PLANS to replace a row of garages with three bungalows have been approved, despite concerns over the loss of parking.

The DWP Housing Partnership scheme will see the three one-bed homes built in a back yard area behind a row of houses in Shelbourne Road, Bournemouth.

Council planning officers recommended granting approval for the scheme, saying the existing garages "don't make the most efficient use of the land".

However the application met with opposition from neighbours.

At a planning board meeting on Wednesday, Shelbourne Road resident Sarah Newell, representing the Malmesbury Park Residents' Association, said the area had seen a lot of "infill developments" recently with insufficient parking, leading to residents parking in the road.

While ward councillor Mark Anderson said DWP had allowed the garages to "become dilapidated".

Board member Cllr Sue Anderson opposed the plans, saying: "We already have a huge parking problem in this town, particularly in the Charminster and Queen's Park areas."

She added: "I don't understand why this has even got to this stage, why we are being asked to accept something obviously not conforming to building standards."

However, members voted by a majority to approve the scheme.

Acting chairman Cllr Pat Oakley said: "It seems to me there is a great need for more housing. This is a valuable brownfield site."

Cllr Gina Mackin said: "If we refuse this will go to appeal and I really believe we would lose this. We are desperate for homes."

Cllr Stephen Bartlett said: "It seems to me this is a bit different from the general character of the area. An awful lot is going into a very small space."

He said he had "great sympathy" with residents' concerns over parking, but that with four parking spaces provided as part of the development it met the council's policy requirements.