'Green wedge' fears over 160-home plan separating St Austell and St Blazey
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build on the green section of land that separates St Austell and St Blazey were unveiled to the public this week.
Tiverton-based developer Devonshire Homes Ltd wants to build 160 homes on a 20-acre stretch of green land at Holmbush Road, St Austell – to the west of Pinelodge Gardens.
The two and four-bedroom properties would be mixed open market and affordable homes.
Devonshire Homes could not confirm the percentage of affordable homes but said that it would be in line with Cornwall Council policy. The development would also include a restaurant operated by the Marston's chain.
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This would create about 50 full and part-time jobs, as well as 560sq m of office space and 700sq m of retail and/or office space.
Devonshire Homes has also mentioned the possibility of supplying money for a park and ride scheme to the east of St Austell as part of a Section 106 agreement to offset infrastructure impacts.
Councillors and residents alike have expressed concerns that the infrastructure would not cope and that the two towns would merge into one.
"From a chamber of commerce point of view, it's encouraging to see employment opportunities around the restaurant/pub and the other commercial properties," said St Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce chairman Tom French.
"However, I think the developers will attract considerable opposition if only because their development comes out on to the already heavily congested A390."
He suggested that a better use of the land would be to build residential protected housing next to Pinelodge Gardens, which would not increase traffic to the same level.
St Austell Bay Cornwall Councillor John Oxenham said he also had concerns about access and the disposal of surface rainwater and sewage, which worries residents who have recently been flooded.
"I'm fundamentally opposed to the development of this last remaining 'green wedge' separating Holmbush and St Blazey," he said.
"The residents have clearly stated they do not want every last green field built on."
Steve Russell, Devonshire Homes' land and planning director said: "We are pleased with the interest shown in our proposals for the Holmbush Road site.
"We value community feedback in the development of all our proposals and look forward to receiving further local comments following the public exhibition."