Planning enforcement officers at Cornwall Council have given a full explanation for why the Carbis Bay Hotel has not been served a notice to stop building meeting rooms for the G7 Summit.

There was anger amongst locals and environmentalists after the hotel started the works without planning permission.

But after being visited by enforcement officers from the council the hotel submitted a retrospective application for the development.

However campaigners have not been satisfied with this and have continued to press the council on why it did not serve a Temporary Stop Notice on the works.

Previously the council had explained how a retrospective planning application was considered to be a reasonable response to enforcement action and that it would be determined by the council in the usual process.

They explained that it was the developer who was at risk in continuing to carry out works as if permission was refused they could be forced to pull down any buildings erected without permission.


Linda Taylor, Cornwall councillor for the Carbis Bay area, has requested that the application should be decided by a planning committee due to the high level of public interest.

The Carbis Bay Hotel has always maintained that the development was needed to provide meeting rooms for the G7 Summit this weekend. The Cabinet Office has said that in selecting the hotel as the venue for the event it had not requested additional rooms to be provided.

Now, one campaigner has shared a response provided by enforcement officers at Cornwall Council explaining why a temporary stop notice was not served on the hotel regarding the development.

The officer was responding to questions from an objector.

She said: “When investigating breaches of planning control, it is important for the council to establish the full facts of the case.  Councils cannot take enforcement action simply because a development does not have planning permission, but only where a development causes clear planning harm.

"Councils have to consider Government guidance in the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) that sets out that formal enforcement action is a last resort, therefore, if there is a breach of planning control the responsible person will usually be given the opportunity to remedy the matter without taking formal enforcement action in the first instance.”

After providing the exact working of the NPPG she explained: “In this case, the council has allowed the land owner to submit a planning application to try to regularise the position on a ‘without prejudice’ basis so that the planning merits can be formally considered and interested parties given the opportunity to submit their comments.

"Whilst the council has exercised their discretion not to take formal enforcement action at this time pending the consideration of the planning application in accordance with the NPPG advice above, it reserves the right to re-consider this if the application is subsequently refused or withdrawn.

“There is no set timescale for progressing an enforcement investigation if a retrospective planning application is refused.  This is because the circumstances of each enforcement case are different, and the council will always try to negotiate remedial works before considering taking formal enforcement action.”

The officer also states clearly that issues regarding possible breaches of the law regarding wildlife in the area were a matter for the police and that they had stated that there had not been any breaches.

She explained: “The council has been closely monitoring the development at the site, and during the early stages of the planning investigation a Tree Preservation Order was placed on the area of trees surrounding the hotel.  Furthermore, the council’s ecologist has been working with Devon & Cornwall Police to inspect the land and establish the impact of the development upon the wildlife. 


"As a result of the investigation, the police have recorded no offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 specific to the area under development, and have obtained a copy of a valid licence from Natural England in relation to the badger sett closure for this area of land.

“The council’s ecologist continues to work closely with the planning department regarding this site, and is providing advice in respect of the current retrospective planning application.

“Please be assured that the council is not treating this breach of planning control as a trivial matter, and will consider the expediency of pursuing formal enforcement action should the planning application be refused.”

And, finally, after the objector said they were dissatisfied with the earlier responses, the officer further clarified: “The planning enforcement team responded immediately to the concerns raised about the unauthorised works and whilst the clearance of the site area did not require any consent from the council, it was noted that building operations were being undertaken which would require planning permission.

"It was not considered reasonable or proportionate to issue a Temporary Stop Notice, having regard to the fact that the site clearance did not require any consent. Government guidance sets out that a retrospective application is a reasonable response in seeking to resolve a planning enforcement issue.  The application enables a full democratic and transparent consideration of the matter.”

In a statement issued previously the Carbis Bay Hotel said: “The investments in the estate over recent years, including our on-site Energy Centre, have cemented Carbis Bay’s position as one of the UK’s best and greenest destinations, in one of the most beautiful bays in the country.

“We appreciate that our passion and commitment to the environment are shared by many, and would like to address the misunderstanding on social media, and reassure our guests and neighbours about the area that we are working on at the moment.

“Part of our long-standing plans for the estate included clearing a small self-seeded scrubland area to the side of the hotel, and work on this area started several years ago. We can confirm this was not ancient woodland and there are no badger sets on this piece of land.

“We are working closely with a local landscaping team to increase planting in this area replacing the scrubland with a plethora of trees and plants more suited to the coastal environment.

“The South West Coast Path is fully open and there are no plans for this to be re-routed. Our commitment to this important route through the estate includes the upgrading of the existing surface to improve access and safe passage to the beach.

“Carbis Bay Estate is committed to sustainability, and dedicated to protecting the environment now, and for generations to come.”