Decision day for the demolition of the Coliseum at Carlyon Bay is approaching with the final ‘Reserved Matters’ application due to be considered by Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on 12th February.

If all elements of these detailed designs are given the go ahead, and Natural England issue the crucially important bat licence in time, it is expected demolition could start in early March.

“We’ve always said that the demolition is dependent on all planning approvals being in place before it’s feasible to start the process so we very much hope that we’re able to push the button this spring and begin to bring the resort into fruition,” said Jon Kenny, development director for Commercial Estates Group (CEG).

“We have a small window of opportunity due to restrictions surrounding the bird nesting season and the presence of roosting bats,” he said. “If it’s missed, nothing can progress until the autumn – which in turn impacts on the beginning of construction for the whole project.

“From an operational perspective, it makes no sense for us to begin any work until we’re certain that we can implement the full scheme and the transition between demolition and the main works has continuity.”

The application includes detailed information on the scale, layout, appearance, public access and landscape of the resort, incorporates 250 architects’ drawings and follows an extensive public consultation programme with hundreds of local residents commenting on the design.

The plans for public access and Public Rights of Way have been the subject of much interest and are the culmination of extensive in-depth discussions with all parties since the original planning approval in 2011 including local residents and the council. These will provide guaranteed extensive access for the public to walk through the site to the beach.

They include providing temporary alternative pedestrian routes to the beach during demolition and construction for compliance with health and safety regulations, plus the realignment of a current existing pathway beside the Coliseum to an elevated walkway to the beach along a similar route. They also include the segregation of vehicles and pedestrians via a footpath for safety purposes.

“Public access is understandably at the forefront of people’s minds and we have focused on alleviating any concerns and ensuring access to the beach is provided at all times.

“We’ve always been committed to providing the public with access to the beach as well as the use of the resort’s facilities and this promise is an integral part of the Section 106 legal agreement.
We hope last summer’s arrival of Sam’s Restaurant which proved so popular, demonstrates this intention,” said Mr Kenny.

The detailed designs are based on the hybrid planning permission’s parameter plans which were unanimously approved by the council in 2011 and form the framework for the Reserved Matters application.

Hundreds of local residents visited two public exhibitions in July and September last year, which featured the work of two newly appointed architect firms, Squire and Partners and Pencil & Ink. Landscape architects LDA Design, whose previous projects include the London 2012 Olympic Park, are a further addition to the design team.

The majority of visitors said they liked the proposed layouts with Crinnis Beach reflecting the typical characteristics of a Cornish seaside village and Shorthorn Beach adopting a ‘softer’ approach with a sand dune influence dominating the landscape.

An estimated 645 jobs will be created during construction and once up and running there will be around 345 permanent jobs available at all levels ranging from managing and operations directors to sales and marketing positions, HR and IT managers, letting and holiday sales roles, restaurant and bar staff, a landscaping team, security, sports and leisure positions plus front of house. A partnership with Cornwall College will create a range of career opportunities including bespoke training facilities and a number of apprenticeship schemes.

Additional spending by visitors and residents is expected to be £8.4 million per year and the resort will bring the council an additional £900,000 in council tax. CEG is also contributing nearly £400,000 for road improvements, £465,000 for education and £5 million for affordable housing.

Polgaver will predominantly be a natural ecological sanctuary offering a new home for the bat house and providing a series of boardwalks winding through the vegetation. There is also provision for tennis courts and steps connecting with the South West Coastal Path.

Rooftop planting using signature palettes drawn from the site’s beaches and cliffs will create a visual carpet of natural colour from cliff top viewpoints on both Crinnis and Shorthorn. The roofscape is considered an important element of the scheme and no buildings rise above the cliff line. Higher buildings are positioned near the cliff face and scaled down towards the sea front.

The landscape-led layout on Shorthorn, comprises a total of 150 units with apartment buildings and beach houses located along the back of the site and beach villas spaced along the front. Decks and terraces are incorporated into the buildings with sea and dune views a prime consideration. The ‘green’ roofs will reflect the natural colours of the beach and cliffs enhancing views across the beach and the careful management of Sandy River will create further attractive wildlife habitats and spaces.

