PLANS to allow 150 homes to be built in Penzance would result in visitors being faced by a "wall of houses" as they enter the town and is being discussed without proper consultation.
That's the opinion of former town mayor Dennis Axford, who has spoken out strongly against proposals to build on land at Ponsandane, between Gulval and Penzance.
He claims that no one he has spoken to is aware that the site – and seven others in the vicinity of Penzance – are being considered for hundreds of new homes.
"I'm astonished that these discussions are not in the public domain," he said.
"The emerging Local Plan for Cornwall says that we should maintain the separate identities of Penzance, Newlyn, Heamoor, Gulval and Long Rock, yet here we are, before it's even been adopted, talking about building houses which will merge Penzance with Gulval.
"I am not against housing but if this site is built on it will result in a wall of housing as you enter Penzance all the way from Tesco."
The Ponsandane site and the seven others were identified as "neighbourhood extensions" in the West Penwith Community Network Area discussion paper, which was published last year.
Mr Axford claims he has seen a letter purporting to be from a Cornwall Council planning officer which confirms that the council has been in touch with the landowner at Ponsandane regarding potential housing.
He says it is "vitally important" that the people of Gulval are informed and consulted about the plans.
"I believe it is extremely arrogant of the planners to think they can get housing development in this site through the backdoor, so to speak, without fully consulting the community," he added.
Three other sites in Gulval have been identified in the discussion paper as having the potential for development as neighbourhood extensions – to the east of the village at Gwel Lewern (80 to 90 homes), on land east of Posses Lanes (300 homes) and on a site adjacent to the primary school (70 to 80 homes).
Also identified is land to the east of Long Rock, which could accommodate up to 200 homes, at Heamoor, north of Polmennor Road (230 to 260 homes), at Mount Misery (60 to 70 homes) and at Gwavas Lane, Newlyn, (50 to 60 homes).
A Cornwall Council spokesman said that planners have not yet decided what level of housing should be accommodated in the Penzance area.
The spokesman added: "However, initial work has been carried out to assess potential sites and these were included in the discussion paper presented to the West Penwith Community Network Area.
"Inevitably, the landowners concerned have generally been keen to discuss the possibility of certain sites being brought forward.
"Until there is an agreement on housing requirements we will not be seeking to formally designate specific sites."