A RIVERSIDE house which was condemned after a landslip three years ago could be demolished to make way for a modern four-bedroom home. Tremayne House is based at Sandplace Road, St Martin in Looe, a town infamous for the number of land falls it has suffered over the years.

Cornwall Council condemned the property, which contains two apartments over three floors, following the landslip in 2021. Architectural design company Sepia Projects, which is seeking pre-application advice on behalf of the building’s owner, says it would cost over £1-million to repair Tremayne House, which is “not a viable economic option” given the land and building value.

Tremayne House, which is condemned. (Picture: Sepia Projects)
Tremayne House, which is condemned. (Picture: Sepia Projects) (epia Projects)

It says the only solution for the site is to make it safe and deconstruct the house and its surrounds, ensuring the existing road, access path, trees and railway line are protected from further landslips over the next ten years. “Our proposal outlines the opportunity to dovetail such safety measures into a new scheme for an environmentally friendly, highly energy efficient home that will sympathetically encompass the immediate ecological needs and building regulation requirements that will ensure the longevity of this important water fronting site,” says a planning statement.

The site is located on the west side of Sandplace Road, directly fronting the railway line and East Looe River. It is around half a mile north of the main town centre and has around a quarter an acre of woodland to the south.

The design statement continues: “The existing Tremayne House has no connection with its surroundings, apart from some romantic historical value that has no bearing on the practical needs of current day building design and usage. It has no design merit, and now has the ignominy of being a condemned building that cannot be used until either significant reparation works have taken place, or it makes way for a future proof development that dovetails all the current standards required to achieve longevity for the rest of the this century. Keeping it would not have any environmental design merit either.

“Our proposal blends in with the site surroundings, and affords a design that is fully up to date with current regulations and sustainable design expectations called for by national and local policy frameworks. It is of low density, and provides for a high level of private amenity space.”

The existing biodiversity of the site would be enhanced through tree and ground management, and “furthermore it will anchor back the rock faces from the road to ensure no further landslips take place. Additional measures promoting bird nesting, pollinating insects and bat residency will also be encouraged through careful design”.

Earlier this year a property, Little Westwood, in North Road, West Looe, sparked emergency repairs as soil collapsed beneath the bungalow, which had been earmarked for demolition.