4th January 2017
By Graham Smith
Detailed plans for the development of nearly 160 homes on the site of the Wadebridge Town football club are expected to be submitted in a few weeks.
Developer Michael Merriman said he would also be submitting an outline planning application for land off Gonvena Hill, behind the school – but said that this part of his scheme still needed further consultation with local people.
The idea of developing the football club has been discussed for several years – originally as a Morrison’s supermarket – but a key part of all the proposals has always been to identify and finance a suitable alternative site for the footballers. The latest plans envisage the football club moving across the Bodieve Road to a site close to the school and sports centre.
Mr Merriman said he understood the concerns of Wadebridge people who felt they were faced with government demands to take at least 1,100 new homes before 2030. “The thing is that these houses don’t all have to be built at the same time,” he said. “It’s important not to rush things, to take time and talk to people to find out what will work best.”
Mr Merriman said his ambition to develop on the site of the football club would be progressed “by the end of January, or in early February.” He said he would be submitting detailed plans for the football club, but that it was too soon to talk about details of the Gonvena scheme.
“I need people to understand that they are all part of the same package,” he said, “but they don’t all have to happen at the same time.”
The suggestion that land off Gonvena Hill could be developed for housing is outlined in the emerging Wadebridge neighbourhood development plan, but is controversial – the sloping green fields to the north of the River Camel are a highly visible part of the Wadebridge landscape.
Meanwhile plans for a 600-home estate between Egloshayle and Sladesbridge, to be known as Church Park, are already before Cornwall Council with a “determination deadline” of 8th March. The project includes a primary school and health clinic, and promises that 40% of the homes would be “affordable” for local people with plots available for self-build. More than 60 public comments have been recorded on the council website so far - the overwhelming majority are opposed to the scheme.