Thursday, 4 April 2013

Stadium gets the planning go ahead

The Stadium for Cornwall this morning got the go ahead from Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee. But big questions still remain as to whether the £16 million or so needed to take the project forward will ever be found.

In terms of the application being discussed today, it is clear that the proposers had listened to previous concerns and modified their design as a result. The stands are lower profile and the pitch will now have a 4G surface to enable it to be used more frequently. I share the worries of my colleague Rob Nolan that the location might be the wrong one and that it will enable the development of more (unwelcome) houses. But it is clear that the design itself is a good one.

But the question will remain as to how the development will be paid for. Cornwall councillors have voted against any idea of giving the scheme any public money. My personal view is that there needs to be a clear idea of the community benefit before public funding can be considered - but it was wrong to rule it out entirely at this time. But any consideration of public money is particularly difficult at a time when all councils are seeing services cut.

But with planning permission now secured, the scheme's proposers now have a much better chance of attracting grant and private funding for the scheme. As ever, time will tell.

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