An appeal to overturn a Cornwall Council decision to reject plans for an out of town development on land north of Roseworthy Hill, known as Polstrong, is facing strong opposition from BID Camborne and the hundreds of local businesses the Business Improvement District team represent.

Arguments against the application are clearly set out in a five-page document that has now been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. In a comprehensive analysis, BID believes the development will severely impact the high street by drawing business away from the town centre and causing consequential job losses.

BID directors question the credibility of the developers’ claims to create 160 well-paid jobs when they say the figures provided suggest an average wage per employee of between £4 to £6 per hour. They also go on to point out that the parent companies of the site’s proposed occupants are not domiciled in the UK for tax purposes and are therefore ‘not contributing to economic recovery, resilience or future-proofing’.

Given the severe financial consequences of the current pandemic, the BID team also argues that ‘maintaining a town centre focus for investment becomes even more important to the future social and economic fabric of Camborne and its residents’.

“We are passionately against this proposal because we are convinced it will wreak significant damage on the town at a time when local businesses are on their knees and are most in need of help,” said BID Camborne manager Anna Pascoe. “The developers have shown no interest in working with us or other stakeholders and we believe the evidence and calculations produced in support of their plans do not stand up to scrutiny.

“In our opinion, the land in question would be far better suited to innovative industries, rather than retail units that will be in direct competition with similar outlets already in the town. We also question the logic of encouraging car usage to an out-of-town site in the midst of an officially declared climate change emergency.

“Given the application’s lack of sustainable principles and the hugely adverse effect it will have on Camborne businesses, we believe that Cornwall Council’s Planning Committee decision should be upheld and that this appeal should be roundly and firmly turned down.”