PLANS to demolish a former medical practice in favour of five new homes have been refused for offering “substandard living conditions”.

BCP Council rejected chartered building surveyor Greenward Associates’ application to demolish their office building in Ryall Road, Canford Heath, due to an inadequate amount of space for five houses.

The building itself was formerly the West Canford Heath Medical Centre, which closed in 2010 following the sacking of its GP.

It eventually became the office headquarters for Greenward who have operated from the site for more than a decade.

Bournemouth Echo: The former West Canford Heath Medical Centre in Ryall Road.The former West Canford Heath Medical Centre in Ryall Road. (Image: Google)

In total, 20 objections were submitted against the plans with residents citing highway risks, loss of privacy and lack of space as causes for concern.

Canford Heath ward councillor Sandra Moore was among those to object. She said: “I note this is the second planning application to demolish the existing building and develop the site for housing.

“I also note the comments made in the highways report which confirm residents' concerns that the proposed layout, together with the potential for additional parking at the site, raises significant highway safety risks. Therefore, I do not think this scheme meets the aims of delivering safe and sustainable development.”

Nearby resident Christopher Sheldon added: “While I understand the need for new housing, I believe that this development has several serious flaws that need to be addressed.”

Bournemouth Echo: BCP Council offices in BournemouthBCP Council offices in Bournemouth (Image: Newsquest)

BCP Council planning officers agreed, stating the agent had ‘not provided any justification’ for how the development achieved acceptable standards of living.

In her report recommending refusal, case officer Sophie Burch noted the five planned homes fell well below the national minimum floor space standards of 79sqm for two-storey two-bedroom homes.

She said: “The proposed scheme would contribute to the council’s demand for new housing, however it would provide five substandard residential units which are harmful not only to future occupiers but to neighbouring amenity.

“Having recognised the collective harm arising to the future occupants, neighbouring amenity and the character and appearance, it is concluded that the adverse impacts would not significantly outweigh the harm and therefore, the scheme would not achieve the economic, social and environmental objectives of sustainable development.”