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Luxury homes will rise from site of Newquay's Penhallow Hotel tragedy

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

  • Luxury homes will rise from site of Newquay's Penhallow Hotel tragedy

  • NEW PLANS: An artist's impression of the proposed Island Reach development showing the town houses on the site of the former Penhallow Hotel which was destroyed by fire.

  • PIC: APEX 29/09/2010 File picture from 18/08/2007 of the devastating fire at The Penhallow Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, that claimed the lives of Joan Harper, 80, Peter Hughes, 43, and his mother, Monica, 86.

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PLANS to build six Newquay town houses worth £2.7 million on the site of Britain's worst hotel fire in 30 years have been approved by Cornwall Council.

It had been feared that developers The Verto Group could scrap their proposals for the former Penhallow Hotel site after a councillor threatened to take them through a lengthy council committee approval process.

But Geoff Brown withdrew his request, meaning the decision could be taken by a planning officer with delegated authority.

It has emerged this week that the plans for the £450,000 town houses have now been given the green light.

No one at the London-based developers was available for comment as the Cornish Guardian went to press.

But this summer the company's Richard Pearce said he hoped the four-bedroomed homes, collectively named Island Reach, could be on the market before next winter.

He said: "This is a prime site that can be seen from all over Newquay and we think it's time for it to be redeveloped to benefit the town.

"There are lots of companies erecting apartments but we wanted this site to be something different and have chosen to build family homes instead and we hope they will be permanent residences for local people."

The company originally contemplated building another hotel but decided it would not be financially viable, as no one would take the risk to invest.

Mr Pearce said: "We then discovered old photographs from the early 1900s which shows the building looking like town houses so we decided to recreate that but with a contemporary twist.

"The development is the same footprint as the former hotel. It is a lovely, quiet area, but still close to the amenities and the beaches."

Town and Cornwall councillor Pat Lambshead, who was mayor at the time of the fire, welcomed the news.

He said: "I am rather pleased as the site has laid empty for too long and has become an eyesore. I know some would like it to remain an open space, or a memorial for the victims, but that is not the way forward."

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  • stevepz  |  December 03 2012, 10:58AM

    This development is small enough to insure that local trades people are used. The building work will provide a years work for quite a few local people. If some Londoner wants to pay 450 grand for a newquay town house I say we keep building them. Better still build a marina and let them moor their 200 grand boats, we can then create jobs providing security and maintenance. I make the council right. Something is better than nothing. This option is much better for Cornish people than wind or solar farms. If Cornwall is to be exploited then best do it to our advantage.

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  • roger_angove  |  December 01 2012, 8:21AM

    "But Geoff Brown withdrew his request, meaning the decision could be taken by a planning officer with delegated authority." Why do we pay for 123 windbag Councillors only to see decisions 'delegated' to unelected and unaccountable 'officers' - i.e. council clerks. Whilst I would not suggest any impropriety in this particular case (I don't know all the facts) I would be interested to know what measures are in place to prevent corrupt 'officers' making decisions in favour of applicants who offer the biggest 'incentives'. As it stands, Cornwall Council is little more than a tax payer funded protection racket that is operated by and for the benefit of windbag councillors and unelected and unaccountable employees. Evidently 'our' councillors are willing to take our tax money but are too lazy even to carry out their duties. This *has* to change.

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  • Jonny2010  |  November 30 2012, 10:06PM

    Great!!! More homes being built in Cornwall which will be heavily marketed in wealthy areas of England!!!

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  • Fistral20  |  November 30 2012, 9:36PM

    As this development is being built on a site previously occupied by a hotel, it's very likely these apartments will be restricted to holiday use only. If that's the case, the only way the owners would be able to make money would be to let them out, which means that those renting will be spending money in the town for the vast majority of the year. Shagrats has gone quiet, must be in his favourite club....

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  • josdave  |  November 30 2012, 8:17PM

    I don't expect the council to run my life but I do expect them to think more about the people who pay their wages than encouraging building of homes clearly out of range of the pockets of those who work in Cornwall and would love the even outside chance of owning their own home.

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  • Big_Ger  |  November 30 2012, 7:52PM

    It also goes to show how some expect the county council to run their lives for them, and to make everything all right.

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  • josdave  |  November 30 2012, 2:39PM

    Just shows that if you have enough money you can get planning permission to do what you want irrespective of the wishes of the community.

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  • Restart  |  November 30 2012, 1:12PM

    "This is a prime site that can be seen from all over Newquay and we think it's time for it to be redeveloped to benefit the town." What a load of ****. How do 6 properties that nobody local can possibly afford have any benefit whatsoever to the town & it's people? The council should never have approved this. Instead, they should have either bought the land themselves, or given permission to a developer who could have build triple (if not more) that amount of flats, which could be sold at a lower price, to local people, who would live their all year round, & would truly benefit the town as they would spend all of their money in the local area.

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  • cornishbabe70  |  November 30 2012, 12:30PM

    Oh and Shagrats,what has a lapdancing club got to do with this topic?

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  • cornishbabe70  |  November 30 2012, 12:28PM

    Why,oh why do we need more luxurious and unaffordable homes when there are 1000's of people on the waiting list?. The site could be put to better use by the housing associations to help hard up and homeless people,the last thing locals want is to be priced out by wealthy outsiders who can afford £1 million properties.

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