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Hated plan for homes and shops turned down
A PLAN to create shops and homes on the former district council offices in Ringwood has been turned down, to the relief of residents.
But district councillor Michael Thierry says he fears the plan from CurrentAsset Ltd, which sparked “anger and distress” among neighbours, may go to appeal.
Cllr Thierry spoke out after his fellow councillors voted 13-2 to turn down a scheme for a 325-square metre shop space, with eight flats above, as well as and three houses and 23 parking spaces to the rear of the site, which is still owned by the district council.
Residents claimed the scheme for the site, which the developers aim to buy should it be given planning permission, would be out of character and cause traffic chaos.
Cllr Thierry said: “The fire station is next door, Christchurch Road is often congested during busy periods.
“There is real concern firemen would have problems getting into the station when there is a shout and I think getting an appliance out of the station would not be easy.
“A convenience store, which is what was planned for the site, would be an inconvenience store. I cannot see how the 11 car parking spaces serving the store would be enough for shoppers, and having a store there would cause yet more traffic chaos on an already well used road.
“Disruption would begin at 7am and go on until 11pm. It would be intolerable – the impact on residents from lorry noise and cages would be immense.
“It is a good result the scheme was rejected but I believe it will go to appeal, which will cost the tax payer money.”
Councillors on the district council’s planning committee heard objections from Ringwood Fire Service, Ringwood Town Council, the Ringwood Society and Dick Sheerin, speaking on behalf of neighbours.
A district council spokesman said the authority had agreed to sell the site to CurrentAsset Ltd if it is successful in obtaining planning permission for a suitable redevelopment scheme.
She said: “We are keen to ensure that a suitable redevelopment scheme is approved for the site and over the next couple of weeks we’ll be having discussions with the developers to agree the way forward.”
A spokesman from the Harding Rose Architects, speaking on behalf of CurrentAsset Ltd said: “There are further discussions to be had with the council.”
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