New £100m plan for homes and shopping complex

New £100 million proposals have been brought to the table to build a housing and shopping complex on the outskirts of a Cornish town amid continuing controversy. Some residents in St Austell are already up in arms over Mercian Developments Limited’s bid to create a 100-acre site at Coyte Farm, around one-and-a-half miles from the town.  

Blueprints for the scheme, which will cost about £100 million include a 110,000sq ft food store, 90,000sq ft of non-food retail, a hotel and restaurant.

In a new twist this week Truro-based Westcountry Land & Homes have unveiled proposals for their scheme. The scheme at Higher Trewhiddle Farm around a quarter-of-a-mile away from the town centre would see around 400 houses built of which 120 would be affordable for local families. A major supermarket, small hotel and a petrol station would create more than 500 jobs.

The company said in excess of £750,000 would be contributed to the town’s education and healthcare facilities. John Schuttkacker, director at the firm said he believed the proposals were the “best alternative” for St Austell.

He said: “Westcountry Land’s holistic masterplanning delivers truly sustainable development. People can live, learn, work and shop all in one place. We are committed to this development as it is the most viable and immediately deliverable solution for St Austell. We have already secured the funding to move this forward and anticipate submitting planning application by June 2013.

“Before we do that, we are keen to engage with adjacent landowners, stakeholders and residents in order that we evolve the scheme that best suits their needs.”

Mr Schuttkacker said the houses would be designed by a local architect and would be built using a traditional palette of local materials such as natural stone and natural slate. He said: “From a landscaping perspective, the site nestles within the natural bowl of St Austell.

“This results in the development being contained within the existing townscape and thereby not sprawling into open countryside nor being visible in the wider landscape.

“The views on approach from Truro to St Austell would not change.”

According to the proposals the scheme would also include a southern link road connecting Truro Road to Pentewan Road, thereby relieving pressure and congestion from the existing road system, particularly the double mini-roundabout.

Mr Schuttkacker added: “This major strategic road would be delivered at no cost to the taxpayer.”