Work on eerie derelict Fistral Bay Hotel in Newquay could finally start this summer

A derelict hotel which is one of Newquay’s biggest eyesores could finally be demolished later this year – some 15 years after it closed.

The infamous Fistral Bay Hotel, in Pentire, has been left to crumble since its closure in 2006.

Several attempts to transform the decaying building fell through, leaving the dangerous structure to rot behind a flimsy fence.

In December 2019, Acorn Blue, the Cornish branch of the Acorn Property Group, announced it would be looking to regenerate the site and build bespoke flats with sea views and shops. But the works have not yet started.

Speaking to Cornwall Live this week, the developers confirmed they are still planning to carry out the scheme and are hoping to begin in the summer.

Danica Clements, group marketing manager for Acorn, said: “We will be developing it as a joint venture project with Queensbridge Homes. We hope to be on site this summer.

“The site has been owned by a number different developers and various schemes from hotels to residential blocks have been tried on the site.

“We have only been involved for one year, and along with our JV partner, believe we have now found a brilliant solution that will be delivered as soon as we get planning approval.”

Acorn is currently constructing a dramatic building over Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, which locals have had differing views of – some saying it is ‘too imposing’ and others ‘loving’ its modern aesthetics.

Ms Clements says the Newquay project will look completely different.

The Fistral Bay hotel now

“We are a bespoke developer so no two Acorn developments are alike,” she explained. “Each development gets looks at on its own merits and is designed with the location, local vernacular and modern living needs in mind.”

The Fistral Bay Hotel, located at 1 Pentire Avenue, was built with just one floor in 1910, before the sinking of the Titanic and the outbreak of the Great War.

It was one of several major hotels built in Newquay around the turn of the 20th century, alongside the Victoria, the Atlantic and the Headland.

What the Fistral Bay Hotel could look like after long awaited regeneration works

Although considered speculative, risky and unwelcome from the residents at the time, the hotels eventually reduced the negative impact on the harbour economy.

A second floor was added to the Fistral Bay in 1912, and during the Second World War it was one of several large hotels in Newquay requisitioned as a convalescent hospital for the Army, Air Force and Navy.

The outside of the Fistral Bay Hotel

The hotel thrived during the 1950s and 1960s, as Newquay became a beneficiary of the diversion of domestic holiday demand to Cornwall and Devon.

Following decades of success, the 60-bedroom hotel slowly declined in popularity. In 1994 plans were laid out, and later withdrawn, to demolish the building and replace it with ten houses and 12 flats.

The outside of the Fistral Bay Hotel

Further redevelopment flans fell through a decade later and in 2006 the hotel closed after nearly 100 years of business.

Since 2010 the hotel has been subject to somewhat of a planning saga, with several redevelopment schemes causing uproar within the local community, despite an acceptance that the building had become arguably the town’s biggest eyesore.

In 2017, plans to demolish the hotel and build 74 flats, under-croft car parking and retail and office space were approved.

Following discussions with the town council and Pentire Residents Association, developer Acorn Blue submitted their revised proposal to Cornwall Council’s planning department in 2020.

It is not known when the council will consider the proposal.