Cornwall stadium decision planning chairman "despairing"

Proposed Cornwall stadium Image copyright InOX Group
Image caption The stadium will be home to the Cornish Pirates and used by Truro and Penwith College

The approval of plans for a retail development which will pay for a sports stadium in Cornwall has caused "despair", a planning chairman said.

Councillor Rob Nolan, who voted against the plans, said the Truro development would cause traffic chaos and "deal a major blow" to traders locally.

The move has been welcomed by sports fans and other supporters.

On Thursday, councillors voted 11-8 for the plans which include a supermarket funding a 6,000-seater stadium.

'Right decision'

Liberal Democrat Mr Nolan, chairman of Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee, said: "It's despairing. Truro is a vibrant and successful shopping centre. On a dream we've perhaps dealt it a major blow."

He described the decision as a "great day for sport, bad day for traders."

Truro business leader Simon Hendra shares that opinion. He said the vote left him "bemused" that councillors went against planning officers' advice to refuse the plans, and that "the retail reports say it'll do a lot of damage."

However, independent councillor Mark Kaczmarek - who voted for the plans - said this had come after many years of efforts to build a stadium.

"There's no other scheme on the table and as planners we have to take that balance. We came up with the right decision," he said.

'Wake up Cornwall'

The Cornish Pirates rugby club, Inox Group, Truro and Penwith College and Henry Boot Developments were behind the plans for the multi-use stadium.

It is expected to cost £10m with £2m promised by Truro and Penwith College and the other £8m from a deal still to be done with a supermarket and other retailers.

Among conflicting views on BBC Radio Cornwall's Facebook page, Christian Ford said: "Sort your lives out Cornwall!! Come on, I'm Cornish. Move with the times. Cornwall needs a stadium, more interest, jobs, events, future music venue etc.. Wake up!"

Bill Spears commented: "Truro will become a place to avoid like the plague. The traffic is an absolute nightmare."

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