Cornwall councillors have raised concerns about the finance and transport arrangements for a major £170million regeneration scheme in Truro after hearing one of the city's car parks could be demolished as early as March.

Members of the council’s economic growth and development overview and scrutiny committee were given a presentation on the Pydar Regeneration scheme on Tuesday morning.

Under the proposals the council is looking to redevelop a major part of the city centre with plans for 300 new homes, a new campus for Falmouth University, employment space, hotel and leisure facilities.


However councillors said they were concerned about how the project is being financed and the implications on transport and parking in the city.

On the transport issue there were fears that plans to demolish the Viaduct car park first as part of the regeneration scheme could lead to a loss of car parking spaces in the city centre.

Officers had told councillors that the car park, which could be demolished in March if planning permission is granted next month, only accounted for 12 per cent of parking capacity in the city and there would be enough spaces elsewhere along with the park and ride service able to take up the loss.

However councillors said they were concerned that the loss of the car park could prove problematic at busy times such as Christmas and they were also concerned about the lack of parking spaces which would be provided in the new development.

Truro councillor David Harris highlighted that there are plans for just 180 spaces in the new development, which will have 300 homes along with student accommodation and all the other facilities.

He said: “I am sorry, if I have a family with a couple of kids I would much rather park and walk into the city rather than taking my spouse and children on the park and ride because, to be blunt, it is a pain in the butt and I would go somewhere else.”

Council officers said that the council had a policy to discourage traffic coming into Truro and said there would be a focus on encouraging people to walk, cycle, use public transport or car share.

Falmouth Packet: The site in Pydar Street, Truro which could be redeveloped in a project worth up to £170mThe site in Pydar Street, Truro which could be redeveloped in a project worth up to £170m

Bert Biscoe, Cornwall councillor and mayor of Truro, said that there needed to be more investigation into the transport connectivity to the site and said that more should be done to look at train links.

Financial details about the project were included on confidential paperwork to councillors and the committee went into closed session to discuss those details.

On their return to public session it was clear that some  councillors were unhappy with the current arrangements and they asked that more work should be done to look at how the project is to be financed and the agreements which are being drawn up with potential occupiers on the site.

John Pollard said: “The public does need reassurance about the level of risk on this.”

He said the council needed to do “some review of risk in terms of financial investment and who they borrow the money from to reassure scrutiny”.

Cllr Harris proposed that the committee should note the update that was provided, and recommend to Cabinet:

  • Prior to any demolition the question of parking and connectivity be reconsidered and meaningful progress with future occupiers is demonstrated.
  • The Cabinet consider the level of risk and provide a report on the level of risk.

The committee agreed the recommendation with ten votes in favour, four against and one abstention.