The Catholic church's bid for a housing development described as "un-Christian" by protestors has been thrown out by planners.

Villagers of Mullion were said be in "uproar" over what they saw as unnecessary development on an area of outstanding natural beauty bordered by Nansmellyon Road and Polurrian Road, just down from the Polurrian Hotel, where outline planning permission was sought for 25 homes.

The application proposed 30 per cent of the homes would be classed 'affordable', with a range of one-bed to four-bed bungalows and 1.5 storey properties, where there was a room in the roof.

All homes would have two parking spaces, through a combination of in-curtilage parking and garages.

A petition against the plans was signed by 5,700 people and 130 letters of objection were received by Cornwall Council.

These included the view it was "very un-Christian of the church to submit this application", while one resident described the feeling of the village as "absolute uproar."

There were also queries over the use of the land that was left to the Diocese of Plymouth by Major Sheila Howe in her will, in order for a new Catholic church to be build there to replace the existing St Michael the Archangel on Meaver Road.

However, a spokesperson for the diocese said St Michael was "still of sufficient size" for a weekly Catholic Mass at Mullion, and supported by two other churches in Helston and Falmouth.

He said the application was designed to address the "severe shortage of homes for local people in Cornwall" and would help the church deliver its other charitable objectives, such as upkeep of churches and schools, and initiatives addressing the needs of the poor and vulnerable members of the community.

Cornwall Council has now refused the application, with planning officer Matthew Doble writing: "The fundamental and widely appreciated change to the wider landscape is considered to be unacceptably harmful, changing the relationship between the built form of the village and the designated landscape within which both are located."

Added to this was the fact that the Education Service had said the proposal would place additional pressure on Mullion Secondary School and that a financial contribution towards improvements at the school would be required.

The May 2018 census showed Mullion Primary School as being at 89 per cent capacity and Mullion School at 97 per cent capacity.

The diocese first received pre-planning advice from Cornwall Council about such a development as far back as 2013.

At that time planning officer Peter Bainbridge declared it a sustainable location and based on the “significant” need for affordable housing in the parish the council would look for 40 per cent of the development to be affordable.

He had added that the site could accommodate more than the 20 to 25 homes anticipated.