IT is not the Stadium FOR Cornwall but a replacement stadium IN Cornwall – reducing the original 10,000-capacity to 3,000 with potential for 4,000 people – but it is now a very real prospect.
Plans have been submitted by Cornwall Council to its own planning authority for the new Truro Sports Hub.
After years of hope and turmoil, it looks as though the site at Langarth, near Truro, will finally see a stadium of some kind, even if it’s not the one originally envisaged.
The application for the Truro Sports Hub includes a main pitch for FA-standard football (103.3m x 68m) with seating, a community pitch measuring 100m x 64m with seating, parking spaces, a three-metre wide footpath from the A390 through the neighbouring Langarth park and ride facility, and potential for a community building and clubhouse with changing facilities.
The main pitch would be home to Truro City Football Club, who were promoted to National League South but have been in exile in Plymouth, ground sharing with Plymouth Parkway FC at Bolitho Park since their ground at Treyew Road was sold to make way for a new Lidl.
The club was bought by the Cornish Pirates rugby union team in March 2021 and the plan then was for the two teams to share the use of the new Stadium for Cornwall.
There has been no mention of whether the Pirates would play at the Truro Sports Hub in the current application, which could see potential capacity rise to 4,000 with an aspiration the pitch can be adapted for other sports, including rugby.
Truro City FC unveiled its own plans at Threemilestone Community Centre earlier this year – which never got as far as being submitted as a planning application, though the proposals are basically the same as the council’s new application.
Speed is the essence when it comes to the plans as the FA’s sign-off for the site is due by March 31, 2024, therefore delivery dates are critical for Truro City to be able to play league matches at the ground from August 2024.
The application is located adjacent to the approved Langarth Garden Village and immediately next to the park and ride. The majority of visitors by car would park at the park and ride and walk to the Sports Hub. There will also be pedestrian access from Threemilestone.
The South Stand and community building will be delivered later. The latter will be approximately 999 sq m and is likely to include a clubhouse and bar, toilet and changing facilities compliant with FA and RFU requirements, community rooms and offices.
Laura Potts, planning consultant with CAD Planning which is working on the application, said in a report to Cornwall Council planners: “Overall, the proposals reflect sustainable development, and provide a much-needed sports and community facility in Truro and Threemilestone. The application is policy compliant and should be approved without delay.
“The application follows the approval of a larger scheme on the site, which is a strong material planning consideration and fall back position, and is on course to deliver a main pitch and community pitch ready for the 2024/25 football season in line with FA requirements.”
The application has evolved over time and has had input from stakeholders including Cornwall Council planning officers, Kenwyn Parish Council, Truro City Council, local Cornwall councillor Dulcie Tudor (Threemilestone and Chacewater), Cllr Rob Nolan (Truro Boscawen and Redannick), Cllr David Harris (Gloweth, Malabar and Shortlanesend, and deputy leader of the council) and Cornwall Council’s development company Treveth, which is delivering Langarth Garden Village which surrounds the site.
The proposed development would link up with a network of green spaces in the locality, which include the nearby County Wildlife Sites of Treworder Woods and Halbullock Moor.
A decision by the council’s planning department or committee is pending.