From The Herald Tuesday February 23rd
Porthia's Compton Castle plans to include riverbank shops
By K Middleton

DEVELOPERS wanting to rejuvenate land next to the historic paddle steamer on Truro's Lemon Quay plan to build five new shops on the riverbank.
Construction firm Porthia is already renovating the dilapidated 1914 vessel, Compton Castle, and is now seeking planning approval to create five retail units lining the wall adjoining Morlaix Avenue and the subway.
In a statement to Cornwall Council's, Porthia states: "Considerable investment has already been made in restoring the boat but a great deal more is needed to complete the works together with improvements to the quay area to make an attractive public space... although it was originally considered viable for the quay area to be used in conjunction with the restaurant use on the boat, it is now clear that most of the additional seating area on the quay would not be required and more retail use needs to be provided to ensure the long term viability of the site".
But the scheme, which includes flat roofs, wooden cladding and planting to enhance the mud bank, has been criticised by Truro Civic Society chairman Burt Biscoe, who said it "lacks vision and imagination".

"Given the vast expanse of the Lemon Quay, the area should be used as a tranquil green space," he said.
"In the past there was much talk of a great rotunda and bringing in a Brigantine boat – with masts and rigging – which could exploit Truro's marine history and would be a great attraction for the 350,000 plus visitors that come to the city each year."
A spokesman for Porthia said the plans would enhance the quay and increase foot traffic to an area that has been neglected, saying work will continue on the steamer regardless of the planners' decision.
He said: "We want to install small units to entice visitors to the area. We see this as a sustainable, quality project that is a positive step forward for the city's Lemon Quay."
Next week an aluminum and glazed superstructure will be brought in to be fitted to the deck of the steamer, which was going to be turned into a restaurant by the celebrity chef Kevin Viner, who has since abandoned his high-profile plans.
In 2006 Porthia was criticised by Truro City councillors when it revealed plans to build a six to eight-storey cylindrical 'rotunda' building on the site, branded "sickening" and "horrible".
Porthia is still looking for a business to lease the boat, saying it is open to any potential use.
It was built in 1914 in Falmouth and originally ferried passengers between Dartmouth and Totnes.
After a spell in Looe, it was brought to its current spot in Truro in a poor state in 1982, where it has since been a restaurant and flower shop.




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