A company hoping to develop land at the top of Helston into a retail park has been told it will not need to carry out an environmental impact assessment.

Last month Parsonage Developments submitted a second screening opinion application to Cornwall Council, to decide whether there was any need to carry out such an assessment on land at Hospital Cross, on greenfield land between Flambards and RNAS Culdrose, which is currently owned by the Downsland Trust.

A new application was needed due to an amended design, after a fourth business was added to the proposed development – with a drive-thru Costa coffee shop being added to the existing proposal for a McDonald's, Aldi and the Range in Helston if planning permission is granted.


Now the council has ruled that the development proposed is not considered to be an EIA (environmental impact assessment) development "within the meaning of the EIA regulations."

A document put together by the council's planning and sustainable development service states that no part of the site is in a ‘sensitive area’, for example a site of special scientific interest, World Heritage Site, area of outstanding natural beauty or similar.

The document found that there "would be some disturbance during construction," but afterwards there "would be limited visual impact and traffic," adding that if permission was granted conditions would be put in place to protest the character and appearance of the area.

It adds: "Traffic movements would not give rise to significant environmental impacts. As such it is considered that there would be no significant or complex impacts in terms of pollution and nuisance."

It acknowledges the proposal would result in the loss of Grade 3a agricultural land, but due to its size and location of the site was "not significant." The loss of established hedgerows would be a negative impact, it says.

It states that returning the site to its current condition was "very unlikely", adding: "The visual impact and use will continue for the lifetime of the development."

An 'option to buy' agreement is in place with the development company. No planning application is available to view yet on the Cornwall Council website, and it is only if this happens that members of the public can share their views with the council.

However, the council has confirmed that an application was submitted on July 16.


Local environment and climate groups, such as the Helston Climate Action Group, have previously shared concerns that the land is home to a badger sett and is frequently visited by owls, deer, and sparrowhawks among other animals.

  • This article was updated on August 26, 2021