ONE OF CORNWALL'S senior business figures has claimed St Austell will "undoubtedly" be left to regret the decision to reject the planned retail park at Coyte Farm.
Tim Jones, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, claims the town will be left to rue the decision by Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee – if the developers walk away from the scheme for good.
Mr Jones told the Cornish Guardian that there was justifiable reason to approve the shopping park and said the town would have benefited from the retail and employment boost.
When asked if St Austell could be left to regret the decision, he said: "Yes, undoubtedly.
"Research suggests that unless towns improve the retail model that is being offered then people will go to other centres to get what they want," he added.
"Coyte Farm would have brought in big names and created jobs for the town, which are all important factors and should have been enough to sway the balance [in favour of approving the application]."
He said that there were many misconceptions about what was damaging high street trade – and that the main rival to their survival was online shopping and not just out-of-town developments.