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Historic Penzance buildings at risk – claim

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: December 20, 2012

  • Paul Young and Stevie Cock of the Penzance Civic Society at the former Ganges restaurant, Chapel Street.

  • Paul Young and Stevie Cock of the Penzance Civic Society at the former Ganges restaurant in Chapel Street.

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REDEVELOPMENT and lack of attention are putting two historic Penzance gems at risk, the town's civic society has said.

The remains of a Jewish synagogue in a town centre pub and a building that used to house an Indian restaurant are both raising concerns with the heritage group.

Cornwall Council is also looking into what it can do to secure the future of one of the buildings.

The Star Inn, Market Jew Street, is home to the shell of a synagogue. But plans by owners Star Pubs and Bars, could see that part of the building sold off in a planned redevelopment.

"The society is very concerned that the rear part of the premises is to be severed and sold off," said Paul Young, chair of the civic society. "This appears to be a part which contains the dilapidated but fascinating Penzance Jewish synagogue. It should be a major objective of the owners and the council to repair the dilapidation here and preserve it for the future."

In proposals submitted to Cornwall Council, the pub will be reduced in size with the demolition of a contemporary extension with a courtyard and outdoor drinking area to be added. A former dwelling, trade area and cellar, including the synagogue, would form a separate building.

"We are looking for a bit of recognition of the heritage," said Mr Young, who added that the Jewish Heritage Organisation was also keen for the structure to be retained.

Another building causing concern for the civic society is the former Ganges Restaurant, Chapel Street. The building is full of original Georgian delights but they are being left to fester in an uninhabited and uncared-for building.

Water is pouring through the roof and traditional Georgian features that adorn the walls are also at risk.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council told The Cornishman there is an active planning enforcement case on the grade two listed building as there are concerns about its deteriorating condition. "The council is working to decide the most appropriate course of action to secure the preservation of the building which, in view of the condition of the building, we're aiming to progress as quickly as possible," they said.

The proposals for The Star Inn are due to go before the authority's planning committee early in the new year.

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