A couple’s plan to build a family home has been blocked by councillors who said that the proposed timber-clad building did not fit with the local area. David and Joanne Watson had applied to build a new property on land next to an existing home in St Tudy.

Planning in principle had already been granted to build a home on the land at Hillview in Wadebridge Road and a new application was concerned with the design and technical details of the plan. The application went before Cornwall Council’s east sub-area planning committee this morning.

Planning officers had recommended that the plans should be approved saying that they believed that the addition of a home in St Tudy would help with the housing crisis and that they thought the proposed new home would conserve the historic character of the surrounding conservation area.

However, the committee disagreed and said that they felt that the proposed design would be out of keeping with the area and would harm the conservation area. They refused planning permission.

The committee heard from St Tudy Parish Council which had objected to the application saying that whilst they accepted that permission in principle had been granted for the site they considered the proposed new home to be too large. Under the proposals a four-bedroom, two-storey, large family home would be built on the site.

Local resident Janet Fisher, who also objected, said that “a low level dwelling would be much more in keeping and less imposing”. She added: “We were really surprised when we saw the design for the two-storey house and I think a lot of the village was as well.”

Rachel Wright, from St Tudy Parish Council, said that it had been thought that a low-level property would be built on the site and that parish councillors had been reassured by that. But the proposals were seen to have a “significant impact” on the neighbourhood and that the design was “a large, two-storey, modern-style property” that “doesn’t reflect the character of the village”.

The new home was proposed to be timber clad and Cllr Wright said “there are no visible timber clad buildings in the village” so it would look out of place.

A planning agent speaking on behalf of the applicants Mr and Mrs Watson told the committee that the couple had wanted to relocate to Cornwall for years and particularly St Tudy which they had visited.

He explained that they had bought Hillside and restored it to a “high standard” and were now looking to sell the property to fund the building of the new family home they were applying for. He said that the ridge height “relates well to neighbours” and said that the footprint of the new home only took 20 per cent of the garden space.

Local Cornwall councillor Dominic Fairman had objected to the application and said that he wanted to protect the conservation area saying that “our village conservation areas in North Cornwall are, in our area, the crown jewels”.

He urged councillors to reject the application and instead ask the applicants to come back with a “more sympathetic design” which would help to take the plans forward.

Committee member Andrew Long said: “My concern, and why I will recommend refusal, is regarding the materials being used. I don’t believe we have been given enough assurance that the wood is acceptable as part of the local vernacular and part of the agricultural style of the building. It just doesn’t fit for me, that is not the design seen in the village.

“I think there is a better design that could come out of that. What we must concentrate on is to get the best possible design for the village. I don’t think this is the best design due to the materials.”

Cllr Long’s proposal was seconded by Barry Jordan who said that he agreed and said that after having a look on Google streetview he could not see any similar style buildings in St Tudy. He added: “It is totally out of character, I hate this wood stuff and especially in an area like St Tudy.”

John Fitter disagreed and said that he would support the application: “Design is in the eye of the beholder, if this is what the applicant feels is the best finish for this design and development, who am I to object?”

Cllr Fitter said that it would be different to other properties in the area but he said he did not consider that to be an issue. He added: “I see no grounds for opposing this application as supported by the planning officers.”

The committee voted to refuse planning permission with six votes in favour and three against.