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.

Offices to become bungalow

PA24/00175: A CHANGE of use application to change a bungalow used as a training annexe to offices in Bodmin into a one-bedroom dwelling has been approved by Cornwall Council.

Mr K Welch applied to the local authority seeking permission to change the use of the building known as ‘Priory Bungalow’ on Priory Road from its current use as offices to a residential dwelling.

As part of his application, he submitted evidence that he had received little demand for use of the building in its current form, having been on the market since March 2023. Letting agents The Property Shop, in a letter to Mr Welch said there had been ‘little or no interest’ in the property, advertised for commercial use at a rent of £850 per month.

In light of this, he wished to change it to a residential dwelling, creating a one-bedroom bungalow with a shower room and study. No external works were required for the building, which was domestic in its appearance.

One public comment was received in support, from Mr Peter Martin, town clerk on behalf of Bodmin Town Council’s planning committee who supported the application.

Cornwall Council approved the application, stipulating an additional condition to its use along with the standard conditions stating the approved works were completed within three years and according to the approved plans.

This condition read: “Prior to the first use of the dwelling hereby approved, a scheme for the incorporation of one bat boxes or bird boxes or bee brick at a minimum rate of one measure per dwelling shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Such details shall include the location and specific details of each feature. The approved features shall be installed prior to the occupation of the dwelling to which they relate and shall thereafter be retained and maintained as such.

“Reason: To accord with policy G1-10 of the Climate Emergency Development Plan Document and policies 1, 2 and 23 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2020- 2030 and paragraphs 8 and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2023.”

Extension plans refused

PA24/00845: A CERTIFICATE for a lawful development certificate for a proposed conservatory extension for a property in Liskeard has been refused by Cornwall Council.

Mr and Mrs Heywood applied to the local authority for permission to undertake the works at their property at Whitley Grange in Liskeard.

However, it was refused by Cornwall Council on the grounds it did not constitute lawful development and required planning permission.

The local authority told the couple: “The proposed development is not considered to constitute permitted development as the proposed works do not comply with the limitations of Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2, of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).

“In particular the proposal fails criteria A.1(e)(ii), A.1(j)(iii) and A.1(ja) of Class A, Part 1 of this Schedule and Order, this is because: A.1(e)(ii) - the side elevation of the dwelling fronts a highway and the extension does ever so slightly extend beyond the side wall of the original dwellinghouse (by approximately 0.1 metres).

“A.1(j)(iii) - the extension does ever so slightly extend beyond the side wall of the original dwellinghouse (by approximately 0.1 metres) and does have a width greater than half the width of the original dwellinghouse.

“A.1(ja) - there is an existing extension approved and built under PA20/01860, and this built extension does join the proposed conservatory extension and therefore the total enlargement must consider both together.

“When assessing the combined development against criteria (e)-(j) the total enlargement fails the following sections: (e)(ii) - the enlarged parts extend beyond the side elevation of the original dwellinghouse which fronts a highway (by approximately 3.4m); (g)(ii) - the enlarged parts exceed 4m in height (with the existing extension measuring at approximately 5.5m); and (j)(ii) and (j)(iii) - the enlarged parts extend beyond the side elevation of the original dwellinghouse and would exceed 4m in height and would have a width greater than half the width of the original dwellinghouse.

“Therefore an application for planning permission is required and the lawful development certificate is not granted.”

The proposed location of the holiday pods refused by Cornwall Council (Picture: Cornwall Council planning)
The proposed location of the holiday pods refused by Cornwall Council (Picture: Cornwall Council planning) (Cornwall Council)

Holiday park plans

PA24/00086/PREAPP: A PRE-APPLICATION planning advice application has been submitted to Cornwall Council to garner their views on a proposed change of use on land in Penwithick.

Manor Park has submitted an application to transform part of a ‘dormant commercial site’ into a 60-caravan holiday facility, which the applicant claims could bring in excess of £1-million of value to the local economy and support 34 jobs as a result. It would form an extension to the existent Manor Park facility and be based at a location known presently as Hallaze Concrete Blok Works, Penwithick.

The applicants told Cornwall Council: “This expansion would provide additional holiday accommodation to grow the local economy and help to diversify the extant business, which is principally an individual owned caravan site.”

Regarding the economic benefits, the applicant included a calculation based on each tourist spending £87 per day in Cornwall, at 237 days of 65% occupancy and combined with a multiplier of 0.47. They added: “Utilising the study data derived from the independent report, if approved, the development at Manor Park has the potential to generate £1,860,402.00 per annum for the local economy, which would support a total of 34 jobs within the wider industry.”

However, concerns have been raised to the application by statutory consultees for the site, Mineral Policy Consultations, who said: “Policy MS1 states that planning permission for non-mineral development will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that; there is not conflict with the mineral related use of the site; the mineral resource or infrastructure is not of current or potential economic value; there are no detrimental effects on the mineral resource or infrastructure; there is overriding strategic need for the development; or the development proposed is exempt.

“I am concerned about the development at Hallaze Blockworks and potential conflict with policy MS1.”

The pre-application advice enquiry is awaiting a response from Cornwall Council’s planning department who will advise on whether it might gain support or what it would require to gain support.