Supermarkets seem to be the de-rigeur applications for planning lately. I have blogged about this subject numerous times before. The last few years the major supermarkets have been waging a massive expansion plan in Cornwall. Wadebridge, Truro and Penzance have proposals on or about to be placed on the table. Helston has just had two large stores recently open.
The Town of Hayle has caught the eye of 3 of the big boys of the supermarket world, namely Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and a major bank called ING who own Hayle Harbour, who in turn want to develop that area. Their plan also includes a supermarket.
Last night, I attended along with most of the Strategic Planning Committee a public meeting on these proposals. All 4 of the applicants were given 10 minutes to outline their cases and highlight how their plan would be best for Hayle. Of course, they all said their plan was the best for Hayle and the other plans would not be as good as theirs. It was then the turn of the public to raise various points and concerns that they had with these applications.
Around 300 people attended this meeting, and roughly 35 of those present decided to speak. From what I heard there was no overall preferred plan, but I did get the impression that the ING and the Asda proposals had the most support from those gathered. That does not mean the whole town feels the same, as only a small percentage attended.
I don’t want to spend much time on the details as it would take a week to read and most probably bore you to death. I will though give you a brief overview on the current proposals. For guidance the Asda store in Penryn is around 72,000 sq ft.
Sainsbury’s – 53,637 sq ft store, located Marsh Lane. Offering a long term nature reserve on the additional land they own.
Asda – 59,535 sq ft store located on the Rugby Ground at Marsh Lane. In their proposals they will build a new Rugby Ground at another site. Also other business units on this site.
Morrisons – 36,113 sq ft store located on the current Jewsons site. Offering retention and renovation of grade two structures in this area
ING – 56,295 sq ft store located on South Quay. Master plan for the whole area and like the Morrisons plan includes renovations of this Quay.
The difficult question that Hayle has to answer is what plan will be best for Hayle in the long term. Hayle from my knowledge has been let down many times before on plans to regenerate the area. Grand plans have been drawn up, but nothing has ever come of them. If Hayle has to sell its soul for development and investment what price will they ask and accept. Then again, they could say no to all.
This is something we as the Committee will have to take into consideration when we make our decision in a few weeks time. Strategic Planning is never easy, especially when the decisions you make could have far reaching effects.