Acorn Property Group’s Cornish region, Acorn Blue, has completed the purchase of the former Marks & Spencer store in the heart of Falmouth, for which it has planning permission to transform into new residential and business space.

In a move that it says will revitalise the large vacant building on Market Street, the plans for Market Quay include a range of one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments and houses, plus three retail units at ground level.

The developer controversially got the go ahead for the developement after the original application was refused by Cornwall Council but allowed on appeal. Falmouth Town Council also objected.

Following the allowance of the appeal by the inspector up in Bristol, the then mayor of Falmouth Cllr Steve Eva wrote a damning letter to the inspectorate condemning them for setting a dangerous precedent. 

The decision to allow vehicular access to the site for residents also goes against plans to pedestrianise Market Street.

The purchase also means that an alternative plan by The Pentire Group to provide a space for innovation and growth now looks dead in the water, despite strong support from Packet readers.

Acorn say each home at Market Quay will have a luxurious feel throughout and will have allocated parking, boat storage and private outdoor space with access to a newly built pontoon. All homes will have views of the harbour.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to restore some of the vitality that Market Street lost when Marks & Spencer closed, breathing new life into Falmouth’s main high street and bringing new homes and business space to the centre, while repurposing an empty building,” said Stuart Brereton, Regional Managing Director and Land Director at Acorn’s Cornish office.

Falmouth Packet: The former Marks and Spencer building has been officially bought by AcornThe former Marks and Spencer building has been officially bought by Acorn (Image: Acorn Blue)

“Within easy reach of all central amenities, including shops, restaurants, local beaches and coastline, we’re expecting strong demand when properties become available.”


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Construction on the new development is due to start at the end of this Summer, with work expected to complete by Autumn 2025.

Market Quay is the latest development in Cornwall from Acorn, an independent housebuilder that focuses on the South West, and follows other projects in the town such as The Liner, a sold-out development of 52 beachfront apartments and penthouses.

Other recent projects in the county have included The Courtyard at Duporth – a collection of 38 two and three-bedroom homes set above a secluded beach overlooking St Austell Bay – and Treglos, a group of contemporary homes within walking distance of Constantine Bay. The Padstow Collection is an exclusive development of ten two and three-bedroom homes with views over the Camel Estuary.