Monday 4 March 2013

Stadium for Cornwall. Threemilestone

4/03/2013 Adam Desmonde

I have spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the plans for the Stadium for Threemilestone/ Truro and took an afternoon to go through the entire planning application and the associated documentation. Whilst I support the principal of having a stadium in the area of Threemilestone there are many elements within the current application, which give me concern.

I’m a big football fan and regularly travel to Edinburgh where I have visited both Easter Road Stadium and Tynecastle Stadium. These are sports centres which have had real thought put into them and are valuable, iconic parts of their community. 

A brief summary of the key points are;

  1. The Stadium has not been designed to represent or evoke any sense of Cornwall to my mind or indeed the rich history of the surrounding area.
  2. Who is going to pay for the Stadium? I would be very concerned if the Council were to make any kind of financial commitment.
  3. The use of local materials are trumpeted in the design statement however in my opinion this is not borne out in the actual planning application.
  4. Currently the stadium is designed to make use of the Park and Ride at Threemilestone and is positioned directly beside it. No thought, however, seems to have been given to the fact that this facility is often used to full capacity and will therefor represent a challenge in terms of providing adequate parking for visitors on game days.
  5. Part of the vision for the stadium is as a economic catalyst for Threemilestone however there is currently no direct pedestrian access from the stadium to Threemilestone. Instead the people of Threemilestone will have to drive to the park and ride or take a convoluted route to access the site. In my opinion the developers must include plans for an elevated walkway or similar so that fans can gain easy access to the site.
  6. A social hub; Stadiums such as Easter Road are integrated landmarks within their community and on any given match day one can see local people and visitors walking to these stadiums, coming together as fans and making use of local facilities on their journey. A stadium is not just an opportunity to house a sports team it is also a means of bringing communities together, enticing people into city/town centers and promoting sport. I am afraid however that these considerations have not been met in the current design of the stadium and in my mind the architects need to go back to the drawing board.
  7. I would also add that I would like to see far more use of Cornish engineers, architects, tradesmen and builders in this project. We have a huge development program in the Threemilestone area and the Council should be pushing where possible to ensure it provides jobs and opportunities for our community.

I support the idea of a Stadium, it could be a valuable landmark for our area and bring our community together. We must ensure however that we do our jobs as councillors and Cornish people and deal with the issues which concern us before letting the developers slip a half baked application through. 

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