PLANS to redevelop a shop building in Wimborne have been refused.

Submitted by a Mr Scott, the application sought permission to convert the Sturtons and Tappers store in East Street into three separate units with eight flats built on the floors above.

But concerns were raised by Dorset Council that the developer had split proposals for the wider site into two schemes to avoid it meeting the threshold for a major scheme.

In May 2018 planning permission to build seven homes on land behind the shop was granted.

Earlier discussions between developers and the council outlined intentions to redevelop the whole site for commercial space and 21 residential units.

And although the latest scheme has a different applicant, the council argued that the land being owned by the same person means it should be considered as one larger application rather than two.

Major schemes are required to meet different planning policies and includes the consideration of a contribution to affordable housing.

However, the agent for the latest application said the two proposals were not interdependent and that at the time work started on drawing up plans for the first scheme, the shop building was not available for redevelopment.

Despite this, council planning officer Elizabeth Fay agreed to refuse planning permission for the redevelopment of the shop building.

“The applicant has put forward a case that this application should be considered separately from the extant permission at the site on the grounds that the two applications are unrelated,” she said.

“It is difficult for officers to establish intention, however there is evidence that the wholescale development of this site was previously considered.

“The scheme appears contrived in order to split the site into two parcels rather than putting forward a comprehensive development which makes best use of the land.”

She said there were also concerns about the risk of flooding and drainage and that it “fails to make the best use of available land”.