PLANS to build student accommodation on a car park in Falmouth are being supported in principle by the town's planning committee, although councillors want to see the proposed five storey building reduced in height.

On Monday evening the committee heard from Richard Murray, speaking on behalf of the applicant New Cornwall Developments, and Jillian Williams, representing residents of Campbeltown Way and Fisher Court, ahead of debating the application.

The scheme would result in 99 student bedrooms being created in the five storey block which would be built on Discovery Quay car park - the site of previous plans for a Premier Inn. Mr Murray said: "The previous scheme was driven by the hotel and that meant the design was not particularly inspiring, this has given us the opportunity to provide something more interesting."

He also said the proposal would help free up family homes across the town which have been lost to the buy to rent market. "They will not be pepper-potted around the town where it is difficult to control students - they will be in one area."

It was also stressed that there would no gardens, which, it was claimed, would eliminate the chance of the students throwing parties.

However, neighbouring residents did not agree with this. Mrs Williams said: "Students are students and they do not live the lifestyles of the rest of us. I know what student accommodation is like, we are still going to have issues with noise and behaviour. There is no outdoor space so they are going to use the grassed area alongside the Killigrew Monument."

Residents also take issue with the size of the proposed building. "It will be overdevelopment of what is in fact a small site," added Mrs Williams, "you are talking about a five storey building which is massive. We all know something has to be built there, but not something to the scale of five stories."

The majority of councillors agreed that the building would be too high. "I am happy with the distance between Fisher Court and the building, it's the height that's bothering me," said Councillor Steve Gray. "I do think we need to move students out of houses of multiple occupation and into controlled units. It's the right idea, probably in the right place, but it's too big."

Councillor Diana Merrett said: "I cannot see a problem with it. We need to get these students away from the terraces so we can bring back families with children."

The committee voted three to one to recommend the application be refused on the grounds of overdevelopment because of the height of the proposed building. Cornwall Council will now determine the application, which has attracted several objections on the council's website. To see the plans in full and make a comment, search for application PA15/06567 at