Your comments....

I used to work in Chapel St and understand the historical significance of No 18 which should be preserved and restored if at all possible.

I didn’t tick Housing or Office or Workplace, but if a public use (like community or eating etc) included partial private use, I would support this.

CP is a bit draconian but if part of a planned on sale back to the community or a consortium without overage that could fly.

I have visited Penzance many times since 1991 and have always loved the ambience of Chapel Street. I’m always struck by the decayed and decaying condition of 18 Chapel Street. It’s a blight on the entire street! I urge the Council to step in to preserve not only this historic building but also the atmosphere of this tourist-destination portion of Penzance.

Chapel street is gold dust in Penzance, make the most of the beautiful Architecture.

It is currently an embarrassment. If compulsory purchase is the only way forward then so be it. Is there any chance that an HLF bid could be made that celebrates the rich and varied nature of our town and can use this wonderful property as a centerpiece?

Thank you for raising this issue,and good luck!

I used to go regularly to Ganges Restaurant up until it closed. I loved the food and the atmosphere. The staff were fabulous. I was really upset when it had to close. And in my opinion it was the introduction of the compulsory smoking ban that caused the downfall of, not just the Ganges, but many restaurants, cafes and public houses.

Chapel Street is the sum of its parts, as well as a collection of unique, individual and eclectic spaces. This beautiful building’s decline affects all the buildings in the street. It’s a unique and impressive building which deserves to be saved. All credit to the Council and this campaign for aiming to do so. Thank you.

All power to your elbow! If I can help please let me know.

I lived near Penzance, Corrnwall fro many years and feel that Chapel Street as one of most beautiful streets in all of Cornwall. Protect it! It is a jewel in the crown of Penzance and must be treated with the utmost respect and sensitivity. This building demands protection inside as well as outside.

This is fantastic that you are initiating something about 18 Chapel Street.

We would make regular visits to the Ganges Restaurant and remember the interior.
We have seen the building gradually deteriorate and are extremely sorry at the state of it.
It would be so good for the building to be regenerated, in any practical form, while keeping the appropriate features to match the glory of Chapel Street.

These lovely buildings in this mostly well preserved historic and enjoyable street must be preserved and put to good use.
Chapel St is undoubtedly the jewel of Penzance centre and needs to remain so.

I think the council should enforce the owners to redevelop the building for local housing needs.

This lovely building should be saved and used.

Penzance could do with provision for artists to rent studio space, also a gallery space available for groups or individuals to hold exhibitions of works for sale.
(I taught sculpture for ten years at Penzance School of Art in Morrab Road).

The situation has been allowed to continue for too long already whilst the fabric of the building visibly decays month by month.
If Cornwall Council cannot decisively deal with a decaying building in the iconic Chapel Street they should be ashamed of themselves.

It would be good for the building to be restored to its former glory.

Cornwall Council should take control of this building and hand it over to Penzance Council.

This is a beautiful, historic building which could be used to enhance the appeal of Penzance to visitors from the UK, Europe, and the rest o the world.

Why don’t the local authority step in to help to provide local housing?

I have lived and worked in chapel street for over 15 years, lovingly maintained my building and am horrified by the will full neglect shown by the landlord/owner of 18 Chapel Street who clearly has no sense of community no sense of business and no sense of duty when it comes to be in the privileged position of owning property.
The property is clearly dangerous and is an immediate danger to the public. (roof tiles came off and nearly hit members of public)
A building that is in such a state of disrepair could well be a fire hazard.
The building is clearly an environmental hazard and poses a threat to other property in the area.
With this in mind I would fully support an immediate compulsory purchase order. There should be no option for the owner to carry out work to stop this process as the owner has shown complete disregard of his/her obligations.

Why has this building been allowed to,fall into such a state of disrepair? Who owns it? Why aren’t they forced to either repair or or sell it?

I lived on Chapel Street, it’s a stunning part of Penzance and so many other properties have been saved and developed. Chapel house is a great example of this. The building should be preserved for the community and used in such a way. We have some great restaurants and bars in Penzance and tinseebit used for small businesses or artists would be amazing.

Whilst we’re on this topic there are several other properties in Market Jew St that badly need renovating (or pulling down and some something like the original put back in its place).

Whenever I see this house, I feel very angry that it has become such eyesore and I immediately think “Why are Penwith not conducting a compulsary purchase order on this building?” Its well past time for someone to do something about this property. It obviously has a market value.

How very sad that owners of any beautiful property can totally abuse/neglect it!
community venue with business sporsorship for recording studios as well as internet café and information and venue!!!!

Such a beautiful building, like many more in Penzance, that has been allowed to sink into almost terminal decline. Let’s start with saving this one to add again to the beauty of Chapel Street and quirky old Penzance.

