A COUNCIL scheme to build a disability access ramp to a block of flats has been rejected by officers.

Bournemouth council's housing department sought permission to build the concrete ramp with attached hand rail at 18 Tedder Close, in a bid to assist residents.

However planning officers have ruled that the plans would ruin the appearance of the West Howe road, adding that there are better alternatives available.

The scheme, which was originally announced to residents in September last year, received an objection from a leaseholder, Louise Buckley, who suggested a removable ramp would be more appropriate.

She said the council should have consulted leaseholders at the block and added: "Should I wish to put my property on the market, it would make the sale difficult to say the least and possibly cause a large financial loss.

"I have every sympathy for people in such a situation, but if it is that bad they surely need to be in accommodation designed for their needs."

In a report, planning officer Emma Patchell said: "This addition to the front of the properties would be highly visible and prominent as it is positioned at the head of the cul-de-sac.

"Such an addition is of a poor design and adds clutter to the front of the properties."

She said the neighbouring block, 16 Tedder Close, had been fitted with a new rear access with a step lift, and that this might be more appropriate.

"While such a ramp would assist a disabled person to access their home it is located within a prominent position and of a poor design that is considered harmful to the character and appearance of the area," she said.

"Other options are clearly available and this should be further considered."

The scheme was refused under delegated powers.