Work on turning the former Marks and Spencer building in Falmouth into 14 flats and three retail units is expected to start this week.

In his weekly newsletter to businesses on Friday, town centre manager Richard Gates said it was the thing people asked him about most almost every week.

Falmouth Packet: The controversial access point for residents' carsThe controversial access point for residents' cars (Image: Paul Armstrong)

“Works will start week commencing Feb 19,” he said “this is subject to a few things but likely to be the case. I have people asking me almost every week hence including on the update.”

Acorn Blue, the company behind the Liner building on Falmouth seafront, lodged an application to convert the iconic building in Market Street into 14 residential apartments which ranged from one to four bedrooms, and three retail spaces on the ground floor along with car parking on the lower ground floor level back in 2021.

Falmouth Packet: The old M&S clock glass is damaged with broken glassThe old M&S clock glass is damaged with broken glass (Image: Paul Armstrong)

The application was initially refused by Cornwall Council's planning committee in December 2022 on the grounds that it would generate an increased use of the main street for vehicular access which went against the strategic vision to prioritise pedestrian movements in Market Street. Falmouth Town Council had also recommended refusal.

However in March last year an appeal was allowed by a planning inspector and work is expected to start on the development today (Monday).

The inspector dismissed claims by the council that the proposal would cause environmental harm and increased carbon emissions saying the fact people living there would have easy access to facilities they would not be encouraged to own a car.

Falmouth Packet: The facade is looking very sorry for itselfThe facade is looking very sorry for itself (Image: Paul Armstrong)

He found the council had acted unreasonably in refusing the application and awarded partial costs to the developer.

A controversial new vehicle opening will be introduced onto Market Street in the approximate location of a previous cart entrance leading to a two-way ramp and car park at lower ground level providing 18 parking spaces.

A newly introduced section 106 agreement means there will be financial contributions to improvements to open space at Kimberley Park, The Moor and/or Greenbank Gardens and a contribution towards the provision of additional school places at designated primary and secondary schools in the area.

Falmouth Packet: The Falmouth store originally opened its doors to customers in 1933The Falmouth store originally opened its doors to customers in 1933 (Image: File)


Marks and Spencer closed its store in Falmouth on Saturday, February 2, 2019 after more than 80 years in the town. It originally opened its doors to customers in 1933.