Guide will outline regeneration plans for St Austell, St Blazey and china clay
A BLUEPRINT for regeneration across the St Austell, St Blazey and china clay area has been approved, putting an end to planning policy limbo.
The revised St Austell, St Blazey and China Clay Area Regeneration Plan was given the green light at Wednesday's Cornwall Council Cabinet meeting.
The blueprint sets out policies on where and how much development should take place over the next decade and beyond.
Council chiefs agreed to adopt the plan as corporate policy so that it became "a material consideration in the determination of relevant planning decision until the Cornwall Local Plan 2010-2030 is formally adopted".
Earlier this year the brakes were slammed on the original document, adopted in August 2011, following the threat of a legal challenge from a third party who felt an appraisal in the report "clearly favoured certain sites to the detriment of others".
Cabinet's decision to rubber stamp the amendments has now released the brakes.
The document will now be regarded when assessing all major large-scale developments and not just developments which depart from the adopted policy.
It has also been changed to include the possible use of greenfield or agricultural land to meet housing need.
St Austell Town Council has welcomed the reinstatement of the document and is supporting the principles.
Derek Collins, chairman of the town council's planning committee, said: "The plan recognises the importance of the St Austell area, the need to create good-quality jobs and the need for developments to be of a high sustainable standard.
In the absence of an over-arching plan for Cornwall, the town council and Cornwall Council will be guided by this important document."
Cornwall councillor Graham Walker, who represents Bethel ward, said it meant that there was no longer a "free for all" for developers who were "chomping at the bit" to build.
But he voiced disappointment that Cornwall Council has not considered in it discussions of the draft Cornwall Local Plan, which will eventually be the overarching document.
The plan's approval means Imerys's vision to regenerate 700 hectares of former industrial land into "one of Europe's most sustainable communities" has taken a step closer.
John Hodkin, Eco-Bos project director said: "We welcome the progress made on the St Austell, St Blazey and China Clay Area Regeneration Plan as a positive step towards achieving regeneration in Mid Cornwall. We look forward to similar development of the core strategy which will provide a comprehensive planning policy framework for Cornwall."