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Prince Charles branded a ‘hypocrite’ by Save Truro campaign

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 08, 2013

Prince Charles

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Opponents of an out-of-town supermarket, car park and housing estate on Duchy of Cornwall land have hit out at “hypocritical” remarks made by Prince Charles.

Ian Hibberd, of the Save Truro campaign, said he was left “speechless and raging” by Charles’s video address to the Oxford Farming Conference, in which he warned of the threat to Britain’s rural way of life from “insensitive development”. Mr Hibberd said the comments were at odds with plans for a supermarket and housing on Duchy of Cornwall farmland in the Tregurra Valley, east of Truro.

“This is an outrageous speech,” said Mr Hibberd. “Prince Charles must have the skin of a rhinoceros not to recognise the hypocrisy of it.”

In his video address, Charles told delegates: “It is the people and what they do that creates the beating heart of our countryside, the vitality that comes from the busy village shop and pub, a thriving school, from the church and Women’s Institute. It comes from the tractors in the fields, the skilled workers, the livestock, the growing crops and the landscape’s biodiversity, now so much under threat from climate change, diseases and insensitive development.”

Extolling the countryside’s “spiritual” dimension, he went on: “All of these elements make up a living, breathing countryside which is as precious as any ancient cathedral. This is why everything must be focused on making sure that farmers are able to keep on farming in a way that provides them with a decent living.”

John Stone, one of many Truro residents opposed to the Tregurra Valley development, accused the Prince of “paternal hypocrisy”, adding that his comments displayed a “lack of understanding” of the difficulties faced by farmers.

Writing on the Save Truro website, Mr Stone said: “These 55 acres of best quality farmland were essential to the farming enterprise to which it was let by the Duchy. The loss of land means a reduction in the herd, an increase in costs and, quite possibly, a reduction in milk quality because control over the quality of winter feed cannot be maintained. Never mind the ‘spirituality’ of the countryside, these are business factors which Prince Charles has created by choosing to tarmac and concrete over this land.”

The Tregurra Valley development – known as Truro Eastern District Centre – is a partnership of Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall, Cornwall Council, Taste of Cornwall and Waitrose. Planning consent was granted for 97 houses, a supermarket and 1379-space car park. An estimated 210 jobs will be created. Work was due to start this spring, but Truro City Council is now investigating the possibility of a judicial review.

A spokeswoman for the Duchy of Cornwall last night stressed that the development was a joint venture and that it included a number of environmental features.

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  • poldice  |  January 09 2013, 1:37PM

    Like you bobnewl I am not anti Royal per se for much the same reasons, however the Duke of Cornwall is an exception because he really does do one thing and say another, whenever his own self interest is involved it would appear that money talks loudest. He will be remembered in Cornwall long after his demise as a developer and land speculator who established the bridghead that will propel the physical boundary of Truro eastwards deep into pristine countryside, that were he not standing to gain personally, our Duke would almost certainly be promoting as sacrosanct.

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  • bobnewl  |  January 08 2013, 11:16PM

    Rather absurdly I consider myself pro the Royal family (probably because I generally have such a low opinion of our elected leaders!) but Prince Charles really must live with his head in a bucket if he does not see the hypocrisy of his recent statements. I have felt for a long time that the man who once complained of a "carbuncle on the face of an old friend" seems to care very little for carbuncles all over my friend if it turns a quick buck for the Duchy.

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  • poldice  |  January 08 2013, 11:05PM

    Wondered how long it would be afore 'ee turned up trevorrow the proverbial "elephant in the room" braveish new year to 'ee my boy. Two spectacularly bad planning permissions, the one to the east of Truro at Tregurra Farm and Langarth Farm between Threemilestone and Penstrase will project fingers of mediocre urbanisation into open countryside when Truro should logically be contained in the valley basin it presently occupies. Most people who value the City of Truro would agree that it is becoming overdeveloped with unsightly retail parks and high density housing that threatens to overwhelm the present only barely adequate infrastructure. There is a similar situation in St Austell where what appears to be an awful unimaginitave town centre redevelopment is further threatened peripheral by developments that will add to the planning blight and traffic congestion that already exists particularly on the towns southern fringe. Finally the eastern flank of Newquay will soon host another ghetto of anonymous souless housing estates prepared for the next intake of blow in's seeking a lifestyle that is already heavily oversubscribed judging by the incredible congestion around north coast beaches on new years day. I would say that Cornwall is already full and you cant blame the Cornish trevorrow because there arent that many of us aboriginals left as you so pointedly state at every opportunity, it just saddens me to see so much land being concreted over to enrich a tiny minority at the expense of our beautiful Cornish coast and countryside. Kernow Bys Vyken. I have non problem with any proposed fantastic addition to Cornwalls urban landscape but I would struggle to describe yet another motely series of tin shed retail outlets as fantastic, tacky, unsightly and mediocre are three of the more printable euphenisms that spring to mind.

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  January 08 2013, 7:33PM

    when poldice angof and josdave are against something you just know it will be a fantastic addition for cornwall and enrich the county. These converse indicators are really right about anything.

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  • josdave  |  January 08 2013, 7:07PM

    There are thousands of brownfiled sites throughout the county which are crying out to be used - the old police station site in St Austell in the middle of town has been idle for years - but whenever a supermarket applies to dig up a green field site permission is given. This is as much the fault of the council as HRH and they should be ashamed of themselves for between them they are ruining Cornwall. The planners have no idea witness the two "developments at St Austell which, apart from killing off the town centre, will create a huge traffic gridlock problem.

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  • poldice  |  January 08 2013, 12:19PM

    ROT... PIFFLE...& BALDERDASH... as spouted by the Duke of Cornwall's minions in defence of the indefensible... hypocrite does not even begin to describe the Duke of Cornwalls stance on this misbegotten adventure into the outer reaches of greed and self interest. As for Cornwall Council... well enough said the principle architect is in the process off scuttling off to the antipodes while his glove puppet has been hung out to dry by those councillors sensible enough to realise that enough really is enough... bear in mind that they were also responsible for the equally outrageous Langarth Farm / stadium mess that will reverberate around our ears for a while yet. I would welcome Waitrose in Truro on a suitable site that does not desecrate a glorious valley however I will not be using it if Tregurra Farm goes ahead. ALL POWER TO TRURO CITY COUNCIL WHO HAVE COURAGEOUSLY RESISTED THIS OUTRAGE IN THE FACE OF POWERFUL VESTED INTERESTS... COUNCIL TAXPAYERS MONEY WILL BE WISELY INVESTED IN BRINGING FORWARD A JUDICIAL REVIEW AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY. KERNOW BYS VYKEN... ONEN HAG HAL

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  • AnGof2012  |  January 08 2013, 11:52AM

    The truth is slowly emerging about Duke Charles and his evil ways.

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