The Cornish Buildings Group and Truro Civic Society have joined forces to raise concerns about historic buildings in Truro.
Paul Holden, Chairman of the Cornish Buildings Group, said ‘Both groups are concerned about the loss of historic character on Tregolls Road which in terms of buildings it is the most historic approach into the City. At the top of the hill the old workhouse has successfully been converted but further down the road a 1930s bungalow, the Brookdale Hotel, the 1960s AA building, Tregolls House, the Police Station and two pubs have been demolished, not to mention the row of 19th century cottages lost to make room for a 1960s car showroom. Furthermore the abandoned Grade II* listed St Paul’s church is in a perilous state and nearby the historic Tremorvah House is in the process of being demolished’.
Both groups are asking how Tremorvah House, a building of quality and with a strong connection with Truro’s past, can be demolished without Cornwall Council raising any concerns. Built for Philip Prothero Smith (knighted in 1880), four times mayor of Truro, Tremorvah House was built in the Italianate style in 1845. A fire in 1888 destroyed two-thirds of the original roof and attics and a bedroom in the west wing. It is unlisted and not in a conservation area and has until recently been used as offices. It was on the open market last year.
Bert Biscoe, Chairman of the Truro Civic Society, who tried to get the building listed, said ‘As Tremorvah House is neither protected in its own right or within a conservation area, it will be lost because no consent is required to demolish it. As there are lots of other buildings of merit or interest that contribute to the story of the town or neighbourhood we are keen to see Cornwall Council develop a series of Local Lists for Cornish towns, which will provide at least a modicum of protection, especially at a time when clear values seem to be under intense pressure from speculation’.
Paul Holden added ‘With everything that has gone on in this important area of Truro the historic approach is effectively eroding over time and is thereby losing any historic character it retains. We call on Cornwall Council to actively protect such areas either through local lists or by extending conservation areas as and when appropriate to the risk’.