Locals in a Cornish seaside village that has seen a string of Hollywood A-listers snap up properties say their idyllic area is being ‘destroyed’ by the influx.
Residents of Mawgan Porth, located just four miles north of Newquay, revealed how unaffordable ‘out of touch’ million-pound homes are being built and clueless tourists are complaining about the smell of cow dung – in the countryside!
Boasting stunning sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery, the untouched bay of Mawgan Porth recently became home to Aquaman star Jason Momoa who followed in the footsteps of Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett and Chris Martin.
Unassuming, private and not very well known – it is the perfect hidden enclave for celebrities wanting LA luxury in the West Country as they can fly their private jets into Newquay airport and make the short trip over to Mawgan Porth.
However, locals are now claiming ‘Cornwall’s best kept secret’ is on the brink of being overrun by second homeowners who are knocking down traditional 1930s bungalows to build ‘James Bond-esque Lego blocks’ which nobody can afford.
Susan Schofield, 65, who has farmed land in the area since 1973, says she is exasperated dealing with complaints from new arrivals who are oblivious to rural life.
‘They don’t seem to have any idea that this is the countryside. I have had complaints when I put cows in my field because people don’t like the smell or they expect to be able to walk across my land whenever they want,’ she said.
A look at what locals in Mawgan Porth say are multi-million pound brash ‘James Bond-esque black clad Lego blocks’
Pictured: The beach at the picturesque Cornish seaside village which has been dubbed ‘Hollywood-on-Sea’
Local resident Susan Schofield said tourists treat the village like ‘Disneyland’ sometimes and as if ‘it’s only here for the tourists but it’s not, people live and work here’
Local resident Margaret Behr claims the village is only made up of 18 to 20 per cent of locals and ‘four in five houses are dark in the winter which can make it a lonely place’
‘People treat it like Disneyland sometimes, like it’s only here for the tourists but it’s not, people live and work here.’
Mrs Schofield added that she now avoids the beach altogether during the summer months as it’s too busy.
Margaret Behr, 64, fell in love with Mawgan Porth and moved to an attractive bungalow overlooking the beach 14 years ago.
But since then, many traditional 1930s pebbledashed homes which once characterised the village have been ripped down and replaced with holiday homes for the wealthy, which some locals say look like a ‘Jaguar showroom’ or ‘Tesco’.
Ms Behr said: ‘We are turning into Rock or Padstow where it is dominated by second homes. I’d say it’s only about 18 to 20 per cent are locals now, four in five houses are dark in the winter which can make it a lonely place.
‘As soon as there is a hint of anybody selling a property developers swoop in and offer more than any local can afford – they don’t care about the house, the land below it is worth millions.
‘I completely understand why people want to live here. It’s a stunning place but it’s still quite basic and unpretentious and that’s what we need to protect.’
Despite there being some excitement among locals that they could bump into the likes of Statham or Blanchett in a supermarket – many have argued that on top of the housing crisis, the influx of holiday rentals, second home owners and celebs moving into the area is making it even harder for younger generations to stay.
According to census data, Cornwall is the most popular destination in the UK for a second home, with 6,080 holiday homes used by 14,230 people.
Retiree Diane Fuller, 84, said: ‘I wish the people who designed these new properties would design something that fits in with the area, the new homes look so out of place’
Neighbours: Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, 54, has a holiday home in the same village as Coldplay’s Chris Martin
Many traditional 1930s seaside homes which once characterised the village have been replaced with holiday homes for the wealthy
Moving in? Aquaman star Jason Momoa, 44, is the latest A-lister to snap up a swanky mansion in the picturesque Cornish village of Mawgan Porth, near Newquay
A new development underway atop the cliffs in Mawgan Porth – ideal for a Bond villain
Until recently, Mawgan Porth remained a popular family holiday spot for those in the know while others visited neighboring towns such as Newquay, Rock and Padstow instead
Retirees Anthony and Diane Fuller, who have lived in the village for 35 years, also discussed how Mawgan Porth, which was a popular family holiday spot for those in the know while others visited Newquay, Rock and Padstow, has changed.
Anthony, 93, said: ‘The look of the area has completely changed, most of the locals have died or moved on and people with lots of money have taken their place.
‘Those that are still here are a friendly and caring community but what we are seeing is bungalows being replaced with square houses that are not appropriate for the area.’
Diane, 84, added: ‘I wish the people who designed these new properties would design something that fits in with the area, the new homes look so out of place.’
Estate agent listings for Mawgan Porth appear to back up locals’ concerns as the top two properties – one not even built – have been listed for sale for £2.9million and £2.25million.
