Buildings at one of the country's best racing pigeon studs could be converted to seven homes.

If agreed, it could result in ten new homes in total on the site of the Ponderosa UK Stud, in Green Lane at Chickerell. Outline permission for three homes on the eastern part of the site has already been agreed.

In a request for planning permission for the additional seven homes, Mary Bartlett says that with the sport now in decline the business has, effectively, closed with only a few remaining birds to care for.

“The world moves on and we're not getting any younger, it's now the time to retire,” said Mrs Bartlett, who was born in Chickerell.

The family is asking to convert buildings on the western part of the site by changing and extending the existing buildings to create six one bed flats and a detached 3 bed bungalow. There is also a proposal to build a double garage on the site.

The main stud building was opened in 2009 but the business dates back more than 40 years and has sold racing pigeons around the world, many of them champion birds, including national winners in the UK and elsewhere.

Dorset Council, which will decide the application, is being told that the development is acceptable in principle subject to possible amendments to the layout.

A report to the council says: “The two-storey building on site has domestic scale and is constructed in brick under a tiled roof. It is capable of adaption to its new use without any material alteration to its appearance. The single-storey building will require extensions to create more usable floor space and a double garage is also proposed. It will also maintain a domestic scale and character. “

“The scheme makes efficient use of previously developed land and the impact of the proposed development in the landscape will remain relatively the same. Large areas of tarmac associated with the previous use will be removed to create a communal garden for the proposed flats and a private garden for the bungalow. “

The application, which is likely to be decided at officer level, can be viewed online and in the local planning office. Comments have to be submitted to the council by May 16.