Local views on planning applications will continue to be ignored until parish and town councils have them formally in writing.

This is the view of one Cornwall councillor who has warned the “only way” to be listened to by planners is by writing a neighbourhood plan.

Julian Rand told St Keverne Parish Council last week: “I feel very frustrated when I attend the planning meetings and you put a case for an application to be refused and so far they’ve been approved.

“That’s despite the parish council objecting, despite individuals making an effort to object and actually attend meetings to make their case. AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team], they’re making their case and still the plan seems to get through.”

He highlighted an application for Chymbloth Way in Coverack as an example where there were 19 “very well constructed” arguments from members of the public for refusal, but the replacement of a single-storey house with a double-storey was still approved.

“The argument was, across the road that’s what’s happened,” said Mr Rand, who said a neighbourhood plan would “afford you some protection in these situations.”

“My feeling is the only way to get some sort of argument and extra resource for parish councils is we go for a neighbourhood plan,” he added.

To help St Keverne and other parish councillors under his remit, Mr Rand said he hoped to work with Mullion Cornwall councillor Carolyn Rule to create a “template” plan.

This would contain all the information that would be relevant to each of the councils, but could still be adapted to include matters just specific to their area.

Each council would still be able to apply for individual funding and help to put a plan together, which would still go to a parish referendum before being adopted.

“I think that’s the only way,” he said.

Mr Rand gave an example of a strategic planning meeting he attended, where a past application was referred to. A Cornwall Council committee had refused it against officer advice and the developer later won his case on appeal, resulting in the council losing £90,000 of section 106 money and the planning inspector actually raising the amount of properties on the plot.

“They’re frightened of the inspector coming down and awarding costs; they’re terrified about it,” he said.

He added the feeling of many councillors was “we’re going through tick boxes and it’s not being debated properly, and not enough weight is being given to the views of local people.”

Mr Rand said he then questioned the planning officer: “If I can persuade councils to adopt a neighbourhood plan, is that going to give them some protection? ‘Yes,’ he said. So that’s what I’m recommending.”