A bid to turn farmland near Falmouth into a glamping site has been recommended for refusal by officers.

However, it will be up to Cornwall Council's west sub-area planning committee to decide when members meet this Monday.

Up for a decision is Andrew Conner's plans to change the use of land at Koth An Skiber, Ponsanooth to a mix of agriculture and tourism, to allow five glamping pods.

These would be ‘Modulog’ glamping pods, with a kitchen/dining area, bedroom and toilet/shower area, each measuring 5m by 5m.

The field, which is currently laid to grass, is around 1km from Ponsanooth and 1km from Stithians in the other direction, with a public right of way running alongside it.

However, planning officers at Cornwall Council have recommended that permission be refused.

In a report to the committee they said: "The site in question is not in an accessible location. Conversely, visitors are expected to be highly dependent on a private vehicle to access the site and for day-to-day requirements while staying on site.

"Additionally, being within the open countryside, on a site currently absent of any form of built development, there is harm incurred to the visual qualities and character of the natural landscape, which will be clearly perceived from the adjacent public right of way. As such, there is not considered any environmental benefit to the development proposed, with the scheme failing to accord with policy 5 [of the Cornwall Local Plan].

"This impact is not considered to be outweighed by the minor economic benefits."

The officers go on to acknowledge that tourist accommodation makes a "significant contribution to the economic wellbeing of the county", but add that this would be limited here given the "modest scale of development."

Planning consultants for the applicant, Influence Planning, have tried to mitigate the location, writing: “The intention is to make electric bikes available to guests as part of the package and also a collection service from Redruth, Falmouth, Perranwell Station or Truro will be offered.

"Given Stithians Showground is a busy vaccination centre for Covid-19 [at the time of writing] and most visitors are arriving by car, it is totally at odds to condemn the current proposal for a small scale glamping initiative with parish support, due to perceived car use.”

However, the officers have recommended refusal, saying its position would make it an "unsustainable new residential development for which no special justification has been adequately demonstrated."

They go on to add: "The proposal therefore represents an unsustainable, undesirable and sporadic form of development that would be harmful to the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside."

The application PA21/04829 has 11 public responses on the Cornwall Council website, eight in objection and three in support, while Stithians Parish Council initially supported the application in June but added in August that it had since been made aware of concerns by residents and would, if given the opportunity, formally consider the application again.