Eco-town to 'transform' clay pit area
PLANS for a new eco-town in Cornwall were given a massive boost yesterday when the developers announced where they want to start.
At a press conference at Imerys' headquarters at the Par Moor Centre, St Austell, the head of Orascom – the Egyptian developers of the project – Samih Sawiris, announced the sites at Baal Pit and West Carclaze would be merged together to form the core of the development.
He said the Par Harbour site was also earmarked for simultaneous primary development.
Orascom plan to merge the sites at Carclaze and Baal Pit creating a central development of around 2,000 homes and redirect the congested A391 at Carluddon around the main site.
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This means that the homes along the small stretch of road on the A391 between the two sites will become incorporated into the eco development.
Shirley Lean, 70, of Carluddon, who lives on the stretch of road, said she was overwhelmed by the news.
"I am shocked and to be honest rather worried, it's a lot of news to take in," she said.
"I have lived in this area all my life and this will be the biggest change to the area yet. I want a consultation process."
At the conference Mr Sawiris said he hoped to file a planning application as soon as possible for the Baal Pit and Carclaze sites, and expected to get planning permission for 70 or 80 taster homes by next spring. "We want to try out every type of combination and work with a number of different local construction services so in the long run we know who we can depend upon," he said.
He expected a planning application for Par harbour and the long term project at Baal Pit and Carclaze to be filed by the end of 2010.
Mr Sawiris said the reason for the two sites becoming one was to create a large amount of people and a better, wealthier town.
"A fully fledged town does not exist without jobs, and we plan to provide the infrastructure to provide this," he said.
He also said Orascom intended to provide a balance of affordable housing and more expensive homes and residents of the eco-town would be contractually obliged not to use their eco-house as a second home. "We will be speaking to as many residents as possible," he said.
At Par Harbour Mr Sawiris said he had ideas for a promenade, a marina and to preserve the fishing trade, as well as 500 homes. Par Green resident, Sue Jago, said: "I would expect full consultation to take place with people living in such close proximity to the docks."
There will be a public meeting at the Keay Theatre, John Keay House at 6.30pm on November 18 where plans will be discussed.