A CONTROVERSIAL application to redevelop a large house in Albert Road, Dorchester has been withdrawn.

Neighbours claimed the request for a new apartment block alongside and the conversion of the building to create four extra apartments would have added to traffic problems in the area.

There were also objections that the nine-home  scheme was an overdevelopment of the site, that mature trees would have been damaged and the historic character of the area, overlooking the Borough Gardens, could have been damaged.

The town’s Civic Society and the town council had joined neighbours in expressing their concerns and asking Dorset Council to reject the planning application.

The scheme, for the former mental health team office at 6 Albert Road, had previously attracted criticism over parking and the look of a planned modern extension to the building.

A re-submitted application, with some changes, was also suggested for refusal by the town council.

It's planning committee said the proposals were an over development of the area; that the re-worked plans took no account of previous comments from neighbours and would be damaging to trees and wildlife in the grounds of the house.

Canterbury Properties wanted to change the use of 6 Albert Road to create four additional apartments and to erect a link building to a new apartment block for 5 further apartments alongside the existing building. It has not said why the application has been withdrawn, or whether a new application might be submitted later.

The town council planning committee said in its comments on the proposals earlier in the year: “The design, scale and mass of the development would be too dominant and overbearing on the original building and have a negative visual impact on this part of the Conservation Area, the Borough Gardens and the Walks as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The design features of the extension did not reflect the existing building, particularly the windows, and the lack of front doors into either building was at odds with the established residential pattern of other properties in the area.”

The County Archaeologist had asked for an examination of the site before any building work started as a Roman burial ground is known to be in the area and the Highways department had requested conditions relating to parking and access to the site.