Archive for November 8th, 2015

Despite opposition from Woolfians worldwide, the destruction of Virginia Woolf’s view of Godrevy Lighthouse from Godrevy LighthouseTalland House is set to move forward, according to a Nov. 7, 2015, story in The Independent.

The proposed multi-story development of six flats and a car park will be built, thanks to a decision by Cornwall County Council that the development can move forward once Porthminster Beach View Ltd. pays £136,000 for not having to provide any “affordable housing.”

The move comes after Woolf scholars and common readers from around the globe raised an outcry last summer, using email, social media and the Web. Their efforts generated media coverage that included the BBC and resulted in the Cornwall Council Planning Committee postponing its decision on the project.

The construction project was further stalled in early August when the English High Court threw out 2014 legislation that said developments of 10 or less could avoid paying an affordable-housing levy or offering any such housing in their development.  The August ruling meant that the developer of the St. Ives project must rethink the economic viability of the project and resubmit it — or pay £136,000.

With the Cornwall County Council decision that the development can take place once the fee is paid, it is unlikely the project can be stopped, despite an outcry from Woolf readers and scholars, as well as her family members.

This appears to be the case despite an email from English Heritage saying legislation includes a provision to “avoid harm to the setting of a listed building if it contributes to the significance of the building.” Talland House is considered Grade II, which means it is “nationally important and of special interest.  The St. Ives resident cited National Planning Framework Section 12 paras. 128,9,132 and noted that he would add this information to the planning comments page for the project, PA15/04337.

Woolf and her family summered at Talland House for the first 12 years of her life. The lighthouse she could see from her summer home plays an integral role in her famous novel To the Lighthouse (1927).

This is a short-sighted move by St Ives and Cornwall’s planners, who seem unaware of the legions of Woolf’s admirers who make the pilgrimage to the town lured by the special, untouched atmosphere captured in my great-aunt’s visionary novel To the Lighthouse – the view of which should remain unobscured for generations to come. – Virginia Nicholson, Woolf’s great-niece

Links to more about the view

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