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.

The barn the subject of a refused planning application. (Picture: Cornwall Council)
The barn the subject of a refused planning application. (Picture: Cornwall Council) (Cornwall Council)

Conversion of a barn to dwelling refused

PA24/01102: The conversion and change of use of a barn to a dwelling including the demolition of part and erection of an extension within the footprint of the demolished element at farm has been refused.

Devon and Cornwall Logs Limited applied to the local authority for the works at Great Lanhargy Farm, Bray Shop.

In an accompanying design and access statement, the applicant said: “The proposal is an application for the conversion/change of use of a barn to a dwelling, including demolition of part and erection of an extension within the footprint of the demolished element.

“A previous proposal to change the use of this barn was refused on various alleged grounds regarding the proposal and concern over the introduction of a proposed new drive way, reference PA23/06090.

“The current proposal concentrates on retaining and converting the traditional stone element of the barn and adding a modest extension via a linked passage within the footprint of the demolished section. Materials will be local natural stone and natural slate to match in the with the existing building. The existing drive will be used for access.

“The present barn is a mixed height building, partly of stone construction and partly a mix of concrete block with fibre cement cladding, both elements having a fibre cement roof. The building has been used for agricultural storage.

The barn is one of a range barns at Great Lanhargy, one large one of which has recently been granted planning approval for conversion to five dwellings under PA23/04345.”

Linkinhorne Parish Council had no objections to the plans, stating in its response: “PA24/01102 Great Lanhargy Farm, Bray Shop, Cornwall, PL17 8QJ - Conversion / change of use of barn to a dwelling including demolition of part and erection of an extension within the footprint of the demolished element - this was a slight change to the application, retaining the older building, taking down the older metal building and replacing with stone. - Linkinhorne Parish Council had no objection, one Councillor abstained.”

In an accompanying planning officers report, the work proposed was described as: “Therefore, whilst it is felt that there may be potential for the conversion of this stone element of the barn, it is considered that the proposed conversion works, along with the proposed new build extension, which would also see the demolition of a large aspect of the barn, would result in substantial rebuilding operations. Consequently, it is considered that the proposal would be more akin to a rebuild, rather than a conversion of an existing building as required by policy seven.

“Following on from this, it must also be considered whether the building is appropriate to retain. Paragraph 2.33 of the Local Plan supporting text advises that the appropriateness of buildings for conversion will depend on their scale and method of construction, structural soundness and the ability to convert the building without the necessity of substantial demolition or substantial rebuilding operations. The building itself is very utilitarian in its form and appearance, compromising a large blockwork and fibre cement clad building with a small stone-built aspect adjoining this.

“It is not felt that the fibre cement clad and blockwork aspect of the building is of any particular architectural merit, however there is felt to be some architectural merit in the historic stone barn element of the building. It is felt that some positive contribution to the wider landscape may be offered by the stone element of the building, however this is limited given the larger scale fibre cement and blockwork aspect that this stone element adjoins. It is concluded that the stone barn is appropriate to retain, however due to the inappropriate design of the extension any benefits of the retention of this element would be lost through the proposal.”

It was refused by Cornwall Council on these grounds, with the authority telling the applicant: “The proposal, by reason of its scale, design and significant amount of new built form, would detract from the original proportions and simple form of this historic stone building, almost doubling the footprint of the building. The proposed conversion scheme together with its extension would introduce domestic style openings and a more domestic form which would result in a loss of the barns character. As such the proposal would not represent a genuine conversion of the building and would not lead to an enhancement to the site and its immediate setting.

“Therefore, in the absence of any special circumstances to justify it, the proposal represents an unsustainable and harmful form of residential development in the countryside and without any other material considerations which outweigh such harm, the proposal is contrary to policies of the Linkinhorne Neighbourhood Plan, the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010 - 2030 (Adopted 22nd November 2016) and paragraphs of National Planning Policy Framework 2023.”

Approval for change of use

PA24/01433: Proposals for the change of use from a Class B to a Class E for a tyre outlet has been approved by Cornwall Council.

Mrs Rachael Colton, on behalf of Zero Gravity Know No Limits Limited applied to the local authority to change the use of the building at Unit 10 Edgcumbe Trade Park, Tamar View Industrial Estate, Edgcumbe Road, Carkeel.

They are seeking to changing the use to a Class E building, namely for indoor sports and leisure.

Cornwall Council gave approval subject to a condition: “The premises shall be used for E(d) indoor sport/leisure only and for no other purpose (including any other purpose within Class E of the Schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended), or in any provision equivalent to that Class in any statutory instrument revoking or reenacting that Order with or without modification).

“Reason: To control the future use of the building and in order to protect the vitality and viability of the town centre in accordance with policies of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010-2030.”

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