Asda: We've not bought St Clare site
CORNWALL Council and Asda have moved to quash rumours that a fourth superstore might soon be sited in Penzance.
Last week The Cornishman published a letter from Roger Lowry which referred to "persistent rumours around town that Cornwall Council has sold the St Clare One Stop Shop site to Asda".
When The Cornishman followed up the claim, a council spokesman told the paper: "The council has not sold the St Clare site. However, we will be looking to market the site in early 2014.
Asda also gave a brief response: "While we're always looking for new ways to serve our customers better, we don't currently have any concrete plans to bring a store to Penzance."
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The St Clare site was formerly home to the offices of Penwith District Council until the body was abolished in 2009, and currently houses the offices of Cornwall Council's One-Stop Shop.
However, once the £5 million refurbishment of St John's Hall has been completed, it is expected that staff will be relocated there.
Jim McKenna, formerly the chief executive of Penwith District Council and now Cornwall councillor for the Penzance Promenade ward, which includes the St Clare site, said he would bitterly oppose another supermarket being built there.
"Three supermarkets in Penzance is already too many," he said.
"We need to make the best of Sainsbury's coming to the town and maximise the [Section] 106 receipts we're are getting for Penzance [money paid by a developer for local infrastructure improvements as a condition of planning consent].
"I'm wholly opposed to St Clare being used for anything else but housing, particularly for local people, and employment purposes.
"I've been assured by council officers that I'll see the development brief before they actively start marketing the site and will be following this up as a matter of urgency. Yet another supermarket in the town would be an absolute disaster."