A former council house in St Ives has now been turned into a plush holiday let which will cost up to £7,000 to stay in for a week.
Property company Cornish Gems has announced that before the Cornish-born owner of Sunset House above Porthmeor beach moves into their ‘forever home’, it is available to rent to holidaymakers.
The former run-down detached three-bedroom cliff side property on Porthmeor Hill was owned by Devon and Cornwall Housing (DCH) – now called LiveWest. It sold for £1.4 million at an auction in London in 2017, and DCH said proceeds of the sale would fund at least 10 affordable homes in Cornwall.
There were mixed reactions when the pictures you can see here emerged of the new house under construction. Read that full story here. Watch the video of the original house being demolished at the top of this page.
The new owners, Mr and Mrs Harris, demolished the property in 2019, to build a luxury house and increase the number of parking spaces to two.
It has been transformed into what has been described as a modern day beach house with ‘understated luxury’.
It is soon to offer accommodation for up to eight guests within four sea view ensuite bedrooms. It has been designed by St Ives architects and built by local contractors. After a three-and-a-half year build project, the finishing touches are being made.
Cornish Gems said on its Facebook page: “Before the Cornish born owner moves into their forever home, Cornish Gems has a window of opportunity to rent Sunset House, St Ives.
“The owners are just putting the finishing touches together for Sunset House.”
It added: “Before the Cornish born owner moves into their forever home, Cornish Gems has a window of opportunity to rent Sunset House, St Ives.”
Bookings are now being taken for 2021 and 2022. However, the cost of staying there – which varies from between £3,149 to £7,395 for a week stay, and £2,624 for a two-night break between November to March – has been criticised by locals, along with the fact it is a holiday let.
One person said on the Cornish Gems Facebook page: “The prices are obscene. Pure greed.”
Referring to its history, one person said: “Not bad for an ex-council house. It used to be £90 a week to live there.”
Another added: “It’s not like St Ives really needed any more holiday let’s though. Where is the housing for the people that work in town? Soon there will be no locals left to work in town and everything will have to close, so maybe letting agencies should be a bit less greedy because it will kill the town.”
The cost of the accommodation has been defended by its owner who says he is looking forward to it being his home when he retires.
Mr Harris said: “I’ve always wanted to retire back home in Cornwall and when I saw the derelict house for sale, I thought it was an opportunity too good to miss.
“While my financial investment may not make sense from a business perspective, I’m comfortable with how much it has cost. For me this has been a hugely personal project to create a very special retirement home.
“When I move into the property it will be removed from the rental market. Meanwhile, it makes financial sense to make the house available for holidays and save it from sitting empty, helping to support independent local businesses and the Cornish tourism economy.”
Philippa Snell, head of sales and marketing at Cornish Gems, added: “We feel honoured to have a window of opportunity to share Sunset House for luxury holidays before the owner retires to their forever home.
“The house with four en-suite bedrooms occupies a unique vantage point location, elevated above Porthmeor beach and comes complete with beautifully appointed interiors and high-spec amenities, offering a truly one-of-a-kind, luxury home with a reflective price point.
“Since going live on our website on May 6, we’ve already secured some bookings and expect more interest to follow when the full gallery of images is available shortly.”