Plans for a summerhouse to be built in the garden of a home in one of Cornwall’s most exclusive areas have been put on hold after councillors asked for more information.

Kevin Bailey had applied to Cornwall Council for permission to build a summerhouse in the grounds of Penlowen on Restronguet Point, Feock.

Planning applications like this are usually decided by officers under delegated authority but this request went to the council’s planning committee after concerns were raised by local Cornwall councillor Martyn Alvey.

He said that he was concerned about the impact that the building could have on what is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which has planning protection.

Feock Parish Council had also objected to the plans saying that it would be detrimental to the AONB and visible from all around the site.

Parish councillor Sue Cooper highlighted that development should only be allowed in the AONB if it enhances and conserves the landscape and character of the area.

She said: “By no stretch of the imagination could it be seen to enhance or conserve the AONB.”

Cllr Cooper was also concerned that if it was approved there would be further applications for more similar buildings to be constructed at Restronguet Point adding: “The urbanisation of Restronguet Point is an increasing problem.”

A planning agent for the applicant told the committee that the summerhouse would be similar in size to a garden shed which he said could be built “under permitted rights”.

Cllr Alvey said that the decision for councillors was not whether the development would make the area worse but also whether it would enhance or conserve the AONB.

He added: “It is a substantial building, not just a shed, and it will be highly visible.”

Cllr Alvey added: “Along with the privilege of owning a property in this location owners have the responsibility to protect this designated landscape.

“The way you use a garden shed is very different to the way you use a summerhouse, particularly if you have water and electric to it as the agent said. You could spend your evenings in there with lights on, with a shed you would use it to store your tools and do some potting.”

Committee member Michael Bunney was concerned about the impact on the AONB and that with the summerhouse being on a higher level of land would make it very visible.

John Fitter said that the AONB is “precious” but said that it should also allow permissible development and he said that if it was a shed then it could be allowed under permitted development rights.

He proposed approval but then councillors highlighted that Cllr Alvey had sent a message to them stating that permitted development rights had been removed from the location.

The meeting was then adjourned for planning officers to check the claim and after ten minutes they came back to confirm that permitted development rights had been removed in 1971.

Therefore any development at the site would require planning permission – even a simple garden shed.

As a result of this development Cllr Fitter withdrew his proposal to approve the application.

Instead Cllr Bunney proposed that the application be deferred so that more details could be provided about the AONB and views of the Cornwall AONB unit as well as more information to be provided about the permitted development rights.

The committee voted to defer the application with seven votes in favour and three against.