PLANNING permission for a plot of land in Hamworthy to be used for off road parking has been refused by the council – a week after a fire ripped through the site and wrote off five vehicles.

The applicant OOTA Property Ltd had wanted to use the plot, on land adjacent to Oak Croner Place, Hamilton Road, to create a tarmacked area to provide six parking spaces.

These parking spaces, according to the proposals, would then be sold or leased to local residents.

However, even before the fire in the early hours of Sunday, May 8, a number of neighbours had lodged opposition to the plans with BCP Council.

Among their grievances were that the plot represented commercial use in a residential area; that the parking spaces were too close to neighbouring properties and would create noise and pollution, and that the site had been used to service vehicles.

It was also pointed out by neighbours that there was already 'substantial, unrestricted parking' on Hamilton Road.

Less than a week after the fire the application was refused by BCP Council.

Read more: Fire crews and police attend early hours fire

The comprehensive reason for refusal, signed off by Nick Perrins, head of planning and building control at the council, concluded: "In the absence of any detailed information from the applicant regarding the proposed nature of use of the proposed parking spaces, it is evident that the proposal has the potential to give rise to a significant number of vehicular movements within the site during all hours of the day and in close proximity to the boundaries of the neighbouring properties and the dwellings themselves.

"As such, the proposal is likely to result in noise and disturbance that would be materially harmful to the living conditions of the occupants of the neighbouring dwellings."

The fire was also noted in council planning documents relating to the site.

"A recent fire at the site is a clear demonstration of why the planned change of use (and in reality what the site will be used for) is totally unacceptable for this residential location," it stated.

Speaking to the Daily Echo before the planning decision was taken, but after the fire that broke out on May 8, Cllr Philip Broadhead, BCP Council deputy leader and portfolio holder for regeneration, economy and strategic planning said: “We were made aware of a vehicle fire that happened on private land in Hamworthy.

"The landowner has responsibility for this site, including the safety of parked vehicles.

"An application has been made to use the site for off-road parking for up to six cars.

"This application is currently being considered and we have already received a number of responses from local residents.

"The outcome of this application will determine whether the landowner can continue to use this site for parking purposes."

Five vehicles, including three vans and a quad bike, were damaged beyond repair in the fire.

The cause of the fire was not treated as suspicious.