A family’s plans to convert a former stable building into their “forever home” have been put on hold after councillors said that alterations would be required for them to be acceptable.

Tom Edwards had applied to Cornwall Council for permission to convert buildings at Wayside Farm, Higher Bosavern, St Just into a three-bedroom home, writes Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter.

However planning officers had recommended that the plans should be refused saying that the conversion would create “a more visually incongruous feature in the open countryside”.

The plans had also been objected to by Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) officers who said that the development would “fail to enhance the character and appearance of the countryside”.

Planning officers told a meeting of the west sub-area planning committee that the conversion would create a home which was “significantly larger” than the existing building.

They also said that the building itself was “not an historic building of any architectural merit that might make it worthy of retention”.

St Just Town Council had supported the application highlighting that it would be a family home for a family with connections to the town.

Mr Edwards told the committee that he agreed that the existing building was of no architectural merit but was also currently disused and redundant.

He said that he and his family had designed a “simple three bedroom bungalow with a garage”.

Mr Edwards said that he and his wife had lived in the area all their lives and said they were currently living in a two-bedroom house with their children which they had “outgrown”.

He explained that they already had a local couple lined up who were interested in buying their home and added: “They are in the same situation as ourselves, not able to qualify for affordable housing and not having enough money to buy on the open market.”

Mr Edwards told the committee that his family hoped that the conversion would be “our forever home”.

Cornwall councillor for St Just, Brain Clemens, said that he supported the application as he felt it was important to look not only at planning policy but also to help local people.

He said that the family were a part of the community and run businesses in the area. He added that one of their parents lived in the property next to the proposed conversion site and this would enable them to care for them.

Committee member Loveday Jenkin said that she felt that the site could be used for a home but did not consider the current plans were “the right scheme for the site”.

She said it would be better if it could be a “granite faced building that fits in with the landscape better, not something that looks like a large barn”.

Cllr Jenkin said that she thought that with some alterations then the plans might be more acceptable to both the AONB unit and for councillors.

Mike Thomas added: “I do support it in principle but I can’t accept that, there need to be some negotiations so that everyone is happy in terms of planning and policy.”

Councillors proposed that the application be deferred so that more work could be done on the plans, in particular the appearance of the building and changing plans for a garden which would encroach on open countryside. The committee voted unanimously to support deferral.