Adding to this, many locals have complained it is unfair these homes are only being sold privately and the public are unable to see floor plans, which attracts famous buyers.
Clare Coode, a buying agent with Stacks Property Search in Cornwall, told The Times celebs are ‘obsessed’ with privacy here and insist on direct access to the water from their home.
‘One famous buyer insisted that the agents walk up every hill for miles around to ensure the house he wanted couldn’t be snapped by the paparazzi,’ she said.
‘He rejected the house in the end for that reason, even though it was perfect in every other way.’
And with a number of flights daily between Newquay airport and Heathrow and designated landing areas for helicopters – international travel is easier than ever for the rich and famous travelling from afar to their Cornish bolthole.
Andrew Adams, a buying agent specialising in Somerset, Bristol and Bath, told The Times: ‘Each of these airports has seen a significant increase in private aircraft usage in the past few years as the region has become more popular with high net worth purchasers.’
This 12 bedroom, 10 en-suite detached property is on the market for £2,900,000
What their movie millions could buy: This six-bed mansion overlooking the beach is on the market for £2,250,000
With a number of flights daily between Newquay airport and Heathrow, international travel is easier than ever for the rich and famous travelling from afar to their Cornish bolthole
On the market: Jason Momoa has been spotted by locals eyeing-up a clifftop home which the locals have dubbed Hollywood-on-Sea
Pictured: Mawgan Porth In Cornwall, which locals have dubbed ‘Hollywood-on-Sea’
Pictured: The fan who couldn’t believe it when she saw Jamie Dornan at a local petrol station
A look at where Mawgan Porth is located just four miles away from Newquay
The West Country’s long-standing food reputation is also a factor in pushing celebs to the West Country as high-profile chefs such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Jamie Oliver have a number of restaurants in the area.
Its perfect surfing conditions may, too, have been a factor in luring A-listers familiar with the beaches of California.
Other celebrities who have been reported to have bought properties in the village include actress Imogen Stubbs, Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
Cate Blanchett was the first to buy her £2million property here in 2021. A source told MailOnline: ‘The talk of Mawgan Porth is that Cate has bought a home here!’
Cate’s PR rep simply said ‘yes’ when asked if she was about to become Mawgan Porth’s first star resident.
Just a few months after it was revealed that Blanchett was living there, a fan couldn’t believe it when they spotted Dornan at a local petrol station.
Alongside a selfie of herself and Jamie, she wrote on Instagram: ‘I went to get fuel and thought no way it can’t be but it was Mr grey himself!'(sic)
Actor Stanley Tucci – a self-confessed foodie who would no doubt love Cornwall’s culinary delights – is also said to have purchased a home in Mawgan Porth with his wife Felicity Blunt – sister of his The Devil Wears Prada co-star, Emily Blunt.
In 2021, the American star revealed he had been on a ‘road trip to Cornwall’. He told Instagram followers he was enjoying his ‘Tucci eggplant parmagiana’ while enjoying the sights of the West Country.
Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star Jason Statham and supermodel wife Rosie Huntington Whiteley – who hails from nearby Devon – have been reported to have snapped up a home here, too.
Hollywood actors Stanley Tucci (left) and Jason Statham (right) are both said to live in the picturesque Cornish village
A look at Betty’s surf shop – which has stood opposite the famous beach since 1969
Local resident & surf shop supervisor Jayson Clarke told how ‘people don’t want big developments’
Action hero Momoa, 44, is believed to have ‘fallen in love’ with the scenic area after filming his blockbuster DC movie in nearby Devon. He reportedly had been eyeing-up a dramatic clifftop home.
Along the coast of Dorset, neighbours include Harry Redknapp, Julian Fellowes and Jonathan Ross. Sean Bean and Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den live in Somerset while Peter Andre also has a home in Taunton.
At Betty’s surf shop – which has stood opposite the famous beach since 1969 – staff member Jayson Clarke, 43, counts Blanchett and Statham among his customers as well as Kris Marshall and Zahra Ahmadi who star in BBC drama Beyond Paradise which is filmed in Cornwall.
He added: ‘Certainly there are celebs living here but it doesn’t really affect us, it definitely affects the area though with more people wanting to live here.
‘The thing that’s always brought people here is that the beaches haven’t really changed. It’s family friendly and dog friendly.
‘It is still really popular with families. I call it a generational beach because families have been coming down here every year for generations.
‘People don’t want big developments down here, we get a lot of locals coming into the shop and one of the biggest problems we all have is the road system – the council seems to concentrate on road works in the summer and don’t seem to plan for people coming down.’