EXCLUSIVE: Luxury Cornish hotel hosting the G7 summit in two weeks sparks fury from locals as builders chop down trees and rush to construct meeting complex with NO planning permission
- Builders at the luxury Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall are close to completing three single-storey structures
- Construction will provide nine meeting rooms for delegates attending next month’s G7 summit in Cornwall
- The hotel may be forced to tear them down just weeks later if Cornwall Council rejects a planning application
- More than 300 objections to the plans have already been lodged by members of the public who live nearby
- The stylish meeting rooms have been built into the cliffside and boast stunning views over St Ives Bay
An exclusive hotel hosting next month’s G7 summit has become embroiled in a dispute over constructing meeting rooms for the world’s top leaders without any planning permission.
Builders at the luxury Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall are close to completing three single-storey wooden structures which will provide nine meeting rooms for delegates attending the high profile gathering between June 11 to 13.
But they may be forced to tear them down just weeks later if Cornwall Council rejects a planning application submitted after the work started.
More than 300 objections have already been lodged by members of the public, with the Council’s planning committee to decide on the retrospective application after the G7 summit.
The stylish meeting rooms, built into the cliffside adjoining the lavish hotel, have glass fronts which open onto a sky deck offering stunning views over St Ives Bay.
World leaders will be staying nearby in luxurious beach lodges that directly overlook the sea. They will be able to access the lodges from the meeting rooms along a wooden path that is also under construction.
The stylish meeting rooms have been built into a cliff side adjoining the lavish hotel and have glass fronts which open onto a sky deck offering stunning views over St Ives Bay
World leaders will be staying nearby in luxurious beach lodges which are located directly overlooking the sea. They will be able to access them from the meeting rooms (pictured) along a wooden path that is also under construction
Work on the structures started in late February, with the planning application only submitted on 15 March. By this stage, builders had cut down trees, removed scrubland (pictured) and made a concrete base, prompting heated protests on a picture postcard beach adjoining the hotel, which led to two arrests
The lodges (pictured) are considered to be the most desirable place to stay in the hotel, offering hot tubs, roof gardens and come with floor to ceiling windows which lead to private sun decks
The lodges – considered to be the most desirable place to stay in the hotel – feature hot tubs, roof gardens and floor to ceiling windows which lead to private sun decks. They sleep between six to eight people each and can cost up to £4,000 per night.
Work on the structures started in late February, with the planning application only submitted on March 15.
Work started on the meeting rooms before planning permission was granted
By this stage, builders had cut down trees, removed scrubland and made a concrete base, prompting heated protests on a picture postcard beach adjoining the hotel, which led to two arrests.
In April, more than 100 locals gathered on the beach to protest against the chopping down of dozens of mature trees that lined parts of the cliff as well as the removal of bushes and scrubs.
They also claimed construction was damaging ancient woodland and badger setts in the area, while accusing the hotel of hypocrisy as it promotes itself as an ‘eco-destination.’
Questions were also raised on why the hotel proceeded with construction despite knowing they might have to tear the structures down.
A spokeswoman for the hotel refused to reveal how much is being spent on the three controversial structures, who exactly is paying for them and why they decided to proceed without planning permission.
She also refused to comment on any other aspects of construction.
Hotel officials claimed in their retrospective planning permission the structures were a requirement for hosting the G7 stating: ‘Additional space is needed to provide smaller meeting room spaces for bilateral talks’ to ‘enable the hotel to meet the accommodation requirements of the G7 Summit.’
But the Government has denied asking for them, stating it is not involved in the structures and did not ask the hotel to build them.
A spokeswoman for the hotel refused to reveal how much is being spent on constructing the three controversial structures (pictured), who exactly is paying for them and why they decided to proceed without planning permission
The multi-million pound Sky Meeting Rooms are being built ready for the G7 Summit at the Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives
A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, which is organising the Summit said: ‘The Government is not involved in the planning application made by Carbis Bay Estate or the planning process. We are not funding the construction or removal of permanent structures at Carbis Bay.’
An application for similar structures submitted by the hotel three years ago was rejected by council officials on environmental grounds.
Richard Stubbs, Chair of Cornwall CRPE, the countryside charity formerly known as the Campaign to Protect Rural England has been leading the protests against the structures.
He told MailOnline: ‘Carbis Bay Hotel are taking advantage of the G7 Summit by constructing these structures without planning permission. They tried to build something similar three years ago, but this was rejected by the Council.
‘Clearly, they now sense an opportunity and are hoping that after the G7, they will be allowed to keep them. But local people are determined to campaign against them, and we will make sure that they are torn down if planning permission is denied.’
Mr Stubbs revealed hotel officials refused to speak to him and other locals about the issue.
He added: ‘From what we’ve heard, these structures are being funded solely by Carbis Bay Hotel and have nothing to do with the Government. We await the result of the planning hearing which will take place after the G7 Summit and are optimistic that they will be removed.’
Richard Stubbs, Chair of Cornwall CRPE, the countryside charity formerly known as the Campaign to Protect Rural England has been leading the protests against the structures. Pictured, during construction
The luxury lodges, pictured bottom right, can sleep between six to eight people each with a cost of up to £4,000 per night
Hundreds of locals have also submitted heated objections to the structures on the Council planning website.
One called Jonny Dry wrote: ‘I am deeply concerned that such a development is able to commence without consultation with the local community. Valuable coastal habitat and wildlife has been permanently lost and the hypocrisy of such a development going ahead by a supposed ‘eco hotel’ in a year of G7 events is appalling.’
Resident Jo Stevens added: ‘Stop the desecration of Cornwall. Work being done without planning permission which destroys the natural environment.’
The G7 is made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA and the EU and is considered one of the world’s most important political forums. Leaders from Australia and South Korea are also attending this year’s event.
The Summit is being delivered by events agency Identity, which won the contract following a tender process.
Estimates vary on how much it will cost the Government, with previous figures for similar events reaching more than £90 million. Much of this is expected to be taken up by security for some of the world’s most powerful political figures.
A similar event staged in the UK took place in Northern Ireland in 2013, and had a final bill of £92 million. Security, which accounted for a large part of the cost, totalled £75m.
Around 5,000 police officers, many of them armed, and security personnel will be on patrol in Cornwall during the Summit. Areas around the hotel will also be cordoned off in one of the most high-profile security operations ever to take place in the country.
Cornwall Council has been contacted for comment.
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