County reveals plans for £18m techno park
Proposals for a new £18 million technology park which it is hoped will bring investment and employment to part of Cornwall's Clay Country are to go out to public consultation.
The scheme for Carluddon, near the A391 north of St Austell, could bring major road improvements to an area which has suffered from the decline of the clay industry.
Cornwall Council will be organising a series of drop-in events with the aim of informing local people about what is on the cards and getting views on how the project could be improved.
Chris Rowe, Cornwall Council local member for Penwithick, said the proposals had a lot to offer.
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"What really excites me about this project is the potential for more employment that is very much needed to come to this area," he said.
"The job opportunities will not only be during the construction phase, but ongoing with the development of the technology park.
"This is just the kind of project that can make a difference to the local community."
The new scheme, called the Carluddon A391 road improvement and technology park, would bring a state-of-the-art 2.8 hectare technology park to the community and result in a new section of the A391.
The proposals also cover the first employment building and masterplan for the remaining employment land.
The new section of road, which will move a mile-long section of the A391 west at Carluddon, will reduce congestion for vehicles travelling to and from St Austell and include cycle and pedestrian links.
Chris Ridgers, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for the economy, urged people to have their say.
"I welcome the opportunity to be part of this project that is intended to bring investment that will lead to jobs in this area of Cornwall," he said.
"The project will focus on environmental technology jobs which will be a key area for national growth and I am keen to promote and develop this sector in the china clay area."
The week of drop-in consultation events will be held between Saturday, September 8, and Friday, September 14.
After the consultation the results will be evaluated and the proposal will be finalised ahead of the submissions of the planning applications in December 2012. Cornwall Council will also be applying for European funding and potentially national funding to match the funds already committed to the project through the Eco-communities Programme of Development.
Peter Wyper, chairman of Treverbyn Parish Council, said he hoped the scheme would come to fruition.
"I am pleased that Cornwall Council is encouraging local participation in bringing forward this proposal," he said.
"I believe that it will have a very significant and positive effect on the parish, and the parish council will actively encourage participation by our community."
The consultation starts at St Austell Town Centre Market between 9.30am and 2pm on Saturday, September 8.
Other venues throughout the following week include Stenalees Methodist Church, Penwithick Village Hall, Bugle Methodist Church Hall, Cornwall College St Austell campus and Asda at St Austell.