Almost 70 people have objected to plans by the owners of a village pub on the Lizard Peninsula to turn it into a family home.

Tom Briant and his wife have applied to Cornwall Council to change the use of the Prince of Wales Inn at Newtown-St Martin, in order to turn it into a four-bedroom house.

The Grade 2 listed building, which is believed to date back to the late 17th century or early 18th century, was bought from Punch Taverns by the Briants in 2010 and reopened as a pub later that same year.

However, documents accompanying the planning application from agents Situ8 state that “the public house has been in decline for at least five years” and has been up for sale since 2016.

They add that while there was a “need to protect community facilities in communities and the role of the village pub is important,” there were other pubs in the nearby villages of Manaccan and Mawgan.

They also point out that although there was an active village hall, the former shops at Newtown-St Martin had now closed.

The agents said: “The applicants advise that they have done everything possible to retain the public house.

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“The building and land have been marketed for over four years where there has been absolutely no interest. The asking price has also been reduced in this time frame to try and secure a sale, but to no avail.

“There have also been additional difficulties in recruiting chefs and kitchen staff. Mrs Briant was the chef for some time, but this is now not an option due to health matters.

“The applicants as the owners used imagination to turn the declining business into a profitable business. Specialist evenings and events were implemented with good advertising to draw in customers.

“This has not proved to be successful, which has been disappointing for the applicants and also expensive.

“The business accounts for the past three to five years supports this application where evidence demonstrates a decline in the business. This has been extremely upsetting for the owners who have done everything possible to safeguard this community facility.”

They went on to say that the village was largely made up of “second home owners and tourists, with a very small off-peak population.”

“It is these months in particular where telling evidence illustrates that trading has been disappointing and unsustainable for the applicants,” added the agents, who said the owners could no longer prop up the business from their own savings.

As a result, they believed this was “sufficient justification” to allow the change of use.

However, many people have come out in support of the pub on the Cornwall Council website, which has 67 letters objecting to the proposal and none in favour to date.

One person said the resulting loss would be "devastating for this rural area" and a number of people have claimed that when the pub was put up for sale the car park was not included.

The neighbour consultation on the council website remains open until June 12.