Una Resort St Ives £25m Expansion Plans
Plans to build a £25m luxury holiday resort creating some 200 jobs, on the site of a former caravan park on the edge of St Ives have been submitted to Cornwall Council.
Truro-based Kingfisher Resorts plans to build a luxury resort comprising an apart-hotel, extensive leisure facilities, villas and apartments, on the site of a former touring caravan park at Carbis Bay, which was acquired a year ago from London-based property fund, Frogmore Real Estates.
The site already has planning permission for 123 holiday homes, but only 29 and an amenities building have been built to date.
Kingfisher plans to invest at least £25m in developing Una Resort, which will feature a collection of iconic buildings, and has already spent more than £0.2m creating the Una Kitchen – a Mediterranean restaurant with a wood burning pizza oven.
The scheme’s design been applauded by the independent Cornwall Design Review Panel, whose job is to encourage design excellence in new development and act in an advisory role to Cornwall Council’s planners.
Commenting on the Una proposals, and Panel said: “We are broadly supportive of the bold and ambitious approach that this project espouses – it has the potential to provide a new benchmark for this type of development.”
At the heart of the new resort is a large open Piazza enclosed by the distinctive apart-hotel, which takes its inspiration from historic Cornish quoits and the local landscape.
The Una apart-hotel ground floor features local stone – to reinforce the concept of buildings ‘growing’ out of the landscape – and includes the resort guest reception, a home bakery and delicatessen, café/bistro, bar, and an indoor games club. Above the stone base a lightweight metal and glass structure offers dual aspect, one-bedroom luxury apartments with large open balconies.
A two-storey Pavilion building is of similar design with four, one and two-bedroom apartments, while The Cairn, which is modelled on Bodmin Moor’s famous Cheesewring granite boulders, is a landmark building featuring four single storey holiday apartments with views to all points.
The existing leisure club will be expanded with a larger gym, a new fitness studio, plus a large heated outdoor swimming pool and two padel tennis courts enclosed by a viewing terrace. They are believed to be the first courts for this new and exciting sport in the South West. Una Kitchen will be expanded with a new internal terrace and al fresco dining.
Kingfisher said the Una Resort’s new leisure facilities (including the padel tennis club) and the eating and drinking outlets will continue to be open to holidaymakers and local residents alike, all year-round.
The UK based Kingfisher team has a long pedigree of developing and operating top notch hotels in the UK and in Europe, and has created or redeveloped over a dozen hotels in the UK over the past 25 years. In 2010 their Conran-designed Martinhal Resort in Portugal’s Algarve was launched and has since become one of Europe’s best loved and most successful five star resorts.
Kingfisher Director Damian Sargent commented: “Una St Ives enjoys a fantastic location and we want to realise its full potential in creating a word-class resort featuring iconic architecture that takes its inspiration from the Cornish landscape”.
“What we are proposing is only a very slight increase in the amount of development compared to the previously approved plans. We have significantly increased the amount of landscaping, including a wider green buffer between us and neighbouring properties, which is something that came out of our consultations with the community.”
The plans have been welcomed by Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, the official tourist board for Cornwall. He said: “We need to keep investing in our tourism offering in the face of international competition and high quality year-round resorts like Una are of huge benefit to the industry and the local economy. With the opening of the newly extended Tate St Ives this month we expect the town to go from strength to strength and demand for accommodation will remain high.”
Una’s proposals were first unveiled in August at Cornwall Council’s first ever pre-application Community Engagement (PACE) Forum. PACE forums are a new way for the Council to involve local communities and councillors in the very early stages of a development. The process, which is voluntary, helps applicants deal with important issues before a planning application is made.
This was followed by a public exhibition in September, before the submission of a planning application this week.
The plans include a number of footpaths linking the site with the surrounding area, and a new services access road for service vehicles and staff.