A metal platform built onto the side of Porthleven's harbour wall may have to be removed after being put there by Trevor Osborne without permission.

This is the advice from a planning officer in a report that Mr Osborne has since declared "quite unacceptable."

Mr Osborne's Porthleven Harbour & Dock Company is at the centre of enforcement action over parts of the development on the Harbour Head involving three timber shelters.

Planning permission was given on appeal for the three shelters and a timber kiosk, which were subsequently built and the central kiosk is now run as a successful seafood cafe the Mussel Shoal.

However, when they were put up a number of elements were added that were not included in the permission.

These include a galvanised steel platform in front of the middle shelter, to extend the walkway out over the edge of the harbour wall, as well a fully covered roof for the central shelter when only half a roof had been agreed.

There is also different and more extensive seating than agreed, with tables between each of the three shelters, and roller-blind awnings on the retaining harbour wall to provide shelter for customers of the Mussel Shoal.

As a result, Joanne Sharp, business manager for the Harbour & Dock Company, has now applied for pre-application advice regarding a potential new planning application that would include fully-covered roofs on all three shelters, awnings, extra seating and metal platforms in front of not one but two of the shelters.

This resulted in a site meeting involving a planning officer and heritage officer from Cornwall Council.

Falmouth Packet:

The three shelters on Porthleven Harbour Head, including a full roof on the central one where only half a roof was agreed

The officers did not take issue with the extra seating, the roller-blind awnings - which were described as reversible and "sensitively chosen" in a colour to match the wall - or the existing fully covered shelter roof, although they objected to permanent covering of the other two shelters and suggested a detachable internal canvas on one instead.

The metal platform was also described as "not appropriate to the setting."

In his subsequent report, senior development officer Martin Jose said: "The knock-on effect of having a commercial use of the middle kiosk has now impacted upon the walkway along the edge of the quay, resulting in attachments which firstly were not consented, and secondly do no favours for what was a straight edged listed quay."

Accompanying documents from Ms Sharp state that Porthleven Harbour is Grade II listed, although the Harbour Head itself is not part of the listing.

Mr Jose went on to give the advice: "I share the heritage officer's view in respect of the new metal platform that has been erected in front of the centre shelter, as there is no justification for this structure in this location and it increases the built form out over the edge, which is not in keeping with the rest of the Harbour Head.

"I would advise that this be removed and the railings restored to their original position."

At the meeting it was also mentioned that the company was investigating the possibility of turning one of the other shelters into a bar area, as due to the success of the Mussel Shoal there was not enough room to cater for the need.

But Mr Jose was not supportive, saying: "If the business has outgrown this space it may be that it needs an alternative space in the town that can cater for its growth.

"I appreciate part of the businesses appeal may also be its location, but this unit was only meant to be a small A3 use given its constrained nature.

"The council is keen to support existing businesses and encourage new businesses but this needs to be weighed up against

the harm in terms of impact upon the character of the area."

Porthleven Harbour & Dock Company told the Packet this week: "The pre-application response from Cornwall Council is, regrettably, quite unacceptable.

"It has clearly been written without any understanding of the facts – not least of all that the ‘original railings’ referred to date from 2015.

"The irrational steps suggested by its author are rejected by the Porthleven Harbour & Dock Company, which has requested a review by a senior officer and the refund of its pre-application fee.”