RETAIL giant Marks & Spencer wants to open a store at the £110 million Coyte Farm development, councillors have been told.
The news was revealed at a meeting of St Austell Town Council on Tuesday night – but it didn't stop the authority objecting to the ambitious out-of-town shopping and retail park at Coyte Farm.
Simon Hoare, from Mercian Developments Ltd, the company behind Coyte Farm, said: "I'm delighted to announce that terms have been agreed with M&S, confirmed in letter on December 3.
"This is a golden opportunity for the town. M&S has confirmed to Ellandi (owners of White River Place) it won't come to White River Place, Next has said it won't come to the town centre, but they want to have a presence in St Austell. The benchmark appears to have been set by bringing in a 99p store. You're not going to get better class retailers sitting alongside a 99p store."
Steve Double, town and Cornwall councillor, said: "Names like M&S and Next hunt in packs."
Town councillor Nick Cook described it as a "golden carrot" being dangled by Mercian.
A Marks and Spencer spokesperson confirmed their interest but said they were "interested solely in the retail park area and not in the town centre". See page 4.