Carbis Bay Hotel

(see our latest press release half way down this page)

There is currently an unauthorised development involving the felling of trees and building 15 meeting rooms at the Carbis Bay Hotel, prior to the G7 Summit

Cornwall watches in disbelief at the open defiance of the planning system by the Carbis Bay Hotel, in carving out a swathe of the Carbis Bay backdrop for an unlawful and yet more commercial development.  This is a site that was turned down in 2018 on environmental, visual and planning grounds and this latest gung-ho development has now been exposed as an entirely false ploy use the G7 as an excuse.

Whilst Cornwall Council seems paralysed, there are many who deeply resent the audacity of this swipe at the iconic beauty of Cornwall.

Whilst some behind the scenes Government edict might have prompted this work as being necessary for the G7, with Cornwall MPs declaring the G7 should ‘deliver a positive legacy for Cornwall’. The local MP and County Councillor reassures us, they are ‘adamant that any work that needs to take place to accommodate the Summit must be able to be removed and the area returned to its former state, including nature recovery’

Then they rather spoil it by saying, ‘Any plans for a more permanent development are down to the hotel owner and the planning process.’ How ominous this all sounds.

For those of us dedicated to protecting the landscapes and countryside of Cornwall, our biggest challenge will be when the Planners say “Well, it’s been ruined now, you may as well build on it”.  It is our duty and our job, to hold our politicians to their word that it should be reinstated and nature restored.

PRESS and MEDIA release: 12 August 2021

Cornwall CPRE vows to stop hotel’s destruction of Carbis Bay

Cornwall CPRE has submitted a formal objection to a planning application by Carbis Bay Hotel for retrospective permission to complete three single-storey buildings currently under construction in defiance of a previous planning refusal. The application is expected to be considered by Cornwall Council in the next few weeks.

The independent conservation charity says the hotel’s plans to complete three individual pods, providing nine meeting rooms and pathway access, are highly damaging to the beauty of Carbis Bay and in breach of protections provided under the Cornwall Local Plan 2010-2030 (Policies 1, 2, 5, 12, 23 and 25)

Cornwall CPRE says allowing the building work to continue will result in the destruction of the natural environment and encourage further dependence on cars, for which there is no immediate parking.

In March this year, Carbis Bay Hotel commenced ground clearance work, including the felling of established trees. This was without planning permission and was allegedly part of the impending G7 summit preparations. Weeks after the work had started, the hotel applied for retrospective planning permission (Application PA21/02527) to retain and complete the three pods. The justification for this development has since been modified several times through four versions of the Design and Access Statement.

Hundreds of local people protested over the unauthorised construction. The Cabinet Office at Westminster issued a statement denying that these so-called meeting rooms had anything to do with G7 requirements. Furthermore, the local MP and Cornwall’s then councillor for Carbis Bay (now Council Leader) issued a joint statement:

Derek Thomas and Cllr Taylor recognise the genuine concern regarding the groundworks and any proposed development in this beautiful bay and are adamant that any work that needs to take place to accommodate the summit must be able to be removed and the area returned to its former state, including nature recovery.”

It transpires that planning permission was refused for almost identical buildings on the same site in 2018 (PA18/01007). On that occasion, the three self-contained, 3-bedroomed, detached buildings were described as lodges for holiday occupation.

On Monday 2nd August, Cornwall CPRE sent a fact-finding team to look at the finished building work. It concluded that the rooms, cut into the cliff and with newly landscaped gardens, were never intended to be temporary and were destined to become the lodges for which the hotel had been refused permission in 2018. The Duty Manager was asked to comment and was unable to justify the building of these lodges without permission.

Richard Stubbs, Chairman of CPRE Cornwall, says, “This hotel has, in defiance of a previous planning refusal, sought to clear a natural area including many established trees, falsely using the G7 as justification. Powerful business interests should not be allowed to trample the planning regulations underfoot. The rules are there to protect the exceptional character and beauty of Cornwall”.

He added, “We will be doing our very best to ensure the current planning application is refused and, should it become necessary, that Cornwall Council issues an enforcement order for these buildings to be demolished and removed”.


Media contact: Phone: 01872 480127  

Further background 

The reasons for Cornwall Council’s planning refusal in 2018:

  • The proposed development would not promote local distinctiveness or integrate well with the existing built form
  •  It would encroach onto undeveloped woodland/scrub above the beach and have a detrimental visual impact on the unspoilt character of the continuous strip of greenfield land along the coastal slope from the existing Carbis Bay Hotel to Porthminster Point at the northwestern edge of the Bay.
  • The development would block important public views of the beach/coastline from the adjacent South West Coast Path and be discordant with the undeveloped character of the green area above and to the side of the developed part of the beach, setting a precedent for further development proposals along the coastal slope.

The applicant has not demonstrated any overriding justification for the development that might offset the harm to the unspoilt character of the application site and the wider seascape. The scheme is considered to constitute unsustainable development that conflicts with policies 1, 2, 5, 12, 23 and 25 of the Cornwall Local Plan (2010-2030), with policies GD1, OS1, OS9 and LED8 of the St Ives Area Neighbourhood Development Plan (2015-2030) and with paragraphs 7, 14, 58, 61, 64, 109 and 114 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).