A multi-millionaire businessman ignored objections from numerous locals at a seaside village dubbed ‘Hollywood-on-Sea’ to build a massive Bond-style mansion.
Peter Cole, 51, bought a bungalow in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, for £900,000 in 2015 – two years after selling his IT business, Green Hat, to IBM for £25m.
But in the following years Mr Cole and wife Julia fought a bitter battle with locals in the Cornish village over plans for a five-bedroom modern mansion said to be nearly three times the size of the original house.
And many locals have said they still don’t think the house should have been built – but sources close to the Coles insist they have done nothing wrong and have injected a large amount of money into the local economy.
Permission was granted for a two-storey home in 2018 but Mr Cole submitted an application in 2020 for ‘minor amendments’ to create a further two-storey outbuilding including sauna and storage building that residents claim make it look more like a three-storey property when viewed from the beach and could be turned into additional accommodation.
A look at what locals in Mawgan Porth say are multi-million pound brash ‘James Bond-esque black clad Lego blocks’
Peter Cole, 51, bought a bungalow in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, for £900,000 in 2015 – two years after selling his IT business, Green Hat, to IBM for £25m
Locals blasted the size and look of the house – and pointed out that after building it Mr Cole himself objected to a neighbour’s planning application, claiming it was too large.
One resident told MailOnline: ‘It hasn’t gone down well.’
Locals who objected to Mr Cole’s amended application include Sara McCutcheon who argued: ‘The building has taken away all green landscape as the building is too big for the size of the plot.
‘Not only do they disrespect the Council, they have totally disrespected the local residents views on this matter and have eaten up all the greenery around.’
Local resident John Kenna said of the 2020 amendment: ‘The proposed building will be extremely overbearing on its direct neighbours many of whom have lived in the village for more than 20 years. It will remove privacy and light from several houses and is not in keeping with its neighbours.’
Another local commented on the original application: ‘My objection is the unnecessary size of the development. It is estimated the main house is 300 per cent bigger than the original.
Peter Cole’s wife Julia is seen here on the right dressed as Cleopatra for a fancy dress party
The plans for the mansion which were contested by locals in 2020 but allowed to go through
Pictured: The beach at the picturesque Cornish seaside village which has been dubbed ‘Hollywood-on-Sea’
Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, 54, has a holiday home in the village, along with Coldplay’s Chris Martin
Many traditional 1930s seaside homes which once characterised the village have been replaced with holiday homes for the wealthy
‘We understand the need to get maximum for your money but this is grossly overdeveloped as an overall scheme when taking into account the detached second development.’
Despite the objections permission was granted and the house was built.
Five months after submitting his amended application, Mr Cole objected to another proposed extension nearby due to its ‘immense size’, documents show.
Mawgan Porth, four miles north of Newquay, is a haven for celebrities with reports this week that Aquaman star Jason Momoa is buying a home there, following in the footsteps of Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett.
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.
Mr Cole, from Winchester, Hants, launched software testing company Green Hat in 1996 before selling to IBM in 2013. He hosted a lavish ‘movie themed’ 50th birthday party at Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower last year.
Aquaman star Jason Momoa, 44, is said to be among those buying property in the picturesque Cornish village of Mawgan Porth, near Newquay
A new development underway atop the cliffs in Mawgan Porth
A source close to Mr Cole said construction significantly helped the local economy as he employed over 40 locals for two years to build the multi-million-pound house
They added: ‘The house that was originally there was built as a holiday home by people from outside Cornwall, it was never a local’s house.
‘When they bought it the house was basically uninhabitable, it was nearly 100 years old and at the end of its lifetime. They directly employed over 40 people including local builders, local architects, stonemasons, carpenters in fact anybody involved in the design of the house was local.
‘When you build a multi-million-pound house it injects a huge amount of money into the local economy. Even once it’s built there’s maintenance jobs and gardening which employs local people.
‘If a teacher or farmer lived in the house they wouldn’t be employing these people. People generally don’t like change but the development is sympathetic to its surroundings.
‘It happens in all parts of the country where places become desirable, people move in and others are forced out to areas where they can live but nobody local was displaced by this property.’