It is essential for the profile of Penzance that Chapel Street is kept in good order as it is one of the town’s chief selling points.
At present The Ganges building lets the area down badly and is an embarrassment for the whole town.

The sooner something is done to restore this building the better.

Please help this beautiful building. It will require effort as well as expense but I am convinced that you have here a rare opportunity to hand this town a very important venue for its community. I have championed many historic buildings here in London and believe me it is so very worth it to see these buildings come back to life. This particular building is stunning. It is a crime that the current owners have left it to rot in such an important street as this. Shame on them.

As co-owner of ………………..Chapel St, I can honestly say that we have received comments in our shop from tourists, who have been visiting Penzance every year, asking if The Ganges is ever going to be renovated. They appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of Chapel St,, its history and array of independent shops, and, like many people we know, feel the state of The Ganges spoils the whole aspect of the street.
A community centre with an integral Tourist Information centre would be an ideal addition to this amazing street.

By no means is his building intrinsically an eye-sore – it has become one only through neglect. The only benefit that might come of its demolition would be a fat profit for some out-of-Cornwall development company. With just a bit of effort, and initial outlay, it would once again become a most pleasing feature of the street and the town.

I’d buy it if the price were right! The problem is the renovation costs are so high the value of the building is probably £1. And the owners wouldn’t sell for that, so a compulsory purchase order is the only thing that will save this building.

Cornwall Council get your finger plan to build hundreds of new houses in Heamoor when the town centre is full of empty properties..Just look down Market Jew Street. Dozens of empty properties above the shops . there are councils all around the country who compulsory purchase…JUST DO IT!

This is a beautiful and historically significant building which should be saved both for its own sake and so that it can add to the attraction of Chapel Street rather than detracting from it. Some kind of combination of housing for local people and a community centre or either of those with a ( community-run?) shop and/or cafe would be an excellent use.

Owners should not be allowed to let buildings in Penzance town to fall into disrepair like this. The town is beginning to become a sort after destination for tourists and this sort of thing just delays the towns revival.

I was working in Chapel Street on the upkeep of my own building ……….. when the roof of the Ganges slipped and fell. If it had happened a couple of hours later people would have been killed or seriously injured. The restoration of this building is of utmost importance before people passing by are injured or worse.

Cornwall Council should CPO The Ganges purely to facilitate a back-to-back arrangement with an appropriate entity such as a Building Preservation Trust.

Small studio/ workshops for local crafts people. Similar to those seen in St Ives, where you are able to watch creations in the making and purchase on site.

This is a famous and historic home to the distinguished families of Colenso and John, both of whom were civic-minded leaders of 19th-century Penzance local government (Mayors, etc.). The house is very large and could accommodate several interrelated purposes. To a large extent it has been ruined (staircase removed and such) but it could be restored in a welcome and spectacular way.

This town though run down/down at heel, will come back. It would be a desperate loss if we just let our heritage fall down around us. Suggestion…. fewer super stores and more of what our visitors come to see. An historic coastal market town.

The ground floor should be an indoor craft market selling Made in Penwith goods. The upper floors, including a roof conversion, should be social rental studio flats for young people with a local link.

Penzance is really short of obtainable office space. A co-working space would be incredibly important. Add in a cafe and community centre and it could be really powerful.

This building is an eyesore and possibly a danger to the public – and has been in the past.

Criminal waste of a marvelous building. Wasted space.

This could be something better still, the renovation and restoration could be completed by local builders employing young local unemployed people, troubled young adults and vulnerable adults, to give them hope for their own future, skills, belief in themselves, self esteem and self worth. this could be something magical for the people of Penzance. I believe it could be an amazing community space with housing above for local homeless or vulnerable people, there needs to be more than just saving this beautiful building, there needs to be love and community. I am a local builder and would help to achieve these goals in any way I could.

The Georgian architecture of Chapel St is one of the town’s greatest assets. It would be tragic not to save the Ganges, it is one of the finest buildings in the street.

I believe the Ganges should be put to any good use, really, so that it remains a significant and integral part of the street.

This building should be saved as it is part of historic chapel street, it would be terrible to see it dilapidate any further.

To see this lovely building in such a sorry state is terrible.

I have been very aware of its decline in the last few years which has been extremely sad, and from a structural point of view also quite worrying. I think the idea of using it as a community space would be amazing and something penzance would really benefit from but honestly whatever works and whatever is necessary to ensure its renovation and upkeep would be good.

It’s a once-beautiful building in an historic street, but currently an eyesore. It should be saved and made useful.

