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Controversial flats in Walkford aimed at retirees approved

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The approved plans for a block of 14 flats in Walkford (picture: ARC Architects)
The approved plans for a block of 14 flats in Walkford (picture: ARC Architects)

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build 14 flats in Walkford has been given the go-ahead by BCP Council.

Property developer Richard Carr, of Fortitudo Ltd, wanted to demolish a chalet bungalow in Chewton Farm Road to erect the apartments which he previously told the A&T would be aimed at “downsizing retirees who do not want to leave the area”.

The flats will consist of a three-storey building to accommodate 14 one and two-bed apartments with underground parking for 15 vehicles.

Mr Carr had made two previous applications – one was withdrawn and the other was not considered in time by BCP Council and is now with a planning inspector.

His third, which had moved the surface parking underground, was discussed at a recent meeting of the council’s planning committee which heard there had been more than 20 letters of objection to it.

Nearby residents claimed it was a “complete overdevelopment of the site” which would harm the surrounding area.

Councillors heard objections that the building would be “intrusive and incompatible”, create road safety issues and cause a decline in wildlife in the area.

One local resident told the A&T there were also concerns about how waste disposal from the apartment block would be dealt with, and accused the council of having a “cavalier attitude to the concerns of residents”.

Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council also urged BCP Council to reject the plan, saying it was “totally out of character” in a residential road comprising single, detached properties.

But in a report to the committee, a planning officer recommended approving the application.

It said officers did not believe it would impact on the local highway network and that although the proposed building was bigger than the existing bungalow, the design and scale of the block was “appropriate” for the road.

Further, the officer said that the flats would “not result in adverse impact on the residential amenities of neighbouring occupiers”.

Councillors voted eight to one to approve the application, with one abstention.

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