Cornwall Council planners pass plans for 60 new houses at Shrubberies Hill in Porthleven
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 60 new houses in Porthleven have been approved – by a single vote of the planning committee.
Meeting on Tuesday afternoon, members of Cornwall Council's area planning committee voted six in favour and six against the proposals to build on land at Shrubberies Hill.
Chairman of the meeting, Councillor Roger Harding, then cast his deciding vote and said he would approve the planning application.
The plans by Mark Rowe and family are for 24 market price and 36 affordable homes on two fields off Shrubberies Hill, to the east of the town.
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The controversial proposals have split Porthleven, with many saying it would ruin the area, which has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Paula Johns, of the action group Friends of Porthleven, which opposed the plans, said they were disappointed by the result.
She said: "It was a real shame; to have come so far without any support from the town council or our county councillor, and then for it to go on a casting vote for the future of Porthleven."
She said the campaigners feared the decision could open the door for developments in similar areas.
"One or two of the members were very good and said they could see the implications of this and how important it is to protect Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty."
Porthleven's Cornwall councillor Andrew Wallis spoke at the meeting and said afterwards that he had always tried to remain neutral.
"I spoke giving both sides to the argument," he said.
"The main thing now is that these affordable houses are made available for the people of Porthleven."
Councillors on the planning committee had previously seen the site for themselves on an informal visit.
The planning department of Cornwall Council had also organised a well-attended public meeting where the committee could hear directly the opinions of those for and against the development.