PLANS to demolish two shops along a main road in Oakdale and replace them with new units and a block of 25 flats have been refused.

Members of Poole council’s planning committee had been recommended to approve the application but councillors agreed to turn down the scheme.

At Thursday’s meeting they agreed that the four-storey replacement building was overdevelopment of the site and fears were raised about a shortfall in the number of parking spaces it would provide.

Mars Investments’ application sought permission to demolish the buildings which house the Motabitz store and former One Stop shop.

Twenty-eight parking spaces would have been provided – nine for the two replacement shops and 19 for the flats.

Despite the parking not meeting the level required by the council, its planning officer James Gilfillan had recommended that planning permission be granted.

He said the blocking of the service road through the site, which has been used as a rat run by people avoiding the junction, represented “significant highway safety gain” that outweighed the parking shortfall.

“It is clear from representations received that many of the staff and customers working and visiting the local centre use the car parking on the application site,” he said.

“It is nevertheless not a public car park and is neither owned by the council nor secured by its planning history to be available for such visitors.

“Whilst the land owner has in the past chosen to permit such parking, this could be withdrawn at any time.”

Representing the developer at Thursday’s meeting, planning consultant Matt Annen warned that the car park would be closed should the application be refused.

Despite this, committee members voted to reject the scheme raising concerns that the development was too large and that too few parking spaces were provided in the plans.

Chairman Cllr Andy Garner-Watts said: “I have concerns that nine parking spaces for two retail units just isn’t enough.

“We are going to be 20 spaces short by our own policy calculations and that is something that I cannot support.”

Councillors voted to go against the recommendation of Mr Gilfillan and refused the application.