Plans for a 282-room student residence on the site currently occupied by Granite Planet in Penryn "may be acceptable in principle" according to pre-application advice from Cornwall Council.

But the applicants have been warned that they may have to relocate the climbing wall if local councillors object to the loss, and the loss of industrial space at Parkengue on Kernick industrial estate.

In a letter to agents Savills, acting on behalf of landowners John Lewis Partnership Pension Trust, principal development officer Mark Ball said the mixed-use site could "potentially help to address the need for student accommodation" caused "by the expansion of the university."

He said the developers would have to show they would provide an "appropriate amount and type" of employment space, preferably of high quality, and noted that the 540 sqm of light industrial or office space would be more than what currently exists, if you do not count the climbing centre.

He also warned that Cornwall Council had recently turned down a proposal to demolish industrial units on nearby Jennings Road to build a retail warehouse, as it was deemed it could set a precedent in an area that they wished to keep for industrial use. He added: "I would anticipate a similar scenario occurring for this scheme, in particular the loss of Granite Planet as a community facility is likely to draw adverse comments."

He also expressed concern about lack of consideration from the planners for relocating existing businesses or ensuring the "continued community use" provided by the centre, and recommended that Savills shows how businesses would be helped to relocate.

Mr Ball also referred to the comments of Cornwall Council's highways department, which said the application should show how it would prevent students parking on the industrial estate roads. But at the same time he recommended that developers replace on-site parking with amenity space.

He said: "Parking should be provided only to cater for staff members and disabled occupiers," although he also recommended that the applicants provide details of an ongoing parking management plan.

The current outline plans, produced by Architect Design Group, are for one five-storey and one six-storey accommodation block with amenity and parking space between, including a laundry, site office and student common room, as well as a third, two-storey building for light industrial or office based start-ups. There would also, according to the first designs, be parking for 27 cars.

Mr Ball concluded redeveloping the site for a mixed-use student accommodation and employment scheme "may be acceptable in principle," but there is currently "insufficient information" in terms of design and "technical supporting information."

Tony Windo, owner of Granite Planet, said: "I have read the planning pre-app from the council, and what they have said is a positive for us as it states they need to relocate us, or they will have problems getting any application through the committee.

"As everyone is still on the Christmas shutdown, no one has come back to us yet with information on what is going to happen, so we are just carrying on business as usual here."