A controversial application to convert a Greenhill house into three apartments and build four additional flats in the garden has been withdrawn.

Several neighbours objected to the scheme while Weymouth Town Council took a neutral stance.

But Dorset Council’s conservation officer opposed the plan, backing the views of some residents.

In his report he said: “Greenhill Road is a high profile location characterised by large villas fronting the road set within expansive gardens suitable for the size of dwellings. The individual design approach of these is also a feature and in the main they are clearly “architect” designed. The subject site is within this group of the sub-area to the Town centre Conservation Area, and sits almost opposite the listed chalets within Greenhill Gardens. This part of the Conservation area has a distinct turn of the 20C feel and forms a contrast to the more historic Georgian seafront of the Town Centre. It is a remnant of the British Seaside heyday of the early 20thC.

“This area is characterised by a high level of design (albeit varied styles – but this in turn is part of that character) and any proposal should respect this and either maintain or enhance this… The impact on the Conservation Area therefore, is considered unacceptable.”

He said that the loss of the front garden would be “a significant loss to the setting of the Conservation Area,” concluding: “There is no part of this proposal that can be supported and therefore I am unable to offer any potential solution or design modification.”

Applicant Steve Williams appeared before town councillors in June to tell them he had lived in the main house, 23 Greenhill, opposite the tennis courts, for 15 years. He told the committee that he believed the seven units would be of high quality and affordable for the location.

Planning committee vice chair Christine James said at the time that many other houses in the area had already undergone similar changes and she did not believe there would be objections to it.

But other councillors raised objections: Cllr David Mannings said his concern was the road access which would become busier with ten parking spaces on the site.

Committee chair Lucy Hamilton said she was concerned that some of the flats had been squeezed onto the site, but was told they complied with standards.

Neighbours had objected about what they claimed was the proposed over development of the site and the designs not being in keeping with the conservation area.

“The proposed application is an absolutely gigantic change to the existing building plot that would have devastating effects on the environment, wildlife and the wonderfully preserved look of Greenhill,” said one resident who claimed his home would be overlooked by the development.

Others raised concerns about privacy and surface water drainage from the site.

One letter in support said: “I understand the need for more achievable housing for people & l see this development, if done correctly, would give more people the opportunity to live in this beautiful part of Weymouth.

“The precedent has obviously been set already along Greenhill so I can’t see why this would be looked upon any differently and I repeat if done to a high standard I can only see it being a positive thing.”