EACH week, hundreds of planning applications come before Cornwall Council’s planning department, seeking to win approval for various plans right across the Duchy.

These plans can comprise of a number of different reasonings– ranging from permission to replace windows or listed building consent ranging up to large house building developments or changing of use of a building, for instance, from an office to a café, or flats.

Within this large and often complex system, there are a number of formats from which planning advice and approval can be sought.

These range from full applications where all the details which comprise a proposed development or work to a building are submitted, to outline applications, where further details are yet to be confirmed, for example, an outline application with reserved matters for appearance may not confirm the final proposed development but rather seek permission in principle.

An example of this is one for an outline permission for 20 dwellings on land with reserved matters for appearance and scale; the reserved matters would require further permission later for their inclusion.

Other types of applications include pre-application advice requests, where would-be developers submit often outline proposals to a local authority to ascertain whether it is likely to gain support or not prior to submitting a planning application.

The vast majority of applications are decided by planning officers employed by a local authority under ‘delegated powers’, meaning they do so on behalf of their employer, however, some applications are ‘called in’ by local councillors to be discussed at an area’s strategic planning committee meeting, meaning the final decision rests with a committee of councillors.

Eco project given approval despite opposition

PLANS for an eco-smallholding have been given the go-ahead in the face of strong local opposition, writes Kerenza Moore.

The planning approval for land at Higher Metherell includes permission for a new pond, a polytunnel, and the creation of an area of hardstanding for parking.

In her statement to Cornwall Council, applicant Dr Gudrun Taresch explains how her family intends to turn a meadow that had been used for grazing horses into a forest garden.

“A Forest Garden will support biodiversity, provide food in a way that nurtures the soil and create a sustainable space,” she said.

“We plan to create a small pond, a small wetland and willow area, a polytunnel, poultry pen, bee hive and plenty of trees and other perennial plants of edible, medical or other uses.”

Swales will be created to collect and use rainwater more efficiently and work has already taken place to improve the ground so as to retain more water.

The successful planning application follows a refusal by Cornwall Council last year for change of use of the land to create an art and healing centre – refused on the grounds of unsuitable access.

Objectors have pointed out that the 150 square metre hardstanding currently granted is the same size as in the previous scheme.

Along with 31 members of the public who commented on Cornwall Council’s website, all in objection, Calstock Parish Council voted unanimously to recommend the project be refused.

Council members cited grounds of unsuitable access, especially for emergency vehicles, the generation of more traffic on the lane, and road safety.

One local person said that the lane was 2.4m wide at its narrowest point and another said: “I strongly object on the grounds of the proposed access which is via an unadopted farm track. This track was only ever designed to cope with horse and cart, pedestrians and livestock.”

In his report, planning officer George Shirley said: “Objections have focussed on the previously refused plans and suggest the art and healing centre remains the applicant's long term aspiration. Nonetheless, this application does not seek consent for a change of use of the land and simply seeks consent for structures and operations which would help to achieve the management of the site as a smallholding. The provision of the pond, polytunnel and hard standing would all be considered reasonable and appropriate.

“This proposal would not result in any notable increases in traffic over and above what would be likely to arise from its existing use.

“It is well established that consent cannot be refused on hypothetical situations or the long-term intentions of the applicant - rather the application can and must only be considered on its current merits.”

Specialised supported housing plan in Liskeard

HB Villages Developments Limited (HBV) is requesting pre-application planning advice from Cornwall Council in relation to the proposed development of Specialised Supported Housing (SSH) accommodation at Charter Way in Liskeard, comprising a block of ten self-contained one-bedroom SSH apartments and six self-contained one-bedroom SSH bungalows together with ancillary staff room, parking and communal open space.

HBV is an industry-leading and award-winning specialist developer of new build supported living accommodation for adults with a range of disabilities. On this occasion, HBV is working in collaboration with Potens, which is an approved and contracted support provider currently working with Cornwall Council and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly ICB.

Potens provides a range of specialist support for adults with a range of complex needs including learning disability, autism, mental health needs and acquired brain Injuries, and delivers support services throughout England, North Wales and Northern Ireland.

The scheme has the full support of the Strategic Commissioning Lead for Housing and Working Age Adult Services within Cornwall Council’s ‘People Commissioning, Care and Wellbeing’ directorate. The accommodation is being delivered to meet a specific identified need for this form of specialist housing, as evidenced in the Cornwall Council ‘Supported and Specialist Housing Strategy 2023-2050.

The land is situated between the Oak Tree Surgery to the west and residential dwellings to the north and east which were constructed as part of hybrid planning permission, which was granted in 2017.

Listed building consent granted for solar panels

Listed building consent has been granted for the installation of ground mounted solar panels and associated works at a farm near Liskeard.

The application was made by Mr C B Anderson and Dr J M Stokes and concerned Tiptoe Farm, Lamellion, Liskeard.

Historic Environment Planning said of the plans: “Thank you for consulting the Historic Environment (Planning) Team on this application for the installation of ground mounted solar panels and associated works.

“The solar panels will be ground mounted in a location so not to affect the listed building. The proposals are considered acceptable.”

Cornwall Council granted conditional approval for the plans.

Listed building consent for work to masonic lodge

A masonic lodge in Liskeard has been granted planning approval by Cornwall Council.

The applicants sought to add a lime render application to two chimney stacks at the Masonic Lodge, The Parade, Liskeard.

The trustees of the masonic lodge told Cornwall Council: “Following closer inspection of the chimneys above eaves level, it has become apparent that the stone chimney stacks have suffered from weathering and are in need of repair. If these repairs are not made, there is a risk of significant damp penetration at lower levels.

“The existing chimneys will be sympathetically preserved by applying a lime-based render and breathable mineral paint. This will be applied at fascia level and above where the chimneys are most exposed to the elements. Please refer to the drawings appended to this application.”

Cornwall Council granted the planning application, subject to conditions relating to the timing and adherence to the plans approved, adding: “The works are considered to accord with the Council's statutory duties under sections 16(2) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 because it would preserve the special architectural and historic interests of the listed building and its setting.”

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