A restaurant on St Ives seafront gutted by fire last year is set to rise from the ashes after an application to rebuild it was submitted.

The owners of The Harbour Restaurant Paul and Ylenia Hasse say they want to take the opportunity to put the restaurant back together again but in a better way.

Falmouth Packet:

The fire could be seen all over St Ives. Picture: Peter Stratton

Five months after the fire hit the national headlines back on December 4, 2020 the restaurant and the Salvation Army building next door remain covered in scaffolding.

The fire started in the former lifeboat house and spread to the Salvation Army building next door causing significant damage and destroying toys collected for children at Christmas.

Falmouth Packet:

Firefighters spent hours fighting the blaze. Picture: Peter Stratton

No less than 12 fire appliances fought the fire for many hours before they managed to bring it under control but the internal building was completely destroyed.

Falmouth Packet:

The day after the fire and before the scaffolding was put up. Charred remains are visible through the window. Picture Michael Bradley/Cornwall Council 

Forensic investigation have since been carried out and it would appear that an electrical failure caused by a fire which was then fuelled by gas cylinders at the back of the property by the restaurant kitchen.


Update on major fire at St Ives business that raged through the night

The fire has gutted the building and all that remains are the external walls. The previous slate roof has completely disappeared, and large holes also exist in the Salvation Army building roof.

However, structural engineers found that the granite external; walls are structurally sound and the steel first floor beans can be salvaged.

Falmouth Packet:

The building is currently covered in scaffolding. Picture Michael Bradley/Cornwall Council

In a design and access statement to Cornwall Council's planning department, architect Michael Bradbury says the owners prime objective is to restore the fabric of the Old Lifeboat House, dismantle the scaffolding that surrounds the outside and bring the harbourside building back into active use.

“The owners run other businesses in the town and are constantly being asked when the scaffold is going to be taken down as it is narrowing Lifeboat Hill leading down to the harbour, making iot difficult for pedestrians and vehicles to pass,” he says in the statement. "Insurance claims are being processed competitive tenders are being obtained."

The couple say that the secondary objective is to seize the opportunity to address some of the shortcomings in the building such as the headroom height in the kitchen which is only two metres.

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A line drawing of the proposal submitted by Michael Bradbury. Image Michael Bradbury/Cornwall Council

The new designs incorporate three conventional floors of accommodation with no mezzanine floors and the ground and first floor restaurants retained. Two new staircases for escape routes, redesigned toilets are among a welter of other interior alterations.

The outside of the building is going to be changed with the main feature being raising the lintel on the original lifeboat house doorway so that each of the three floors can have full height and width glazing.

The existing roof has completely disappeared, says the report, and so will be replaced with a new slate roof. Means of escape from a fire has been considerably improved.

“Mr and Mrs Haase have been encouraged by the feedback they have received and the general response has been ‘the sooner the better’,” says Mr Bradbury. “The applicants live in St Ives and it is very much in their interests to carry out regeneration work to the highest standards, working with the local community.”

It says once the planning approval is in place the refurbishment work will be procured as soon as possible.