Crinnis portrays a very different character to Shorthorn underpinned by more of a village atmosphere and home to the remaining 361 residential units plus leisure facilities including a spa, gym, swimming pool and sports hall. Restaurants, cafes, bars, public pedestrian walkways and a few retail outlets will also play an important role in defining the ‘Crinnis personality’.

“Carlyon Bay will be a transformational place which embraces the culture, transitional landscape, natural light and character of the site. We’re very excited about moving forward with this flagship project which will boost the image of St Austell and give the clear signal that the area is a great location for investment as well as bringing hundreds of full time, quality jobs to the area,” said Mr Kenny.

If demolition goes ahead in March, the developer hopes to create a hub of pop-up activity on Crinnis for the public to enjoy. “We’d like to further explore the possibility of having more amenities like Sam’s down here so it becomes a focal point for the community to visit and a taster of what’s to come.”

Phase one of the resort’s construction will focus on Shorthorn and Crinnis will follow. It is expected to be completed in between five and seven years.


Note to Editors:

The RMs documentation can be found on the council website and on

The site was bought by CEG in 2002 with an existing planning permission for 511 units. These plans were subsequently revised and planning permission (part detailed for the sea defences and part outline for development behind) was unanimously approved by Cornwall Council in June 2011.

The development represents one of the largest economic growth opportunities in the South West and will attract year-round visitors that will deliver permanent job creation and help reduce seasonal fluctuations. It will be a top quality destination resort that will provide 511 homes as well as bars, cafes and a small number of retail outlets plus spa and leisure facilities that will be open to the public.

The sea defences promenade will have downlighting set into the landward side of a second wall to reduce the impact of artificial lighting and an intimate network of public spaces connected by a variety of interesting streets and pathways will be created within the pedestrian-friendly environment. The main street will be set back from the promenade behind the first row of sea facing homes providing a more sheltered environment and pedestrian routes will link the cliff and the promenade enabling easy access to residential courtyards and other parts of the resort.

On Shorthorn, reinforced sand dune sea defences, which include two berms with a channel in between to collect any sea water overtopping in extreme storms, protect the site. These have been approved in detail by the Environment Agency and Cornwall Council. A succession of dune bridges and timber board walks create access to the beach against a landscape backdrop which takes inspiration from the existing natural setting.

All the back-of-house facilities are located in an undercroft on Crinnis including car parking, bicycle storage, plant rooms, refuse areas and the energy centre, as well as some of the leisure and commercial spaces. Public parking is provided in the top car park and there will also be provision for disabled parking within the undercroft.

Pencil & Ink director Dale Jennings has been involved with the project for the past 10 years and has developed the design for Crinnis. “My brief was to create a modern, innovative, year-round Cornish holiday destination that matched the charm and qualities of the best seaside villages,” said Mr Jennings. “This involved creating spaces, forms and views that followed a traditional response to the local climate, learning from the past but looking into the future and improving modern environmental standards.”

Squire and Partners has focused on Shorthorn Beach. “The Carlyon Bay project is a unique opportunity to create a sustainable residential community which draws on the rich heritage and identity of Cornwall,” said partner Tim Gledstone. “We’re excited to breathe life back into this particular stretch of the Cornish coastline with a collection of homes and leisure amenities which will benefit residents and the wider community. We want the buildings to feel as if they’re born out of the site. We’re creating robust spaces and different environments to embrace inside/outside living that will sit easily with all weather conditions.”

LDA Design associate Scott Carroll said: “We’re genuinely excited by the unique and special nature of this project. As designers, we bring with us a true love of Cornwall, award winning coastal design projects and the skills and experience gained from leading many high profile landscape and ecology driven schemes. Our work has been inspired by Cornwall, the particular qualities of Carlyon Bay and the desire to create a place that people will love to spend time in. The signature palette we’ve identified from the site influences all elements of the scheme and provides a rich and vibrant mix of colours to help reinforce the local identity of the resort.”

For further information, please contact: Michelle Sammons, Tel: 07767 810481 or email


10 February 2015

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