PLANS to redevelop the former Cottees Auction House site in Wareham town centre have been approved by council bosses.

Purbeck District Council (PDC) planning committee members backed proposals to build nine homes at the 0.29-hectare East Street plot.

Previous applications for the former auction house, which relocated to Poole in December 2015, have courted controversy.

A separate application to build nine homes at the same site was refused by the committee in July 2018, after members concluded those plans failed to preserve the character and appearance of the Wareham Conservation Area,

The previous year, plans for 21 sheltered apartments for the elderly, complete with six additional affordable apartments, were shelved by developers at the last minute.

However, these latest plans for nine homes, which have been submitted by Simon McFarlane, were recommended for approval by district council planning officers.

Planning case officer Anthony Bird, in his report to the planning committee, explained: "Whilst the nature of the new buildings will result in a significant change to the immediate environment of the neighbouring dwellings, this is not considered to result in unacceptable impacts.

"The design and layout of the development reflects the standard of neighbour amenity that typically exists in an urban environment.

"There are no neighbour privacy or amenity issues that would warrant refusal of the application."

The district council had received comments from at least half a dozen neighbours who voiced concerns.

They were worried about extra traffic generated by the scheme and boundary wall issues.

The proposals are for the demolition of the former auction/sales and other buildings, and the construction of two bungalows, two chalet bungalows, and five two-storey houses.

Two of the homes would be accessed from Wyatts Lane, and the remainder from East Street.