A couple have won planning permission to convert a Cornish farm building into a home - despite it being in a protected area.

Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee went against officers’ advice in granting planning permission for the development in Higher Bosavern, near St Just, writes Richard Whitehouse. Local Democracy Reporter.

The planning committee had previously deferred the application submitted by Mr and Mrs Edwards and asked them to amend the proposals for a three-bedroom home.

As a result the couple reduced the size of the proposed development, separated a proposed garage and changed the materials to be used.

However, despite these changes the planning officers had recommended refusal on the grounds that the site is within Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and would harm an area which has dark skies status.

The officers also said that it would see development in the open countryside.

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Applicant Tom Edwards told the committee that at the last meeting four changes to the plans had been requested and they had made them all.

He said that as the new home was smaller than previously planned the pitched roof would be higher.

Mr Edwards said they wanted to live on the site “to be able to live in the community where myself and my wife work and my children attend school”.

He added that it was also “close enough to care for my elderly mother-in-law”.

Responding to the committee’s questions he said that it would be the permanent family home and that there were no plans for any other use.

He added that without the planned development the family “can’t get any closer to my mother-in-law or work that is affordable for us”.

Local Cornwall councillor Brian Clemens had supported the application and said that the applicants “has done the best they possibly could” to address the concerns raised by the committee when it last considered the application.

He said: “They need to be closer to their mother-in-law to look after her as she gets older.

"This is basically the only option they have to get a larger house with a growing family.

"They could not afford to go out and buy a bigger house.”

Cllr Clemens said he took on board the comments about the AONB but added: “I do believe there have to be exceptions, this is a local house for local people both of whom work in the community and both are heavily involved in the local community.

"Nobody has objected to this plan to maintain a local home for local people.”

Committee member Loveday Jenkin proposed that the planning application should be approved and said: “The question we have to ask ourselves is what the landscape impact would changing that building into a dwelling be.”

Cllr Jenkin said that she considered that it would have little impact and said that there needed to be a balance between protecting the landscape and enabling people to live in their local community.

She added: “From my perspective there is no point in having a landscape designation if nobody can live there. They have come up with something that will fit into the landscape.”

The application was approved by the committee with 10 votes in favour and one against.