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University of Cornwall News

11th June 1998

The following articles appeared in today's The Cornishman:

John Payne fights on

ONE of the leading voices in the campaign to secure Treriefe as the site for a university campus has spoken of his "astonishment" at Penwith Council's rejection of the plan.

John Payne was at the forefront of the campaign to secure the site for the Cornwall Campus of the University of Exeter and says he cannot understand why the council rejected the scheme.

The proposal was originaly made to purchase the land for development at the asking price and John Payne feels this may have been one of the main reasons why the proposal was rejected.

He said: "If this is the case the council were wrong we always intended to buy it for less and could have secured the site for perhaps £700 000."

Mr Payne is greatly disappointed and mystified at the councils rejection of the plan because as far as he was aware it had been relatively unopposed throughout its earlier stages.

In is his opinion the rejection of the site will prove to be of far higher price than the cost of buying Treriefe.

Mr Payne said: "The scheme would not just have helped with jobs and the local economy it would have given a great boost to the fight to save West Cornwall Hospital and the battle to maintain a direct rail link."

He added: " There would have been a number of benefits with a university campus for Penwith as all university facilities would have been available to the local public and there would have been the development of a leisure complex for students and locals."

The proposals rejection twenty four votes to seven is the greatest mystery for the councillor as he can see little proposed alternative.

Mr Payne made an appeal to all those who voted against the proposed site to contact him: "To explain why they turned down the most important issue to face Penwith in the last one hundred years.

He further asked them to explain what they and their organisations had planned as an alternative to the rejected plan.

He concluded: "Though the proposal has been rejected I'll fight on until Sir Geoffrey Holland [Vice Chancellor of Exeter University] or Exeter University tell me to stop."

Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1998

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