Cornwall councillors are having increasing problems a rise in unauthorised campsites.

They made comments after praising a landowner who applied for planning permission to run a campsite on land at Trenear, near Helston, writes Local Democracy Reporter Richard Whitehouse.

Simon Truen applied to Cornwall Council for planning permission to change the use of some of his land for camping along with the construction of a toilet and shower block and reception area.

Planning officers had recommended that the application be refused due to the isolated location of the site and the impact that they felt the development would have on the landscape.

However the west sub-area planning committee disagreed and granted planning permission.

Mr Truen told the committee that he previously worked in a shipyard in Falmouth and had just wanted to turn some disused land into a campsite.

He said that he wanted to create a high quality campsite with brand new toilet and shower facilities.

He has seven fields in total but wanted to use just two for the campsite to accommodate around 22 tents.

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Mr Truen disputed the claims that there were limited transport options to access the site saying he counted “at least eight”, adding that his children walked to a nearby bus stop to get to school and he considered it to be safe.

Local Cornwall councillor Loveday Jenkin had supported the application and said: “The applicant has thought very long and hard about this, they are trying to regularise it.

“In my division I have so many campsites that have popped up overnight with no planning, no conditions and any enforcement takes years.

"This is an applicant who is trying to minimise the impact on the environment and there are no objections to the application. The balance, for me, is very much in favour of this.”

Fellow committee member John Keeling, who represents Porthleven, Breage and Germoe, said that he had encountered similar problems with campsites which have been set up without planning permission.

He said: “In my division I have had horrendous problems with campsites – they are everywhere. This chap has gone about it the right way and put in a planning application, which is what the others should be doing.”

The planning committee voted to grant planning permission for the campsite but added conditions that it will be for a maximum of 22 tents and that no motorhomes, campervans or caravans would be permitted.

They voted to approve with nine in favour, none against and one abstention.