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240218 | Collapsed North Quay development in Hayle described as a 'sea of despair'

Collapsed North Quay development in Hayle described as a 'sea of despair'

The development at Hayle Harbour is now a somewhat abandoned and sorry-looking site
By Lisa Letcher Senior Reporter
Alan Tippett from Carbis Bay
Local residents are less surprised and more saddened by the collapse of the North Quay development (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
Billed to become a vibrant, new coastal quarter, computer-generated images depicting fancy designs and plans for North Quay at Hayle Harbour spared no expense during the ambitious project's early days. Now a depressing-looking, near-derelict eyesore paints a different picture.
Promising luxury living and high-end retail spaces, it was the sort of thing people were excited about having on their doorstep - although it was never without controversy. Then it all came undone when eight companies behind the development collapsed earlier this month, leaving its future in doubt.
Visiting the site this week, the collapse has left a partially-constructed development spewed across the harbour with machinery, tools and tins of paint dotted all around as the eerie clanging of scaffolding and a lack of construction sound speaks volumes.
With at least 44 houses and flats sold in the only semi-completed areas of the development, work is on hold indefinitely as the administrators have come in. Meanwhile, a huge pit in the harbour - meant to be an underground car park - and what should have been shops and open spaces by the waterside have yet to be completed.
Cornwall councillor for Hayle, Peter Channon, who is also a member of the harbour's board, said the people of Hayle, while not shocked, are understandably "very annoyed" at the state of North Quay. And he says the priority is to see some sort of security for the future of the harbour.
LOADING Peter Channon
Councillor Peter Channon, a member of the town's harbour board, pictured with his dog Barney on day nine of the administration (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
"The whole thing is not very good for Hayle and it's going to be a while until it all unravels but we're going through the procedures at the moment and the administrators will make a decision in due course," he said.
"Its history and heritage are so important to the town. It has done a huge amount for Hayle and Cornwall and deserves a secure, loved future."
Speaking on day nine of the administration, he said the circumstances are sad for the area and the town has very much felt "in limbo" for a long time over the development. "From a local point of view it is just such an intrinsic part of Hayle," he said. "But what happened here, we can't control.
"Nothing has ever been normal on this site. It really was never normal so it's not a shock. No one can truly say what's going to happen but the best we can hope for is to get some security back into the equation."

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A Penzance woman told us she felt it was "such a shame" for all involved and especially those who had money tied into the development or who may have reserved properties. She said a friend of hers had a dream to one day run a café in one of the planned commercial units - a dream looking less probable now.
More than a decade in planning, the regeneration of Hayle Harbour has long been seen as a pivotal project for the town and West Cornwall. The initial phase was supposed to include the development of North Quay Square, to host events year-round, and some 20 retail units for offices, shops and restaurants.
LOADING A crane lingers over some of the abandoned parts of development with already sold properties to the left
A crane lingers over some of the abandoned parts of development with already sold properties to the left (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
Being built by Corinthian Homes (part of the Corinthian Homes Group) and headed-up by Simon Wright - its first residential properties launched for reservation in early 2020 and completed in the beginning of summer 2020. In total North Quay was supposed to feature 140 properties - none of which were affordable for local people.
The plans spanned over 11 buildings, including 17 three-bedroom wharf-style houses (which have all been built and sold) and one, two and three-bedroom apartments, many with views over the Hayle estuary and beyond. So far these properties have sold for prices from £378,667 to £1,100,000 since 2020.
Reacting to the collapse, Anne Doidge, from Redruth, said: "It was supposed to be such a hive of activity and look at it. There's just supposed to be so much going on and it has all just been abandoned.
LOADING Anne Doidge from Redruth and son John Doidge from Plymouth
Anne Doidge from Redruth and son John Doidge from Plymouth (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
"It was built up that it was going to this amazing place to live and I suppose it could have all worked out but it seems it was just the wrong time and really is such a shame. It's not very good for anyone."
Her son, John Doidge, lives in Plymouth but says he's been following along with an interest when he comes to visit his mum. "For what they cost, it's not exactly been cheap for buyers and it's very sad.
"And who wants to pick up the pieces of this? You're talking taking on a disaster and the longer it's left here like this it just rots and deteriorates even more."
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What Hayle's North Quay development was supposed to look like when completed
There was a strange feeling around the already completed houses at Rew an Borthva where 17 of the first completed homes, a number of which are clearly holiday lets, are already sold. Living in houses worth upwards of £580,000, these residents now face the prospect of unfinished streets around them and a lack of amenities they believed would one day be on their doorstep.
Alan Tippett is a semi-retired mechanic from Carbis Bay. He's lived in Cornwall all his life and the 58-year-old recalls how controversial the development has been since its inception. "It's all been a bit of a carbuncle," he said. "I know something had to be done with the site but not this."
LOADING Alan Tippett, 58, from Carbis Bay.
Alan Tippett was dismayed by the collapse (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
He added: "What benefit this has turned out to have for local people is all a bit doubtful," he said. And he's not the only one who thinks this. There's been a huge sense of loss after the beachside café Lula moved, with Cllr Channon, among others, calling it one of the only good things to come out of the development for locals.
The owners, who were not connected to the development, said they were unfortunately pushed out by the land owners in 2023, which the developers denied, and have since relocated to Gwithian. "The people of Hayle are very annoyed at the state of North Quay and equally annoyed at the loss of Lula which had been the only bright spot in a sea of despair," said Cllr Channon.
"Cornwall Council owns ten harbours and I wouldn't mind it owning 11. I want to see it not split up, messed around and broken. I think Cornwall Council should have an interest so something like this doesn't happen again."