Plans for what would be a unique public park on a town centre rooftop are before the council.

Pre-application advice is being sought for the public park on the rooftop of a former shopping precinct in the centre of St Austell, which if approved would allow for events and hospitality venues.

The proposals for a rooftop garden were conceived in a masterplan document and investment plan commissioned by St Austell Town Council in 2022. The plan proposes ten key development opportunities in the town centre which it considers will support economic, environmental and social wellbeing.

The public garden / park is the first project the town council is taking forward. It would be created on a disused rooftop car park at the Old Vicarage Place shopping centre.

In echos of London's Sky Garden, the plans say the proposal would create “an exciting rooftop garden with fantastic views over the town and a contemporary structure suitable for all year round pop-up business and events”.

The town council has secured funds to proceed with the design of the project and appointed Hayhurst & Co architects this year to deliver the plan.

Old Vicarage Place is a three-storey shopping centre built in 1984. In 2005 a connecting building was demolished to create the White River Place shopping centre, therefore removing vehicle access to the rooftop. The roof was closed and has been redundant and inaccessible to cars since.

The freehold of Old Vicarage Place is owned by Cornwall Council and there is a long lease on the building, which is held by Willake Limited, until 2264. If a full application is submitted and approved there would be localised demolition to existing structures and construction of new access routes are proposed to provide accessible connections to the rooftop from street level.

For more details see planning application PA23/01434/PREAPP on the Cornwall Council planning portal, via its website.