PLANS to turn an office building in Salisbury city centre into 78 flats have been met with objections from residents.

People living in the streets around United Kingdom House, which is between Castle Street and Endless Street, fear the proposals could exacerbate the problems people living in the area already have trying to park.

The building is currently owned by Friends Life Ltd, but the company no longer needs the building after Diligenta, a company working on behalf of Friends Life, announced last June that it planned to leave its Salisbury office at UK House by the end of 2014.

Friends Life has submitted a planning application to Wiltshire Council to convert the office into 78 residential units. The scheme is made up of 32 one-bedroom flats, 38 two-bedroom flats and eight three-bedroom flats. It also includes 140 parking spaces, which the council’s highways department said would be adequate for the number of flats.

But people living in the Zone A parking area, which includes all the streets surrounding the proposed development, are worried. Cynthia Dawson said: “Parking in Zone A has always been difficult and the addition of this vast number of residents can only make things a lot worse.”

Edith Larsen-Burnett said: “I have very grave concerns about the proposal to put 78 new residential units so close to the city centre where residents’ parking is already maxed out. I live in Belle Vue Road in Zone A and am finding it increasingly more difficult to park my car in my street.”

Mary Stephens said the pressure on local parking will be “intolerable” if they don’t plan for at least 156 parking spaces.

Concerns were also raised about increased traffic movements, particularly in the evenings and at weekends as the building changes from business use to residential, and some felt 78 units would be too many.

The consultation period has now closed and Wiltshire Council is expected to make a decision by May 7.