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Truro Eastern District Development

New Plans for Truro

A planning application has been submitted for a multi-million pound shopping and housing development in east Truro. The Truro Eastern District Centre, would include a Cornish food hall and a small Waitrose supermarket at the Tregolls Road site. The project partners are Cornwall Council, the Duchy of Cornwall, Waitrose and The Taste of Cornwall. If it gets the go-ahead building work could start in 2012. The development, on a 19-hectare site near the city's cattle market, would include 98 new homes, community allotments and a waste recycling centre, plus a 1,300-space park and ride car park. Developers said the scheme could create more than 200 jobs. The Cornish food hall would only sell local produce and could generate estimated sales of £6m to £8m a year.

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Objection from CBG Council

Based on information seen and discussed by the CBG Council we feel that this narrow linear development will encroach into the designated Area of Great Landscape Value which currently defines tricted if it affects the distinctive character or quality of the area. Furthermore, we feel that the present landscape forms an important understated approach to the city and are in complete agreement with the applications landscape assessment which stresses that the descent into the city along Tregolls Road creates ‘a positive sense of arrival’. Development on the sky line of this steeply sloping green field site will severely dilute that sense of arrival.

We remain concerned that the proposed development will be cut off from the town by two main roads while the geography of the land sloping away from Truro to the east will prevent it from appearing part of Truro. We feel that it constitutes the worst kind of urban sprawl and that no amount of pastiche versions of Truro buildings will remedy this impression. Moreover, the conjunction of two main roads so close to the town centre is the wrong site for a Park and Ride scheme. All the most successful schemes are a considerable distance from town centres so that the normal traffic flow is not impeded, hence the success of the Western Park & Ride. Any scheme to the East should be able to relieve the huge volume of traffic through Tresillian as well as taking Truro bound traffic from the A30.

We believe that it is a dangerous precedent to promote a development based on the desirability of the Waitrose brand. Indeed, if Waitrose pulled out it would be available for any other supermarket.

Cornwall Council is putting the economy of Truro at risk in supporting the Eastern District Centre. At present in these fragile economic times Truro town centre has a vibrant retail sector able to sustain high rents. The same cannot be said of the commercial sector evidenced by the amount of office space available for rent. The maintenance of Truro's genuine historic architecture depends on the viability of its economy.

With such a contentious proposal and a great deal of local opposition it does not seem right that Cornwall Council's own Planning Committee is able to make the decision on its own proposal.