PLANS to demolish a 1920s 'Cornelius' house overlooking Gyllyngvase Beach and replacing it with an 'Italianate' style four-storey 15 unit apartment block have been submitted to Cornwall Council.

Developer Harrowgate Estates has applied to knock down Harrowgate House in Queen Mary Road, designed by Cornish architect Arthur Cornelius and built in 1924, and build an apartment block with a penthouse, complete with its own tower, in its place, as well as a separate 'Wellness Centre'

Falmouth Packet:

How the proposed apartments would look. Image Maison IOM Architects Ltd

The house is located on the western side of Queen Mary Road in Falmouth and was rented to students in seven self contained studios in addition to the current owner occupier. However the house had fallen into such a state of repair that it was recently condemned for renting as flats by the local council housing department.

The house was converted in the 70’s into four self-contained flats with two further bedrooms with the original rooms subdivided to take en-suite facilities and kitchenettes losing the original internal character.

The developer says over the years, ongoing issues of rising and penetrating damp, condensation, the exposure of hygroscopic salts with a lack of damp course will have had to be repeatedly dealt with.

Falmouth Packet:

An aerial view of the site. Image Google Maps

"Unsympathetic renovations over the years have plundered the building of historic features," they say in their submission. "Fireplaces, casings, mouldings, and skirting have been removed, largely due to the building being converted to the apartment layout visible today.

"The external coatings including the render and the weatherboarding have faced repeated failure with a range of sub-optimal repairs having been carried out over the years. These issues are no more evident than on the front elevation where the rot in the lintels has exposed serious structural spalling.

Falmouth Packet:

Before and after. Image Maison IOM Architects Ltd

"The combination of these issues makes recovery and restoration of this fatigued building an unviable financial decision."

As well as the flats and the tower penthouse there will be two, three-bedroom Penthouses and residents' pool complex with gym and steam sauna facilities and underground parking with 17 spaces. The Wellness Centre, to encourage a community feel, will be a separate building.

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The developer says it has chosen the 'Italinate' style to create "an elegant seaside residence which will sit well aside Queen Mary Gardens to the south."

A previous planning submission on the same site by Cornish Homes for an Art Deco apartment block, for 11 apartments was refused in 2008.

The developer said it had been unable to carry out a public consultation because of the pandemic but had posted 40 letters to people living in the community.