Plans for a 50 per cent rise in students at the Penryn Campus would bring numbers "up to the same as our indigenous population," a town councillor has warned.

Penryn Town Council's planning committee was debating an application by FX Plus, the body which runs the campus, to raise the cap on student numbers from 5,000 to 7,500, which has attracted more than 40 public objections two weeks.

Councillor Chris Smith, chairing the committee, said: "There's a lot of ifs and buts. This is a red hot potato.

"It's going to bring the [student] population up to the same level as our indigenous population.

"It's not just extra students, we've got support staff and lecturers."

Mr Smith listed "very valid points" raised by objectors: the ratio of students to the "indigenous" residents, strain on services such as doctors, traffic and parking, housing, community cohesion, students not paying council tax, and the effect on tourism.

Councillor Mary May said there was a way that the council could allow a gradual increase in student numbers, "so they have got to prove to us that accommodation is coming on board.

"When they say they have got 1,000 on the campus and 500 down: not just say it but prove it."

This is something the company had done in its application, which outlines a "phased approach" with a 6,250 student cap until an additional 940 bed spaces are created, including 313 recently secured on campus and through head leases in the two towns.

Councillor Mark Snowdon said the "elephant in the room" was all the extra staff, and Councillor John Langan said if 4,600 students required 1,000 staff, 7,500 could be an additional 500 staff, "and that's not students, that's families."

He added: "There's school and social requirements to add on to it."

Mrs May said: "The main problem is parking, and rightly so. We don't live around the university, we don't have the same problems.

"We need to work with Falmouth and identify areas that could be used [for accommodation]."

She added that student rents needed to be lower than what is being charged in towns, or the purpose built units would be ignored in favour of cheaper options.

Mr Snowdon said he was "a big advocate" of the campus and what it had brought to the town, but there was a need to look again at health provision, as the Penryn Surgery was already 40 per cent below NHS size recommendations for the amount of registered patients, and a lot of those were students.

And MRs May pointed out that student development provided very little Section 106 money, contributions from housing developers which go towards local infrastructure costs.

A petition to make the universities house all the students from any increase in number currently has almost 700 signatures, and residents have been vocal on Facebook group Penryn Legends in opposing the move, although there were no objectors at Monday's meeting.

Rachel Gerred-Hart, who lives on Treliever Road, wrote that she was disappointed the university had only sent letters to 129 local residents prior to making the application.

She wrote she is "not anti uni just anti expansion now," and added: "Just think it needs to slow down. That's a population of a small town in that proposal."

Cathy Rose said: "It's not the students we should aim at but the councils and the people behind all of the expansion. It's time to stop these bloody people in their tracks,it's not fair on our kids trying to move out/on when there is no where for them to live because people are buying up all of our homes."

And Sophie Sanders added: "There isn't enough houses for the bloody locals let alone another 7500 students joining this small town. Nearly every road near the campus is overloaded with cars."

The councillors voted to defer a decision until FX Plus had completed a public consultation which is expected to take place in early June.

Falmouth Town Council's planning committee will discuss the plans at its next meeting on Monday at 6pm in the council chamber of the municipal buildings.

To see the petition go to