Proposals to create 116 rooms in purpose-built student accommodation in the centre of Falmouth has been deemed as "generally acceptable" by a Cornwall Council planning officer.

The site in question had housed the former Grand Cinema and is currently a car park accessed off Market Street via Fish Strand Hill. ECE Westworks have been appointed to design a student development and had applied for pre-application advice from Cornwall Council.

The scheme proposed includes a mixture of rooms such as self-contained studios and cluster rooms with shared communal facilities in three town houses to the rear of the site. Planning permission has previously been granted for 20 flats with 20 on-site parking spaces on the same site.

Referring to this, principal development officer at Cornwall Council, Tim Marsh, has said: "In terms of massing the proposal is similar to the previously approved scheme. However, there is a significant increase in height facing towards Fish Strand Hill which could have implications for the existing flats and dwellings opposite in terms of visual domination, inter-visibility and being overbearing."

He adds that the "massing" facing the rear of the Fit Pit and Grade II listed HSBC building appears to be acceptable while the block fronting Fish Strand Hill is considered "problematic" because of the proposed use of dark cladding. The expansive area of greed sedum roof could also be problematic owing to potential issues with seagulls.

Mr Marsh also advises that any planning application should be supported by a heritage statement, to include an assessment of the impact of the proposed development on the affected Listed Buildings and the Falmouth Conservation Area; and a section 106 planning obligation to secure a financial contribution towards off-site open space provision.

The police's architectural liaison officer has also said the police would want a member of staff present on site, 24 hours a day, rather than just 9-5, and would like to see CCTV covering the main points of access, car park and undercroft.

In his conclusion, Mr Marsh tells the developers: "In my opinion the scheme detailed in your submissions is generally acceptable but requires refinement to address detailed issues relating to the block fronting Fish Strand Hill, the proposed palate of materials, on-site planting and the use of a sedum roof.

"It is also likely to be necessary to make further detailed revisions to address any issues arising from the heritage impact assessment, tree and ecology surveys, detailed consideration of potential impacts on residential amenity and community engagement as well as consultations with relevant consultees

as part of any planning application."