Cornwall stadium bid in doubt after funding plan deferred

Stadium for Cornwall Image copyright Inox
Image caption Planners had recommended refusing permission for a supermarket which would fund building the stadium

Plans for a new stadium in Cornwall are in jeopardy after councillors deferred a decision for a supermarket which would have paid for it.

Cornwall Council members voted on the plans and four other major retail developments in Truro on Thursday.

Developers Inox had said they would contribute £8m from the supermarket deal to build the 6,000-seat stadium.

Supporters say the decision effectively marks the end of the proposal, while Inox said a "miracle" was needed.

International support

A petition of nearly 5,000 signatures in favour of the stadium was handed in to County Hall before the meeting.

Ian Connell, chairman of the Cornish Pirates rugby club, said: "We are hugely disappointed. The decision was greeted with total dismay from supporters, some as far afield as New Zealand."

Rob Saltmarsh, the managing director of Inox, said: "I can't see a way forward. Members decided our application wasn't suitable or didn't offer enough benefit for Cornwall."

Two of the four proposals were approved at the meeting, but Mr Saltmarsh said there was "commercial demand" for only one supermarket so despite the deferral, he feared the stadium's supermarket would not be approved.

Image copyright Andrew Segal
Image caption Inox has been planning a housing scheme on the outskirts of Truro

He added it had taken Inox six years to get to this stage and doubted other developers would built a stadium in the current economic climate.

Truro and Penwith College vowed to contribute £2m to make up the £10m needed to build the stadium on the edge of Truro.

On Thursday, the Maiden Green development, a proposal for a supermarket and 515 homes was approved, as was the Willow Green application, which includes a supermarket, 435 homes and a primary school.

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