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China clay pit town is on hold

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 05, 2012

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There was disappointment and concern in Cornwall after a flagship eco-town development to build 5,000 homes in China clay pits was put on hold.

The company behind the Mid Cornwall eco-communities project said it was "scaling back" plans after four out of the six staff working in the St Austell office were yesterday told they would be made redundant.

In a statement released last night, Eco-Bos said it "could not progress significantly in the short term" and had taken a "pragmatic" decision to restructure.

Cornwall Council expressed concern at the announcement, which was relayed to the authority in a letter to Kevin Lavery, blaming in part "a planning framework still in a state of evolution".

Liberal Democrat MP for Newquay and St Austell Stephen Gilbert said the news was "disappointing but understandable", and predicted there would be "mixed reactions" across the communities concerned.

"I will be working with Eco-Bos to make sure that anyone affected by redundancy gets all the help they need to find new work and will be meeting them as soon as possible," he added.

Eco-Bos said it has "regrettably had to restructure in order to reflect the delays being brought about by the adverse conditions".

"This has led us to review our staffing requirements and levels for the foreseeable future," it added.

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said it would be "seeking an urgent discussion with the company to see what can be done to resolve the issues they identify".

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