FURIOUS Poole residents are fighting plans to demolish five brand new houses worth £6.5 million because the person who built them claims they aren't selling because of Brexit.

Property developer Alex Collier only finished building the group of ultra-modern homes in Branksome Park's Balcombe Road in 2016, marketing them at £1.3m each.

But not one has sold, with Mr Collier blaming the uncertainty over the outcome of the UK leaving the EU making potential buyers nervous.

His company has now submitted plans to bulldoze the detached homes and replace them with a block of 30 flats.

Bournemouth Echo:

The new apartments will be valued at between £350,000 to £450,000.

But his plans have been branded 'ludicrous' by locals.

More than 30 letters of objection have been submitted to Poole Borough Council which will rule on the proposal.

Local resident Philip Hiley said: "I totally object to this application as the houses were built only a few years ago.

"The fact they they couldn't sell and have been let out is no reason to demolish them. How can the council even contemplate allowing the demolition of new houses?

"There should be a rule that new houses can't be demolished if they have only been standing for a few years."

Resident Steve Delve added: "It seems ludicrous to demolish perfectly good housing to add flats taking away family homes in preference for dense flats."

Bournemouth Echo:

A neighbour, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said: "The homes have only been there for a couple of years but they have been mostly empty in that time. The site is already cramped with five homes so to go to 30 flats is too much."

The plot used to contain two old bungalows but was bought by Mr Collier for about £1.6m in 2012.

Bournemouth Echo:

Mr Collier, a director of Sphere Property Ltd, said: "The scheme proposed looks to address changes in market demand which the current development simply does not satisfy.

"The most predominant contributing market factors being the implementation of significant increases in stamp duty to the upper end of the market and more latterly uncertainty in the UK property market surrounding Brexit.

"There is much greater demand in the area for more affordable housing and this is a clear directive nationally from our chancellor, with schemes such as 'Help to Buy' being extended out to 2023."