There’s been a tendency until very recently in the media to treat the stadium in isolation. But only an idiot can’t see that it's always been closely linked to the plans for 2,500-2,700 more houses in the surrounding fields and is, in terms of land area, only a very small proportion of the total project. What the minutes reveal is that this connection was there from the beginning.
The resolution at the Cabinet meeting of 16th March explicitly linked the stadium with ‘other developments’. In fact, the Council had been involved in close discussions with the developers for at least a year before Inox put in two planning applications, one for a stadium and the other for 1,500 houses. The two applications are closely related. Somehow, the housing helps pay for the stadium. According to Inox the private sector run stadium will involve a
funding solution with [mysteriously anonymous] third parties
that’s been kept secret. And we now hear that one of these anonymous parties may well be the Cornwall Council after all. Too cash-strapped to keep libraries and public toilets open or buses running but plenty of cash for global warming via Newquay airport or 'iconic' projects it seems.
The link has now been made even by the local press. This is not just about a stadium, whether ‘community’ or something else, although the Council has desperately portrayed it as such for months. But that was just PR manipulation. It’s always been more about easing the way towards a massive new ‘community’ of around 6,000 people on the western edge of Truro.
The MD of Inox, Rob Saltmarsh, based in Exeter, has claimed that
Our proposals at Langarth would meet critical local housing need, delivering both open market and affordable housing … He said that the housing scheme would alleviate a chronic shortage in the city.Perhaps. Although oddly a procession of similar large housing schemes over the past half a century has signally failed to solve this problem. Unfortunately, what he fails to mention is that CoSERG, based in Cornwall, calculates local housing need in the whole of the Truro district (including the Roseland) to be just 600 houses. So Saltmarsh’s comments refer to less than a quarter of the houses being planned for this area. The inescapable fact they don’t care to tell the people is that 'open market' housing amounts to three quarters of the houses. These are aimed at incomers and will be marketed, directly or indirectly, to upcountry buyers.
The question remains. How far is the stadium merely a convenient cover for the unsustainable suburb, diverting attention from the latter and co-opting potential opposition? Or has the stadium been serendipitously enabled by the ongoing plans for a suburb? Whichever, this is not only about a stadium, national or not, for Cornwall (or Truro). It’s about yet another suburb to accommodate unsustainable population growth but one that might also have a stadium next to it.