PROPOSALS to demolish a hotel and replace it with 26 dwellings in Bude has been met by fierce opposition from residents.

Acorn Blue has applied to Cornwall Council to demolish the Cliff Hotel on Maer Down Road, Flexbury and replace it with 26 dwellings, including 30 per cent affordable housing. The planning application from Cornwall Council also includes plans for access, landscaping and associated development.

In its planning application, the developers say that the Cliff Hotel building is a ‘somewhat piecemeal and incohesive development in need of significant investment and updating’.

Four dwellings on the site were previously the subject of an outline planning application in 2019, under PA19/08161, which was granted by Cornwall Council.

Acorn Blue are proposing a development comprising 18 open-market dwellings and eight affordable dwellings.

The 18 open market dwellings would consist of seven four-bedroom houses, one four-bedroom flat, four three-bedroom houses, five three-bedroom flats and one two-bedroom house, while the affordable dwellings, which would comprise two shared-ownership properties and six affordable rent properties would comprise two three-bedroom houses, four one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom houses.

However, the proposals have been met by unanimously negative responses from residents, with Cornwall Council’s planning portal reporting that of 39 public comments submitted thus far, all 39 are objections.

Objections have also been raised by the National Trust, a strong objection from Bude-Stratton Town Council and the Cornwall Council Lead Local Flood Authority.

In its objection, Bude-Stratton Town Council said: “BSTC (Bude Stratton Town Council) have a strong objection. The western extent of the site (plots 1-4) falls within an SSSI impact zone and a coastal vulnerability zone. As such, BSTC believes this land to be an unsustainable and unsuitable location for development.

“BSTC see no evidence of how the proposed scheme has integrated the CC shoreline management plan into its development concept.

“The proposals extent into an area of Great Landscape Value is considered to be unacceptable. The western half of the site contravenes BSTC’s own NDP (policy 26) which identifies Maer Down as one of our communities most valued open spaces.

“The EIA (Ecological Impact Assessment) concludes that the proposed development will deliver a net loss onsite.

“Maer Down is an important site for ground nesting birds and provides a rich foraging habitat for bats and migratory bird species.

“BSTC believes that a financial contribution to CC via a S106 agreement constitutes an ineffective and inappropriate environmental mitigation strategy when the loss of such a significant habitat is at stake. Furthermore, the entire site sits within a critical drainage area.

“BSTC have serious concerns about the efficiency and deliverability of the proposed mitigation strategy.

“BSTC also have concerns about the sites proximity to, and future impact upon, a ‘scheduled ancient monument’.

“Further concerns were raised about additional traffic loading on an already congested residential route.

“BSTC would prefer to see proposals for 2/3 bed dwellings, in line with CC’s recent housing needs survey and NDP (policy 3).

“BSTC feels that the proposal would have a negative impact on amenity views across the town and on the built form at the edge of the settlement.

“Maer Down is one of our communities greatest environmental and amenity assets. As a consequence, BSTC believe that it should be safeguarded from unnecessary and unsustainable development and protected from harm, in accordance with its AGLV and SSSI designations.”

In its objection, the National Trust concluded: “We consider the nature of this proposal is such that it cannot deliver what would be needed to safeguard the environment, setting and ultimately, the social and economic wellbeing of Bude. Therefore, the proposal does not represent sustainable development, and hence we object to the application.”