A VINTAGE warehouse that opened without planning permission has been given temporary consent for three years.

Members of Bournemouth’s planning board went against the advice of their planning officer to allow Molly’s Den in Francis Avenue, West Howe, to continue trading for three years.

After that time the site will revert back to its original use, which is for “general industry”.

Dean Souter, director at Molly’s Den, said he was “over the moon” with the decision and said they now planned to expand the Molly’s Den brand.

Cllr David Kelsey, chairman of the planning board, said: “This decision still gives the industrial site the ability to go back to its correct use if the economic climate changes.

“I also asked for him to take into consideration the other residents that are already on that site and re-mark the parking spaces, put up more signage and not to encroach on other spaces.

“There hasn’t been anyone else interested in taking the site forward as an industrial unit and it was felt it was more beneficial to have it than not to have it.”

Carlie O’Neill, associate director at Tanner and Tilley, who represented Molly’s Den, said: “This result is great for a thriving local business much loved by many. We are pleased to have achieved a great approval for our client and very much look forward to working with them on future sites.”

Mr Souter said: “We are over the moon with this great result and huge thanks to Tanner and Tilley Town Planning for achieving this great result – a unanimous vote against officer’s refusal.

“We are expanding the Molly’s Den brand, with 10 new sites in the pipeline, with New Milton having been open six weeks and sites upcoming in Worthing, Winchester and London.”

• Investigation by council

New Forest District Council has confirmed it is investigating the new Molly’s Den emporium in New Milton to check whether it has the appropriate planning permission.

The vintage emporium opened at the Queensway industrial estate last month, featuring stalls from 250 traders, a tea room and a children’s play bus.

Founder Dean Souter said: “Our core trade is to traders – that’s about 85 per cent of our business. The rest is the public. We don’t want to be a retail outlet.”

A council spokesperson said there appeared to be a breach of planning control.

“We are intending to carry out a detailed site visit as soon as we can and, if possible, meet the operator of the premises. Enforcement action remains a possibility.”