HomeUncategorizedBattle to save Newlyn art studios from bulldozer after housing development plans submitted

Source: The Cornishman, Cherie Woodhouse, November 04, 2014

Some of the campaigners battling to stop housing plans at Orchard Cottage. John Tellam, David Brooke, Lesley Brooke, Nick Thomas, Monique Thomas and Antonia Batchelor in front of the land where a new housing development is proposed.

A BATTLE is under way after the grandson of a famous Newlyn artist revealed plans to bulldoze an “artistic legacy” to make way for luxury homes.

MP Mark Garnier hopes to level the two artists’ studios at Orchard Cottage as part of proposals to build three homes.

But there is strong support for saving the buildings and a campaign is now under way to get the studios, built by Garnier’s grandparents Jill and Geoffrey in the 1920s, protected with Listed Building status.

“The whole application sets dangerous precedents in terms of development within a conservation area, the ignoring of the cultural heritage of Cornwall and the Newlyn artists and use of green spaces within its villages for development,” said Ben Rouse, one of those fighting the housing scheme.

Proposals submitted to Cornwall Council would see Orchard Cottage extended and altered and the studios – once home to renowned painter Frank Bramley – and garage demolished to make way for three homes. One of the properties would have four or more rooms and could be made into a holiday let with the two others rented out. The plans also include ten car parking spaces.

“Those sheds have been there for a long time, they are falling down and I do not have the money to restore them just as curiosities,” said MP Mark Garnier.

“This is private property, it is not an altruistic, benevolent thing for impoverished artists.”

The Conservative MP for Wyre Forest, Worcestershire added that this was his family home and he hoped to retain the spirit of the site by using similar materials to those used to build the studios.

“We are using these studios as inspiration,” he said.

“We are trying to do something complimentary for the area and for those worried about open space; there will be more because the roofs will be lowered.”

More than 60 objections to the plans have been lodged with Cornwall Council. Building in a conservation area, traffic and congestion are among the issues raised by those against the moves.

“This would bring about the removal of existing artists’ studios which have an unrivaled importance to Newlyn,” said Henry Garfit, founder/director of Newlyn School of Art.

“Even if they are not open to the public their existence continues the legacy of those important artists of the past who chose Newlyn as their place of work.”

Newlyn Art Gallery, Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance Town Council and West Cornwall Friends of the Earth have also hit out at the planned development.

A decision on whether to grant planning approval has been delayed following the application to List the studios.


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