The Liner Building, Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth

This building is now nearing completion but not without controversy. Originally the brain child of Nigel Carpenter as owner of the St Michael's Hotel (now St Michaels' Hotel and Spa) which acquired the site of the Falmouth Beach Hotel following on from the devastating fire that destroyed the latter on April 30th, 2012 just over 8 years ago. During this time various designs were considered and discarded for many reasons and, relatively recently, the current build was sold by St Michael's to Acorn who are building it. In December 2019 residents woke up to the appearance of a major site hoarding facing the beach with the loss of a much used Post Box and the bus stop. Since that time FBRA has been attempting to improve the traffic and pedestrian safety around this hoarding itself a major structure largely to improve the visibility to motorists and to avoid what we and the residents believe to be a dangerous limitation of such visibility. Many discussions have taken place with Cornwall Council Highways to seek a solution and, to a lesser extent, to the site management. Recently, your committee produced a critique of what is required of the developer and the local authority (Cornwall Council) to protect the public when the carriageway and associated pavement(s) are compromised in some way. Your editor met with the resident site manager to discuss how we are now in a situation of very increased pedestrian traffic as the limited high season opened up to significant people traffic and the need to maintain social distancing necessitating movements into the carriageway with attendant risk. The very helpful site manager commented that he has complied with the regulations which have been agreed with Cornwall Council and that his responsibility was to the internal perimeter of the works being done so as to protect his workforce and that the external environment was also the responsibility of the local authority to sanction the protection he has implemented which included traffic and pedestrian movements which the local authority had agreed to. At least that is what the editor understood he meant. On the other hand Cornwall Council, through its Highways Agency, suggest that they have no powers to change what was agreed as the developer had completed the necessary risk assessments, such assessments were being reviewed by the developer's independent Health & Safety advisers on a regular monthly basis and appropriate insurance was held by the developer. With this clear impasse in mind your editor, in his capacity as a member of Falmouth Town Council for Arwenack Ward (that encompasses the beach area), has asked our MP, Cherilyn Mackrory to see if a meeting can be arranged between Cornwall Council and the Developer, Acorn as to any improvements that could be made. We shall see.

Part of the issue is outside the developers remit but would help the long term popularity of the main beach area by the increased limitation of parking on the approaches to the Gylly Beach Cafe area on the double yellow lines from the position on Cliff Road seaward side west of the last hut to a place west of Gyllyngvase Hill so as to stop obstructive car parking on this stretch. We shall see whether this can happen too.

Meanwhile, the timetable for the conclusion of the works at Gyllyingvase look set to see the hoarding come down during September, the reinstatement of the bus stop shelter and Post Box and the decommissioning of the main crane on the development. This is likely to happen coincidental with the removal of the hoarding and may also involve a temporary road closure. The licence to the continued presence of the hoarding is set to expire around 26th October.