Thursday, 11 December 2014

Threemilestone and beyond

How do the other big three applications at Threemilestone stack up?

A six month delay allows more light to be shone on the other three big applications at Threemilestone. So how do they stack up?
All of them are in the area covered by the Council's Development Brief and are relatively close to Truro/ Threemilestone.

 Is an application for a supermarket next to the Park and Ride on land already consented for a hotel and other uses. So far I do not think it has any supermarket tenant signed up. It offers no significant planning contribution to the wider area (and is not obliged to because it is just a supermarket).

Maiden Green
On paper this ticks a lot of boxes in terms of its contribution to the wider development. However, if it has no tenant signed up for the supermarket (which appears to be the case), these contributions may be unviable.
It seems that the contours of the site and the need to use more than one level make this a less attractive site for a supermarket and the proposed new primary school.
This application is said to have the worst traffic impact.

Willow Green
This application apparently has Asda signed up and will contribute, assuming all goes to plan, a new primary school, affordable housing and a significant chunk of the northern access road to the hospital.

"Assuming all goes to plan" is a very real caveat based on our experience elsewhere. Unless there is a mechanism for tying together the housing delivery with the supermarket, there must be a strong likelihood that the supermarket and the bit of road will be built. Then, the other chunks of land will be sold off for housing. At that stage the Living Villages concept in the outline application may go out the window and the percentage of affordable housing may come down.

As the Government are providing money for new school places will the Council need the new school money?

All the applications, including INOX's application at West Langarth, provide money for open space on a per home built basis rather than the open space itself. The amounts provided in all cases are wholly inadequate to buy  land for open space in Truro,  as I have blogged before on the Council's Open Space Strategy.

As a local member I have always said that I have major concerns about the impact of traffic congestion and pollution on the Highertown corridor. However, if there is to be further development then it seems to me that the Council must take responsibility for delivery of the northern access road. It would also stop the potential for developers to hold each other to ransom.

The Council needs to get Government funding and use compulsory purchase powers to build the road as soon as possible.   I have received no answer yet as to why that has not been done.

With these and other applications likely to be decided on the same day in March next year it is beginning to look like planning on the A390 is out of the control of Cornwall Council.   Another application which turns up shortly before the planning meeting (such as the redevelopment and relocation of Truro City Football Club) could lead to a demand for a further deferment to allow more considerations.  On the basis of past actions that may be hard to resist.

I wonder what the odds would be on a Secretary of State intervention and subsequent actions in the High Court?

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