WORRIES that planes could crash into a proposed housing development on the outskirts of Truro have been described as a “nail in the coffin” of Cornwall’s stadium plan.
Experts acting for Truro Airfield wrote to the council saying public safety could be put at risk if the developer Inox’s proposal for 1,500 homes and businesses is approved. It is one of two parallel outline applications which include the stadium on Langarth Farm, behind the park and ride.
Councillor Bert Biscoe, who represents Truro, said: “The letter reinforces the very strong feeling that there isn’t really a viable business plan for the stadium.
“Most people who are being healthily sceptical are saying this is just another nail in the coffin.”
The stadium got outline planning permission in November but Cornwall Council’s business plan for it has never been revealed. Inox vowed to donate the land for the stadium, but it is understood the deal would fall through if the housing plans were not approved.
Mr Biscoe said: “It’s safe to assume that if Inox doesn’t get its planning consent for 1,500 houses it would be difficult to understand the economics behind it handing over land for a stadium. The whole thing has been conceived without taking the airfield into account. If you go into these things in a rush then oversights will be made and can be very costly.”
Planning analysts Kember Loudon Williams, acting for Truro Airfield, warned that single engine planes would fly only 200ft above proposed houses at Langarth.
It wrote: “Please note that the take-off is the loudest constituent part in the standard use of an aircraft – as it is when the most power is required and when statistically the engine is most likely to fail.”
Consideration of Inox’s plan for homes, a restaurant, retail space, a care home and a park and ride extension by Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee is due to take place next month after two postponements.
Cornwall Council denied receipt of the letter – stating “the consequences for the aerodrome could be serious and compensation for loss of business may well be claimed” – days before the meeting, had anything to do with the postponement.
Graham Barral, owner of Truro Airfield, said: “We will use all our energies to prevent the situation of these houses being built and all the problems that it will cause us.
“We have planning consent for 180 aircraft movements a week. The housing development would make our flying illegal.”
He said the council’s original “scoping” failed to take the airfield into account.
Councillor Chris Ridgers, Cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “I’m sure it’s just part of the normal information that is issued ahead of the planning application. Whether the stadium goes ahead has no bearing on the housing.”
Inox declined to comment.
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