A property developer is to challenge Cornwall Council’s grant of planning permission for a major scheme in Truro that includes the proposed £10m Stadium for Cornwall.
The local authority granted permission in July this year for the development at West Langarth. That scheme has been put forward by developer Inox Group and Henry Boot Developments in partnership with Truro and Penwith College and the Cornish Pirates rugby club.
However, rival developer Helical is bringing a legal challenge over the grant of permission. Helical has its own plans to redevelop Truro City Football Club’s ground nearby.
Helical Retail said it supported Stadium for Cornwall but had serious reservations with the council’s decision to permit the West Langarth scheme as an ‘enabling development’, "as it is legally and commercially flawed as a means of delivering the Stadium".
Jonathan Cox of Helical Retail said, “We have no problem with the Stadium for Cornwall itself and indeed we believe there is a window of opportunity, before we press the button to start on the new ground for Truro City Football Club (TCFC) at Silver Bow in the new year, whereby we would be willing to consider using available funds we would be spending on Silver Bow to go towards the funding of the Stadium for Cornwall and to give the Football Club a major stake in that project as part of an alternative funding approach.
“In time, the balance of the funding could come from Cornish Pirates, Cornwall Council, central Government, or the FA, or most likely a combination of these parties. We genuinely believe this is a more realistic way of bringing the Stadium for Cornwall to fruition. However, we must not forget that, in view of the TCFC current circumstances, the Truro City Shopping Park development at Treyew Road must move forward quickly in order to meet legal deadlines.”
A spokeswoman for Cornwall said: "The council has received a legal challenge from Helical in reference to the permission issued for the redevelopment of the West Langarth site for retail purposes. The council will be submitting a defence to the claim against the council’s decision making process."
Rob Saltmarsh, managing director Inox Group, said: “It’s deeply disappointing that Helical has chosen this course of action especially given the importance of the Stadium for many thousands of people in Cornwall.
“We can only assume it is to protect their commercial position at Treyew Road, despite their previous claims that they could proceed without retailers having signed up.
“We are confident that our retail application has been soundly determined by the council and that the council will robustly defend its decision-making process.”
Proceeds from the West Langarth development are to be used to fund the Stadium for Cornwall, together with a £2m contribution from the college. The proposed stadium will be a multi-use sports and education facility that will be a permanent home for the Pirates and a venue for other sports. Its capacity will be 6,000, extendable up to 10,000.
The development will house a number of activities run by the college and include a conference centre, meeting and function rooms.