Falmouth has five times more registered houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) than any other town in Cornwall.

A list published by Cornwall Council shows that Falmouth has 295 licensed HMOs, while Newquay, second on the list, has 59.

Penryn placed third on the list with 53 HMOs, whilst St Austell and Camborne have ten each, Pool has nine and Redruth has seven.

An HMO is technically defined as a house inhabited by five or more people who share facilities and are not from the same 'household' (ie family).

Cornwall councillor for Falmouth David Saunby was not surprised by the data given the large student population in the town.

He said: "It just goes to show what Falmouth has become over the years. I believe it's a shame that our town has all these HMOs.

"There are some that possibly have local workers and migrant workers from the docks, but the vast majority are students, which has changed the town immensely."

Anna Brown, spokesperson for the town's two universities (Falmouth University and The University of Exeter), said that they are "very proud" of the contribution that the institutions and student community make to the town.

She went on to say that the universities support the introduction of an article four direction to restrict the development of HMOs in Falmouth.

Ms Brown said: "We are also working closely with our partners, Cornwall Council and our local parish and town councils, to identify suitable locations for purpose-built student accommodation, such as that on the Kernick Industrial Estate, next to our shared Penryn campus."

The Smithick Ward Residents Association has published a map of all the licensed HMOs in Cornwall on their website: smithickward.co.uk.