They are two of the highest profile planning applications to come out of the area for a number of years and this morning the fates of Porthleven's shipyard development and the rebuilding of Helston Community College were expected to be sealed - but it didn't quite work out like that.

An already well-prolonged decision on Trevor Osborne's vision for an 'Innovation Building' overlooking Porthleven's harbour has been put back yet again, after the west sub-area planning committee at Cornwall Council agreed to defer their verdict until after a site meeting can take place.

Councillors argued it would give both supporters and objectors the chance to put forward their views in greater detail, while those making the decision can see in person the impact the building would have.

It is after many of the planning committee complained of feeling "confused" and unsure of who to believe, after being given differing statements over the level of support for the plans.

A particular concern was the position of the Porthleven Fishermen and Boat Owners' Association.

Mr Osborne claimed the association had told him they needed a six-metre width to launch from into the harbour and he had provided eight metres, adding: "They're perfectly satisfied they can launch and recover successfully."

However, Porthleven mayor and councillor Andrew Wallis contradicted this by saying the association "unanimously objected to this application."

This led to vice chairman David Ekinsmyth declaring himself "a bit confused and concerned about the lack of clarity."

Committee member Graham Coad initially proposed refusal, saying there were "clearly unresolved issues," adding: "I believe this could be done in a more sympathetic way. I propose we refuse this but encourage developers to go back and work with the local people, to come back with a better solution."

However, head of planning Mark Broomhead said these were not reasons for refusal but a deferment, which Mr Coad changed his proposal to. This was subsequently agreed with by 12 of the 14 councillors, adding a site meeting on a date yet to be decided.

It was better news for Helston Community College, however, after plans for a near complete rebuild of its north site was granted conditional approval, despite the concerns of neighbours.

There was a moment of high drama when emotions boiled over for one neighbouring resident, Naila Henry, who accused councillor Andrew Wallis of lying and refused to be silenced, prompting security to be summoned. 

It was after Mr Wallis warned any further delay over the application could jeopardise the funding from the Education Funding Agency. 

He said: "If you defer it or push it back you will put in jeopardy the funding for this. Only two schools were successful when we put in 15 applications - and they're on a par with Helston's building."

However, Ms Henry who claimed she "worked with Derek Thomas" shouted: "He's lying to you. The money is safe. I work with the MP and the Department of Education. Why are you listening to lies?"

After being warned she would have to leave a number of times, security was sent for, but Ms Henry left of her own accord before they arrived. 

Mr Wallis denied the accusations, saying: "I have not lied at any point."

Earlier, neighbours had urged the committee to defer their decision so that more consideration could be given to their suggestion to relocate the building further north of the field, moving the "noise" and bin store - a particular concern for residents fearing an increase in rats - away from the homes. The closest house to the new building's location would be 49 metres.

However, a senior town planner with architects Stride Treglown claimed relocating 50 metres north would cost an additional £168,000 through moving services, the demolition and subsequent building of a sports pitch and a different road layout.

In a majority vote of 12 to two, councillors agreed with planning officer Chloe Pitt's recommendation that "the impacts on neighbour amenities would not be so significant to warrant refusal."

  • For full reports with further detail on both decisions see Wednesday's edition of the Helston Packet.