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Council to save this listed building in Penzance

Council to save this listed building in Penzance

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 8:06am 20th December 2018. (Updated at 8:12am 20th December 2018)

By Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

Cornwall Council is set to buy a grade two-listed former Indian restaurant and renovate it to stop it falling apart.

The council's leading Cabinet agreed on Tuesday to press ahead with buying 18 Chapel Street in Penzance, which is better known as The Ganges.

There has been a campaign to save the building for many years and the council has already had to step in to make it safe on several occasions, including one when roof tiles fell off the building into the road.

But efforts to try to get repairs carried out were hampered by different parts of the building being owned by different people.

Now the council's Cabinet has agreed to allow the council to negotiate buying the building and also submitting bids for funding to carry out renovations.

It is envisaged that once complete the building could be used for residential or employment use.

Cabinet member Bob Egerton told councillors that it was hoped that grants could be won from Historic England and the National Lottery for the works.

Cllr Egerton said the council did not have a policy to step in and carry out such projects but said that if The Ganges was a success then it could consider other similar buildings.

"We all have buildings in our communities that people constantly say, 'what are you going to do, it's an eyesore, a mess or a safety issue?'.

"The council is looking to do more to ensure that these types of properties can be brought back into use and using grant funding to do that makes sense".

Council leader Adam Paynter

However the plans were not supported by all Cabinet members with Rob Rotchell saying: "I think there are other capital projects that should be given this money".

Cllr Rotchell voted against the recommendations and Sally Hawken abstained for voting.

The plans were welcomed by Penzance councillor Cornelius Olivier who has been one of many people in the town to have campaigned to save the building.

He said he was "delighted" to see it on a Cabinet agenda and hoped that all Cabinet members would support it.

He added: "If you do nothing about it there is a risk that building could collapse or catch fire. Inaction would be a very risky action".

No details of how much the council would be spending to buy the building or how much it would need to carry out the works were revealed.

They were subject to a confidential paper which went before the Cabinet after the main meeting.

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