COUNCIL leaders have today agreed to accept a £1.4 million government grant to kick-start an eco-town development in St Austell.
Cornwall Council’s cabinet gave the backing to accept the money, which will be used to draw up a masterplan and eventually a full planning application for the site at West Carclaze.
It could see up to 1,500 new homes built along with a new primary school and road improvements around Bugle and Stenalees.
The ambitious plans for the eco town were first mooted seven years ago, along with five other sites including a scheme at Par Docks.
However, last year the private firm spearheading the development – Eco-Bos – announced it was to scale back its operations due to the tough economic climate.
Speaking at today’s meeting, councillor Bert Biscoe said he had some concerns.
“It does look like a bit of a rescue mission,” he said.
Mr Biscoe said that he did not want to Par Docks to be lost as port, if the regeneration plans for that site ever materialised.
“If Cornwall Council leads the project… then I have some concerns about Par Docks. It is extremely important to the future infrastructural provision of Cornwall.”
However, ward councillor David Hughes said Par Docks is no longer used in that capacity and that the deep water port of Fowey was more than capable of handling larger vessels.
Dick Cole, councillor for St Enoder, said he had concerns about the “scale” of the housing development and wanted assurances that, should the scheme not get built, that the 1,500 homes would not be re-allocated to St Austell.