The Mid Cornwall planning committee considers two major applications today. Both applications are contentious and both have raised serious objections from local residents.
However, council officials have recommended approval for both applications.
First up this morning at the meeting in St Austell’s council chamber is the 70 bed Premier Inn at Falmouth. The budget chain wants to build a 70 bedroom hotel on Discovery Quay car park.
Falmouth Town Council has also objected to the Premier Inn proposal because of “adverse impacts on the historic environment; previous reservations not being fully addressed; development remaining unneighbourly; and inadequate servicing and parking”
The hotel is projected to provide direct employment for 23 full time equivalent
(FTE) jobs spread over a shift pattern.
“The application is in close proximity to Events Square in the centre of Falmouth and is well served by public transport with public car parks nearby. The application is considered to be acceptable in terms of scale and design and successfully overcomes previous concerns” says the planning officer’s recommendation.
However the local councillor Geoffrey Evans recommends refusal due to “over development of the site, mass and bulk of the building is not in keeping with the street scene of the historical Arwenack Manor and Killigrew Monument and the highway is not suitable to take large deliveries of goods”.
Falmouth and Penryn Conservation Committee very strongly OBJECT to the proposal which envisages a “monstrous building wholly out of scale with the surrounding area” and “very detrimental to the setting of Arwenack House, Falmouth’s earliest dwelling, the Killigrew Monument and the whole Listed terrace of Grove Place”
Tourism body Visit Cornwall has also objected on the grounds of “displacing businesses from local independent quality accommodation providers and the significantly aggravating the parking situation in the town” Visit Cornwall say the vast majority of staying visitors will continue travel to Cornwall by car, especially couples and families.
There have been no representations of support.
Planning approval for a hotel on this site has previously been refused and subsequent appeals and re-submissions also refused.
The sole reason for the dismissal of that appeal was the harm, through significant loss of outlook to the living conditions of the occupiers of apartments 3, 4 and 5 of the adjoining Fisher Court development.
Although the council officers set many conditions on the application they have nonetheless reccommended approval for the Premier In plans.
Fistral Bay Hotel
Planners also have to consider the fate of the dilapidated Fistral Bay Hotel in Newquay.
Local councillor Joanna Kenny has ‘called in’ this application due to “extreme local public concern at the development” – The building is considered too high and too massive and would overbear neighbouring properties as well as dominating the skyline say objectors.
However suporters say redevelopment of this former hotel site is accepted in principle by many in the wider community. It has been a derelict site for many years and is situated in a prominent location at the entrance to the Headland. A re-design of the new buildings, reducing the height by one storey is hoped by the developers to appease concerns.
In 2015/16 an initial project (81 residential units) was submitted and withdrawn due to the level of opposition. Further assessment of the site included two presentations to the Cornwall Design Review Panel in 2016 and further community engagement. The current application has responded to the design advice provided, including committing to using local quarried stone and use of natural slate for the building facades say the developers, Queensbridge Homes of
The revised plans for a 74 residential unit scheme and 4 commercial units now reduces the height, massing and scale of the development.
“Taking these factors into account, on balance it is considered that the proposal is acceptable, subject to conditions” recommend council officials.
Planners meet at 10am in St Austell today.