A controversial application to demolish a prominent Swanage home overlooking the sea and replace it with nine apartments been refused permission.

Dorset Council decided that the application for 23 De Moulham Road from Westcoast Developments, which would have created eight two-bed flats and one three-bed, over four floors, would be out of keeping with the area.

Swanage Town Council and dozens of letters of objection had been lodged over the proposals.

The town council said changes to a previous application had done nothing to mitigate its concerns about the height and scale which it said would be completely out of keeping with surrounding properties.

Concerns had also been raised about car and pedestrian access to the site with highways officers concerned about access to a proposed bike store although raising no formal objection.

Dorset Council’s conservation officer said the proposed scheme would “have a negative impact on the character and setting of the nearby Town Centre Conservation Area,” while the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team criticised what it said was extensive glazing, suggesting: “The sensitivity of the site requires a scale, form and design that is much more restrained than what has been proposed.”

Objections were also lodged by the Purbeck Society over the scale of the proposal, claiming that it was likely to be used as second homes.

Neighbour objections raised similar concerns including fears about overlooking from the proposed ‘wrap around’ balconies and the impact on views from the nearby Ballard and Peveril developments, together with the loss of three quarters of the existing garden space.

A council officer report, which recommended refusal, said: “The scale of the development is not considered to be appropriate. While the height would not be significantly greater than the existing, the existing dwelling has a fully hipped roof which minimises the mass and visual impact…Officers consider that the excessive width of the building would be incongruous in the street scene.”

The report acknowledged that the revised application had sought to address earlier concerns by reducing the height and width of the upper floors.

Architects for the applicant said the proposed design was of very high quality, taking its visual clues from the adjacent Oceana development, with “slick curves” on the balconies and a modern mix of textures and colours.