FEATURE pt2 - City takes steps towards a green future open to all - Year-long trial will see traffic ban... but reactions are mixed
Revised plans have been submitted for the redevelopment of Truro’s Pydar Street area Photo Paul Williams
23rd June 2021
By Juliet Lunam
Planners have gone back to the drawing board and come up with a revised scheme for regenerating Truro’s rundown Pydar area.
The plan is for a £170 million facelift including homes, a creative hub and green spaces along with better connectivity to park areas surrounding Truro.
A pathway along the river will be created as well as terraced gardens and 150 new trees.
An outline planning application for the project was refused by Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee in February, due to concerns over the loss of parking and the height and mass of some buildings.
Since then, the Pydar team has been in discussions with everyone involved – Treveth Development LLP, PRP Architects, and Inner Circle Consulting and a revised planning application has now been produced. The new plans are now available to view via the online planning application register (application number PA21/04889), and include changes which reduce the total building area by 10,500sqm, reducing all nonresidential use by 21 per cent.
This means the development’s overall height has been decreased to align with the surrounding neighbourhood. Retail remains at less than two per cent of the total development while workspace and leisure use will be ten per cent of the site.
In response to concerns over parking, the resubmitted proposals now include the retention of the Moresk/Oak Way car park and a planning condition that these spaces will be retained for a specified minimum period. It can only be built on when evidence is available the rest of the Pydar development does not have an adverse impact on the adjacent residential areas and there are sufficient available car park spaces in Truro.
Some 320 homes – 35 per cent of which will be affordable – are to be built with greenspace, access to the riverfront, proximity to shops in the town centre and new food and drink businesses.
In addition, the development will create more than 3.5 acres of public spaces, plant more than 100 trees and provide new garden areas with accessible riverside paths for everyone to use.
Planners say, for comparison, Pydar will be creating greenspace the equivalent to three times the size of Lemon Quay.
Cllr Stephen Rushworth, portfolio holder for the economy at the council, said: “With cities and high streets across the country facing unprecedented challenges, the need to invest in projects which will support our city centre, create jobs and build homes is now greater than ever. The council has been working with residents and businesses to maximise the benefits for the city through this project. We are submitting these revised plans, which are now out for consultation, to strengthen the city c entre and provide an exciting neighbourhood which will deliver quality homes, contribute to the city’s affordable housing need, improve access to nature, and provide more jobs and opportunities.”
City councillors were unhappy with the first draft of proposals but Cllr Stuart Roden said they are happier with the changes made. He said: “I think by and large they’ve listened and it has been reduced considerably in size. I think the tallest building was going to be seven storeys and now it’s down to four, with typically two and three. There’s quite a bit more green space so the commercial side has been reduced significantly. It does look as though the planners have actually listened; I think they expected it to go through as it was and didn’t expect the number of complaints and have had to rethink it.”
Cllr Roden said he would have preferred to see the area given over to housing and open spaces but the new plans are a ‘reasonable compromise’. He added: “The design fits in a bit more now as well. Truro is an historic city and we have to protect that. You come and you see the cobbles, the cathedral… it’s a nice place and we should be making the most of that.”
If the Pydar scheme is approved, the aim would be for work to start on the redevelopment next year. lTo view the plans, you can visit www.pydar.co.uk or you can follow updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@PydarTruro).