Angry residents who claim knocking down secure garages in Helston to replace them with houses would result in "bad blood" have been given a last chance to prevent an "unmitigated disaster."

Upon hearing the level of upset caused by Coastline Housing's plans for Oates Road and Trelawney Road, Cornwall Council's planing committee for the area decided they needed to visit the sites themselves.

Open meetings will now be held at both locations on Tuesday, January 9, which members of the public can attend and speak at, provided they register in advance at

The committee will meet in Oates Road first, at 11am, before heading on to Trelawney Road for 11.45am.

Coastline wants to demolish 29 garages in Oates Road and in their place build two one-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom bungalows. One parking space would be provided per unit, with a further eight spaces created elsewhere on the road. An additional 16 spaces are proposed to be created within the grass verges in neighbouring Beacon Parc.

Trelawney Road involves a similar application, demolishing 18 garages to build two one-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom bungalows, each with one parking space. A further six spaces would be created nearby.

Planning officers have recommended both applications be approved, but the committee, which is made up of councillors from all over Cornwall, including two from Helston - John Martin and Mike Thomas - felt more information was needed before making a decision at its next meeting on January 15.

The application for Oates Road has caused particular distress, with more than 30 people protesting the changes at a meeting of Helston Town Council in October.

At that time, Damien Willey, a Coastline resident in Trengrouse Way who rents a garage in Oates Road, told the Helston planning committee: "Lock-up garages such as these do not get built anymore. The loss of such an amenity is a loss of secure storage which will never be replaced.

"Finding a space to park will effectively become a lottery. Competition over spaces will cause bad blood between neighbourhoods.

"The loss of the garages would be an unmitigated disaster for this part of Helston."

Mr Willey, who set up a petition against the proposal, added that extra houses would only compound existing traffic flow issues in the narrow road, and that the additional parking indicated in the application was in places already used for on-street parking, so would not provide any extra and in fact be a reduction, as the spaces were less than the number of vehicles that parked now.

Helston Town Council went on to recommend refusal of the application.

A spokesperson for Coastline Housing said, also at that time, that of the 29 garages in Oates Road just six were used by local residents.

He said its garage sites were costly to maintain, adding: "As a not-for-profit housing association our priority is to use our resources to provide much-needed high quality accommodation. Recent numbers from Cornwall HomeChoice show there are currently 190 people in need of one bedroom accommodation in Helston."

He warned that if these schemes did not go ahead, funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, to build specialist housing for rent for older persons or people with a disability, would be lost in Helston.

A third scheme from Coastline, to demolish 19 garages in Parc Enys at Cury, and in their place build a one-bedroom bungalow and two three-bedroom houses, was approved at Monday's planning committee.