FONCA have just been involved in a planning application to demolish some historic studios…

Plans to bulldoze part of Newlyn’s ‘artistic legacy’ have been shelved after a passionate local outcry.

More than 60 people objected to plans to knock down two studios at Orchard Cottage, built by well known artists Jill and Geoffrey in the 1920s.

And now owner Mark Garnier, grandson of the two pair and a Worcestershire MP, has pulled the proposals.

“We have withdrawn the application because of this campaign, it is as simple as that,” he said.

“But we are going to do something. There is nothing wrong with wanting to invest in the place you love, putting money in to the area and jobs when the building work is going on.

“And it would be rented out so new people would come in to Newlyn. Artists want to sell their work and they need people to sell them to.”

He added that a new application would be lodged with Cornwall Council and it could potentially see the plans scaled down from three homes to one. He added that he always wanted to preserve the two studios and the latest plans would also try to do this.

Following news of the now defunct proposals, a group has been set up to combat any future development plans within the town’s conservation area.

“They have gone behind the hill and aren’t going away but neither are we, this is the long game,” said chairman of the newly formed Friends of Newlyn Conservation Area.

“This threat of totally unacceptable development in the conservation area, focused our minds and we want to harness that anger and energy.”

He added that the group was set to launch a website and was keen to hear from other people who wanted to safeguard the local area.

“This environment around us is precious,” he said.

“We are not going to stop development everywhere but we can make sure that whatever is built is acceptable,” he said.

The initial development proposals by Mr Garnier, Conservative MP for the Wyre Forest, would have seen Orchard Cottage extended and altered and the studios – once home to renowned painter Frank Bramley – and garage demolished to make way for three homes. Two of the properties would have been rented out while the other used as a holiday let.

However the plans caused a backlash in Newlyn with residents and the artistic community coming together to lobby against the development.

Along with worries about building in a conservation area, other areas of concern surrounded traffic and congestion. Newlyn School of Art, Penzance Town Council and Penlee House Gallery and Museum joined the chorus calling for the plans to be thrown out.

The Cornishman; CM.Cherie  |  Posted: November 18, 2014

The studios in the garden of Orchard Cottage are among the last of those (Newlyn School) original studios and are of great importance. If we allow their removal it would be a huge mistake as the interests in the artists of that time from Newlyn is world famous and as Newlyn slowly raises itself from decades of decline in fishing through focusing on its other historical assets to bring people in from outside of the county/ country. It is the few remaining parts of the fabric of the place which will be a focus for those visitors. Even if they are not open to the public (they are visible to the public) there existence continues the legacy of those important artist of the past who chose Newlyn as their place of work.”