SIXTY residents turned out to express their views at a heated public meeting about three major supermarket plans for St Austell.
More than one hundred people packed into the committee room of St Austell One Stop Shop in Penwinnick Road on Wednesday, January 16, evening.
The meeting was for residents to give Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee their views about three planning applications involving supermarkets.
Arguably the most controversial of the three is Coyte Farm, by developers Mercian, which would see a £110 million, 160,000sq ft, out-of-town retail park built on 98 acres of green land at St Mewan.
It would feature a Sainsbury's supermarket and a Marks and Spencer as well as a care home, pub and petrol station.
The second , by developer Terrace Hill, seeks to demolish the existing Cornwall Council offices on Penwinnick Road to make way for 21st-century offices and a new supermarket, creating about 350 jobs.
Cornwall Council said the proposed four-storey office block would safeguard the 450 public sector jobs in the town and save about £700,000 a year.
The third application is for a Morrison's supermarket on brownfield land at the Pentewan Lab site, by developers Broadley Park Properties.
Residents gave arguments both for and against the applications and opinion appeared to be totally divided on Coyte Farm.
Some said it would destroy the town centre, whereas others stated St Austell needed more development and more national retailers.
"My children can't be sustained on green fields, they're not squirrels!" passionate resident Jenny Trennelly said at the meeting, in favour of all three applications.
But resident Jamie Armstrong had concerns. He said at the meeting: "There's more than ample evidence to show car fumes cause all sorts of things like autism and vastly encourage premature deaths and births."