Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cornwall Council statement on Langarth Development

Cornwall Council has just issued the following statement with regard to the Langarth development between Truro and Threemilestone:

"As part of the planning permission given for the Langarth Farm mixed use development Cornwall Council was required to exercise an option for outdoor sports provision to serve the development in accordance with the Heads of Terms of the section 106 agreement approved by the Strategic Planning Committee in May 2012.

Three options were originally proposed and, having carefully considered all the relevant issues, the Council’s Director of Economy, Enterprise and Environment has today formally notified  the owners of the land, the Stephens family, and INOX, the developer, that he is requiring the parcel of land, known as 'the Blue Land', to be transferred to the Council.  This transfer will also include a sum of up to £900,000 which will be used to provide outdoor sports facilities for the local community at a later date, post commencement of the development.

This option provides the best facilities and the best potential for future expansion and, is, therefore, considered to be in the overall best interests of current and future residents of the Langarth and Threemilestone area.

In making this decision, the Council was required to consider how best to provide open space and outdoor sports facilities to serve the Langarth development. At a later date other developments in the area may well share the facility subject to appropriate s106 agreement contributions. Various other matters, including the provision of a stadium, are outside the scope of this decision and could not be legally required as part of the s106 agreement.

The site chosen by the Council for open space is the same land that has planning permission for a stadium to be built. However, selecting this option will ensure that the largest and flattest area has been preserved for public use and will ensure that it is not the subject of an application for an alternative development proposal, which is a real risk should the Council not choose this option. Selecting this land does not necessarily preclude its development for a stadium in the future.

While the Council has previously expressed its support in principle for a stadium funded by the private sector, no substantive plans have been put forward to build the stadium since the original planning permission was granted.  Should a realistic proposal come forward in the future, the Council would consider the feasibility of exchanging the stadium site for similar alternative  land in the Threemilestone and Langarth area for open space and public sports provision.

We note INOX's offer to extend the period of time in which the decision could be made. We thank them for this but note that it would require a change to the existing planning obligation and the consent of landowners. As we do not believe that additional time would lead to a better informed or a different decision, we do not think it would be beneficial to take it."

UPDATE: I'm sorry to see that a Conservative hanger-on is busy trying to stir up trouble on this issue by lying. The truth is as detailed above. Whilst members of the cabinet were asked for our opinions on this issue, the decision was taken by officers. Those same officers also sought the opinion of the two local councillors for the area - including the Conservative group leader Cllr Ferguson. Both indicated their support for the option that was chosen.

If anyone has any questions or wants clarification, please get in touch and I'd be happy to get them an answer.

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