AN APPLICATION to build a small workshop in a remote area of North Cornwall to manufacture specialist handmade soaps has the backing of planners although some local residents are opposed.
John and Jenny Elesmore, run Odds and Suds, which has shops in Ashburton and Tavistock, and have applied to Cornwall Council for permission to erect a workshop at Trenute, Trebullett, between Launceston and Callington.
Their application will be decided by the east sub-area planning committee when it meets at Liskeard on Monday.
There are stables and tack-rooms on the site, which is between the villages of Treburley, Trebullett and Lezant. The application proposes the replacement of the stables with a handmade soap workshop.
The scheme is recommended for approval by the county planning department on the grounds that it would provide a rural employment opportunity.
However, local Cornwall councillor Neil Burden, backed by Lezant Parish Council, has called on the committee to reject the application because of the site's isolated rural location, detached from main business areas, and the lack of public transport.
Mr Burden says there are more appropriate locations for such a business in Launceston, Callington or Tavistock.
Neighbours have sent two letters of objection on the grounds of dangerous access on narrow roads, the possibility of other future industrial uses of the site and a fear that the proposal could result in unpleasant smells.
Mrs Elesmore told the Cornish Guardian making the base for the soap utilised only natural ingredients and actually produced no smell at all. The all-natural, high-quality essential oils provided a "subtle, pleasant fragrance," she said.
At present 12 people were employed making the soap in Tavistock and the new workshop would provide local jobs.
They also hoped to produce their own plants at Trebullett, creating work for a local gardener.
Case officer Richard White has recommended approval and the highways officer has stated that the proposed use will have no significant effect on the road network.