Hotel plans in Cornwall dubbed 'underhand' amid housing shortage

Plans for the aparthotel in Carbis Bay Credit: Situ8 Planning Consultancy Ltd

Plans to change a new block of apartments overlooking the sea near St Ives to a hotel have been dubbed “underhand” by local residents.

Locals believe the development should stick to its original use of much-needed housing.

The plans for the hotel include a gym, swimming pool and restaurant.

An application has been submitted by Oceanview Carbis Bay Ltd for the change of use of the apartments which are on land formerly occupied by the 80-room Cottage Hotel at Carbis Bay.

The site on Boskerris Road is currently home to 37 two-and three-bedroom flats, marketed for people aged over 55 – which were approved by Cornwall Council in November 2021.

However, the applicant now wants to change the use to an ‘aparthotel’ featuring the same number of apartments alongside a gym, swimming pool, café, restaurant and reception areas.

Situ8 Planning Consultancy Ltd, on behalf of Oceanview Carbis Bay Ltd, said: “The proposal is consistent with the existing permitted use of the site, with a small decrease in the overall number of beds, a reduction in the provision of catering/entertainment to non-resident patrons and an increase in the quality of the accommodation provision which is offered.

“The present proposal does not materially alter the external appearance or visual impact of that permission. When combined with the employment associated with the operation of the aparthotel and the consistency of the proposal with the historic use of the site, the overall impact of this development on the local community will therefore be beneficial.”

However, the application has been met with dismay by some local residents.

Writing on Cornwall Council’s planning portal, Ian Fisher said: “I am in favour of developments that support the local community and whilst I don’t agree with the style and look of the property it was well intentioned to bring much-needed housing to the area and had designated 35 units for the over 55 units which helps the local area.

"It is very disappointing that when Cornwall Council can see there is a very clear housing need for the whole county that they would even consider changing this from homes to a hotel. Please remember we need more homes.”

Christine Noton commented: “Planning was given for residential, age-restricted properties. This is an attempt to ignore the restrictions applied at the time. The inability to sell these possible retirement properties may be due to the extremely high price.

"Cornwall Council should do everything in its power to make sure the original planning is adhered to and not changed to suit the developer who has failed to provide a suitably priced residential apartment. Inappropriate planning permission now attempted because of a business failure? Approval would set a precedent for future changes.”

The application will come before Cornwall Council planners on a date to be decided.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporting Service/Lee Trewhela