A FORMER observatory is to be converted from a guest house into a dental practice after a change of use application was granted by Cornwall Council.

The application from a Mr and Mrs Paterson was granted under delegated powers to convert the Observatory Guest House at 27 Western Terrace, Falmouth as well as creating the associated external changes.

Falmouth Town Council had recommended approval subject to retaining a mixed residential and commercial use.

Principal Development Officer Laura Potts granted the Paterson's permission to convert the premises noting that the property has had a variety of uses over the years, including its original use as an observatory, and has been a guest house for 20 years.

The guesthouse has been on the market for £650,000 but applicants had said that although demand for hotels and guest houses in Falmouth has been steady, some of the constraints reported by prospective purchasers have been that they would require more guest bedrooms than the six available, to derive more income for the business to support a family.

Some buyers had stated that they would prefer a larger/more private owners garden or preferred a trading location closer to Falmouth seafront and beaches.

"Whilst the loss of guest accommodation is regrettable, this has to be weighed up with the proposed use for a much needed dental practice," she said in her report.

She added: "Furthermore, the site is a good location for a community use being on one of the main through roads in Falmouth and within walking distance of bus stops at the Moor. There is also parking available on the site. The new use is not considered to give rise to an unacceptable level of noise and disturbance."

In her conclusion she said: "Taking these factors into account, on balance it is considered that the proposal is acceptable, subject to conditions. All other matters raised have been taken into account, including the planning history and the comments of the town council, but none is of such significance as to outweigh the considerations that have led to the conclusion."