter of Henry Boot Developments commented: “We have significant retail occupier interest in the West Langarth project, but the threat of what we view as a commercially motivated judicial review creates unwelcome delays at a time when we are keen to push forward and formally secure the lettings we need to deliver the Stadium for Cornwall.”
Peter Child, interim chief executive of the Cornish Pirates, added: “The Stadium for Cornwall has massive public support and is pivotal to our future plans for the club and our ambitions to bring Premiership rugby to Cornwall. At a time when we have attracted new investment into the Pirates and are working towards an international rugby partnership with two of the top sides in New Zealand, it would disappoint the whole community to see delivery of the Stadium further delayed.”
Martin Tucker, director of Truro and Penwith College, said: “Our commitment to the Stadium for Cornwall remains undimmed and we will continue to work with the Pirates and others to ensure that it is a centre of excellence for sport, hospitality and business. We share the disappointment about this legal challenge and hope the court will determine that there is no case to answer.”
West Langarth includes new shops and restaurants plus a day nursery, petrol station, new homes, community sports pavilion, play areas and sports pitches. Proceeds from the development will be used to fund the Stadium for Cornwall, together with a £2 million contribution from Truro & Penwith College.
The Stadium for Cornwall is a multi-use sports and education facility that will be a permanent home for the Cornish Pirates and a venue for other sports. It will house the Truro & Penwith College business centre, plus its elite sport and hospitality and catering teaching facilities, including a kitchen and restaurant open to the public.
There will be a 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 will have an initial capacity of 6,000, extendable to 10,000, and already has planning permission.