A Falmouth woman has launched a bid to prevent the construction of a 275-bed student accommodation block by Falmouth Docks due to a site of historic interest lying beneath the concrete.

Deborah Irvine is trying to get listed building status for what she believes could be a Victorian bunker on the site of Ocean Bowl on Pendennis Rise - a site which is currently the subject of a planning application for a five storey students residence with a seven storey tower block attached.

Castle Drive resident Deborah, who has studied conservation and heritage and previously worked at Pendennis Castle, was first alerted to the possible existence of a bunker at a meeting of campaign group Save Our Falmouth.

She said: "I was talking to Richard, from Ocean Bowl, and he said 'you know there's an underground bunker.'

"He's got a wealth of photographs from the interior and exterior, and aerial photography from 1947. It was possibly used in World Ward Two as an air raid shelter.

"I could tell that this building has beautiful carved stone arches and red brick walls.

"Having been on the tour for the Half Moon Battery [Victorian fortifications within the ramparts of Pendennis Castle] it was very reminiscent of that for me. I don't know how many of those properties are already available for people to see and experience."

Following "a bit of research," she found that members of the public are able to apply to have a building listed, and she said: "I really feel this needs to be protected... it would be a real tragedy for that to get lost."

She added: "If the build did go ahead they might take this into account and protect it."

Deborah said that the bunker - which she believes was infilled with gravel in 2013 by landowners Pendennis Shipyard - was attached to a tunnel which passed under Bar Road to come out in scrub land near the bottom of Melville Road.

When the owner of Ocean Bowl discovered the bunker entrance, he was told by locals that they had crawled through the tunnel as children.

Deborah said the entrance to the bunker had been discovered when the operators of Ocean Bowl were clearing back undergrowth at the site, but because that was after 2000 it had not been included in the Fortress Falmouth conservation plan drawn up by English Heritage.

One of the suggestions she has had is that it could be linked to a nearby submarine pier that was built during the 1890s, and Deborah is keen to learn more.

She said "I'm just somebody that's a but of a dog with a bone now. It has really piqued my interest."

She would also like to hear from anyone who remembers going through the tunnels or entering the bunker before it was sealed up.

Stephen Guy, inspector of historic buildings and areas with Historic England, has told Deborah that the organisation has provided comments to Cornwall Council as the decision maker on the development, and added that any development on the site should have conditions requiring archaeological investigation and recording.

Historic England confirmed that it had sent advice regarding the listing to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who will make the final decision.