Doubt has been cast over the future of Helston's former Budgens building after information relating to it becoming a 'community facility for public use' was removed from the main page of a public consultation website.

Back in January the Pegasus Group, acting on behalf of Parsonage Developments, set up the website asking for the public's views about developing the land at Hospital Cross in a retail site with an Aldi foodstore, a Range home and leisure store with associated garden centre and McDonald’s drive-thru and restaurant.

As part of the overview details it included a paragraph relating to the former Co-op and Budgens building in the Trengrouse Way car park. The building is now owned by Parsonage, while Cornwall Council owns the car park surrounding it.

The paragraph read: "Directly associated with the delivery of the development is the former Class E Budgens retail store and associated car parking area within Helston town centre, which Parsonage Developments owns.

"This store has remained vacant since XXX [unspecified year] and there has been no interest from retailers to occupy it.

"Therefore the intention is to change its use to a community facility for public use. The change of use of the former Budgens is dependent upon the delivery of the retail park to ensure loss and again of comparison and convenience shopping floorspace within Helston."

However, earlier this month, after the consultation closed, the paragraph disappeared from the website, calling into question whether the community use was still intended.

The proposed site plan for Hospital Cross.

The proposed site plan for Hospital Cross.

A spokesperson for Pegasus has now confirmed to the Packet that the wording was removed after it was acknowledged it could be "misconstrued," as the development of Budgens was "not directly associated with the delivery" of the Hospital Cross site – although it was directly associated with Parsonage, in that it owned the site.

He said the Hospital Cross planning application would be going in with no mention of the Budgens building and it would be up to the local authority to say what kind of agreement needed to be in place should the retail park be giving permission – for example a community element.

This would be a separate project, he confirmed.

What he did say was that he was "99 per cent sure" that restrictions would be put in place to remove the ability to use the Budgens building for retail purposes.

However, this does not rule out residential development, and while not being drawn on its future use, the spokesperson for Pegasus did say: "This will come down to money."


Not all mentions of the Budgens site has been removed from the website though.

Under the 'frequently asked questions' section, it still states: "The change of use of the former Budgens will help mitigate the impact of the development upon Helston Town Centre and will help demonstrate the need for the proposed convenience floorspace."

And answering the question 'Why are you not seeking to revitalise the former Budgens for the proposed retail development?', it states: "The former Budgens site cannot accommodate the type and scale of retail development and unfortunately there is no interest from the identified retailers to occupy and operate units within Helston Town Centre because it is not well connected to the strategic highway network.

"The change of the former Budgens to a community use will benefit local residents and will ensure the land at Hospital Cross development will not compete with it.

"This change of use has been discussed with Cornwall Council and Helston Town Council during pre-application discussions, and both are keen to see the repurpose of the former Budgens for use by the local community."