Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Government Minister urges Cornwall Council to grant planning permission to supermarket which will fund stadium

A senior government minister has taken the extraordinary step of writing to the leader of Cornwall Council urging the authority to pass the planning application for a supermarket at Langarth that will fund the Stadium for Cornwall.

John Whittingdale is the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and his letter is reproduced below:

During the general election campaign, PM David Cameron gave his support to the stadium and said that there would be government money to help pay for it. No details of any funding have been forthcoming despite a follow up request by Truro MP Sarah Newton. Her colleague, St Austell MP Steve Double, has suggested that the stadium should instead be sited in his constituency.

Whatever you may think of the stadium itself, it is surely an extraordinary action for a government minister to urge the passing of a planning application - not for the stadium itself - but for a supermarket that could help to fund the stadium. Given that there have been four planning applications for supermarkets in that area, is the minister not laying the council open the an appeal from another supermarket applicant if they are unsuccessful on the grounds that the council may have been biased by the letter? I have confidence that Cornwall councillors will decide the stadium related application on its merits, just as they will do every other application that comes before them. I can't help thinking that the Whittingdale letter is distinctly unwise.

No comments: