Porthleven Shipyard building turned down for the second time.

For the last two-years Trevor Osborne has tried to build in the Porthleven Shipyard. The first application to be submitted, was rightly refused by the West Planning Committee last October for a variety of reasons.

Fast forward six-plus-months and the latest incarnation of the building was on the agenda for a decision at the same Committee. The footprint of the building is smaller, as is the bulk. The entrance that was proposed along Methleigh Bottoms has also been removed.

However, the same fundamental reasons the town council and myself have objected to is:

  • The proposed development is not in harmony in terms of shape, scale, massing, bulk and proportions with the existing character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed development does not protect or enhance the character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed design does not respond positively to the Porthleven
    Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy.

A further point is the buildings use. Whilst the aim is for some sort of innovation hub, details are not clear of the functions of such a building, especially when many hubs have to diversify to make them financially viable.

To be clear myself or the Town Council are not anti-development. But any development has to be more beneficial to a community than harmful. On balance, this buildings is more the latter.

After a robust debate, two councillors (Councillors Graham Coad and Mike Thomas) proposed approval. However, all was not lost, and a series of Councillors spoke against the applications.

A vote was taken for approval, but it was lost 7-8. Therefore, the motion for approval was lost. The next motion was for refusal put forward by Cllr Joyce Duffin. This motion was carried by 8-7. Which means the application was refused.

The applicant has the right of appeal, but this has to be done within six-months of the decision notice. The previous decision from October has passed the the six-months window, and therefore, my understanding is this application cannot be appealed.


  • Gilly Zella Martin

    I think this was the right decision, although I initially supported the concept of a building in the shipyard, I believe this planning proposal was wrong in design. I think the proposed building had no aesthetically pleasing look, for which to compliment existing buildings, it was disproportionate, the architectural design was not in keeping, and I was not a fan of the top cladding either. I applaud all those on the Cornwall Council planning committee that voted against it. Well done to you Andrew too for paying cognizance to what Porthleven needs to respect and retain its uniqueness.

  • Mrs K Thomas

    Hopefully Mr O will appeal , my goodness these people have NO VISION for the future. Such pathetic reasons & i’m a pensioner !!

  • ...

    I am only vaguely familiar with the site in Porthleven (I live in Looe) but can see immediately that the architectural character of the scheme does not reflect that of Porthleven as I know it and therefore does not comply with policy 24 of the CLP which as you know states that development proposals will be expected to:
    1) sustain designated heritage assets;
    2) take opportunities to better reveal their significance;
    3) maintain the special character and appearance of Conservation Areas, especially those positive elements in any Conservation Area Appraisal;
    4) conserve and, where appropriate, enhance the design, character, appearance and historic significance of historic parks and gardens;
    5) conserve and, where appropriate, enhance other historic landscapes and townscapes, including registered battlefields, including the industrial mining heritage;
    6) protect the historic maritime environment, including the significant ports, harbours and quays.

    The problem most likely lies with the choice of architect who after two attempts has been unable to produce a scheme that is sympathetic to the historic maritime environment of Cornwall. In my opinion the only chance of a successful outcome is to change designers and I suggest the applicant be advised to look for another architect who possesses the skills required.

  • Holly SC

    Good news for the Port, I don’t want Porthleven to replicate Padstow or similar places to that. There can be plenty of vision for the future without ruining the character of a place with out-of-keeping monstrosities. We’ve already got resident artists and there’s CAST in Helston, if people want that sort of thing, we don’t need to attract artists to Porthleven in a hotel for the arts, or have a building for businesses in the Shipyard, or a shopping mall type building near Shute Lane. If you want all those type of things there’s plenty of places that offer them, if some people had their way Porthleven would lose all its identity and end up another built up tasteless town with nothing unique to offer. First it was a coffee factory proposal now a Shipyard building. If some Cllrs on the planning committee want a monstrosity building, how about build a huge great monstrosity in Nanscober Place instead.

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