Residents have say on Fistral Bay
THE community was out in force to oppose plans to build an apartment block at the gateway to Pentire on the site of Newquay’s worst eyesore building.
Residents packed into the public gallery at Newquay Town Council to object to the Queenbridge Homes planning proposal to demolish the former Fistral Bay Hotel in Pentire Avenue and build an 80-unit apartment building and under-croft car parking, as well as retail and office space.
They highlighted concerns the seven-storey block of flats would dwarf the area, leading to the loss of privacy for neighbours and could set a precedent for further buildings of the same size, or even higher, being constructed in Pentire.
The residents stated the block of flats should be the same height as surrounding properties and set back from the road.
Steve Mitchell, from Queensbridge Homes, underlined the merits of the proposal and argued residents were in support of the scheme at a public consultation meeting, which was met with howls of laughter from a partisan public gallery.
David Evison, the chairman of Pentire Residents’ Association, said: “The proposal is pretty similar to the old plans. It is too high and too big. So far there are 60- plus objections to the plans.
“The scheme would set a precedent when something else comes up further down the road.”
Resident Simon Parker added: “There is strong opposition to this development, mainly because of its height and mass. It is a city-type building in a seaside environment. We need something sympathetic to the seaside environment. It is a really iconic position at the gateway to Pentire. People would see this building as they come into Pentire and when they go to Fistral Beach.
“Newquay needs to be unique, not like Benidorm. The building could affect our long-term future as a seaside town. It would be dark and oppressive and totally out of keeping with the surrounding area. We must not let this development damage Newquay for the next 50 years.
“It would lead to buildings of the same height or even higher. This must be stopped.”
Resident Diana Cunningham said: “The scheme is far too big. We do want a replacement building but it should be something the same height.”
Newquay Town Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee unanimously voted to object to the scheme at its extraordinary meeting held on Monday.
Deputy mayor Margaret North, who proposed the town council should object, said: “The building is huge and would overshadow. It is the density of the whole development which I’m against.”
Cllr David Mann added: “The key issue is the height of the building and that it is not in keeping with the properties in Pentire. It would be an overdevelopment.”
Cornwall Council is due to make the final decision on the plans. Mr Mitchell from Queensbridge Homes said: “We are obviously disappointed by the outcome of the hearing. We felt we had addressed issues raised in the previous application which are reflected in the new design.
“The development has been through Cornwall Council’s independent design review panel on two separate occasions and our new application has reflected their advice, including the choice of local external materials.
“We were surprised our case officer wasn’t present and accurately presenting the scheme. We are sympathetic of local opinion and want to deliver a site that’s acceptable and meets local requirements.”
Residents have until the proposal is decided to put their opinions forward to Cornwall Council via its planning portal. The planning application is PA17/00962.