PLANS to extend and alter a former newsagents in Fordingbridge have sparked concerns over parking and the impact on neighbouring properties.

An application has been submitted seeking permission from New Forest District Council for the extension and alteration of an existing shop and five bedroom flat to form a ground floor shop and four flats at 47-49 High Street.

The plans, which were discussed by Fordingbridge Town Council’s planning committee last week, have been put forward by ADS Surveys Ltd.

As part of the proposals the shop would occupy a “much smaller” space. The “biggest change” to the property, the meeting heard, would be the building of another apartment, a two-storey space on the back of the building.

A one-bedroom flat, a pair of two-bedroom flats and a three bed flat would be created. There would only be pedestrian access with no parking on site.

The roof would also be changed from a flat roof to a pitched one.

Mayor, Cllr Edward Hale, said the applicant had emphasised in the planning documents that they were “repurposing the existing unit” and it was a “sustainable development”.

However, Cllr Hale said it was a “narrow site already” and nearby residents had raised concerns about properties being “overshadowed” by the extension, as well as loss of privacy and being overlooked.

He said while the council did not want the building to become derelict there were concerns over the loss of retail space and impact on neighbouring properties.

Councillor Pat Earth also flagged up existing issues with parking in the town and felt the proposal could add to a potential parking “nightmare” with Councillor Mike Jackson fearing parking to offload in High Street would cause a “constant obstruction”.

While Councillor Malcolm Adams felt the extension proposed would “stand out” from what was there already and was “not in keeping”.

The town council recommended the application be refused on the grounds of loss of retail space, the effect on neighbouring properties, car parking issues and conservation concerns.

NFDC will make the final decision on whether or not the extension can go ahead.


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