THE FACE of Newquay is set to change forever after plans to bring a retail park, 800 homes, a new supermarket, a link road and hundreds of jobs to the resort were approved.
Members of Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee today voted overwhelmingly in support of three key schemes, proposed by the Duchy of Cornwall and Kingsley Developments.
Planning officers had recommended they refuse Kingsley’s Trevithick Manor plan for a retail complex, hotel, restaurant and car showroom - but councillors discarded the advice with 20 backing the plan and just one abstaining.
The Duchy’s Nansledan scheme, which received unanimous support, will see 800 homes built to the east of the town, as well as a £2.5m primary school, supermarket, ponds, orchard and retail space. Permission had already been granted for 500 homes and the 40-year development will eventually consist of around 4,000 homes and a similar number of jobs.
Prince Charles’s estate also successfully applied to build its section of the Newquay Strategic Route (NSR), which will form the backbone of Nansledan and link the northeast and south of the town, as well as providing vital access to the ‘Aerohub’ Enterprise Zone.
The only shock came as it was announced Kingsley had withdrawn an application for a supermarket on the Trevithick Manor site, which is located opposite Morrison’s.
Speaking after the meeting, Kingsley director Abe Simpson told the Cornish Guardian the plan had been deferred, rather than withdrawn, but would not comment further.
He added: “We are happy with today’s result and that members continue to show their support for our scheme which will be hugely prosperous for Newquay.”
It is expected that the Trevithick Manor development will create around 450 full-time jobs.
Council officers had recommended the plans for refusal, claiming a retail park would draw business away from the town centre, costing traders £10 million a year in lost revenue.
A report stated that the impact of Nansledan’s retail side would be less, but if both the Duchy’s and Kingsley’s plans were approved the town centre could lose a third of its trade.
To lessen the impact, a condition was agreed that no existing town centre retailer could move its operation to Trevithick Manor if it meant reducing its current shop floor space by more than half.
A retail expert had calculated that, with Kingsley’s scheme, Newquay could claw back around a third of the customers who currently leave the resort to shop in Truro.
Cornwall councillors for the Newquay area spoke passionately in favour of the plans, before they went to the vote.
Dave Sleeman, who represents the Treloggan area, said: “We desperately need these developments.” And John Fitter, local member for St Mawgan and Colan, added: “This is the natural progression of Newquay.”
Prior to the meeting, local member for Newquay Central, Geoff Brown, said the plans would herald a brighter future for the town, with homes, jobs, a wide choice of shops, and vibrant tourism industry.
He said: “Hopefully Newquay will finally see more people coming in to work than leaving each morning. I can see the town centre developing as a tourism hub with high quality tourism-style retail outlets, quirky gift shops and an outstanding range of food outlets together with a very family orientated night time economy working in harmony with residents. The larger national chain retail outlets on the fringe of the town may well bring additional shoppers from others parts of the county who could well then go into the town centre whilst they are here.”
* THE DUCHY of Cornwall has welcomed news that Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee unanimously approved its plans for Nansledan and the Newquay Strategic Route.
Estate surveyor Tim Gray said: “This is a landmark moment for Nansledan. These latest applications are the heart and backbone of the scheme and will secure its future delivery and the wide range of community benefits that will flow from it.
“These things do not happen without community support and our thanks must go to the large number of local people who have helped to shape the development, numerous interest groups, local elected members led by John Fitter and Pat Lambshead, and the officers at Cornwall Council who have worked so diligently in preparing their recommendations for the planning committee.
“The Duchy is always concerned to demonstrate that development can deliver great things and it is certainly our intention to deliver great things for Newquay and Cornwall by ensuring that Nansledan remains a model for sustainable development that meets the needs of local communities for decades to come.”