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Falmouth's Duchy Hotel expansion plan supported despite plea from neighbours
10:30am Thursday 8th May 2014 in News
The Royal Duchy Hotel’s expansion plans have won the support of Falmouth councillors, even though a group of neighbouring residents pleaded with them to oppose the scheme.
The hotel is seeking planning permission for extensions which would enable an extra 21 guest bedrooms to be created and for its dining and leisure facilities to be upgraded.
Existing garage and storage space to the rear of the hotel would be removed and replaced with two storeys of bedroom accommodation, new stairs and a lift.
Beneath this would be five “much needed” staff bedrooms, a staff room and a reconfigured laundry.
The scheme, which also includes an outdoor swimming pool to the front, is said to represent a “significant investment” by Brend Hotels.
When the application was discussed by Falmouth’s planning committee last week, three elderly residents of neighbouring Carnes Court and Peter Turner, who lives in Emslie Road attended, hoping to convince councillors to reject the proposals.
Mr Turner said: “This hotel is bounded on three sides by residential buildings and so far they have always had consideration for our welfare as neighbours with its gradual growth over the years, but this application is a vast development. It comes out of the blue, no consultation has taken place whatsoever.
“We are not unsympathetic to growth of the hotel and appreciate tourism has to thrive in this area, but feel this is too big a development altogether.
“The completely blank wall against Emslie Road is not aesthetically appealing and will block out light.
“My suggestion is that the hotel should cut back the rear extension considerably and even consider having terraces to soften to impact.
“This is far too big for the site and not in keeping with the size of the site and its landscape is going to have a detrimental effect.”
There was a mixed reaction among councillors.
Committee chairman, Diana Merrett said: “I cannot see any reason not to let this go forward. The (Royal) Duchy could do with an uplift and it could really smarten up the area.”
Councillor Alan Jewell added: “Falmouth does need hotels, we have lost enough in the past to apartments.”
Councillor Steve Gray, though said: “It comes far too close to the boundary. If this was stepped back from the boundary I would not have a problem.”
The committee voted to support the application, which will now be determined by Cornwall Council.
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