Several contentious sites across Falmouth look set to be protected against student housing developments after local councillors scored a victory this week.

Sites at the former Ocean Bowl in Pendennis Rise, the Quarry car park, Fish Strand Hill, the Four Winds pub, the former Coachworks in Penwerris Lane and the Rosslyn Hotel in Trescobeas Road, which had all been earmarked for student accommodation, are likely to be struck from the Cornwall Council's Site Allocations Development Plan document.

The council's planning advisory committee met on Monday and after hearing from Falmouth councillors, unanimously agreed to recommend the six sites be removed from the DPD, which would effectively safeguard them from being developed to house students.

In addition, Menehay Farm along Bickland Water Road is also likely to be protected from development so that the green buffer zone between Falmouth and Budock Water is retained and the Vospers' site off Falmouth Road is to be earmarked for local housing need.

Although the recommended changes to the DPD have to go before the council's cabinet, it is thought this is just a formality following the support they received from councillors this week.

Falmouth town and county councillor, Candy Atherton, said: "This is excellent news. It gives us a lot more power to protect the town in the long term from student blocks. I was frightened we were going to look like some kind of Manhattan with all the blocks people were coming along with. That should not now happen because we will have the tools to fight them and critically we have the support of the portfolio holder and the officers.

"We have moved 180 degrees from where we were two to three years ago and when you put this with the neighbourhood plan and Article four when they start in June, it will make a real difference."

Alan Jewell, who also sits on both councils, said there are a number of brownfield sites that could be developed to save greenfield sites, such as land at the bottom of Queen Anne Gardens which has consent for 20 bungalows but could take a higher density development.

Referring to the Menehay site, he added: "That is grade two agricultural land and that is very very scarce. We need to protect the green buffer between the town and Budock - this is a good result."

Pam Cowan, of Save Our Falmouth, who attended Monday's meeting, added: "We are delighted with the outcome but obviously we still have the three planning applications (Four Winds, Fish Strand Hill and the Rosslyn Hotel) to come in on the 13th and it is not a foregone conclusion that they are going to be refused."