A family has been refused planning permission to build their own home for a second time.

Mr and Mrs Keam had applied for permission to build their own energy efficient home and garage on land at Burnwithian, St Day.

The application went before Cornwall Council’s west sub-area planning committee where it was refused.

The couple had applied for permission to build the home almost a year earlier when it was also turned down by councillors.

At the first time it was heard the committee refused planning permission because it was outside the settlement and also in open countryside with no barrier to further development.

To overcome this Mr and Mrs Keam had redesigned the plans to build a hedgerow on the boundary of the site to prevent any further development.

It was also stated to the committee that the land at the north west of the field had been gifted by Mrs Keam’s grandmother to St Day Parish Council for use as an extension to the parish burial ground.

Planning officers had recommended the plans be refused, saying the concerns about the location were still applicable and the new property could cause visual harm.

The application had also attracted concern from the World Heritage Site office which said it could harm the area.

Mr Keam addressed the planning committee and urged them to approve the plans.

He said: “A lot of focus is on building in the open countryside. To the right of the site there are dwellings all down that road. There is a school which has a contemporary building not far from the site. There is also a children’s centre.

“There are dwellings all around the site and I ask you to consider that.”

He added: “The council is meant to be encouraging self-build.”

Local councillor Mark Kaczmarek supported the Keams and urged his fellow councillors to approve the plans.

He compared the application to one which had been heard at the same meeting for three homes to be built on land which was considered to be open countryside. That one had been passed.

He said there was a lot of development in the area and would still be a “green space” between  Burnwithian and St Day.

Cllr Kaczmarek said: “I am supporting this application as it is giving a local family a way of affording a house for their four children.”

Committee member Graham Coad proposed that the committee approve the plans.

He said: “For me it looks like infill. I know that it is the opinion of the planning officers (that it is not acceptable) but in my opinion and my interpretation of the site it is.”

However, when it was put to the vote the proposal was lost by six votes to seven with one abstention.

Cllr Sue Nicholas supported refusing the plans saying: “If it was a smaller plot of that field then I might accept it but this is building in the open countryside.”

She was backed by Roger Harding who said: “I agree with the planning officer that this is a greenfield site. I will not support this.”

The proposal to refuse planning permission was agreed with seven votes in favour and six against with one abstention.