I spent a week in Cornwall and came across this lovely detached house called “Kareena”. It sits at the edge of the village of Crantock, with fantastic views overlooking the bay, and to me welcomes surfers back from the sea. My relaxing week had me dreaming of owning this little derelict gem but with the present occupiers consisting of cobwebs and spiders, something didn’t quite feel right!
The lady in the village post office told me that “Kareena” is built out of mundic block (a concrete mix that used waste rock from mining tin, cooper and lead) and therefore being demolished to be replaced by a new home (planning pending).
This building material was common in SW England in the first half of the twentieth century but is now recognised as unsuitable. When mundic block is penetrated by water, elements of the concrete composition turn to sulphuric acid leading the concrete to crack and crumble. There are differing levels of ‘mundic decay’ as the term is known so buyers need to be prudent when looking for romantic lifestyle properties in the SW of England. If you are purchasing with finance, your lender may insist on a mundic test as part of your survey and I would advise any cash purchaser to commission their own test with a qualified member of RICS. Further reading can be found at the Cornwall Council.
So for now, it seems that Kareena is in the hands of the planners. I just hope that her replacement will be a tasteful design and blend in with the beautiful surroundings.