Compulsory purchase might sound appealing but would rapidly descend into a legal quagmire that could take years for the council to crawl, plastered in slime and stench, out of with no guarantee of a result at the end of it. The solution is to start working sensibly with the owners.
I know for a fact the first floor owner is desperate to re-develop the site and they would welcome a site meeting with local councillors to discuss the way forward. The ground floor owner has had genuine, serious offers of purchase of the free hold but for whatever reason these have not been allowed to progress.
Disregarding the roof (which both owners are jointly responsible for) it is quite obvious from the outside that the first floor has seen attention (look at the state of the windows for instance) while the ground floor has been left to wrack and ruin.
So, in short, concentrate your efforts on getting some cooperation form the ground floor owner and forget about this pie in the sky idea of compulsory purchase!

As both a business owner and resident, living and working in Chapel Street I can’t stress enough the importance of renovating this building. Aside from being an eyesore on one of the most beautiful and popular streets in Penzance, it frankly looks dangerous and it’s sheer luck no one was injured when the roof tiles slid off, every time we have strong winds and we hear the blue plastic flapping we have our fingers crossed all stays in place.
At the shop we are asked often by visitors to Penzance why the Ganges is in that state of disrepair and we have no answer for them, people are very surprised a building could be left in its current state on such a beautiful street. I think this reflects really badly on the town. This is especially frustrating when small business owners and residents are working so hard on the street to maintain their buildings and successfully run their business’s. These people are vital to the improvement and success of Penzance and something like the renovation of the Ganges, especially if used for a business or community project will further serve to not only enhance the look of the street and town but be an added draw to the area benefiting us all. Something will have to be done soon, so why wait?

Good quality 1 or 2 bedroom flats for local people to live in… not DSS & not holiday lets.

Definitely time it was sorted out, it’s criminal to let it just crumble.

Very glad to see something is being done to restore/make use of this building.

Such a beautiful old building rotting away, borderline dangerous now but could be incredible!

I feel that Penzance needs an an affordable community space … rooms for hire at a peppercorn rent for individuals and for events. Penzance is a dynamic town and to have this poor neglected building at its heart is, well, heartbreaking.

Great idea!

Chapel Street is a beautiful street and much used by the community as well as visitors. The buildings are so attractive and interesting. I hope this building can be restored.

As with so much of the historic parts of Penzance is 18 Chapel Street a Grade 2 listed building? If this is the case then something must be done and quickly, best option is for a compulsory purchase order and restoration of the building.

Something should urgently be done. It is an eyesore but has so much potential: Restaurant or shop – anything that makes it more worthwhile walking through Chapel Street would be really good.

Currently, the site looks awful and is dangerous. What happens if a passer-by/child gets hit by more falling tiles/masonry? As an ***ABSOLUTE*** LAST RESORT, it should be knocked down rather than become a rat-infested ruin.. However, if there’s ANY way of saving the building and repurposing it, this should be done.

An excellent cause.

Any use is better for the building than watching it fall to ruin and praying I’m not underneath the next bit that falls off it.

Museum eg photography as light here so good or museum of environment eg nature and mans interactions with land – much needed inside space for tourism for town.

Arts council funding for a museum reuse of historic building and improve tourism for town.

Because of potential funding issues and high renovation costs, I believe the most sustainable option is for Cornwall Council to compulsory purchase the property then sell it to a developer for housing with a restriction on 2nd home use.

Please Cornwall Council purchase this property and bring it back to life. I think it would be great as really nice apartments as there is space for parking and this dear old building needs saving. Way back in the late 60’s my husband used to live there so everytime I walk passed it I feel so sorry for the building.

Anything is better than it is now.

The ‘Ganges’ building was constructed in about 1790 as the southern of a group of three substantial buildings. All three are grade 2 listed as of historic interest. The northernmost, Crownley, number 15, has been completely restored in recent years. The centre building, Trevelyan House, number 16, has been gradually restored to a high standard over the past 16 years. Meanwhile the ‘Ganges’ building has been left to rot. The roof fell off two years ago and is covered with plastic sheeting. One of the two chimneys alongside the forecourt of Chapel Street Methodist Church had to be taken down as it was unsafe. This gives the southern aspect of the building an unbalanced appearance. The building should be restored and the missing chimney replaced. I do not understand why the conservation department of Building Control at Cornwall Council have not taken legal action against the owners in order to get them to carry out the remedial work.

Chapel Street is a bit special.

Thank you for setting up this group. I have been a resident in and around Chapel Street for 12 years and remember eating in the Ganges on a number of occasions. Now I have watched as I walk my dog up and down the street a few times a day as this lovely building falls more and more into disrepair. It is definitely time something should be done!


The comments expressed above are not necessarily the views of Chapel Street Conservation Group. We want to give an illustration of the range of comments we have received, but cannot vouch for the accuracy of any comment.