A couple who wanted to build a bungalow for an elderly relative next door to their home have been refused planning permission, writes Richard Whitehouse Local Democracy Reporter.

Cornwall Council’s east sub-area planning committee refused outline planning permission because it went against planning policy and would be developing open countryside.

Carolyn Harding, who had applied for outline planning permission with her husband, explained that the home in Bray Shop would be for her elderly father.

She said that her father would be into his 80s by the time the bungalow was built if permission was granted.

Mrs Harding said that her father currently lived in a three-storey home with steep flights of stairs and was becoming “increasingly isolated”.

She explained that she was the only relative in the UK who could provide support to her father and wanted to build the bungalow next to her home in Bray Shop so that he could live independently but also so that she could provide help and support when he needed it.

Mrs Harding said that by building a bungalow for her father it would also “free up” his current home for use by someone else in the village.

She added that the couple had received multiple letters of support from neighbours and no negative comments.

However Linkinhorne Parish Council had objected to the application saying that there would be no affordable homes and that the site is in open countryside.

Local Cornwall councillor Sharon Daw said she supported Mr and Mrs Harding and said that the development should be considered to be infill.

She said: “I have had a site visit in between lockdown and I really can’t see anything wrong with this site at all.”

Cllr Daw said that the council should be supporting applications which would provide homes for elderly people.

Committee vice-chairman Adrian Parsons said he was in favour of the plans saying that it came down to a “judgement call”.

He said he considered the site to be part of Bray Shop village and that the development could be considered to be “rounding off”.

The committee had heard that the site could be considered as a rural exception site if the application had been for affordable housing and could have been used for more than one home if they were affordable.

Cllr Parsons said he was “flabbergasted” that would be allowed when planning officers were recommending that a single home should be refused permission.

He added: “I don’t see where the harm is.”

However, Andrew Long disagreed, saying that councillors had to follow planning policy which would not allow the application to be approved.

He said: “I don’t believe it is policy compliant. While I totally understand the reasoning of the application we have to consider this on policy. To my mind there isn’t a policy to support this.”

Cllr Long proposed that the application be refused and was seconded by Derek Holley.

He said: “It is not rounding off, it is clearly not infilling, it is clearly against the policies.

“I can’t see a justification for this and will support Cllr Long and second it.”

The committee agreed to refuse planning permission with 10 votes in favour and five against.