A PLAN to build 40 new houses in a moorland village would be 'unlikely to gain approval’ in its current format, says Cornwall’s planning department.

In Darite, north of Liskeard, applicants Mr Webber and Mr Battle hope to create a new estate on land between the existing Hendra Close development and Hendra Manor. A previous planning permisison had been granted for 15 houses on half of this site in 2017 but has expired.

The applicants have now sought pre-planning application advice from Cornwall Council for the current scheme, which would comprise 20 affordable homes and 20 homes for sale on the open market.

Cornwall’s Local Plan states that proposals for new developments on the edge of existing villages will be supported where they are clearly affordable-led, where they are appropriate in scale, character and appearance, and where the number of houses reflects local needs.

The Council’s Affordable Housing team were consulted on the enquiry and confirmed that registered local housing need in the parish of St Cleer is currently 40 households – and that there is also a need for intermediate homes for sale and shared ownership.

But planning permission has already been granted for 30 affordable homes in the parish, said planning officer Davina Pritchard, and therefore there would be a question over whether another development of the scale envisaged would be necessary.

In addition, the St Cleer Neighbourhood Plan, which is nearing the adoption stage, states that the western half of the field in question should be designated as a 'rural gap’.

In her report, the planning officer concludes that a scheme of the size proposed 'would be unlikely to gain officer support’ but that there may be scope for a smaller development, on the eastern half of the field, as an extension to the existing Hendra Close.

The advice of officers given as part of a pre-planning enquiry does not constitute a formal decision from the local planning authority.