PLANS to build 33 homes in Calstock have been approved despite concerns about traffic and a planning officer admitting that the site was ‘not the best’.

Cornwall Council’s east sub-area planning committee approved the plans to build the homes on land in Church Lane, when they met on July 23. Under the proposals 15 of the 33 homes will be affordable, which was a key reason for approval being granted.

The site is in the Tamar Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the World Heritage Site (WHS), but both the AONB and WHS officers had supported the plan.

However, the plans had attracted objections from Cornwall councillor for the area Dorothy Kirk and Calstock Parish Council. Their main objections were on highways concerns and that the access to the site was considered to be dangerous.

A number of local residents also objected to the proposals with resident Roger Miles, who lives close to the site, speaking at the committee meeting. He said: “I am here today to represent a considerable number of people in Calstock who rightly oppose this development.”

Mr Miles said he objected to the development being in the AONB and WHS areas and said it was a ‘large site in open countryside’ It is greenfield development in open countryside.”

Michael White, representing the applicant, Construction Partners, said that it had recognised that the plans were contentious and had held several public meetings and meetings with the parish council to hear concerns and adapt the plans accordingly.

He said these events were undertaken to ‘ensure that it delivers for local people’.

Mr White said the applicant had had ‘overwhelming support from the local community’.

Committee member Andrew Long said he had no issues around the provision of affordable housing or the design of the development. However, he said he had ‘real issues’ regarding highways. He said the added traffic would only make existing problems with parking and access in the village worse.

He questioned whether there was a need for more homes as the community network area, which Calstock sits in already has 350 homes in development or with planning permission granted.

However, Cllr Jim Flashman was in support of the plans and said the site ‘has a lot going for it’.

Senior planning officer Mark Andrews highlighted the support, which had been given by the AONB and WHS officers. “It is not the greatest of accesses but it has been looked at by your highways officers (and approved). The site is acceptable, it is not the best but it is acceptable. We are trying to provide houses in locations like this to provide affordable homes for local people.”

The planning application was granted planning permission with the committee voting 11 for and four against.