The charity trying to claim the land around a Cornish restaurant for the public has said it will "have no adverse effect" on the business.

The Open Spaces Society wants to see the entire area around Carn Brea Castle Restaurant designated as ‘common land’.

Restaurant owners Andy and Anne Sawalha fear this could seriously put their business under threat and prevent them from running it effectively, saying: “If we can’t handle the car park and outside, it makes it a lot harder for us to run the business."

However, a spokesperson for the Open Spaces Society told the Packet this morning: "Registration of the land at Carn Brea as common will have no adverse effect on the castle, the restaurant or people’s use or enjoyment of them.

"The registration will merely secure the status quo since the public already enjoys access here. The owners will still have control of their property including the car park."

She said the purpose of registering the land was to make sure it was protected as 'common', should it change hands and become at risk of enclosure or development.

"The application was researched by Tomas Hill, the Open Spaces Society’s local consultant who has enjoyed the free use of the land since childhood," said the spokesperson.

The Sawahla family has set up a petition at asking for the public’s support to protect their business.

Andy Sawalha, took on business following the death of his father Munir last October.

He said: “We have been trading as a family business for over 20 years and continue to do so, despite the recent passing of Mr Munir Sawalha.

“Despite all of the help and support given to us by our landlord Percy Williams, we now face the loss of our business due to the hostile and unnecessary application made by Mr Tomas DJS Hill, representing the Open Spaces Society, for the entire area to be designated as Common Land.”

He said not only did the business have the complete support of its landlord in this matter, but also Carn Brea Parish Council.

“It is essential for us to retain control of our customer car park and other operational facilities. This is also to the benefit of Cornwall Council, as they would otherwise have to contend with the vast amount of litter that we voluntarily collect.

“We have always been community orientated and every Easter we supply power to the Redruth Baptist Church to illuminate their cross on Carn Brea.

“Should we be forced to close down our business, the castle itself will be prejudiced and whenever it has been vacant in the past it has been severely vandalised.

“If we are forced to leave, there will be no realistic way to protect the castle for future generations,” added Mr Sawalha.

He told the Packet that closure was the worst case scenario and was not currently being looked at, but that if the family were no longer able to control the land around the restaurant this would made running it extremely hard.

“We get people trying to park up there in the summer and have their dinner – this is a restaurant. How many restaurants can you park at and eat your own dinner?” he said, adding there was also the security factor.

The legal definition of common land is that it is owned by one or more people, such as a local council or the National Trust.

People usually have the right to right to roam on it, for activities such as walking or climbing, but people cannot camp without the owner’s permission, light a fire or have a barbecue, hold a festival or other event without permission, or drive across it without permission unless you have the right to access your property.

The legal definition also states that other people, known as ‘commoners,’ are entitled to use it or take resources from it.

This includes the right to put livestock out to feed on the land; to take specific timber products from the land, like whole trees or firewood; to take fish from ponds, lakes, rivers and streams; to take soil or minerals from the common; to take wild animals.

A hearing before a planning inspector is due to take place on Wednesday, October 30 at Pool Innovation Centre from 10am.