VILLAGERS are trying to block plans for a new house within feet of a grave from a famous Victorian shipwreck off the Lizard.
John Rawson has applied for full planning permission to build a house in Coverack, at a site called Dilligaf Cottage Garden.
It is a triangular patch of land between Mill Road and Chymbloth Way in the middle of the village and overlooking the bay.
Next to the site is the graveyard of St Peter’s Church, and the last resting place of William Hindmarsh, third officer of the famous Lizard wreck SS Mohegan.
The ship ran aground on The Manacles rocks off Porthoustock on the evening of 1898. She sank in minutes and in the confusion 106 of her 197 passengers and crew were drowned.
Seizing upon the wreck as an important part of the area’s history, Coverack resident Bob Oxford said the proposed building was completely out of character for the site.
He said the new house’s foundations would only be seven feet from the grave, adding: “I don’t think it’s right that a building is allowed to be built next to the graves.”
He also said there were concerns about traffic and access to the site.
When the matter was discussed at St Keverne Parish Council, members of the public urged the council to recommend the plans be refused when they go before Cornwall Council.
The applicant, Mr Rawson, already has outline planning permission for what he said was a ‘modest’ house.
He added that he had been in talks with the highways department about access and had been advised not to create a driveway but build a layby for parking.
Concerns about the site were a matter for his engineers, he added.
The council was told that several people had objected directly to Cornwall Council but St Keverne Parish Council had not been informed.
The councillors agreed to ask for more information about the procedure and discuss the application at their next meeting.
Cornwall Councillor Walter Sanger said he would ask for the application to be considered by the planning committee and not decided by the planning officers under delegated powers. A final decision will be made later by Cornwall Council.