In 2007 an urban framework plan was published by Llewelyn-Davis. This set out the brave new world that regeneration would bring to the Camborne-Redruth area, with new housing, employment and retail together with the ubiquitous roads. In the introduction there was a tale by a mysterious returnee who after visiting the area was enthralled with all the changes, writing about how wonderful and utopian the area now was.
It portrayed a past where ‘much of the housing was run down, the town centres were drab and the shops struggling. There were abandoned buildings and great areas of derelict land.’
It presented a vision of the future that no-one could object to with reference to ‘a substantial growth in good stable jobs and a rise in incomes’, ‘easier access suitable for buses, pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars’ and a picture of ‘car traffic [which] moves at a gentle pace.’
Talk of a better transport system ‘This has got a lot to do with the quality of the bus system which provides reliable linkages to the renewed and busier railway stations and has priority over other traffic, providing a ten minute service to every part of the area. No one lives more than a couple of hundred yards or so from a bus stop.’
In Redruth, the town centre was ‘now sparkling. The shops, cafés and pubs are attractive and busy. The ancient coaching route has really found new life. At the bottom of the hill, you can now easily walk across into a revitalised West End.’
Turning to Camborne, the writer noted – ‘The centre of Camborne is now bustling and attractive, a fine mix of the new and old. You get a real sense of arrival as you approach from both the A30 and the Railway Station. There are new parks and tree-lined avenues to complement the fine old civic buildings, villas and cottages. The main street and its frontages have had a total face-lift and there is new housing, shopping and service industries on a series of once derelict sites.’
In Pool the writer noted ‘A splendid new park runs down the valley all the way from the railway to the A30. This is enclosed by rich woodland on the slopes up to Pool. The winding gear of South Crofty provides a distinctive landmark from a distance.’ And ‘New housing and offices sit on the edge of the park providing a fine entrance to the area from the A30,’ …. the College ‘linking to an urban complex on what I remember as wasteland.’ The writer rhapsodised further ‘Altogether there’s a thriving new centre of Pool; there are artists and studios, galleries, cafés, restaurants and pubs. It was a pleasure to wander around and reflect on the scale of change that had taken place.’
He or she concluded ‘Activity and prosperity mean that the people of the area can now stay here and have a good life, rather than leave. Indeed it attracts new people. I concluded it was time for me to return home. We can both get jobs, live in a lovely place, and the kids will enjoy the access to the countryside, the coast and the national cycle network.’
But eleven years on what is the reality? Have the dreams materialised or were they the figments of a report writers imagination?