Plans to create a £10 million purpose-built multi-use Stadium for Cornwall on the edge of Truro have taken a major step forward.
Planning permission has finally been issued for the retail-led development at West Langarth that will fund construction of the new Stadium nearby.
The decision paves the way for detailed discussions with more than 10 retailers who have already shown interest in the retail element of the project, including a number of firm offers.
Cornwall councillors voted a year ago to approve the proposals subject to final legal contracts, including a Section 106 agreement. Those complex agreements have now been signed and formal planning permission has been issued.
Truro and Penwith College, The Cornish Pirates, Inox Group and Henry Boot Developments are working in partnership to deliver the multi-use stadium at Threemilestone on the western side of Truro.
Rob Saltmarsh, managing director of Inox Group, said: “This is very positive news for the Stadium project and although it has taken some time to reach this point, because of the complexities of the legal agreements and sheer scale of the project, signing of the s106 means we can enter into contractual negotiations with retailers about occupying the scheme.
“We already have formal offers on the table and we are absolutely confident that our commercial developer partner, Henry Boot Developments, will deliver a high quality retail, leisure and sporting destination for the whole of Cornwall. West Langarth will create hundreds of jobs, inject millions of pounds into the local economy and provide crucial funding to deliver the Stadium for Cornwall.”
He added: “We still have a lot of work to do but remain confident that retailers will still find this project attractive, despite the impact of the Brexit vote on the property sector. We hope to announce named retailers shortly, and finalise a delivery plan and target completion date for the Stadium.”
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 200 capacity conference centre, meeting and function rooms, of
fering 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.
Ian Connell, chairman of the Cornish Pirates, said: “This is excellent news and what everyone has been waiting for. Now we can all look forward and plan an exciting future for Cornish Pirates and for rugby and sport in Cornwall. This is just the news we want as we approach the start of the new season – fantastic for the players, coaches, support staff, fans and sponsors. Well done to everyone.”
Martin Tucker, director of Truro and Penwith College, said: "We are delighted that this major milestone has been reached in the collective ambition to see the Stadium for Cornwall realised. It means that as well as confirming our £2 million of capital investment in the project, the College can now start to finalise its plans for the stadium to realise its full potential. Not only as a sporting hub, but additionally as a centre of excellence for hospitality and business that will encourage, support and raise the skills and ambitions of generations to come.”
Peter Marks, chairman of the Stadium for Cornwall Group, which has campaigned for more than 10 years for the facility, added: “This is great news and a major step forward for the Stadium for Cornwall. West Langarth is critical to bankrolling the Stadium’s construction and with planning permission now in place it means occupiers can finally be signed up.”
The retail element of West Langarth is called the West Cornwall Shopping Park and is being marketed by commercial agent Tim Edwards, partner of Morgan Williams.
He said: “Having secured planning permission, we are now seeking pre-lets for this exciting new retail development. We have had significant interest in the project to date, notwithstanding the delay in securing consent. West Cornwall Shopping Park can now become a major retail destination, complementing Truro and serving the wider Cornwall catchment.”
As well as the new shops and restaurants in the West Cornwall Shopping Park, the West Langarth scheme includes a day nursery, petrol station, new homes, community sports pavilion, play areas and sports pitches.