A MAJOR retail and leisure complex including an Asda supermarket and multiscreen cinema is being planned for Pool. Salmon Harvester Properties Limited, Cornwall Council’s chosen developer of the land next to Carn Brea Leisure Centre, confirmed to the West Briton that, subject to planning approval, the area will have a new Asda foodstore and Cineworld complex, the first in the county. It was also confirmed that three or four restaurant units are to be built on the site currently occupied by the running track.
Interviewer: So this looks like good news for Pool doesn’t it?
CI: That depends very much on how you define good news!
Int: Well there’s a new store for a start and then the cinema and restaurants.
CI: We might think there are enough stores already in Camborne-Redruth but it seems retailers have an insatiable appetite to cover the place with stores. A nother new store here will encourage more people not to shop in the town centres, and with the new road in place it will be far easier to get there! It will also impact on the cinema in Redruth again another problem for Redruth.
Int: But more jobs surely that’s a good thing?
CI: Well there are two issues here. Does Cornwall really need more retail jobs? Is that the way to develop a sustainable economy? And we all know that lots of extra houses are planned for the area, the new residents will need jobs, so these are not additional jobs in reality.
Int: But what about the residents of Pool, it’s a big gain for them isn’t it?
CI: With lots of extra traffic in the area that’s hardly a gain is it? We should be cutting car traffic not encouraging everyone to travel more.
Int: But the future of the leisure centre is secured and a new running track will be provided, that’s good news for leisure users?
CI: Maybe, but it does seem odd to split off the running track from the centre itself. What we have here is the situation that without public funds we end up relying on land deals and developers to provide the funding for activities like leisure. Thats a direct result of government policy. The big problem is that we end up with developments which may not be in the interests of the wide community!
Int: So what might seem to be good news then is actually bad news?
CI: Thats it in a nutshell. But that is what is happening all across Cornwall, totally unsustainable development, and there is more to come!