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Marina plans for Newlyn quarry a step closer with new partnership

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: May 16, 2013

  • Newlyn Quarry - Martyn Seth of St. Francis Group (left) and Professor Geoffrey Walton, quarry manager.

  • Martyn Seth, left, and Professor Walton were at the quarry on Saturday discussing plans.

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PLANS for a multimillion-pound marina on the site of a Newlyn quarry have moved a step closer after the formation of a joint venture company.

The proposals would see Penlee Quarry used first to extract armour stone and then developed into a marina complex.

Owner Marina Developments Ltd (MDL) has joined forces with planning specialists the St Francis Group to establish Port Penlee Waterside Developments Ltd.

Plans were under way towards the end of the last decade to develop the 100-acre site, which now costs around £200,000 a year to maintain, but the project was put on hold until a new partner was found.

Now Port Penlee Waterside Developments Ltd has announced ambitious plans for the west Penwith quarry and says hopes to set them in motion this year.

The company has declared an intention to submit a planning application for Phase 1 in nine months' time and start extracting armour stone by 2015.

The application would include under-road sea access and the company says discussions with local authorities surrounding the process have already begun.

Phase 2 of the project will see an application put forward for a marina, adding a lifting bridge built into the road between Newlyn and Mousehole and paving the way for a possible hotel, restaurants, cafés and housing.

The company plans to seek consent for the marina stage in three to five years.

Martyn Seth, business development manager for St Francis and projects director for the joint venture company, said he was confident the project would succeed.

"Working in parallel, we want to put together an application for the marina," said Mr Seth.

"Quarrying for the long term is not appropriate for the community. We want to bring jobs and growth.

"We're looking to add something back to Newlyn."

Edward Iliffe, chairman of MDL, said he saw enormous potential in the project now that planning group St Francis was on board, but noted that the proposal had been a long time coming.

"Last time we had a partner was in 2008," he said.

"It's taken this long to get another company involved."

The land has planning permission to run as an active quarry until 2042.

Mr Seth said if Cornwall Council allowed the company to build an initial under-road passage to the sea, it intended to mine up to a million tonnes of armour stone over two to three years.

Professor Geoffrey Walton, visiting professor of mining at the University of Leeds, a consulting quarry engineer and the manager of Penlee Quarry, said he was excited about what the site had to offer.

"There's enormous potential here," said Professor Walton. "It's a fantastic site."

On Saturday members of Cornwall Historic Buildings looked around Penlee and were told about its history and possible future developments.

"I was told that people had mentioned buying houses when they become available," said Professor Walton, "but that's very, very far down the line."

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3 comments

  • Lafrowda  |  May 16 2013, 10:44PM

    I thought Spanish Landing would be a good name.

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  • Gurnards_Head  |  May 16 2013, 12:00PM

    I am militantly opposed to speculative mass housbuilding on greenfield sites inted to artificially inflate Cornwalls already high population in relation to it's infrastructure and employment prospects. But however much Cornish people myself included may resent it there is a strong demand for waterfront second homes which decimate communities like Mousehole... Port Isaac.. etc but the demand is there whether we like it or not. Mounts Bay at present offers virtually no facilities for yachting whilst the rest of the south coast is at capacity and there is great scope for a very profitable marina type development in this stunning brownfield site that will concentrate second home ownership in a purposely created location hopefully taking some pressure off other communities. This would create a lot of employment including long term skilled jobs in boat maintenence etc as has happened at Mylor Harbour where there was absolute uproar when it was first proposed, despite initial fierce opposition Mylor got completed and is now the jewel in the Fal Estuarys crown, an example of beneficial long term regeneration catering for a clearly defined need. It could be the same at Penlee, the extraction of the rock armour is a great opportunity to both Newlyn and Penzance Harbours to do essential rock armouring projects with locally produced stone which would save a fortune in costs with multiple spin offs benefiting all three locations. Aa a gesture of goodwill I would suggest they carefully consider Craig Weatherhills suggestion to rename the project Pennegh to reflect its unique character and heritage. BUT PLEASE JUST GET ON WITH IT!

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  • cweatherhill  |  May 16 2013, 10:59AM

    Why "Port Penlee"? This is Cornwall, so why not "Porth Penlee (Pennlegh)"?

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