The developer behind plans to build a retail park on land on the edge of Helston say it will not effect the environment and so there will be no need for a survey to be carried out.

The Pegasus Group has written to Cornwall Council requesting what's known as a screening opinion for land at Hospital Cross, Helston Downs. A screening opinion decides whether there is any need to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Parsonage Developments want to develop the land for Class E (commercial, service and business) use. This includes building an Aldi foodstore, a Range home and leisure store with associated garden centre and McDonald’s drive thru / to restaurant.

It says this range of retail uses respond positively to an identified need for such development and will serve Helston. It says the development will also deliver at least 250 jobs, education and skills opportunities to local people, and provide a significant economic boost to the area.

Also associated with the development is the former Budgens retail store and associated car parking area in Helston Town Centre which Parsonage Developments owns. This store has remained vacant and there has been no interest from retailers to occupy it.

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The intention is to change its use to a community facility for public use. The change of use of the former Budgens depends on the retail park being built to ensure loss and gain of comparison and convenience shopping floorspace within Helston.

The site plan for the proposed development

The site plan for the proposed development

In the letter to the council, senior planner Christian Fisk on behalf of Pegasus, says the site’s historic landscape is characterised as ‘medieval farmland' and such it is not subject to nature conservation designations

He says the proposed development is unlikely to have significant effects on the environment because of its nature, size or location and does not require an EIA.

While it occupies an undeveloped greenfield, it will not result in significant effects on the landscape.

“Trees and hedgerows will be retained where possible and any losses of these features can be mitigated by appropriate planting, particularly at the site boundaries and within the site boundaries and within the southern site portion," he says. "Overall, the development proposals seek to deliver a 10% biodiversity net gain onsite and so will not result in significant impacts upon ecology.”

The county council now has 28 days to respond to the letter but has not yet made a decision. 

In December the Packet revealed that Helston could be in line for a £1.5 million windfall if a sale of the land went through.

The Downsland Trust charity had the potential to make £1.5 million from the land at Hospital Cross, just off the roundabout at the top of Meneage Road, after a development company showed interest in it.

The land sits between Flambards and Captain’s Lane and currently comes under the control of the Downsland Trust, a charity that owns a number of assets in Helston, pockets of land, and also gives out grants to organisations.