A PLANNING appeal into the development of a contentious business park on the outskirts of Poole is underway and is due to sit for six days.

Borough of Poole threw out the outline plans for an eco business park at Canford Magna in June 2013, which the applicants say could provide 1,300 jobs.

Verwood company Canford Renewable Energy is presenting its case for a low-carbon business park on the 17.6 hectare grassland area to a planning inspector, while the council is defending its refusal to grant permission.

Lush has been named as being among businesses which have expressed an interest in the proposed development of up to five plots on land south of Magna Road and west of Wheelers Lane.

The planning application attracted almost 230 letters of objection citing the loss of recreational space, impact on wildlife and increased traffic, among other concerns.

Richard Genge, planning and regeneration manager, Borough of Poole, said: “As the local planning authority we will continue to present evidence to the planning inspector, supporting our original decision to refuse outline planning permission in this instance.

“Our concerns related to the release of employment land ahead of our statutory review of our local plans, as well as the likely impact on the adjoining heathlands and protected species.”

The applicant says businesses wishing to expand are unable to find sites in the Poole/Bournemouth area to accommodate the size of buildings required.

It is accessible, renewable energy can be supplied from the nearby Canford power station and the land is available now.

Bearwood resident David Menet, who is among the objectors said: “A proposed industrial site of this size and character would have a detrimental impact on nearby existing residential properties.”

The inquiry is sitting at Upton House on May 14 and 15 and at the Thistle Hotel on May 13.