CORNWALL councillors have agreed to grant planning permission for two holiday homes in the countryside despite warnings that the development could harm a protected area.
John Rowles had applied for planning permission to build two holiday lodges on land close to Newland House in Upton Cross.
One of the properties would have one bedroom and the other would have two — planning officers had recommended that planning permission be refused as the site is in open countryside and with little access to local services.
Officers said that people using the holiday homes would have to rely on a car to access services and said that the development would result in “moderate harm” to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
In a report to the council’s east sub-area planning committee officers said that the application went against planning policy and added: “The harm would not be outweighed by the limited economic benefits”.
Mr Rowles told councillors that he wanted to provide two small holiday lets for visitors and said that the village of Upton Cross was a 10-minute walk away and that the nearest bus stop was around four minutes’ walk away.
He said that while visitors would be discouraged from visiting by car an electric vehicle charging point would be provided and he said that e-bikes were also available to hire nearby.
Mr Rowles said: “The aim is to have buildings that have very limited or no impact on the environment and climate change.”
Cornwall councillor Sharon Daw (Lynher) said that she supported the application and said she believed that the council should support such plans as it would help reduce the number of properties being converted into holiday lets.
Committee member Cllr Dominic Fairman (St Teath and Tintagel) said that he supported the application and said that he felt that people visiting the properties would be willing to walk the 1km distance to services in the village.
He said that it was “probably as sustainable as it gets up on the moors” and felt that it was “unfair” that planning rules for residential properties were being applied to holiday lets.
However planning officers highlighted that the properties would be residential but with a condition to how they could be used and, as such, have to be viewed in planning terms as homes.
Cllr Andrew Long (Callington and St Dominic) said that he was concerned about the application and said that he would not advise anybody to walk along the roads in the area.
“I would never, ever encourage anyone to walk down to Upton Cross from there, it is incredibly dangerous that road.”
Cllr Adrian Parsons (Altarnun and Stoke Climsland) said that he also supported the plans saying that it was “an area with so much untapped potential”.
He added: “We have very few really good holiday businesses in this area. What is on offer here today is a really nice, sympathetic couple of holiday lets with local materials which will offer a standard of holiday that people are looking for.”
Cllr Fairman proposed that planning permission should be approved with a condition attached that the homes are only for holiday use. It was agreed with eight votes in favour and three against.