Plans to convert a B&B in Falmouth's Avenue Road into a shared student house are being opposed by town councillors and local residents.

The property at number 20 has previously operated as a five bedroom bed and breakfast with two bedroom landlord's accommodation, but the owners are now seeking consent to change the use to an eight bedroom student/sharer HMO.

The application went before Falmouth Town Council's planning committee last week when members unanimously agreed to oppose it and recommend that Cornwall Council refuse it, despite being told that Cornwall Council has already issued an HMO licence for the property.

The reasons councillors gave for refusal were that the proposal is contrary to two policies contained in the emerging Falmouth Neighbourhood Plan; it would have a detrimental impact on the area and neighbouring businesses; would be unneighbourly and there are highway concerns.

It is also felt it would create an undesirable precedent for the loss of tourism beds in the area contrary to the former policies with the District Plan.

Cllr Steve Gray said: "The owners are in their 70s and have tried to sell it - this is their way out, if you like. I have empathy with the owners, but if this place goes down then a lot more will go down with it.

"There area two properties on that road that are already HMOs. That road and Melvill Road are the B&B roads. If you allow this one now the others will all throw their hands in - it will ruin their businesses to have HMOs where there are B&Bs. It is unneighbourly."

A number of local residents are also opposing the application and have raised their concerns on the county council's planning site. Irene Wilson, who lives next door, says: "There have been young people ( I presume students) living in No. 20 since the summer, so I know what to expect, and it's not good.

"I realise you have to find accommodation for all the students you want in Falmouth, but it cannot be right to give permission for an eight bed student or HMO sharer house in the middle of a residential area. The majority of residents in this part of Avenue Road are retired. Having bought a property in the expectation of leading a quiet and peaceful retirement, like I did. If you give permission it will irreversibly change the neighbourhood."

Hilary Bennetts asks: "Is yet another area of Falmouth going to be turned from residential to priority to students? I live behind here and noise travels. Please for once consider the locals who will be affected and not the university."