Parish councils representing more than 9,500 people living in Helston's surrounding villages have joined forces in an "unprecedented" move to object to a proposed retail park on the outskirts of the town.

A full planning application has been submitted to build a park to include a McDonald's, Aldi, The Range and Costa on a 2.7 hectare greenfield site at Hospital Cross, between the Sainsbury’s supermarket and RNAS Culdrose.

It is proposed to have a total of 192 car spaces, plus six spaces for motorbikes and 22 for bicycles.


So far more than 200 people have left comments on Cornwall Council's website about the plans – 177 in objection and 36 in support.

Now a letter has been sent to the council on behalf of 11 parish councils that represent a total of 9,584 permanent residents in villages on the Lizard Peninsula.

Coming together for the joint response are: Cury Parish Council, Grade Ruan Parish Council, Gunwalloe Parish Meeting, Gweek Parish Council, Landewednack Parish Council, Manaccan Parish Council, Mawgan Parish Council, Mullion Parish Council, St Anthony in Meneage Parish Meeting, St Keverne Parish Council and St Martin in Meneage Parish Council.

Lee Dunkley, clerk to Grade Ruan Parish Council, said: "These councils, representing 10,000 people on the Peninsula, are officially opposed to the development based on severe traffic issues that are already present, and that will inevitably be significantly exacerbated by these proposals, should they proceed.

"In my experience, this level of collaboration and joint working from so many local councils is unprecedented and shows the overwhelming feeling amongst Lizard Peninsula and Meneage communities."

After coming together for a joint meeting last Thursday, the councils have compiled a joint letter in which they speak of their concerns that the existing Hospital Cross roundabout is already "insufficient both in the summer holiday season, and indeed off season around traditional rush hour times."


How the development at Hospital Cross in Helston could look Picture: Pegasus/Cornwall Counci.

How the development at Hospital Cross in Helston could look Picture: Pegasus/Cornwall Counci.


They go on to add that data in a transport assessment submitted as part of the plans does "not reflect the reality of the current situation."

This, they said, was in fact stop-start queues running the whole 2.1-mile length of the Culdrose road heading northwards during summertime, adding 25 minutes to journey times, as well as ten-minute queues from Falmouth back past the roundabout near Helston Rugby Club, and 12-minute queues past the Old Cattle Market and up The Furry towards Spar from the Penzance direction.

Even in winter, at rush hour there were still queues heading north for at least one mile past Culdrose, adding 12 minutes to journey times, meaning surrounding routes, such as through Boskenwyn and Gweek, were regularly used as 'rat runs' to bypass the traffic.

The planing application includes proposals to widen Helston Downs to ten metres into the western boundary, as well as two new access points off this road for separate customer and delivery access, as well as widen the arms off the Cottage Hospital Roundabout and the Sainsbury’s roundabout, with the developer looking to add a left turning lane into the south-eastern arm of the Hospital Cross roundabout, plus a new Toucan Crossing between the two roundabouts. This would lead to a new footpath and cycle path.

However, the councils say the applicant "fails to adequately detail the mitigation measures at the hospital roundabout," and add: "Further, it is the opinion of these councils that it is not feasible to adjust the highway at the location to effectively manage current road use, let alone to mitigate increased road use."

Saying there was "very strong opinion locally on this", the councils ask that the application be rejected.

Cornwall Council still has to make a final decision.