AN attempt to convert a Victorian property to house eight "extremely small and inappropriate" flats has been rejected.

The application by HB Properties & Lettings Ltd was to convert the restaurant at 250-252 Charminster Road into a shop, leaving an existing flat, and building seven new studio flats in the roof.

The plan was criticised by Bournemouth Civic Society, its advice said: "The society feels very strongly that this application is a good example of what is now being increasingly attempted in established areas of Bournemouth – namely the creation of excessive numbers of extremely small and inappropriate, studio flats within the interiors of older buildings that were never designed to be used in this manner.

"We therefore think that in this case the proposed changes would amount to massive overdevelopment, with totally inadequate facilities for car and bicycle parking.”

Rejecting the scheme, a report by planning officer Colin Tebb states: "Although the proposal seeks planning permission for 'alterations and extensions' in reality very little of the original Victorian building would remain."

It adds: "The considerable intensification of the residential use on this site, essentially by overdevelopment in the manner proposed, would be unacceptable."