Carlyon Bay


 Carlyon Bay before 2004

 Carlyon Bay in its heyday before destruction began in 2004

The three beaches which make up Carlyon Bay are earmarked to be buried under concrete by  Commercial Estates Group - a developer who wants to build more than 500 apartments and houses, as well as retail space and a hotel. 

A natural habitat which grew up over more than a century and which was a popular walking and picnic area was bulldozed.  It was then covered in fencing, giant boulders and metal shuttering as part of sea defences - only to be removed years later because there was no planning permission.

Carlyon Bay Watch came into existence to raise awareness of the destruction of St Austell's once family-friendly beach and to campaign for any development to be safe, in scale and sympathetic to the coastal landscape of south Cornwall. 

The site was once part of the Carlyon Estate and tennis courts  and a magnificent lido were built in the 1930s.

The indoor sports facility later became the Cornwall Coliseum - a venue for the biggest stars of the day in the 70s and 80s.

Carlyon Bay Watch consistently argued for an appropriate use to be found for the old Cornwall Coliseum site on Crinnis, the only part of the beaches previously developed.

But building over 500 dwellings, extending over Shorthorn as well, is not appropriate.  The developers say they have altered their plans but they have not reduced the size of this massive project which will double the number of dwellings in the Carlyon Bay area.

Planning permission was granted in 2011 but so far not one brick has been laid.  

When building gets underway there will be massive disruption to the local community and we aim to keep lobbying for their interests to be taken into consideration.








Footpath alongside Beach Rd carpark

The Public Right of Way will now run along the south side of the car park


.The South West Coast Path (SWCP), also a Public Right of Way,  which crosses the car park off Beach Road is to be officially moved.

The developers CEG have permission to resurface the car park and wanted the official line of the SWCP moved to allow more parking spaces.

They have already fenced off a path at the southern edge of the car park and want this route to become the offiical line.

But this line is closer to the cliff edge and there was concern that coastal erosion could pose a threat in the future, leading to the loss of the path.

CEG and Cornwall Council entered lengthy negotiations to see whether a legally binding agreement could be made to reinstate the path further inland should it be lost.

But they failed to come to any agreement and the matter was referred to the Secretary of State in March 2017.

In October, the Planning Inspector decided the path could be moved and it will be shown on the OS map.

He decided that the threat to the path was low and therefore no legal agreement to reinstate it was necessary.

Let's hope he's right.  There have been several cliff falls in the area over the Duporth a couple of miles along the coast was closed for five years after it fell into the sea.












Beach clearing work Octber 2015

The beach has been cleaned up and levelled


The future of the stalled development remains as uncertain as ever as beach activities get underway again for the summer of 2018.

Cakey Tea Promotions is organising pop-up bars, beach games and theatre performances and have applied to Cornwall Council for the required permissions. 

But interestingly the permission is due to run for two seasons, so by implication there are no plans for any development work to begin before 2020.

In January 2017,  developers CEG said they "have nothing to say about the future".  
It followed their announcement in August 2016 that the project was "on hold" because Brexit had   
"introduced significant political and economic uncertainty".

In January 2017 in a statement to the Cornish Guardian, CEG said: "At the moment we are considering the situation and looking to see how it goes.  We have nothing to say about the future.  We are considering all options."

Planning permission was granted in 2011 but then the recession was blamed for the failure to begin work.

CEG bought the site in 2004 and removed the roof of the Coliseum, leaving it and the satellite buildings to rot, whilst the beach was strewn with rubble and the rusting remains of "temporary" sea defences.

Finally, after pressure from the public, local councillors and Carlyon Bay Watch,  CEG did something about the mess.

In the spring of 2015 the buildings were demolished and the remaining rusting sea defences were removed (they had been the subject of an Enforcement Notice from Cornwall Council).

(The End of the Coliseum in pictures)

The sales hut has also gone from its original position at the water's edge.  It was due to be relocated to the top car park off Beach Road, but that hasn't happened either.  It's instead been placed at the back of the beach where part of the Coliseum once stood.

(Have a look at this tongue-in-cheek view of the future of the beaches)



Site Map