Marver Chalets

An ambitious plan to demolish and replace a collection of rundown post-war timber chalets and a detached house on a site of historic national importance at Mawgan Porth on the north coast of Cornwall.

The site, towards the south of the village, lies within the boundary of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, an early medieval settlement and burial ground dating from 850 to 1050 AD. It’s one of the most important examples of such settlements in England.

Known as Marver Chalets, the holiday park was originally developed in the 1960s when the then owners obtained consent for six chalets and a separate house. The house and only four chalets were built, but they haven’t been updated in decades and are tired and rundown in appearance.

We were retained to liaise with Historic England over our client’s plans to replace the holiday units with six two-storey contemporary chalets, cut into the hill, and topped with mono-pitched green sedum roofs. Formerly English Heritage, Historic England is a public body tasked with preserving and listing historic buildings and ancient monuments, and advising central and local government.

After more than a year of detailed discussions and a number of revisions – and before we had even submitted our planning application – Historic England issued Scheduled Monument Consent for the scheme.

County planning officers endorsed Historic England’s view and recommended that it should be approved. Councillors, however, went against officers’ advice, and rejected the plan. They argued that any public benefit gained from the proposed development would be outweighed by the harm caused to the ancient settlement.

We successfully appealed against the council’s decision. The Planning Inspector agreed with our assertion that the development would enhance, rather than adversely affect, the character and appearance of the historic site, and deliver economic benefits through the renewal of tourist accommodation.

Photo’s courtesy of Anthony Greenwood Photography.

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