Passionate debate: Views are aired on way ahead for town
PASSIONATE St Austell residents turned out to express their views at a heated public meeting about three major supermarket plans for the town.
More than 100 people packed into the committee room of the St Austell One Stop Shop in Penwinnick Road last Wednesday evening.
The meeting was for residents to give Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee their views about three plans involving supermarkets. Arguably the most controversial of the three is the Coyte Farm scheme by developers Mercian, which would see a £110 million, 160,000sq ft, out-of-town retail park built on 98 acres of green land at St Mewan.
It would feature a Sainsbury's supermarket and a Marks & Spencer, as well as a care home, pub and petrol station.
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The second, by developer Terrace Hill, seeks to demolish the existing Cornwall Council offices on Penwinnick Road to make way for a modern office block and a new supermarket, creating about 350 jobs.
Cornwall Council said the proposed four-storey office block would safeguard the 450 public sector jobs in the town and would save the unitary authority about £700,000 a year.
The third application is for a Morrisons' supermarket on brownfield land at the Pentewan Lab site, submitted by developers Broadley Park Properties.
Local people gave arguments both for and against the three plans and opinion appeared to be divided on Coyte Farm.
Some said it would destroy the town centre, whereas others stated St Austell needed more development and more national retailers.
A selection of the views voiced at the meeting can be seen in the quote boxes on this page.